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D’Orazio blasts Sims for past bullying; ‘X-Men ’92’ writer apologizes [Updated]

"Punisher MAX: Butterfly," written by D'Orazio

“Punisher MAX: Butterfly,” written by D’Orazio

Chris Sims, announced last week as the writer of Marvel’s X-Men ’92 digital-first series, publicly apologized Tuesday to Valerie D’Orazio after the blogger and former DC Comics editor called him out for years-old online harassment.

“I was wrong, and in every way the bad guy,” he acknowledged on his personal blog.

D’Orazio, a writer who rose to online prominence in late 2006 with “Goodbye to Comics,” a memoir that shone a harsh light on comics culture and her experiences as an assistant editor at DC, took to Twitter early Tuesday to criticize both Marvel and Sims. “Because of the actions of this person — who is now writing the X-Men for Marvel Comics — I have been diagnosed with PTSD from cyberbulling [sic],” she tweeted.

In a subsequent blog post, D’Orazio stated she was bullied online between 2007 and 2010, and claims Sims “ring-led the harassment” against her at the time of the March 2010 release of her Punisher MAX: Butterfly one-shot.

“The irony that Marvel hired the man who ring-led the harassment against me over my Punisher comic is not lost on me,” she wrote. “Neither is the omni-present victimized crying Batgirl image I’ve been seeing all day today … or the fact that Sims had once left a message on my blog that said ‘Are you going to CRY, little girl?’”

“I had several cyberbullies during that three-year span, but Chris Sims was one of the worst,” D’Orazio wrote. “Not so much for what he said about me directly, but because he had a popular forum from which to direct harassment to me by many other people.” She said Sims recently emailed her ex-husband, writer David Gallaher, to apologize for his behavior.

A longtime senior writer for ComicsAlliance, Sims previously wrote the popular Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog, where he made no bones about his dislike for D’Orazio and her work. (“The fact that I don’t personally care for D’Orazio is one of the ISB’s worst-kept secrets,” he wrote in his 2010 review of Butterfly, which he summarized as “aggressively, pointedly mediocre.”)

In a statement posted Tuesday on his personal blog, Sims acknowledged that although he long referred to his “feud” with D’Orazio, “that was the wrong word, since it was more one-sided than anything else, and I was in no uncertain terms the aggressor and a complete jerk.”

“I was needlessly harsh about her comics work, I left jerky comments on her site, I talked trash here and elsewhere,” Sims continued, “and while in my head I justified it as as purely being critical of her writing, I know I stepped over the line into making it a personal attack more than once. What I said is a matter of public record, and frankly, my intentions at the time don’t change what I actually did. At best, I was making someone’s life harder when I had no reason to, and at worst I was giving others a reason to do the same that went far beyond just me being an asshole and contributed to and validated the harassment of both Ms. D’Orazio and of women in general. When I finally realized that, long after I should’ve, I stopped, and I’ve tried to be better going forward.”

Update (noon PT): ComicsAlliance has released a statement addressing the harassment that reads, in part:

We condemn this behavior without reservation. Online harassment is a serious problem, and in the comic industry in particular it has created a climate of hostility that alienates the marginalized and vulnerable, and damages us all. Harassment doesn’t always have its roots in conscious discrimination. Sometimes it’s simply a case of trying to take on someone you perceive as powerful, and not appreciating your own power, or that the other person has less power than you believed.

We would all do well to understand this. When we think we’re being righteous, often we’re only persecuting someone who does not deserve our venom.

In the statement, Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wheeler and Senior Editor Janelle Asselin also state that Sims’ initial apology followed a warning from Gallaher that “that someone was threatening to expose Chris as a bully following the news of Chris’s recently announced Marvel writing assignment.”

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“Someone was targeting Chris not out of a sense of justice, but because they wanted to destroy his success,” the write. “The campaign may also have been one of several efforts we’re aware of to discredit ComicsAlliance.”

Update 2 (1:07 p.m. PT): Sims has posted his own statement on ComicsAlliance, titled “Being Part of the Problem,” in which he writes:

When you’re on the Internet, especially when you’re a straight white man on the Internet, you kind of feel like everybody’s dealing with the same stuff. Who cares if some dude’s being a jerk, right? You do you, focus on your work and just get through it. Except that assuming that everyone else is in your same position is not just ignoring that larger context, it’s refusing to deal with the privilege that you have. That is, after all, what privilege is — the assumption that everyone has a level playing field, and that we’re all reacting to similar circumstances. We’re not, and if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re aware of that already. I wasn’t. And with regards to this specifically, I can tell you that the flak, insults and criticism I’ve had on my worst day are an unbelievably tiny fraction of what any woman blogging about anything in pop culture gets on an average day.

