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Diversity in Modern Society


#1907

It’s kinda obvious comics aren’t for everyone, but saying it’s “the medium of the outsider and the outcast” is stupid. It’s appealing to victimhood culture.


#1908

It’s very true but let’s be honest too in the context of these debates what everyone cares about and discusses is US adventure comics.

Comics in general were not created by immigrants, Jewish or otherwise, but that particular genre in that geography most certainly was.

None of it is about Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Tintin, Mad Magazine, Prince of Tennis, Corto Maltese of the works of Raymond Briggs and Raina Telgemeier.


#1909

Things were pretty fast in the 1970s, too!


#1910

I never speculated, but I guessed on US, if not not superhero comics. If you asks those other creators, they’d probably agree with you. Surprises me that King stands out of his colleagues pov.

I would say comics are for everyone who want to read them.


#1911

“Ice cream isn’t for everyone.”

True statement, or false?

Some people just don’t like ice cream. maybe they don’t like the texture, or the overly sweet taste, or the ice headaches they get when they eat it, or the empty calories. Obviously, while ice cream is available for them if they want it, it isn’t something they want. Ice cream is not discriminatory, but some people are discriminating.

“Comics aren’t for everyone.”


#1912

Unfunnies has really grown on me. I think it was a bit much for its time, (I certainly thought it was, at best, very misguided until I dug it up recently and re-read it with a more objective eye) but with the ever-growing popularity of cynical, dark adult cartoons like Rick and Morty, I think it could find an audience these days that might appreciate it a bit more than it was when it was first released. I could see it as a Netflix toon.

Tangent over.


#1913

Theme song for the thread.


#1914

Sure. The point he was addressing was “comicsgate” and all of that nonsense. In short the point is if you’re a ratbag you don’t get to demand that this character be a certain skin colour or certain gender or of certain sexual orientation.

Is it so hard to understand?


#1915

How big is Comicsgate? It seems to be spearheaded by just one asshole. Is it really that big a thing or is it just being over reported?


#1916

My theory is that this is, to some extent, the legacy of the Obama presidency in the United States. It’s hard to overstate how big a deal a black man becoming president was, and I think one of the signals it sent throughout a range of minority communities is that historic and systemic barriers CAN be overcome, that there isn’t anywhere that we don’t belong or aren’t allowed, and that we’ll speak back to anyone that tries to tell us otherwise.

And you have the counter reaction to that in all of these movements like GamerGate, ComicsGate, the Alt-Right, Trump, etc., where this a push to make things “normal” again (or MAGA in Trump terms, though it’s by no means original or exclusive to him).


#1917

Yeah I’d agree completely with that. Obama felt like the start of a new era, so the obstruction while in office, losing the Supreme Court and then Trump feels like rich white people cheating the system. That’ll generate some rage. Trouble is the rage I think is being misplaced everywhere and catching up people who aren’t part of the problem.

It’ll be cathartic if Trump loses in 2020, like a anal cyst being lanced.


#1918

Yeah, obviously, hardly any of the Jewish artists and writers who created the most popular superheroes were immigrants. Jerry Siegel (Superman) was born in Cleveland. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee (Marvel heroes) were born in Manhattan. Bob Kane (Batman) was born in New York, too. Bill Finger (Batman) in Denver. Joe Shuster (Superman and The Spectre) was an immigrant… from Canada.

Many of them were children of immigrants, but it’s not like they brought superheroes from the Old World to America.

However, what is interesting is how much of our modern pop culture was due to antisemitism in Europe driving Jews to America. A lot of our popular musical tradition owes a lot to African influence as well as Irish and Scottish, but a lot of science fiction, movies, adventure stories and comics came about by Germany, mostly, driving away its most creative people.

I can see arguments that superheroes are really fetish fantasies about the immigrant experience, but I think they connect mostly with the innate sense of being an outsider in a threatening world that everybody has, but especially adolescents (or adults who never really got through adolescence - which is probably most people).

With Superman, it’s not like Siegel and Shuster were raised in a shtetl in Poland and were brought to Cleveland as teenagers. They weren’t confronted by an alien metropolis - it was their home from as soon as they could say the word “home.”

