Sean T. Collins is a writer and columnist. He contributes to a number of different publications, including Rolling Stone, Wired, and the New York Times. Recently, however, Collins stirred controversy on social media when he tweeted out “The world would be a better place if McCain died in Vietnam.”
Many users took offense to the tweet, especially given Senator John McCain’s recent brain cancer diagnosis. As for Collins, this isn’t the first time he has made controversial statements regarding politics.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He Writes About Film & Music Professionally
According to Collins’ website, he began writing about pop culture professionally in 2001. Since then, he has reported on a number of different topics, including film, television, music, and cartoons.
His blog Attentiondeficitdisorderly, which he refers to as his main site, keeps a log of his work for publications like Rolling Stone (where he gives recaps of shows like Twin Peaks and Game of Thrones), The Comics Journal, Wired, and Buzzfeed Music.
Collins also co-hosts The Boiled Leather Audio Hour with Stefan Sasse. The podcast focuses on culture, art, and the works of author George R.R. Martin. Their latest episode (“Episode 64”) focuses on the 2006 science fiction film Children of Men, and how it connects with modern society. You can stream and download the podcast by clicking here.
2. He Has a History of Being Politically Outspoken on Twitter
Collins has never been one to hold back his political opinion. This has especially been the case over the past few months, as the writer has criticized the government’s mishandling of the healthcare bill and President Donald Trump.
“Made it till almost 9:30pm before the healthcare debacle made me wish i was dead today,” he wrote on July 24th, before adding “How can we make it through at least four years of this, honestly. Day after day after day after day after day. How can anyone stand it.”
Collins has also been openly critical of journalists and those who support Trump. “Mitchell is a vile f**k who’s not funny and wants the poor to die,” he tweeted out in reference to YourVoice America host Bill Mitchell.
Earlier in the month, Collins tweeted “I hope everyone who votes for this gets terminal brain cancer, to be honest. At least they’ll have coverage as they die.”
3. He Edited the Horror Anthology Book ‘Mirror Mirror II’
In addition to his reporting, Collins has also compiled and edited the second book in the Mirror Mirror anthology series. The book, which is described on Amazon as taking “some of the darkest talents within as well as outside of comics to create a wholly singular reading and visual experience,” was a first for Collins when it was released earlier this month.
In an interview with Sequentialist, Collins explained the screening process in compiling stories: “The main brief in the invitations we sent out was that we were looking for work that touched on the themes of horror, pornography, the Gothic, and the abject. That’s about all that we said, and again, it’s about all we needed to say to these folks.”
He added that he was “excited” to pour out his vision for comics into a book: “I think, since as a critic first, a writer of comics second, and a cartoonist not at all, this was an ideal way to show what my ideal comic book would look like. You can purchase Mirror Mirror II by clicking here.
4. His Wife Julia Gfrorer Writes Graphic Novels & Comic Books
Collin’s co-editor on Mirror Mirror II was his fiancé at the time, Julia Gforer. In an interview with Panel Patter, he discussed the challenges and benefits of working with a significant other:
Julia and I share a lot of things—in addition to co-editing Mirror Mirror II, we live together and have a family as well—and one of them is the belief that when done right, dark and difficult work can push the reader in the direction of empathy. And our conviction is that it’s precisely by forcing the reader—and the artist, too—to confront parts of both the world and their own minds that they’d perhaps otherwise ignore or prefer to remain hidden that this kind of work makes real empathy possible.
In addition to being an editor, Gforer is a prolific comic book author. According to her official website, her comics has appeared in Kramers Ergot, Cicada Magazine, Arthur Magazine, and The Best American Comics. Her graphic novels, Black is the Color (2013) and Laid Waste (2016), are available for purchase on Amazon and Fantagraphics Books.
In an interview with Flood Magazine, Gforer discussed her work, saying “I usually think of my work as tragedy if not horror, but I suppose it’s comedy in the sense of the Divine Comedy, meaning it’s written in the vernacular although the subject matter is serious. It is funny sometimes but I don’t know how it gets that way.”
On his artist bio for The A.V. Club, Collins states that he has a daughter.
5. He’s Blocked Users Who Have Criticized His McCain Tweet
Collins’ remarks about John McCain have not gone over well the users on Twitter. After the initial tweet where he claims that things would be better off if McCain had died during Vietnam, users began chastising him for what they felt were thought was distasteful insults.
“If you have something sh***y to say about John McCain,” wrote one user, “Here’s a thought: Don’t.” Collins responded by writing “He just voted to kill me. He can go to hell and so can you.”
Others took screenshots of the original tweet, in the event that Collins delete it. Ryan Saavendra, an immigration reporter for Breitbart, posted the screenshot with the message “A New York Times writer, blocked me after I re-tweeted these disgusting tweets. Liberals want you dead or enslaved.”
In the screenshots, it’s seen that Collins responded to one negative comment by writing “Eat my a** you dumb f**k.” The tweet about McCain has since been taken down.