Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Non-White, Non-Male Characters In Comics

Yes, I am writing this because of the fact that Dwayne McDuffie died. Will I step on some toes? Probably. Am I an expert in this subject, not really.

I just saw an interview on youtube where Dwayne talks about his run on Justice League, where he had four black team members at the same time, and the controversy that came with it, stating that having more then three black members on makes it a black team, and books about black heroes don't sell. There were also a lot of female characters on Dwayne's team, and I liked that as well. It was a mix, a medley, a true portrayal of what a superteam would like like in contemporary society.

This saddens me. Sixty or seventy years ago, when more creators were white male creators I could see that these men were making a world into where their powerful images of themselves would be portrayed on paper.

When we talk about the comics industry I don't see the mainstream North American comics industry growing with their audience that much. Yes, Luke Cage is leading the Avengers. Cool. That's a step in the right direction. Milestone is part of the DC Universe, but they've disappeared. Right, but I'm not going to gripe about characters of different races not having a spotlight.

I'm going back to the mix. Take a look at celebrities. Watch the Golden Globes, the Grammies, the MTV awards, the Oscars, or any awards show. Our celebrity pool is mixed with women and men of all colors, a pretty fucking good representation of our demographics.

Comic industry take note. There is no championing the fact that there are different colored people in the world, just talented ones and that is cool. It seems that whenever a character that isn't white or male is introduced they are bugled into existence with much kafuffle. "Oh, the new Beetle is hispanic", or "The new Firestorm is black" or "What about Blaqualad?". So what? Who is saying this shit. The only thing that matters is that the story is awesome. I like the Beetle, Firestorm and Aqualad characters because they were well-portrayed, well-fleshed out characters that were given a chance to shine in their new roles.

Who makes the noise about these guys being non-white? I don't get it. I'm happy they aren't white, I think that role is very firmly established and other things can be explored, but c'mon, it is not big deal.

I can't remember the last time a non-white, woman character had a solo series. Anyone out there that can?

My point, I'm not sure what it is. Tell good stories with good characters, but keep in mind that the world isn't just a white male world. That's it.

I look at my comic for a second. White characters. Yup. Colored ones. Yup. Women. Yup. Men. Yup. I never really noticed what was going on when I was making the team, I just picked the characters I felt were interesting, and made some strong women characters because there are strong women in my life.

Hell, I still feel guilty about making an Asian character that does martial arts after reading an article from an Asian creator that said all Asian characters do martial arts. There is a comedy bit in this somewhere, I can feel it.


That is my rant.


I couldn't think of many non-white, women superheroes. Here is a link if you are interested.

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