Comments

71 Comments

Okay that’s it. Now there’s no way I’m reading X-Men ’92. I’m seriously considering dropping Marvel all together. This kind of behavior keeps on happening with their creators and they’re never held accountable. It’s clear to me that Marvel is comfortable with zero accountability, which is ironic since Tony Stark said the same thing about the US government in Iron Man, and that is NOT okay with me.

Think ComicsAlliance will report or address this in any way? They love exposing sexism in the industry, but now that the perpetrator is one of their senior editors . . . I’m sure they’ll try to brush this one under the carpet, right?

The larger point here, and D’Orazio’s point in particular is that Sims got away with this crap a long time ago and got away with it. Never suffered for it. Got far in spit of it.

I’m not taking any sides here. But I think everyone is responsible for the “mistakes” of their past.

Edit button?

“I had several cyberbullies during that three-year span, but Chris Sims was one of the worst,” D’Orazio wrote. “Not so much for what he said about me directly, but because he had a popular forum from which to direct harassment to me by many other people.”

Hmm. I remembered her blog catching a lot of flack for being horribly inconsistent and, overall, very poorly written. (I know Ragnell had a post where she was really taken to task: http://ragnell.blogspot.com/2008/09/of-damsels-and-dragons-and-downtime.html) Seems like Sims is the figurehead of the criticisms in her mind. But thank goodness Sims realizes he was being a big ol d*ck about it with how harsh he got.

@Moo Stonky – Where’s the sexism here? I’m not being snarky; I legitimately don’t see it.

I understand he messed up and he copped to it. There is no excuse for what he did. But Sims is actually a really good guy and has actually been a huge proponent indie comics and women who create them. He;s not your poster child for #comicsgate and I see a lot of comics pros jumping on that bandwagon in a knee jerk fashion they often accuse their fans of doing.

It always amazes the level of punishment people expect for certain “crimes.” This happened, it happened in the past. He is contrite and takes full responsibility. So is he never supposed to work again? Should he spend 10 years in jail? Should he be homeless on the street? Working a cashier job at Walmart? If that is the case, then I expect half of my high-school class to remain unemployed forever, and I get to publicly laugh at their misfortune for the next 40 years.

–I’m basing this comment on this quotation: “The irony that Marvel hired the man who ring-led the harassment against me over my Punisher comic is not lost on me,” she wrote. “

Marvel should do the right thing and fire Sims off the book. He is also well know for bashing characters to troll fans (Mainly Gambit fans) and now he is writing the character. Wonder how that’s going to turn out?

Also, X-Men for years has been a source for all to escape bullying and persecution and to have this guy write that title? Especially the title that means to much to so many.

Do the right thin Marvel. Removing him from the book. Find a better writer. Not some “”shock jock” writer with a history of trolling and cyber bullying.

Cyberbullying is a well documented phenomenon. It is a form of social aggression that can be quite traumatizing to the victim. You do not have to be a member of the military to suffer from PTSD. I honestly feel horrible for the poor woman. There is fine line between not liking a creators work or being critical of their work and personally insulting them. There is no question in my mind that what Chris Simms did is appalling. This now becomes a debate of should creators work be separated from his personal actions. I personally think given this information that Chris Simms should not be writing an X-Men book. After all X-Men books are about a repressed/bullied minority…

I don’t think this makes much of a difference on whether to buy the book. He said some stupid stuff five years ago, although D’Orazio did say in her blog that her problem wasnt’ what he said specifically, but that when he posted something, others saw it as a signal to harrass her.

http://valeriedorazio.com/post/113900980107/are-you-going-to-cry-little-girl

“I had several cyberbullies during that three-year span, but Chris Sims was one of the worst. Not so much for what he said about me directly, but because he had a popular forum from which to direct harassment to me by many other people.
I never could figure out what I did to Chris personally to be singled out for this type of treatment. But week after week, he would have posts focused on me in which he would be a ringleader for others, who would then go off and harass me personally via my blog, social media, and emails.”

This is pretty interesting, because people are rarely so open about emotional damage.

I can appreciate that some people are very sensitive, but the examples given of Sims’ outrageous behavior aren’t that bad. Nor is his current response objectionable (He doesn’t justify his comments then, and only explains why he hasn’t apologized personally to D’Orazio.)

I can understand the morality of the eggshell skull rule (if you do damage to someone you’re responsible even if a typical person would not have been injured) and that it could be applied to emotional distress, but D’Orazio does not come across like someone who would otherwise be an emotionally healthy person.

@solletaire- I’m so with you on the PTSD comment; some folks don’t seem to understand what PTSD is and how many people are effected by it. Seriously folks; do a small amount of research on the subject. Anyway…

I’m trying really hard to separate my bias from this news, cause I’m a big War Rocket Ajax fan and I don’t want that to influence my thoughts. From what little I know about all this, I can say that what Sims did was unacceptable. I can try to find some solace in what appears to be a genuine apology, but this still stings.

