14-SEP-2011 I think you’re fooling yourself if you don’t admit to having intolerance towards some branch of humankind. What is it for you? Take the time to self reflect. Is it skin color? Is it physical abilities? Is it religion? Is it sexual orientation? Is it someone’s appearance? Is it someone’s IQ? I’m beginning to think fandom will require us to fill out an e-harmony style questionnaire. Don’t we read books for escape from our every day lives?
Check here if you only want to relate to characters exactly like you __ .
All hell seemed to have broken loose when ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN was announced as bi-racial Miles Morales. It seemed Marvel Comics was continuing to clear the path for diversity as they have since the 1960s. DC Comics’ famous fall relaunch, reboot, whatever you want to call it… claimed to be about “welcoming” new readers and reaching a different (yonger) market. Execs were under fire about their proportion of female to male talent. DC was on the defensive touting that they are a corporation (owned by Warner Bros.) fully supporting diversity.
Let me just say, if you’re bored with mainstream comics, there’s an array of adventures waiting for you in creator-owned, small press, and self-published books.
The thing is there’s a lack of acceptance showing not only on the parts of the decision makers of the comics but at times, the fans themselves. I’m a face within the costuming community and I am disgusted often by the lack of camaraderie and down right hurtful attitude when someone is even the slightest bit overweight and rude comments hit the web. Con panels not only include costuming programs but specifically costuming for plus sizes. So somewhere, there are like minds that feel those of us with a bit extra have the right to show reverence for a character too.
Is it art reflecting life or just poor editorial decisions now that the well known black female scientist and administrator of a powerful government organization, Amanda “the Wall” Waller is being cast and drawn in a body type fit for the Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog? She was played by Angela Bassett in GREEN LANTERN’s movie and the smoking hot Pam Grier in SMALLVILLE. Now her comic book rendition gives the clear message to DC readers: NO FAT CHICKS. The inside joke of the comics subculture is that manga is “fat chick friendly.”
Luckily there are some people on the fan level (albeit popular fan level) that have a voice and people are willing to listen. When entertainment host and writer Jill “the Nerdy Bird” Pantozzi speaks, people listen. Her voice about decisions to have Barbara Gordon taken out of her wheelchair as Oracle and return to the mantle of Batgirl garnered attention directly from Gail Simone (new BATGIRL writer, former Oracle writer when penning BIRDS OF PREY) and Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics. Pantozzi was granted an exclusive interview with Simone before anyone else. This broached the wing of “diversity” regarding people with different physical abilities and it seemed DC tried to calm the hordes by saying they would have a different character in a wheelchair.
DC has no problem admitting Kate Kane and Renee Montoya are lesbians (Kate wasn’t always in her character’s history and Montoya doesn’t seem to appear in the new DCU). They also have Apollo and Midnighter representing gay men who are also adoptive fathers to Jenny Quantum redefining a family dynamic in comics. DC seems to choose its diversity based on popular media trends.
If one market is addressed, are the big two obligated to meet the needs of everyone?