Thursday, May 17, 2007

Semi-complete Thoughs: Should we pack our bags and go' - Equal Representation In SuperHero Comics

Is it facetious if I ask if Superhero Comics are not and will never be comics worth reading?


The person behind the website seems to strongly believe that superhero comics will

"...break your heart before you’re able to achieve substantial change... "

She's observed it happening to people - burn out.

I can understand that. I can understand fearing it. But what really are the odds of women and underrepresented minorities suddenly spinning off a slice of the comics publishing pie to create their own sub-industry?

I mean, what's the real story being what happened with Milestone and Static?

On the other handt I don't like being told I'm beating my head against a wall. Everyone is of course entitled to their pov. Our thoughts are who we are. But because of that, my thoughts are who I am too. And I want the industry to wake up. I don't want to end up with my wants and needs being placed in a 'ghetot'.

Maybe change won't happen in a big way in the next five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years. But it definitely won't happen if I stop trying - right?

And I do think there's something intentionally marginalizing about going off to find my own sandbox. It's the big two who're marginalizing their potential consumer base. They're the ones with narrow focus. They're the ones too scared to risk.

So they exclude me or misrepresent me (general me) and I do what?

I'm really, really struck by 's post about the narrow focus of Marvel specifically and how they're alienating potential consumers.

But am I to take that and go in a corner and figure out a way to tap that market? Like the nerd getting the cheerleader to prove the bullies' wrong?

I'd really like to hear from people who don't find super-hero comics a waste of time. Is it time to promote super hero web comics? Well Fantastically Heroic Comics, because superhero is copyrighted and trademarked, isn't it?

Even if a sub-industry/subsect grew out of no where to prove there's an audience. That audience and those creators would never get to freely use the term 'superhero'. We'd lose that. And sure it's just a word, but I wonder if it's a word that would become a symbol of what we've given up on in order to be heard.

Though not really heard either, right? Because for example African American Literature can touch all the same themes as other genres but tends to sell less because it's perceived as being only for blacks. And there's some really good reading to be found under titles labeled 'chick-lit' but it's not seen or treated the same way as regular literature. In fact I'm one of those women who ends up almost automatically belittling it because I don't want to read something perceived and generally represented as so narrow and without broad appeal. So would this sub-set industry be perceived as only for - insert your minority here- ?

How freeing can your adolescent power fantasy be if you're squished in a corner against the wall? If it's given the chance to be treated as something less?

And I admit to having adolescent power fantasies. I'm proud of my day dreams. To this day I get caught between wanting Dazzler's powers, Wind Dancer's powers or Skid's (Sally Blevins).

What adolescent doesn't want powers that makes them feel special? Or that lets them express themselves in a way words can't? What about all the adolescents dealing with stress and emotional and physical abuse who lose themselves in comics and wish they had powers to protect themselves and their families.

I've experienced for myself what quietly accepting the status quo can do to limit your imagination. I don't want that for my baby sister. I don't want that for her generation or the ones that come after. I don't want them thinking they can't imagine x, y or z because they're not boys, or not white or not American.

I know that's why I just might keep banging my head against a brick wall.

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