The feminist writer of the Marvel comic book Mockingbird series has been driven off Twitter because of cyber harassment.
Chelsea Cain – who implored Marvel to empower more female comic series authors and whose series was known for its strong female character and sexism themes – deleted her Twitter account.
In a recent Twitter post, now deleted but preserved by CBR, Cain wrote that Mockingbird had been cancelled, but she hoped Marvel would offer “more titles by women about women kicking as-.”
However, it was an alternative comic book cover referencing feminism that started the Twitterstorm.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cain Deleted Her Twitter Account After Receiving Abusive Tweets
According to Comicbeat, Cain deleted her Twitter account on October 26 after suffering from online abuse.
In a series of now deleted Tweets on October 25, Cain vented about social media.
“My ranting wasn’t a plea for affirmation. I’m just done here. I’m amazed at the cruelty comics brings out in people,” she wrote in one tweet.
She also said she had received an “I love you” text from her 11-year-old daughter because she was “in my office dealing with misogynist bullies on Twitter.”
Cain had said she was getting harassing Tweets, noted Comicsbeat, “presumably over the …Mockingbird cover and her work there.”
2. Internet Critics Lashed out After Cain Posted About Feminism, Reports Say
According to The Oregonian, Cain had urged people to buy Mockingbird, saying that there needed to be room at Marvel for more female-oriented comics.
She then posted a “variant cover for the book that featured its title character wearing a shirt that read, ‘Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda'” that sparked the Twitter abuse, said the newspaper.
Inverse says the cover was for Mockingbird #8, a comic book by Cain published on October 19.
3. Cain Was Also Receiving Some Support on Twitter but Others Continued Their Criticism
Some Twitter users had created the hashtag #SupportChelseaCain.
The best-selling author Margaret Atwood was one of those tweeting in Cain’s defense.
Others continued their thrashing of Cain’s work.
Inverse said Cain “is a feminist and is outspoken about her political beliefs.”
Cain has not deleted her Facebook page.
4. Cain Is Also the Author of a Series of Mystery Novels
Willamette Week says that Cain lives in Portland and is also the author of a series of mystery novels called Heartsick.
On October 21, Cain wrote on Twitter, “if you are mean, I will block you. If you are sexist I will block you. If you are an as- I will block you” and “My day job is writing thrillers. Best sellers. Sold millions of copies. Never had to block people until I started writing comics.” She has made the New York Times bestselling author list.
Cain’s official bio says she used to work in PR but retired after marrying a video store clerk. She described her interests as “forensic pathology, medicine, damaged heroes, dead pets, Nancy Drew, TV cops shows, my home of Portland, Oregon, and having an excuse to be alone in a room for long periods.”
Her Mockingbird series for Marvel ran eight issues, says the newspaper.
5. Cain’s Comic Book Was Lauded for Its Female Heroine
Elana Brooklyn, writing on Graphic Policy, said Mockingbird “combined a well-crafted mystery, super science, attractive men and women flirting, actual humor that you will actually laugh at” and the “most relatable adult woman hero in Marvel Comics.”
Most of the issues addressed sexism, she wrote.
In 2015, Daily Variety reported that women were “becoming a force” in the comic book world.
Although comic books are now targeting young female readers more and the number of female writers is growing in what was traditionally a male dominated field, Variety says, “there are still biases that exist within readers regarding female-driven titles.”