As far as whether or not he should be allowed to write the comic? I see no reason why he shouldn’t be able to. Like you said; it’s about a repressed/bullied minority. But it’s also rife with stories of redemption, and bad people realizing how much their actions in the past have hurt other people and learning from it. What comic has more reformed villains than the X-Men?

In my country, that kind of behavior would be considered Genere Violence (violence guided by sexism). And he could be prosecuted. Personally… I think he wouldn’t talk that way to a man standing in front of him. Coward.

I’m sorry, but PTSD from cyber-bullying? Maybe a lot of you are “new” to the internet, but having been going at this for 20+ years, nothing’s changed in the behavior of people online. Nothing, for that matter, has changed in the behavior of people in real life, either. There will always be bullies, nerds, jocks, loners, etc. You can’t make everything cool… and there’s always going to be a pecking order.

To think that cyber-bullying is a new phenomenon is ridiculously silly. It’s been going on since day one. Why? Because bullying has been going on since day one. It carries over into different social realms. Whether you’re online or in the real world, you’re going to come across this behavior. 20yrs ago there never was PTSD for cyber-bullying… nor was there 10yrs ago. This is a new diagnosis for the politically correct generation. You know… the generation that can’t handle criticism and calls everything racism, even at the lack of mention of race.

You guys are treating Simms like he sexually molested this “victim.” The fact is… all he did was spoke critically of her. Even if he personally attacked her, and not her work, what difference does it make? She can’t handle criticism? She can’t handle negativity? Not even online? If she can’t handle criticism online, how in the world is she going to handle it in real life? How in the world can someone like that function, where everyone around you needs to watch what they say, to avoid offending you to the point of inducing psychological harm?

This is the real world, people… and people aren’t always nice. Better come to terms with that sooner, rather than later, because you’re only setting yourself up for a world of disappointment.

He obviously apologized due to pressure… He shouldn’t have had to apologize at all. The fact that he did shows that he’s the bigger person in this charade. D’Orazio’s claim of PTSD, which is something that should be reserved for those who actually experience traumatic stress, offends me on behalf of all those who actually experience it. She’s pathetic.

While some of the comments directed at her were certainly out of line… writers and artists who put their work out there really need to grow some thicker skin when it comes to criticism. Punisher: Butterfly was one of the worst comic books that I have ever seen. Full of painful writing and terrible cliches. And certainly not worth the $5.00 price tag it carried. Just look up the CBR review of it from back then. It garnered a half a star, and that was only due to the art being halfways decent. I’ll even save you the trouble looking for it.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=1968

Neither party in this case in the end if looking very good. Chris Sims for his initial comments and out of line behavior. Or Valerie D’Orazio for pretty much doing exactly what she’s complained and complaining about Chris Sims for. Mobilizing what could certainly seen as online harassment of someone. Continuing a cycle of harassment because you have been harassed in the past certainly doesn’t earn sympathy.

If she was just bring the issue to light and making it known what occurred in the past that would be one thing. But some of her comments are almost as bad as if not as bad as some of the things she’s pointing a finger at Chris Sims for. So I can’t really feel bad for either of them in this case. They’re both awful people.

I have to honestly say that Punisher Max: Butterfly was one of the best Punisher stories I’ve ever read, period. I originally picked it up for the art, but the story blew me away. I always wondered why she hadn’t written more comics. Now I know.

Additionally… she’s a public figure (and physically/quantitatively an adult – clearly not emotionally). If she didn’t want to have her work known and receive possible criticism or attacks, she could have used a pseudonym.

ANewHopelessRev

March 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

Don’t plan on dipping my toe back into comics until I see where Secret Wars is going, but tbh, I find it hard to boycott titles just because one creator or another is/was not a good person. Maybe we don’t want mean people to be able to make a living, but if he writes a good story, awesome. If he writes a bad story, the mini-series will be completely forgotten in no time. But, for the most part, I’m not going to boycott Ender’s Game media because of OSC’s religious fundamentalism or not read Byrne stuff because of his past racist/sexist comments. I don’t pay for products so that I can support the creators or approve of their viewpoints. I pay for products because I think they did their job well in that instance.

@KevinVA – And 40 years ago, PTSD wasn’t diagnosed at all; it was just shell shock, railway spine or soldier’s spine. It wasn’t looked at as a disorder at all. It’s almost like we’ve gotten better at diagnosing different disorders and psychosis instead of dismissing people’s reactions to trauma.

In the review post that’s linked to in the piece above (actually for D’orazio’s GIRL COMICS story, not her Punisher one-shot), Sims wrote:

“[…] if Marvel wants to hire loudmouthed comics bloggers to write their comics, that can only be a good thing for me […]”

The implication being that it gives him something to write about on his loudmouthed comics blog.

