Characters in Ian McGinty's Welcome to Showside comic.

#ComicsBrokeMe Exposes the Working Conditions, Abuses of the Comics Industry

We shouldn't need these hashtags.

It might burst some bubbles, but the comics industry is notorious for mistreating creatives, and it shouldn’t take people dying from being overworked for working conditions to change. People shouldn’t be scared to pursue their passions because they may be mistreated. Time and time again, folks have spoken out and more often than not, they are silenced (especially if they are part of a marginalized group). It’s the same for mangaka (manga artists) and the countless instances of abuse and mistreatment.

Recommended Videos

Recently, a comic book writer and artist named Ian McGinty passed away. He was only 38 and had worked on big-name properties like Adventure Time and Invader Zim, as well as his own comic, Welcome to Showside (pictured above). On Twitter, McGinty’s mother has spoken out and urged people to support other cartoonists. While the cause of McGinty’s death isn’t public information, others in the industry have expressed concern knowing how hard he was pushing himself to work.

The hashtag #ComicsBrokeMe erupted on Twitter and folks have been sharing their own experiences in the industry. It’s heartbreaking to think about because the reality is that the people that help make the content you love are undervalued. And this goes hand in hand with the WGA strike because ultimately, creatives across the board are typically underpaid. Meanwhile, the higher ups are continuing to get richer.

Neil Gaiman tweeted about his experiences, and the idea that things haven’t drastically improved is terrible. The comics industry isn’t dwindling; in fact, it’s still thriving because of the creatives behind the comics we love. But those creatives aren’t thriving like they should be, and the question is when will that change? Three years ago, a similar hashtag to #ComicsBrokeMe was created and Sloane Leong (A Map to the Sun, Prism Stalker, Graveneye) tweeted about it.

Conversations like this shouldn’t have to be had over and over. Change should be implemented in order to prevent burnout, potential death from being overworked, and overall unacceptable working conditions. #ComicsBrokeMe is more than just a hashtag, and it’s no laughing matter just because it’s on Twitter. Understanding what goes into the comics and other content you love is important during times like these.

Support comic artists, mangaka, writers, artists, and other creatives that are severely overworked and underpaid. Hashtags like #ComicsBrokeMe, #ComicsPaidMe, #PublishingPaidMe and so on shouldn’t have to exist in the fist place. McGinty’s obituary on Legacy.com suggests donating to the Hero Initiative to help others struggling in the field.

(featured image: Ian McGinty)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Exclusive: Most-Banned Book in the U.S., ‘Gender Queer,’ Will Be Released as an Audiobook in May
Gender Queer audiobook cover art (cropped)
Read Article When Can We Read ‘Lost In The Cloud’ Chapter 101?
Photo of Lost in the Clouds characters from the manhwah
Read Article While We Wait for ‘Invincible’ Season Three, May I Recommend the Source Material?
Allen, Invincible, and Immortal in 'Invincible'
Read Article ‘Low Tide In Twilight’s Chapter 84 Is Almost Here
Taeju and Euihyun in 'Low Tide in Twilight'.
Read Article Can Deku Change the Tide in ‘My Hero Academia’ Chapter 419?
Tenko Shimura sobbing and reaching in "My Hero Academia"
Related Content
Read Article Exclusive: Most-Banned Book in the U.S., ‘Gender Queer,’ Will Be Released as an Audiobook in May
Gender Queer audiobook cover art (cropped)
Read Article When Can We Read ‘Lost In The Cloud’ Chapter 101?
Photo of Lost in the Clouds characters from the manhwah
Read Article While We Wait for ‘Invincible’ Season Three, May I Recommend the Source Material?
Allen, Invincible, and Immortal in 'Invincible'
Read Article ‘Low Tide In Twilight’s Chapter 84 Is Almost Here
Taeju and Euihyun in 'Low Tide in Twilight'.
Read Article Can Deku Change the Tide in ‘My Hero Academia’ Chapter 419?
Tenko Shimura sobbing and reaching in "My Hero Academia"
Author
Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.