Edmonton comic store criticized after announcing it won't stock controversial author
Variant Edition co-owner made announcement on Twitter because of author's history with online harassment
Danica LeBlanc's comic book store doesn't stock certain comics she thinks she won't be able to sell.
But when she made a statement saying Variant Edition in Edmonton wouldn't sell Richard Meyer's crowdfunded book called Jawbreakers, she was subjected to online criticism from fans of the book and the author.
LeBlanc said she wouldn't stock the book because of Meyer's actions online over the past year, but would still honour any pre-orders if they came through. "I see him as a very destructive influence in the comics industry, and I don't want that in my store," LeBlanc told CBC's Radio Active.
LeBlanc said Meyer is a supporter of online harassment and that he mis-genders trans people. She said her customers wouldn't support someone who supports this behaviour, and so she didn't want the comic to take up shelf space in her store.
After announcing on Twitter the store would not stock the comic, Variant Edition was hit with replies from Meyer's fans, criticizing the decision not to stock the comic.
Something is seriously wrong with you <a href="https://twitter.com/DanicaHere?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DanicaHere</a>—@Kinkblot
We will not be stocking the upcoming <a href="https://twitter.com/AntarcticPress?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AntarcticPress</a> comic JAWBREAKERS on shelf. <br><br>It does not appeal to our demographic, and we will not actively support creators who have promoted harm to friends, collegues and strangers.<br><br>Pre-paid orders will be accepted for those interested.—@VariantEDmonton
Ah yes, here is the fat shaming. Stamping more on my alt-right bingo board. <a href="https://t.co/arFYLQNk26">pic.twitter.com/arFYLQNk26</a>—@DanicaHere
"I think people are more annoyed that we made a statement about it," LeBlanc said. "We had to make a statement because of who he is and what he's been doing."
Meyer has raised more than $260,000 US through an IndieGoGo campaign. The comic book's prospective publisher, Antarctic Press, has since announced it will not release Jawbreakers under its label.
In a response video posted to YouTube, Meyer said there was a "secret group of comic retailers who were colluding" to not stock the comic book.
He then mentions Variant Edition by name, suggesting comic books saying what not to sell was highly unusual.
"What we see here is they're doing multiple steps of an intimidation and bullying campaign," Meyer said in the video.
In addition to all the online comments she has received, LeBlanc said the store was also broken into, as someone broke through the window and stole $400 cash.
She said she has no proof it's connected to the announcement to not stock Jawbreakers, but said the timing is peculiar.
"I'm hoping that it's just random," she said.
LeBlanc said she had a feeling the statement would cause a lot of negative reaction, but she wanted to show support to other stores who said the same.
"I don't think I can change anyone's mind," she said. "We knew that it could turn on us but we are a store known to be outspoken."