Saturday, May 19, 2007

Raise Your Voice - Go Directly To TypeCasting

So I'm surfing my feeds and going through links and I come across a mention or two of myself. And the mentions are about the fact that I'm indignant and angry at the blogger behind Comics Worth Reading. And there are words about how I and others who are indignant aren't learning anything and how Johanna has walked the walk.

Johanna has walked the walk - good for her. Johanna has a resume she can be proud of, also good for her.

None of that changes the fact that she said something that I personally found dismissive and confusing and so I commented and asked her to explain herself. Her reply was that she'd seen people burnt out. I understood (and still understand) her to have said that she'd given up on superhero comics as they are and believes that if they were to change they'd stop being what they are and that there needs to be some other slice of the pie that gets carved out.

She explained herself to me. The fact that I don't agree with it and I think it sounds a lot like giving up - is on me. And I'm allowed to have my own bloody opinion. I'm not beating up on her. I don't care about her. I don't know her. I know what she said and how she explained herself and we're two different human beings who get to have differing views.

On my journal, I asked the question for people who aren't burnt out / don't think it's all a waste of time. I wanted to know if they think it's useless self masochism or if they think that by making noise and calling for change and perhaps through that inspiring current and budding artists and writers to 'think differently' specifically about superhero comics that some change can come about. I wanted to know if they thought that there should be a start over and the industry as we know it should be left to become a production line that caters specifically to the kind of people quite a few of us have been rolling our eyes and shaking our heads about these last few weeks.

I wanted and still want to know if they think we should leave Superman and Batman and Spiderman and WonderWoman and the X-Men alone and stop asking to see representations of them and their worlds as we want to enjoy them and simply create a whole new myth universe for ourselves.

Johanna responded in her own journal with a list of superhero comics she does like.

Now it's quite possible I was less clear on what my thoughts were than even I realized. The post was labeled Semi-Complete Thoughts, but maybe that aspect of it got passed by. And I know that because I have been involved in another project where visibility and making a noise is key, I was and I still am in a frame of mind where it seems to me that it is very important to press for a change in perspective of female comic heroes and have those changes represented in the mainstream; no tokens, no created to be killed off, no forgotten about until someone needs to die heroically.

That doesn't change my question and who I want to hear/read from and pay attention to. I don't want to pay attention to someone who's burnt out. That's not the type of role model that inspires me to keep walking the walk. I started this journal because I was inspired that I had a voice and a right to my voice. And through this journal I've started and am working on a Blog Carnival because I've been inspired to have something that celebrates characters and creators of color in SF. Who knows what more inspiration could lead me to do. I look forward to finding out. And if indignation is part of that inspiration fuel, so much the better. There's a lot that's been accomplished in the world based on that fuel.

Finally Johanna is Johanna and I am me and at the end of the day I'd hope we both basically want stories we can read and feel satisfied with. Neither of us are mindless shrews.

I don't know why it seems to be believed that when women, in particular, disagree that it's an immediate catfight and claws will come out and blood will drip and we'll tear each other to shreds rather than work out the point. It's a myth. Johanna is not the first and probably will not be the last female blogger I disagree with. For example I have my own thoughts about Stephanie Brown. She is not the first and will probably not be the last comics-sphere blogger whose point of view is not similar to my own and is one I just don't get.

And she is also not likely to be the last person to link me to something a black comics blogger has said about race, racism and struggling for visibility and respect, as part of a reaction that seems more than slightly 'I'm not gonna touch that race thing' and makes me feel as if she missed my point and the question I was starting dialogue over; That she was instead busy scrambling away from the merest hinting specter of a race relations discussion and my point/queries got lost.

Actions like that make me feel as if every black comics blogger is expected to feel exactly the same way about the same thing. So that if one black comic blogger has responded like XYZ then we all have to believe in XYZ.

Just like women, minorities are individuals too. My question was individual. As was the link she posted to.

BTW & FOR THE RECORD: I said she made me feel as if she was side-stepping a point. MADE. ME. FEEL. As in - My interpretation of her actions. I'm not in her head, I don't know what she thought. I used an analogy that's relevant for me . I wanted to see if she'd rephrase herself when thinking about it that way and end up saying something new about her point that would clarify it for me. That said, I don't care if she's 1/4 Cherokee, if she has black friends or even if she is of minority ethnic origin herself. (Though I would be surprised she didn't realize how that phrasing would come across). She reacted to me and phrased things in a way that made me go 'Whoa...she felt accused'. And so after I replied I didn't go back. There's no point in having a discussion if everyone's huffy. Nothing really happens.

What I Want In A SuperHeroine
What I want is a woman I can want to emulate; one who can kick butt, save lives, take names and smile because she's done a good job.

What I Want In A SuperHero
Someone I can wish to emulate. Someone who can kick butt, save lives, take names and smile because he or she has done a good job. I want someone with a great supporting cast (either of allies and friends, or of reoccurring enemies). I want someone with a history that feels real and who has understandable emotional and then physical responded to a situation. Even if that understanding doesn't hit me until two days later or three issues down the line. I want someone my inner little girl can want to imagine protecting her bedroom at night. I want someone my baby sister will be proud to pretend to be when playing and not feel like my brothers got all the 'cool' characters. I want when, heaven forbid, a disaster happens, for me to wish and wonder 'What would have happened if SuperHero X was real'. I want someone who inspires others into instant joy and squee and long debates about their history and philosophy and who can hold a con panel discussion their characterization for a whole two hours.

No comments: