I Disagree With Ulises Farinas. I Stand Behind Yale Stewart’s Charity

UPDATE: This article addresses Ulises Farinas’s comments concerning Yale Stewart’s charity/philanthropy.  The original 1st paragraph of this piece explained the cause of Yale Stewart’s current withdrawal from the world of comics.

People were offended.

I sought to establish a climate for this current anti-Stewart zeitgeist. He was accused of sexually harassing women at comic conventions. He allegedly sent them unsolicited dick pics. I had no sources for this beyond Twitter users. True or not, I can’t post such a serious accusation without citation.  Well, now here’s Yale Stewart’s piece.  He’s admitted to posting unsolicited dick pics.  That’s disgusting. As I said in the original article, we condemn that.  It’s sexual harassment.  

The irreverence in my original opening paragraph offended people. I’m sorry you were offended. I thought I very clearly 1) established that consensual Sexts were a common American practice (and they are according to statistics, 20% of teenagers in 2008 sexted, 33% of young adults, with a growing trend) 2) Those accusing Stewart claim that he sent unsolicited sexts and 3) That qualifies as sexual harassment and is wrong.

Here’s the rest of the article criticizing Farinas’s hatred of Stewart’s philantrhopic efforts. You can find my original intro paragraph at the bottom.

Artist Ulises Farinas hates Yale Stewart’s charitable ways. If you’re not familiar with Farinas, he’s best known for his intricate, water color-ish designs which absolutely saturate every panel (just say no to negative space!) in such books as Judge Dredd, Transformers, and Catalyst Comics. He’s a tremendous talent and one of my favorite creators of unlicensed fan art. Take a quick trip to his official website for some of the best DC/Marvel mashups this side of Amalgam comics. He also hates Yale Stewart’s charity work.

For those of you uninitiated few, Yale Stewart is the artist and writer behind the greatest fan series the world’s ever seen, JL8. The webcomic serves as a thoroughly heartwarming parody of the Justice League, retold as if every member of the squad were an 8 year old, Elementary School student. This cabal of the world’s finest heroes is headlined by our traditional team: Superman, Batman, Power Girl, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and the Flash. A few villainous foils populated the earlier stories, but the meat of the series revolves around the painfully relatable (and awkward) interactions between these core children. While our heroes’ adult counterparts might concern themselves with saving the world, Stewart’s focus on smaller fish. Martian Manhunter struggles to fit in at school. Batman suffers in doom and gloom with an unconventional crush. And Superman, perpetually the boy scout, struggles to preserve his morals when faced with unsurmountable tasks, like buying a birthday present for Wonder Woman. Without venturing too far into trite praise, Yale’s managed to craft some of the most compelling 8 year old characters comics will ever see.

With such a wealth of work, Stewart’s naturally accrued a following. His social media networks swell with over 100 thousand subscribers. He’s a welcome addition to every comic convention in the States. Hell, he even sports his own sub-Reddit (why doesn’t Unleash The Fanboy have one yet? huh? huh!?!?!).

Well, you know what they say: “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. Yale Stewart’s used his adorable comic creations and his sizable fan following to promote charities in the wake of national tragedies and national events. Most recently, he drafted a piece of art for Civil Rights organizations currently working in Ferguson, MO. Stewart promoted the piece across all of his networks, donating the entirety of the proceeds to the NAACP and the ACLU.

yale stewart ferguson

Yale Stewart created this for Ferguson, MO. Click the pic to purchase/donate

But Ulises Farinas thinks this is bullshit. He claims Yale Stewart is nothing but a self-promoting ass. Farinas is also an idiot, but I’ll save that rant for a little while. First, read Farinas’s response to Yale Stewart’s philanthropic efforts:

Every fucking time there’s some big tragedy, this dude makes a wallpaper to benefit (insert charity) and it just looks like a shameless ploy at self promotion.

