I got a note from someone who is very sad to find out that some members of the Comics Hegemony are a bit on the Mean Girls side, and they wanted to ask my advice about what to do about it all. Because when it comes to backbiting and gossip, they’re all pro in that department.

I know how it feels.

Just because someone says they are progressive, or a feminist, or a person of a religious persuasion, that doesn’t make them a good example of any of those things. And that doesn’t negate the ideas behind those things, or those values. It just means that individuals don’t always live up to their ideals.

Deal with the individual, not with what you think they represent.

You can decide for yourself whether or not to try to continue dealing with them or whether you just want to walk away and get on with life.

The constant wrangling for attention and status and political power with some people is just draining, and it is an enormous distraction from the real work you need to be doing and from the real friends you value.

Somebody says your work sucks, so you feel like you have to defend it. Somebody says you’re betraying your political ideals, so they demand you cut relations with people you genuinely care about. Somebody says something about your looks while bewailing people who shame them for their looks.

How much time and energy are you pouring down that hole? Is this really how you want to spend the precious hours of your life?

It’s all a distraction. If they have problems acting congruent with their values, let them work out their issues and get on with your life.

It is OK to not spend time with people who suck the life out of you. There is no rule that says you have to be friends with everyone who has all the right credentials.

The only credentials that matter in relationships are the ones that bring value to your life and work and if someone doesn’t, there’s the curb.

Just because someone says they’re on the side of the angels, that doesn’t make ’em angels.