Yesterday, we reported on the unmitigated gall of Diamond Comics Distributors founder and head Steve Geppi posting a long-winded diatribe on Facebook (plagiarized from, though later attributed to, another writer) about how there are two Americas, one where people work hard to become the successful owners of comics distribution monopolies, and another where god damn liberals like President Obama want to take the wealth away from these poor, victimized rich people and give it away to lazy poor people who don't want to work for a living. Geppi's post was the subject of much discussion on comics social media, and this led to outspoken comics writer Mark Waid visiting Geppi's Facebook page to argue with him about it. Waid fired the opening salvo in the comments of Geppi's original post:
But Geppi disagreed:
How DARE you, Mark Waid?! You think that this innocent millionaire deserves to have his rehashed right-wing Facebook rant criticized?! Steve Geppi is a victim! Steve Geppi is A SURVIVOR!
But still, mean old Mark Waid just kept picking on him:
Well, Steve Geppi wasn't going to take that. He's a MAN, remember. So Steve Geppi responded as any MAN would - with a diatribe almost as long-winded as the original one that started this whole thing, so long-winded, in fact, it wouldn't fit in a single screencap:
Steve Geppi grew up in POVERTY! He's a SELF MADE MAN, DAMMIT! If Steve Geppi can PULL HIMSELF UP BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS, so can all those other poors out there, if only they weren't so lazy.
Jeeze. All this post needs is some crying about reverse racism and white victimhood and Geppi will have run the gamut of unhinged right-wing Facebook ranting...
Freedom of speech! Okay, NOW it's run the gamut. Waid responded:
It was Geppi who got the last word, with a victory lap reprising all of the previously covered themes:
And so they did. But before we finish, let's back this up a little bit, because another comics personality made an appearance in an offshoot conversation earlier in the night:
Ah, good ol' Uncle Rich, who never misses an opportunity to plug one of his articles! It's true that, in 2010, Steve Geppi did consider filing for bankruptcy, a process which would, ironically, absolve him of having to pay some or all of his debts, which doesn't seem befitting of a man who has spent the past two days complaining about god damn liberals who don't want to be responsible for their own financial situation. But let's look into the details of that case, in which Geppi was being sued for alleged failure to pay artist Bob Montana for $500 million dollars worth of original Archie artwork, using the court transcripts posted in Johnston's article:
Q: As of June 27, 2007, did you in fact have a personal net worth well in excess of $20 million?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Mr. Geppi, as of today is your personal net worth less than $20 million?
Q: Is it less than $10 million?
A: I don't know the number but I'm sure, yes.
Q: Do you believe it's less than $1 million?
A: I don't know.
MR. HONE: Right around there.
Poor Steve Geppi! He was only personally worth $1 million instead of $20 million in 2010. Of course, the comic industry was in a bit of a slump back then. DC Comics was getting ready to launch a line-wide reboot to try to revive its sales, and Marvel hadn't yet exploded in renewed mainstream popularity with the success of The Avengers movie. Today, according to reports from Geppi's non-bankrupt monopolistic comics distribution company, which earns Geppi a cut of the profits from every Marvel or DC comic book sold in a direct market retail location, sales have been increasing for the past several years, with this current year experiencing double the growth in comics sales as 2014:
Overall, comic books and graphic novels continued their positive trends, with 2015's annual sales increasing 7.17% over the previous year; comic book sales specifically were up 8.99%, while graphic novel sales rose by 3.14%. Over 98 million comic books were sold to comic book specialty stores in 2015, an increase of 6 million units over 2014, with just over 8 million graphic novels units shipped.
Steve Geppi didn't end up declaring that bankruptcy he considered back in 2010, by the way, which means that all those hard-working Americans who Steve Geppi was hoping to declare bankruptcy on, according to this report from the Baltimore Daily Record, hopefully, got their money after all, as Geppi would have wanted as a fair-minded conservative businessman who is concerned about personal responsibility:
A representative from Bank of America, the property's lender, placed the opening bid of $2.79 million at an auction held on the Baltimore County Circuit Court's steps Thursday afternoon.
Geppi owed about $3.25 million on the property, according to court records.
In 2008, an investigation by The Daily Record showed Geppi's Entertainment Museum went 19 months without making any kind of payment to its landlord and accumulated a debt of more than $700,000 to the state in rent and other fees. Geppi settled the debt in early 2009.
In January 2009, PNC Bank won a $16.4 million judgment against Geppi, according to court records.
That May, Geppi and developer Walter J. Skayhan were sued for defaulting on a $600,000 loan for a planned, mixed-use development in Maine. Geppi and Skayhan guaranteed a loan for their Maine Investment Properties LLC in 2007, and the complaint in the U.S. District Court for Maine alleged MIP owed more than $550,000 on the loan.
In January this year, Westview Center Associates LLC settled a $200,000 dispute over unpaid rent from Geppi and Diamond Cinemas Inc., which operated the Diamond Cinemas Westview for six months in 2008.
Last month, Harbor Bank of Maryland won a $3.5 million judgment against Geppi, according to county court records.
And among those seeking money from Stephen Geppi is wife Melinda, who filed a petition in Baltimore County Circuit Court in February for child support, custody and alimony. Her address listed in the court filing is a different one from the Geppis' estate in Timonium
Presumably, if they were awarded, Geppi is now making those child support payments, like the responsible man he is. We do know that his divorce must have been finalized, since local rag The City Paper seems to make a habbit of covering Geppi's "lecherous" exploits, naming him "Hef of the year" in an article from September:
If his Facebook posts are to be believed, Geppi—the owner of Baltimore magazine, Diamond Comic Distributors, Geppi's Entertainment Museum, and, at one point, part of the Orioles—is living a hilariously lecherous lifestyle. The regular posts of Geppi posing poolside with bikini-clad women a third his age, or with front-row seats at Orioles games accompanied by a line of young women in tight O's shirts (sometimes including his daughter Gina Geppi—Bmag's "Baltimore Bachelorette" columnist and winner of CP's Best Trainwreck in 2012—for extra awkwardness) are entertaining enough, but one post late last year got especially hilarious. The Gepster posted a pic of himself pawing a young blonde with the comment "does it get any better than this?" and a series of posters mistook his gross creepiness for fatherly—or grandfatherly—pride. "You are a lucky Dad" posted one. "There is Nothing like sharing life with a child that is grown up," said another; "Love the growns and the grands," read a third. The horrific task of setting the record straight fell to Geppi's son Josh, who posted, "Lmao! That IS NOT his daughter." We still get the shivers thinking about it.
Hmm. Can we locate that Facebook post? It's not this one sharing a video headlined "WATCH: Woman Who Was Raised Muslim Just Dropped Truth Bomb Every Lib Must See."
Nor is it this classy one right here:
Or this one, because it's from after that article was posted:
Or this one:
Or this one...
Or this one...
Or this one mocking the unemployed:
Ah, here we are getting closer, as Geppi, again comparing himself to Hugh Hefner, is seemingly responding to the City Paper's article(s):
Nope, we weren't able to find it. Perhaps it was marked private after Geppi saw the City Paper article, though he did respond, suggesting that perhaps the article would get him "some new leads:"
Well, sorry about that diversion. On the bright side, since we were taking a trip down memory lane, Geppi began posting comments on that original Facebook thread again, first responding to a post by retailer Brian Hibbs:
And then, again, with Waid:
Well, if there's one thing we can all take away from this, it's the utter surprise that someone who is "dear friends" with Ben Carson would say something so stupid.