Instead of making a cutesy little wallpaper of DC heroes you don’t own, supporting media entities that already ignore brown people, that have news companies that spin a narrative that blames the victims of police brutality and not the aggressors, why don’t you just shutup and privately donate as much as you want to ACLU, whenever you want, and not just when #ferguson is all over twitter.

Putting two images of SPACE COPS as your “SUPPORT FERGUSON” wallpaper, and offering it for a DOLLAR, is fucking gross. And i hate that we can’t distinguish between support and capitalism.

You know the only reason the dollar is going to the ACLU, is he because the product he’s selling isn’t a wallpaper, its himself.

He then posted this pithy little piece:

ulises farinas on yale stewart

Like I said earlier, Farinas is an idiot. I don’t have enough time to dive into his nauseating, self aggrandizing, reactionary position on diversity in media (which, as a very Puerto Rican editor on this site, I would love to do) but I will address his criticisms of Stewart’s philanthropy. How in the fucking world is Stewart’s attempts to 1) raise awareness and 2) raise funds for a social issue in anyway bad? And that’s very much Farinas’s thesis in this piece… Regardless of Stewart’s efforts, he shouldn’t be a ‘known artist’ because he just makes cute unlicensed doodles of already famous superheroes. Anybody could do that! He doesn’t deserve the fame that he’s garnered. Anytime he uses that fame in a public space he’s totally just shilling his unremarkable bullshit!

ulises farinas comic con

Here’s Ulises Farinas at a con. A handsome, talented dude… but he’s got a mean streak

Celebrities regularly promote charities, Farinas. That’s a fact of life. Yale Stewart is a mid-sized celebrity in the world of comic art. That’s just facts. If he decides to use that celebrity to support a cause, then he has ever right. I’m sorry Kanye couldn’t draft a really cool viral comic book cover for you, but you take what you can get. I’m certain the ACLU and NAACP appreciate Stewart’s contributions.

Regardless of your opinion on the events in Ferguson, MO, Yale Stewart’s remarkable in his attempts to aid the community. As a pseudo-celebrity in the world of webcomics, he’s used his talents as an artist and scribe to draft a heartwarming piece of fiction WHICH HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DO in order to finance Civil Rights organizations. Not only that, but he’s transformed a traditionally ineffective form of interaction known as clicktivism. This is when you share content on social media or write blog posts **cough** Farinas **cough** and expect results. He’s incorporated a commerce component in clicktivism so that those typically non-productive members of online communities who “share” content convert into actual support. No free ‘good deed of the day’ highs here. Pay up or go home.

What has Farinas contributed? I realize his super cool, contrarian opinions might erect a few self-righteous, hipster boners, but that’s about it. Let’s face facts, Farinas is an incredible artist, but he’s not exactly capable of rousing the fanboy community like Yale Stewart. Don’t shit on Stewart because he’s trying. Because he’s helping. Why don’t you spend some time looking into the mirror and question why you can’t do more. Why you aren’t doing more, right this instance, right now.

Ulises Farinas, I sure as hell love your artwork, so why don’t you create a piece for charities? I’ll promote it on the front page of UTF all week. As my good friend Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.”

BTW, here’s my original opening if you want to read it.

Yale Stewart might’ve fucked up.

The JL8 author reportedly disseminated some very naughty, pretty raunchy photographs of his dude parts to a few folks. Now, any self respecting American male younger than 30 knows the pain of the regrettable dick slip. Drink a few many beers, text a long lost babe, and instigate an X-rated photograph exchange. Assuming that your recipient is an entirely consenting, reciprocating party, then you’re well within your rights to indulge in a little burlesque pleasures. That being said, Stewart might’ve sent a ton of unsolicited weenie pics. At this point, this is only hearsay, so I can’t comfortably offer condemnation. I, of course, detest sexual harassment in all forms. If Yale Stewart’s committed any such act, he certainly owes his dick pic recipients a heartfelt apology, along with commitment to legally rectify the situation, if need should arise.

Still, the court (both proverbially and literally) is out in this situation.