Instead, the city is in many ways a confrontation between the child and their adulthood. As a child, you’re usually protected (except for a few children who have terrible childhoods). Everything is done for you. Then, at some arbitrary point, you stop being cute and people start expecting you to take care of yourself. Suddenly, you see the menacing walls of tall buildings hemming you and your family in. The speeding bullets of criminals who would take your life for your money. The locomotive that might run you down if you don’t look the right way OR the one that takes you to a soul-crushing job every day.

The X-men has diversity, but I don’t think it is about diversity as any sort of example for the readers. Instead, it’s as much about becoming a teenager as anything. As a child, you’re loved and you’re harmless. Then you can get pregnant or get a girl pregnant. You stop being cute and have to deal with all sorts of physical changes. It feels like people who loved you now hate you - the world hates you and worse, you don’t really like yourself anymore. You must be some kind of mutant.

Then you somehow find other people your age who are very different from you. Come from completely different background. Look and speak differently. BUT… they are going through exactly the same thing as you. They are freaks, too.

You see it in Teen Titans and you see it in Naruto. Superheroes or their equivalent in other countries (like Manga’s shinobi), are terrific power fantasies for the anxious teen experience. Not simply fantasies to satisfy the urge to vicariously turn your weaknesses into superpowers, but also fantasy as a way to work out those emotional insecurities on a temporary basis until you get through them and don’t need them anymore.

Comics can be read by anyone, but I think they really came into exist and survive for those kids who really needed them. However, they aren’t the only game in town anymore and other media today seem better able to deliver the same medicine much more powerfully.


#1919

It’s always hard to get numbers on a movement like this, because it’s mostly online, and people will create multiple sockpuppet accounts on social media to make their groups look bigger. There were a couple of ringleaders - Richard Meyer (the Diversity and Comics guy) and Ethan Van Sciver being the two loudest voices, but Mike S Miller got in on the action as well, and there’s a whole bunch of YouTube channels allegedly about comics in general but basically just talk about the same stuff as Meyer.

The closest thing to hard numbers are the supporters for the various crowdfunding attempts put about. Ethan Van Sciver’s Cyberfrog one got 8,565 supporters, while Meyer’s one had 10,075. Even that’s not accurate, as some percentage of that will be people who liked the look of the comics, who habitually support comics crowdfunding, and people donating multiple times for various reasons


#1920

It is. If we talk about comics readership in general, one personal mindset shouldn’t be major factor in neglecting someone the right to read comics. Any of them.

This King’s tweet comes as response over the posts of his colleagues, but in seemingly disagreeing way. (Not sure if Bleeding Cool article I posted was ironic). And he compared the sitrep with those “immigrants who created comics”, aka outcasts, which is total bs.


#1921

I don’t know if they really need sockpuppets.

The sense I get, from movements like this or gamergate, is that they start within their respective industries and communities by angry, vocal minorities, but then they start picking up followers from within the greater alt-right crowd after being covered by places like breitbart, reddit, and other cesspools, who really couldn’t care less about comics or video games, but instead see an opportunity to go after women, racial minorities, and LBGT folks.


#1922

Sockpuppeting is very common in this kind of online campaign, not saying they’re doing it for sure, but more that measuring online activity is a less than solid way to gauge numbers.


#1923

Very poorly worded statement.


#1924

That’s what I’ve seen. Meyer comes across as some mouth breather who’s managed to gain some amount of traffic - some from people who agree with him and some from those who disagree with him. From what I’ve seen of him he’s utterly unskilled in comics commentary, akin to some drunk in the bar with no real knowledge or ability to critique from a point of expertise. He’s a true internet representative - some guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about that’s lucked his way into fame by shitting his pants and offending others.

I don’t know how we got here though. In another reality his channel would have 12 subscribers and we’d never have heard of him. Some forces have created this Frankenstein, and I suspect it’s his opponents who built up the thing they can now fight against.


#1925

By way of comparison, roughly 13,000 people bought Ms Marvel last month.

So comicsgate “supporters” actually seem like a pretty significant group within comic readership in general :frowning:


#1926

I think it’s only big in this community, similar to gamergate. I am positive 95% of folks that aren’t deeply into comics or video games aren’t tracking either one or only have some passing knowledge at best.