Just thought that was interesting.

@Heksen – “Personally… I think he wouldn’t talk that way to a man standing in front of him. Coward.” This is pure conjecture. You’re calling him a coward for how you think he would act in a hypothetical situation you’ve created in your mind. Goodness gracious.

Serious question: Where’s the sexism? I see Sims’ comment saying he believes his criticisms validated others’ decision to harass D’Orazio, and by extension, women everywhere. But did he do something sexist that I’m missing?

@Hufnagel0 – You’re talking about PTSD as it relates to military service. Thank you for acknowledging that. Let’s pretend, for a second, that bullying has been around since man first stepped on the Earth. Then, let’s pretend, for another second, that people have coped with said bullying for thousands of years.

You’re joking if you think PTSD for any kind of bullying is a legitimate thing. Time to man-up or woman-up and move on. If you allow a little thing like tough talk on the internet intimidate you and psychologically harm you, there’s something else wrong with you… It’s not PTSD.

Nathan Aaron: “I have to honestly say that Punisher Max: Butterfly was one of the best Punisher stories I’ve ever read, period. I originally picked it up for the art, but the story blew me away. I always wondered why she hadn’t written more comics. Now I know.”

Seriously? It’s a horribly cliched paint by numbers story that has almost no effort shown.

Every cliche possible in the storyteller’s toolkit is utilized in the story. It’s the Frankenstein Monster of Cliches.

I see it as a blessing in disguise. I really was unhappy when I heard that Sims was announced as X-Men writer, and I wouldn’t mind if he was fired off the X-Men. He is the last person that should write the X-Men for sure.

And as long as Sims is going to write this book, I definitely am NOT going to buy it, and it has nothing to do with the case depicted in the article, although it sort of confirms what I always thought about him.

@KevinVA – Railway spine relates to military service? News to me.

You say “pretend people have coped with bullying” as if people with PTSD due to combat service don’t cope with it as well. That’s what therapy is for. Just because most people wouldn’t get PTSD from bullying doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Not every soldier has PTSD; so by your logic, the ones that do should just get over it.

Your ignorance on this subject is abundantly clear. Please do further research before engaging in discussions about topics you don’t understand.

To clarify, PTSD is an extreme reaction to a stressful experience. What constitutes a stressful experience varies from person to person. PTSD has a tenuous link to emotional maturity. Sims’ comments might not have affected other people the same way it affected D’Orazio, but that is not the point. The point is, these comments affected her. It’s not fair to defend Sims by diminishing what she went through. You are free to still like and support Sims’ work, of course.

It is so disheartening to see how quickly people can be riled into these cries of “He deserves to be fired!” or “He’s a monster!” More than five years ago he made comments that were mean spirited and, in at least one of the examples above, discriminatory toward women. Nobody is denying that. But people should lose their jobs over that? Their livelihoods should be jeopardized? Because of some stupid comments they made online?

Would you like to be held to that standard? Is anyone commenting on this article really confident that they can say that, in their entire cyber footprint, they have never engaged in aggressive behavior or name calling or discrimination? You sure about that? Your glass house must be very difficult to keep heated. And you should probably leave those stones sitting right in your yard — they look lovely there.

I am personally alarmed by this ever-increasing preoccupation with the personal lives of comic creators. Truthfully, if I’m plunking down $2.99-$3.99 for 22 pages of story, I really could not care less what the writer, penciller, inker, letterer, editor, delivery guy does in his or her personal life. I want the story to be good. That’s it. These are not public figures. I really shouldn’t need to know about their personal behavior.

Based on what I consider Mr. Sims’ mature and professional response to this — owning his past behavior, apologizing for it — I’m actually actively adding “X-Men ’92” to my pull list. I wouldn’t want my future employment dictated by online comments I made half a decade ago…

“Let’s pretend, for a second, that bullying has been around since man first stepped on the Earth. Then, let’s pretend, for another second, that people have coped with said bullying for thousands of years.

You’re joking if you think PTSD for any kind of bullying is a legitimate thing. Time to man-up or woman-up and move on. If you allow a little thing like tough talk on the internet intimidate you and psychologically harm you, there’s something else wrong with you… It’s not PTSD.”

People have been getting stabbed since man first stepped on the Earth …lets pretend … that people have coped with said stabbing for thousands of years.
You’re joking if you think pain for any kind of stabbing is a legitimate thing. Time to man-up or woman-up and move on. If you allow a little thing like stabbing in your person to intimidate you and harm you, there’s something wrong with you … its not pain.”

What I’m trying to say is, Kevin, that just because you’re not affected by it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect people. What you’re displaying is a lack of experience/understanding–a lack of empathy.

