Speechless is an appropriate word choice there.
Comics & Diversity Lesson 10: The comic industry responds to how money is spent or not spent. Nothing else matters.
I think this really should have been #1.
Universally, not for for comics
I wasn’t really reading comics at all during Milestone’s time but last month my kid and I were watching a Justice League Unlimited episode, and it was diverse in a natural, chill way, and it hit exactly the right tone and my son and I both enjoyed it, then we came to the end and it said “written by Dwayne McDuffie.”
Here’s the interesting thing, though. There always had to be a period where no one spent money on them. I mean, imagine comics didn’t exist, so you propose the idea for them to investors. How would you convince them to publish?
Obviously, you’d have to turn to what people are already buying. Pulp magazines. Movie tickets. Radio shows - at the time (and radio shows were about selling radios and advertising - not selling the show - like television later). Or for the Marvel Age, people liked weird monsters and mutants. Everyone is doing superheroes, but what if The Fly was a superhero teen? Or the Amazing Colossal Man was a superhero (works for Giant Man and the Hulk)? These were characters introduced because they fit into the sort of stories the target audience was buying in other media. Before the comics code pushed them out, comics were doing horror, science fiction and war stories to match what was on television and in the movies.
So, the measure cannot simply be what comics are people spending money on, but what are people spending money on for entertainment in general? What sorts of characters and stories are growing all across the entertainment spectrum? That’s how you stay relevant not simply culturally, but also economically.
This isn’t about comics, but relevant to the discussion in general I think.
The creator of the Alex Rider teenage spy novels says an editor told him it could be considered “patronising”.
Horowitz wanted a white and black protagonist in his new children’s books but says he is now reconsidering.
“I will have to think about whether this character can be black or white,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“I have for a long, long time said that there aren’t enough books around for every ethnicity.”
Horowitz, who has written 10 novels featuring teenage spy Alex Rider, said there was a “chain of thought” in America that it was “inappropriate” for white writers to try to create black characters, something which he described as “dangerous territory”.
He said it was considered “artificial and possibly patronising” to do so because “it is actually not our experience”.
“Therefore I was warned off doing it. Which was, I thought, disturbing and upsetting.”
It’s a weird anti-diversity stance that possibly comes from good intentions but is actually ridiculous, as the writer shows in his parting comment:
Horowitz, who has written a new James Bond book, went on: “Taking it to the extreme, all my characters will from now be 62-year-old white Jewish men living in London.”
If he really cares about this, why the hell is he talking to the Mail about it, a newspaper more likely to rail against him trying to do this than support him?
Because it’s political correctness gone mad!
Well yeah, that’s all it’ll become and whatever greater point he might have been angling for is buried.
He is the guy who suggested that Idris Elba was “too street” to play James Bond…
I read one of his Sherlock Holmes books and liked it well enough. I thought his Bond book was okay-ish (William Boyd’s was much better in my opinion).
The Edward Albee estate recently pulled a production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” because a black actor was cast, as well.
He did but to be fair to him most of the stories missed out he followed the next sentence with saying Adrian Lester should play him, so I think it was an unfortunate use of words more than anything.
Of course he did. Sorry…
Actually Adrian Lester might have been good.
A good writer would have written any damned race while making his editors happy as hell about it.
(By that criterion, btw, I am a bad writer. A very, very very bad writer.)
That actually reminds me of the alternate earth created by the Sphinx in New Warriors 11, way back in 1991.