Home Comic BooksComic Book News [From the Editor] PopCultHQ Severs Ties w/ Dynamite, Explains Decision

[From the Editor] PopCultHQ Severs Ties w/ Dynamite, Explains Decision

by Jason Bennett
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In February of 2015, PopCultHQ was founded by Manny Popoca. Manny wanted a platform to promote talent from various industries: movies, television, comic books, cosplay, conventions, and more. With that, he created this entertainment media company. He assembled a team of writers who had the same desire to put out news and content relating to all of popular culture. In June of 2016, we received the tragic news of Manny’s death. April Widrick and I (Jason Bennett) were left with a weighty decision… what to do about PopCultHQ? April and I had a conversation the evening of the day we got word that we lost our leader. It was in that moment on a Sunday evening that we made the decision to continue with Manny’s dream and what could be seen as his legacy. We wanted to not only continue his vision, but to build upon it in the way we felt Manny would have taken us. We have added a large number of comic book publishers with whom we have working relationships, our cosplay content continues to blossom into more facets of the fandom, and we have heartily expanded our convention coverage, especially as it pertains to on-site coverage by our staff.

At our very core, PopCultHQ is an entertainment media company which invites people to celebrate their fandoms, whatever that might be. We became a site with which people could enjoy the things they love: comics, cosplay, conventions, sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, superheroes, animation, and the list goes on. We have made it a point to continue with Manny’s firm stance on not publishing or promoting any gossip, rumors, or click-bait articles. In addition, we have strived to keep negativity off our site. Fans and readers come to PopCultHQ to enjoy breaking pop culture news, images of cosplays and comic cons from around the world, interviews with individuals doing remarkable things in their respective field, and the weekly roundup of comic book-related press (previews, spoiler-free reviews, interviews, etc.). There is enough negativity in the world already and we choose not to contribute to it.

That being said, PopCultHQ has ended our relationship with Dynamite Entertainment. Recently, Dynamite has made the decision (likely for financial reasons, though I prefer not to speculate) to support and promote individuals associated with the Comicsgate movement. This group of comic book creators has consistently shown to be extemely divisive, hateful, and bigoted. Its members, and followers, harass and intimidate creators and participate in online bullying. Whether it has been from official press releases or their newsletter, Dynamite has incrementally promoted creators and platforms widely known to be associated with Comicsgate. At least 60-65% (conservatively) of their emails highlight CG creators and it is troubling, to say the least.

PopCultHQ will always be a source of inclusion and diversity. We have had the privilege in meeting, interviewing, and promoting incredibly talented individuals from all over the world, including a large number of people/groups traditionally marginalized in the world: women, the LGBTQIA community, all sexual orientations, and races and religions of all types. Talent is talent, creative is creative. That’s what we look for in who we promote.

Racism, bigotry, hatred, and the likes, have no place in the comic book industry, let alone the world as a whole. More importantly, it has no place at PopCultHQ. We will not give these individuals a platform, will not engage in signal boosts for their cause, and do not feel we are obligated to promote any of their work. And when a comic book publisher like Dynamite puts dollars over morals, turns a blind eye to the ugliness being spewed, and placing revenue above a sense of general decency for humankind, it reveals a great deal of the character of those individuals making the decisions for the company. We will not align ourselves with that. The comic book industry deserves better. Comic book fans and readers deserve better.

We do want to extend our sincerest apologies to creators on Dynamite titles (not associated with CG) who are becoming innocent victims to less coverage of their work. Please know that we will continue to support the other positive things you are doing in the comic book industry. To fans and collectors of Dynamite books, we apologize for no longer being a source for you to check out their titles. We realize we could lose some followers or fans because of this decision, but sometimes doing what’s right comes at a price. It is our hope that you understand our decision to not promote hateful and divisive individuals and those who choose to align themselves with them. We just cannot in good conscience continue to work with individuals and organizations who are active with the Comicsgate movement. PopCultHQ is not about the almighty dollar. We do not, and will not, place Views, Hits, or Numbers above our ethics. And we do not accept or tolerate hate in any form. Life is too short and we are all dealing with its madness on the daily. Mahatma Gandhi famously stated, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” It is with his words echoing within our hearts that we have made the decision that we have just made.

Thank you for reading,

Jason Bennett
Chief Editor/Writer – PopCultHQ

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