You’re not the arbiter of how much pain a person has to feel before they are allowed to feel persecution/suffering. There’s a certain baseline we commonly assume among the general population, but assumptions are a guess, not a rule.
You’ve got tough skin, this writer doesn’t (or didn’t, sounds like she’s doing better).

There’s REAMS of verifiable evidence to prove the affects of bullying and you surely don’t know what you’re talking about form your subjective vantage point.

Oh, hey, Moo Stonky, guess what happened!?: http://comicsalliance.com/statement-regarding-chris-sims-val-dorazio/

Think Moo Stonky will comment or address this in any way?

maybe some of you should go read the write up on comics alliance now and rethink your position and maybe look up the phrase “contempt prior to investigation”

@KevinVA, thank you for saying what I was going to about PTSD. I agree that PTSD is a very serious problem, but to say you’re suffering from PTSD because poeple have said horrible things to or about you is a little disingenious, in my opinion. I don’t know D’Orazio from Eve, but I feel like she might be over-estimating her level of suffering.

Will it burn her a little every time she thinks about what was said? Yes. Has she no doubt lost sleep and tears over this? Sadly and understandably, she most likely did. But to compare her discomfort to someone who grew up in an abusive househould, or deals regularly with gruesome accidents, or serves in an active combat zone, or lives in a crime-ridden area, etc…well, that’s just a little much for me.

Frankly, I think all three people in this soap opera are pretty damned flawed.

For some reason, things have really shifted to this kid glove reality where any negative experience is treated as the most negative experience that has ever happened and should be pitied as such.

Being teased and bullied gave me a razor sharp wit, the ability and the motivation to defend myself, and a sense of humor. The ability to take a joke. The ability to take critique. The ability to look inward and criticize myself.

I understand why people promote empowerment for everybody, and to some degree, I really do think everyone should be empowered, but this generation that is being raised right now, this generation who has largely experienced more institutionalized ass kissing than any generation before it, is showing us exactly what happens when you free people from any criticism. They become selfie taking, self absorbed ego-monsters who cannot take even the most constructive criticism.

Now, the stuff from Sims went far beyond criticism, and she is right to dislike the guy, and he absolutely has something to apologize for. His words towards her looked more like a forum flame war than criticism. At the same time, as a public figure, you’re going to hear awful things, but you have to accept it for what it is. Vapor. Static. Nonsense.

Before the internet, celebrities, even fringe celebrities, did in fact receive a ton of hate mail, but information and communication was different back then. Hate mail was just crap on paper. You could read the first sentence, rip it up and be done with it. Now, with the internet, the same harassment is still coming, but it’s coming faster, it’s easier to contact a celebrity above your station as a fan, it’s easier to push that information toward them, at a higher volume, and it’s causing people to melt down.

Not just the people receiving the harassment, but people in general. Normal people are in a constant state of angry reaction, because we’re being bombarded by bad news from every angle. Despite the fact that society is leaps and bounds more diverse and accepting than it was, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc years ago, people are more furious than ever, and that’s some indicator that society has become less tolerant, it’s a by product of the information age. Outrage is currency. Look at the various websites, such as Buzzfeed, who created an entire name for themselves with clickbait. You, as a reader, are constantly being told to be offended, and coincidentally, you are constantly offended.

You’re not going to change people to make them more empathetic when they can fire off vulgar threats in six seconds flat and have no chance to undo that when their conscious kicks in twenty seconds later. People are reactionary assholes. It’s a character flaw of human beings, ego, and feelings, make people lash out, often times in very ugly ways.

What we can change, is how people perceive this information. Some loudmouth asshole blowing hot air should not be giving people PTSD. I don’t care what is being said. It shouldn’t. We need the ability as people to be above that kind of crap, to identify it for what it is, nonsense, and ignore it. Words that were more than likely typed with thumbs on a hand held device should not carry that much weight, no more than a child calling an adult ugly should make that adult have a meltdown. No more than a dog barking should make someone think “My god, am I an evil person? Does that dog know something I don’t know?”

Because in the end, it’s just noise.

I’ve been reading Chris Sims for years, and I’m glad he’s owned up to his past behavior. I never would have even known about it before. I’ll keep reading him, certainly. As someone said up above, redemption is a big deal. Black-and-white morality–where if you’re not a perfect saint, you’re reprobate filth–is not a healthy way to deal with the world, and the Internet seems especially vulnerable to it lately.

And cyberbullying is real and can definitely be harmful. Just look up Winterfox/RequiresHate. Her harassment campaigns–including one that drove an author to attempt suicide–make Sims/D’Orazio look like a small tiff.

if it was anyone else, you wouldn’t be so forgiving. excuse me for being cynical.

