A giant who turned out to be a small man.
When we first set out to create 13th Dimension three years ago, one of the things I wanted to make sure of is that anyone would feel welcome. I wasn’t interested in being the kind of comics site that traded in rumors or nastiness. Winking snark, sure. But nothing more than that.
In essence, I wanted this to be a site that celebrates comics. If I don’t like something, I tend to ignore it. Why knock an artist you don’t like? Why call out a writer whose material you find subpar? I’ve never set out to be a definitive review site.
That’s not to say I’m a Pollyanna. Far from it. If I feel strongly about something, I’ll say it and say it loudly.
And that brings me to Jim Steranko.
I’ve spent a decent amount of cyber-ink praising the work of an artist and writer who is unquestionably one of the most influential creators in the history of comics. In fact, it was his birthday the other day, and I not only re-publicized older pieces that saluted him, I put together a fresh 13 COVERS tribute, showing off how his work was published around the world.
Then, on the eve of the only truly frightening election of my adult life, Jim Steranko went off his hinges with a lengthy Twitter rant espousing all the reasons he was supporting the Republican nominee — a person who has boasted of sexually assaulting women, proclaimed he wanted to ban Muslims from this country and wants to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans, who in his warped mind, are a bunch of drug-dealing rapists. Those are just three of many, many lowlights.
In my mind, right there, the self-styled STERANKO transformed into Crazy Uncle Jim. I was mortified and horrified — especially since I’d just spent time and effort praising him days earlier.
But I resolved to let it go as just one more loony voice, disappointed as I was. Social media and the rest of the internet responded accordingly and that was that.
Then, this morning, I saw Crazy Uncle Jim gloating over the victory of a reactionary hate-monger — the least-qualified person to enter the Oval Office in our 240 years of existence. Steranko tweeted his defiance against those who would drown out his free speech.
Free speech. Well, here’s where my free speech comes in.
Jim Steranko is finished here, persona non grata. I have no patience or tolerance for anyone who could so rigorously support a candidate with such hate in his heart. I will never celebrate this guy ever again. (Side note: I won’t remove what’s been written about him here because in the 21st century, that’s tantamount to book burning, a reprehensible act in itself. If people find it, they find it. So be it.)
I predict that his backers will say that Steranko is a giant and I’m just some guy with a website. Whatever. You have to start somewhere. Think globally, act locally.
And to anyone who says they voted for Donald Trump because he was the lesser of two evils? You don’t understand the true nature of evil.