A week ago Sohmer wrote a page about Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment. In the last year, Gareb has destroyed what was once THE magazine of the comic industry. Start and shut down an online magazine, steal money from his subscribers AND buy several of the biggest conventions in the US only to shut them down. Obviously, Sohmer did what he does. He made fun of the guy.
In retaliation, Gareb went after the artist of the page. He attempted to have the artist fired from his day job. A job that is completely unrelated to The Gutters. For those not in the know, The artists of The Gutters(save Lar as far as I’m aware) are work for hire. Essentially, they’re commissioned by Sohmer and Blind Ferret for a single page. Gareb went after someone who was only doing what they were paid to do. The page was taken down at the artist’s request. It was then redrawn by Lar and placed on the site once more.
Anyone who has talked to me for more than a few minutes knows that I’ve met both Ryan Sohmer and Lar deSouza. You’ll also know that I idolize both of those guys, and Ryan is one of the nicest people I have ever met (alongside Josh Ramsay. But that’s a story for another time). Ryan makes a joke of the Comic Industry, those who are a part of it, the characters and the fans. He doesn’t single anyone out. You have something to do with comics? There’s a chance you’ll be made fun of. So, what happened next surprised me.
Sohmer got angry. The latest release of The Gutters had a message for Mr. Shamus, and anyone else who would make a target of the artists. He made it quite clear that he is solely responsible for everything in The Gutters; not the artists. “Don’t you dare go after one of my artists. I’m a much better target.”
Gareb Shamus was so offended by a piece of satire that he attempted to destroy someone’s life. Really? Why are you worried about defamation from an online comic? Didn’t you run a magazine into the ground? Trust me, people aren’t going to think any less of you after reading The Gutters from last Wednesday. It’s hard to think any less of you. However, after this little stunt I’m pretty sure you’re public enemy number 1 in a lot of people’s eyes.
Now, back to Sohmer. I respect him even more now. Dude stood up for one of his artists AND stuck to his guns. He didn’t fold before AssholeMcGee. He put a big red X on himself, and Blind Ferret’s legal department, gave the industry the finger once again, and then went back to work.
Seriously, guy is a hero.