I didn’t realize that everybody who read comics and commented on this blog was an expert in this one woman’s psychology, or trauma therapy in general. That’s good to know that each and every one of you is an expert with a deeper level of insight than the woman herself on her own state of mind. Whew. Here I was, for a second, thinking that I had to listen to a woman. Thank god a bunch of men are explaining to me what this woman is feeling.

Gianluca Glazer

March 18, 2015 at 1:11 pm

If doing what Chris Sims is considered cyberbullying, then what about folks like Rob Liefeld who get treated worse online? At what point does an anal blogger turn from being an overly opinionated critic into a cyber bully?

Gianluca Glazer–I remember Rob Liefeld went off on a creator via twitter based on his weight more than a few times and no one called him a bully or demanded he be fired.

Gianluca Glazer

March 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm

By the same token, Liefeld and guys like J Michael Straczynski hear a lot worse from comic book fans whenever their names are mentioned. Just playing devil’s advocate and seeing what opinions are. For example, could a Josh Hoopes claim PTSD from someone like Rich Johnston who has written many “Alleged” things about him.

A key progressive value is to try and treat what people say as being heartfelt.

D’Orazio stated that the bullying (along with other personal issues) was enough to cause her to quit the business (which we know she did), contemplate suicide, and ultimately have to go into therapy. There is no reason to doubt this was the case. Period. To put moral judgements upon her for any of that or stigmatize her mental illness is a pathetic action.

Likewise, I think Sims deserves to be taken at his word. Since the time of these incidents, you can see how his writing develops a strong ethical and progressive voice. He has done a lot of work, through his writing, to combat the culture he was once a part of. That’s work that will in no way erase the harm that he caused, but it is part of a broader attempt to make amends.

And the ultimate truth of the situation is that Sims may never be able to make amends to D’Orazio. And she is not required to ever forgive him. However, regardless of her personal decisions about this situation, Sim can still work to improve the industry (and this issue of X-Men will hopefully play a part in that larger effort).

Oddly… my last post was posted as Hufnagel0 (with his e-mail address, which is supposed to be hidden, right?). There’s something odd going on with CBR’s comments. Either way, I hope they can delete the original post and replace it with this:

@Hufnagel0, Notice how I referenced PTSD (which has historically been related to military service)? Wasn’t talking about railway spine or the like. What you’re doing, sir, is attempting to make PTSD a blanket term for any fear, caused by an emotionally distressing event. That’s a cop-out. Hell, even the National Center for PTSD acknowledges the root causes of the disorder: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/.

Perhaps you should ground yourself in the basics, before you start telling people they’re ignorant: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/index.asp

Regardless, I guess I should be offended that you called me ignorant… you cyber bully. I demand an apology, as you have offended my delicate sensibilities!

@JRC, Nice jump there, buddy! From verbal abuse to stabbings! I can see we’re on the same page, here. ;]

That said, I’ve dealt with bullying in my earlier years and I chose to ignore it, confront it and grow from it. So, I do, to some degree, know what I’m talking about. I was a kid then, and I believe many other children went through the same types of challenges along their paths to adolescence/adulthood. Did it hurt? Yeah, it hurt. I didn’t want to commit suicide as a result. No, I dealt with it. Different times.

The fact that I’m running into arguments of this nature, from you and Hufnagel0, is testament to the wussification that’s been happening in our educational system for years. No longer can children stand up for themselves on the playground, but teachers are no longer allowed to step in to halt fighting, without fear of being sued/jailed/losing a job. Not only this, but the over-glorification of our children, and acceptance of everything they do without appropriate recourse for faults, has lead them down a road of self-idolatry, dependent on everyone around them to look out for their needs.

Good luck!

Spider Jerusalem

March 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm

I’ve worked for her.

She’s given just as good as she got.

@CountJockula – Bravo, sir! Very well said!

Your Royal Majesty

March 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm

“Chris Simms” is how 4channers, 8channers and Gamergaters refer to Sims. He absolutely did it and this isn’t me trying to deny it, but this is a GG attempt to sabotage Comics Alliance for sure.

don’t forget to put your tinfoil hat your royal majesty

There is a populist opinion that people suffering from mood disorders should “man up, it’s not that bad”. As literally a mountain of scientific evidence shows, this populist opinion is wrong. Mood disorders don’t work that way. Nobody, Chris Sims including, is arguing whether Chris Sim’s actions are acceptable or excusable. Hence, the public apology. The discussion should center on whether people should support his work despite these past actions. Both sides of that discussion are acceptable well argued well. Ultimately, however, both sides are a matter of opinion, in my opinion.

@Matt Bernius, progressive (irony) values need not be applied here. Please leave them at the DNC convention steps. ;] In fact, these so-called values are why we’re in the social state we are today. Progressivism is the problem, not the solution.

