There’s a broadening market for cultural criticism on streaming platforms like YouTube, Rumble and Odysee.
Fans outraged by the wokening of their favorite childhood properties like “Star Wars” (Disney) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (Prime Video) are letting their voices be heard.
The further Hollywood producers drift from the source material, the less they care about being true to what the intellectual property creators envisioned. The more they use these properties to push their personal political agendas, the more they turn off the very generation that can afford to buy their merchandise and support their endeavors.
In short, they are getting woke and going broke.
What they’re also doing is creating a void for the “investor” generation, people with full-time jobs and expendable income.
But what happens when that generation, eager to buy a limited edition Darth Vader statue, has been so insulted by Team Disney they’d rather do anything but support the Mouse?
A handful of these critics have taken to developing their own intellectual properties. The stories are written from their based, conservative world views, and they’re sold to their fanbases and like-minded consumers.
July has promised to produce a comic book universe to take on Marvel and DC, giants who many say have left their traditional fans behind.
“Isom” is one of the best-selling graphic novels of the year, and yet the woke media refuse to grant it attention.
Why? Because July is the Left’s biggest nightmare: A conservative black man with an audience.
Rippa has spent more than a decade growing an audience of center-right, Conservative and Libertarian fans who have watched Hollywood attack the icons of their youth.
And then comes Shadiversity.
Not overtly political like Rippa, Shad Brooks is a YouTube personality with more than 1.4 million subscribers across two channels: Shadiversity and Knights Watch.
Brooks’ Knights Watch lets him comment on the latest fantasy and science fiction media and dissect the writing, quality and woke agenda that has infested most of what comes out from Hollywood today.
Shad built this second channel to more than 100K subscribers in just a few short months.
The audience is out there, perhaps not quite understanding why these shows aren’t feeding their nostalgic hunger. Instead, they become irritated, confused or bored by content that should have them reveling in youthful exuberance.
These fans of Marvel, DC, Tolkien, etc. are tuning out content that should be tailor-made for them, and instead tuning into Shad and channels like his that dissect exactly what the reasons are for their discontent.
What’s Shad’s answer?
First, he wrote a fantasy novel, “Shadow of the Conqueror,” and through nothing more than his channel, he sold upwards of 50,000 copies of his first work of fiction.
An astonishing first outing for any writer, and it’s proof his audience is hungry for stories that aren’t pushing a leftist agenda.
And now, much like Rippa, Shad has launched a crowdfunding campaign to sell an adaptation of his story as a graphic novel, which I’ve adapted and illustrated.
One week in, Shad’s campaign has made more than $200,000, and grows by the thousands every day. He, like Rippa, intends to take profits from this campaign and build out an entire comic book company, developing various intellectual properties of his into graphic novel format and selling them to an ever-growing audience.
While others are content to complain about the lack of quality entertainment, Shad, Rippa and others like them are forging a future for the culture without progressive indoctrination.
It’s through the culture that ideals are formed in young minds, where we learn what it means to be heroic and virtues like self-sacrifice, honor, duty and courage. It’s through culture that we shape the future of the political landscape that will determine how much tyranny we allow into our lives.
We can’t all be YouTube stars or creators, but we can support those fighting this fight for the future of our society.
Will you fight with us?
Mike S. Miller is a New York Times best-selling illustrator whose career has spanned 30 years primarily in comics and video games. After a decade working for Marvel and DC on top titles such as X-Men, Wolverine, Adventures of Superman and JLA among others, Mike took a turn toward the independent, assuming the role of art director at start-up publisher, DBPro, and helmed titles such as George R.R. Martin’s prequel to A GAME OF THRONES: ‘The Hedge Knight’ and ‘The Sworn Sword.’ His most famous work in mainstream comics was for DC comics on the #1 digital comic in the world, Injustice: Gods Among Us”). Mike created his comic book company, Blacklist Universe, and had several successful crowdfunded projects including Lonestar and MAGANIFICENT 7, among others.