Your Royal Majesty

March 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

CA pretty much said so. Andrew Wheeler directly said so on his twitter.

I’m just on the opinion that while understanbly she suffered at the hand of this person or because of him … It’s a bit unfair to drag up stuff from years ago , with the possibility of him having evolved since then , as a person .

That being said , people expected her to grow a thicker skin then , it will be up to him to do the same , facing that kind of controversity

Old stuff doesn’t matters still gonna read X-men 92

Spider Jerusalem:

Exactly. No one has looked up the stuff she has done in the past while they’re going after Sims. She’s no victim. She has her own history of being mean and screwing things and people over.

This does not surprise me. I’ve always thought this part of his personality shines through in his articles and interviews. I stopped going to Comics Alliance years ago because I didn’t like the tone he took with creators in his interviews. The other side to this is that we are all human and we all make mistakes. We don’t all take responsibility for our mistakes, he does, and I believe that’s important.

@JRC, thanks for pointing out KevinVA’s possible lack of “experience/understanding–a lack of empathy” for what constitutes PTSD. A lot people unwittingly put themselves in position of arbiter of people’s suffering/persecution and they fail to realize that what they perceive is a baseline, definitely isn’t the rule. I don’t think KevinVA even realizes how callous he might be by dismissing D’Orazio’s claims.

When there are claims of suffering/persecution like this, we must always give the person the benefit of doubt of their claims until we are proven wrong with hard evidence. Passing judgements like this is why these kind of problems don’t go away. It snowballs into something more insidious.

@KevinVA And there will always be apologists for the worst of human behaviour. So what was your long-winded point?

PTSD is not exclusive to military activity. Now you may find it an extreme statement but she was diagnosed apparently by a medical professional. Maybe you don’t mind being denigrated and verbally abused and told what an idiot you are, but for some people that constant bullying which comes from many quarters not just one person can add up to feeling threatened. So I suggest you move on and worry about things you have experience with.

…progressive values…snicker…

It sucks that she got harassed the way that she did, and I think Chris should be ashamed of himself for doing such a thing. But Chris apologized, and that does not mean that she has to accept or forgive him. But if she continues to run him down like she has on her twitter account, it does start to take away a persons sympathy for her. Speaking as a person who once said some things he regrets online, it is possible for a person to realize that they were an ass and move beyond that point in their life. If Chris is truly sorry for what he did, then he should be allowed to move on from this embarrassing situation and continue to work and live his life. Just as she should be allowed to do the same thing.

I wish these articles would include actual evidence of the bullying. Because all I see is a harsh review and… pointing fun at someone who is MEANT to be a professional.

For reading both of their replies, I’m sure it goes further than that, but no article I’ve read shows it.

It’s like, I can’t wait for Slott to get PSTD from people telling him he’s shit. ~oh no stop bullying bad writers~

Like I said, from reading both replies, it seems to go deeper than that, but that’s all I can read into it from the evidence given.

Please, by all means, go into exact detail about what is wrong with “progressive values”. And for the record, I don’t think the original poster was using the term in the political sense.

Seems that he has only owned up to it because he was put in a very tight spot. For all his support of creators over the years (even with work he does not appreciate), why not apologize? Those were some very, very cruel taunts he made, and since he does have a strong fanbase, I can see how that would be an OK to follow his lead. His response in disingenuous at best.

Sims might’ve not deserved what he got in the would-be blackmail (calling it for what it was)… but I don’t think it was undeserved for the cyberbullying that D’Orazio got from him for years. Comics “fanboyism” carried to the extremes when somebody disagrees with you? Using the sex of your attacker as an argumentative tool? And your recourse is the bullying pulpit of the Internet? For years?

KARMA. Sims is discovering that once a “fanboy” like that, it’s sure hard to outgrow.

And then to take advantage of the D’Orazio/Sims online fight to blackmail him with his past tactics when he’s gonna write for MARVEL? That’s simply AS DESPICABLE as Sims’ original behavior. Those would-be blackmailers should be exposed for who and what they are, using advantage of this situation in their anti-Sims behavior.

(Good thing this Sims news broke to counter that whole BATGIRL cover flap huh? Gives comics sites something else to talk about than that cover. Or all those “fanboys/girls” defending the threats those objecting to the cover received…)

Neither Chris nor Valerie comes off as worthwhile in the least online. I’ll probably never buy anything with their names attached to it…

@cgh Just waiting for my most recent post to be approved from moderation. Then you’ll see that I actually do have experience in such matters. I added some links, which is why it hasn’t been approved yet. Links to the National Center for PTSD, which is part of the VA. Perhaps you should google it. I’d re-post without links, but I’d rather not run into the chance of repeating myself.

That said… it explains what PTSD is and how it’s caused. Should be enlightening for you and the others contributing to the wussification of the United States.

@Ian Anytime “progressive” values are mentioned, you can certainly deduce that it’s political. Don’t be daft. Progressivism is a political movement that started in the 1920s and has grown in strength over the last decade. It’s also “hip” in college-age circles to be progressive, these days.

I am sorry Val got bullied online, but one of the reasons crickets are chirping from many quarters about this is Val dished out a load herself when it suited. She was just as mean as Chris was. And to women, too.

@KevinVA – Please just stop. Of course the VA has a specific department for PTSD; seeing active combat is a high risk factor for developing PTSD. Nobody is denying this. You, on the other hand, want to deny that the disorder exists outside of anybody who has seen combat. This is incredibly insensitive, and flat-out incorrect. So again, please just stop.

“I can understand the morality of the eggshell skull rule (if you do damage to someone you’re responsible even if a typical person would not have been injured) and that it could be applied to emotional distress, but D’Orazio does not come across like someone who would otherwise be an emotionally healthy person.”

Yeah you know how she feels inside? You know her emotional status from the time she started walking to now? So you know how she thinks how her brain processes the information of many little trolls and people bullying here? The assumption is a nice one, incorrect on every level as all of them should be.

For all I know she could be fine and emotionally stable, or there maybe things she’ll never tell anyone because it was a terrible experience. Don’t assume anything.

and KevinVA, It’s people such as yourself that say tough luck when some asshole does something to someone else and defends them because it’s life so be an asshole to the other humans who live here. No sir, why don’t you try to not be an asshole and have compassion for your fellow human who lives on earth. I’m sure that kind of thought eludes you. Try not being a bully?

Or is that another concept that eludes you since “You guys are treating Simms like he sexually molested this “victim.” The fact is… all he did was spoke critically of her.” Sexual molestation is on level with verbal harassment from many different people on the internet that all are ganging up on her? That is a pretty weird metaphor to use, that would be the same as gang rape then, since it there was more than just Simms leading the charge to attack her (or should we not use the word attack because there is no gun powder? lets just say he raped her since you think hes being treated as a sexual molester and not some asshole with money thinking he gets to do whatever he wants with zero punishment) , and you don’t think he talked to his best friends and other people in the office and didn’t tell them to attack (rape) her?

Sure maybe PTSD is the wrong thing to use in this situation but the emotional damage is there. Internet,in person, letter, voice mail, aol, blog, all the same avenues for communication with other human beings, you discrediting the attack (rape) because it’s the “internet” is dumb, sure woman up or man up for criticism but to be attacked (raped) day after day after day by new stupid little trolls which by the way I’m sure 90% was the furthest thing from criticism, and for what because Simms is a dick and that gives him the right to go above and beyond criticism, treating someone with hateful, disrespectful, just words you shouldn’t say to another human because why, with an I’m sorry after being ousted, nope not good enough.

~Michael Usaj

” If Chris is truly sorry for what he did, then he should be allowed to move on from this embarrassing situation and continue to work and live his life.” Yeah destroy someones life and move on with a sorry. God people are dumb.

~Michael Usaj

David Gallaher

March 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Compassion and empathy are not a zero sum game.

Sheesh, kinda makes youw wonder WHY no one’s invested in software that’s programmed to automatically block or delete anything typed that can be perceived as acts of (cyber-)bullying. Just think of all those wasted keystrokes as the fools tried to post their stupid arguments and counterarguments!

@Michael Usaj

So you come on to a thread that is discussing how someone was cyberbullied, and you call people dumb. I sincerely hope the irony is not lost on you.

I’m still buying X-men 92. I’m not going to hold someones past actions against them. We have all gotten excited on the internet a time or two.

I’m more annoyed with her for waiting until now to be all outraged.

Oh and i have no idea who either of them is so its not personal. I feel the same way about the Monique/Lee Daniels situation. Why now? Why try to knock someone for past actions when they have finally made something big of themselves.

He may be a bully but this feels like a form a black mail.

Sims’ initial apology for his cyber-bullying didn’t just come after a warning, but it was addressed to Valerie D’Orazio’s husband, David Gallaher. Sims’ public statement at ISB acknowledges the error in his past ways, but again, there is no apology to Val. Finally, Chris makes a third statement at CA, apologizing to her.

Most importantly, Chris Sims’ apology is not a willful one, but rather one he was forced into due to media attention. The unwilling aspect is even further highlighted by ComicsAlliance’s attempt to paint Chris out as the victim. Even Melrose jumps onto this bandwagon, stating that D’Orazio is blasting him when really she’s helping to expose him. The article also refers to David as her ex-husband who warned Sims, which could easily lead people to believe that he knew Val was planning something. Except… they’re still married.

What did he say, exactly? Did he threaten her or something or on his blog encourage his readers to go after her? I don’t get it.

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