Tag: Comics

Marvel’s Problem With Diversity

Marvel’s attempt to blame flagging sales of their comics on the move to diversify their characters met with some interesting responses across the Internet, but I think this one from Nerdist.com typifies it the best. I think Marvel finds itself in a very peculiar and unique position. The thing to remember about their comics is that they are what they were. By that I mean they were, for lack of better terms, the escapist pastime of many young white males, (and a few females). We cannot go back and time and change these characters. They are who they were 40, 50 years ago when they sprung forth from multi-colored panels. I grew up with a special connection to Marvel comics as my grandfather Vince Alascia was an artist at Marvel and worked on Captain America in the 40’s. As such I grew up with many of these characters and can honestly say I remember them as all white males. With one exception, The X-Men, who would become my favorite.

That is not to say that moving to a more diverse universe is a problem. It isn’t, as long as the stories are delivered in way that maintains the same quality of writing. A big component of that quality is a sense of authority. This is what the link above from Nerdist.com cites as Marvel’s real reason for flagging sales. I’m not as into Steve Rodgers as I am an intense super soldier with uncommon bravado and sense of right. As long as the writing conveys that I know I’m reading Captain America. However if instead I get a focus group designed cardboard cutout I’m not going to be happy, or reading for that matter. Yet you do not have to wade too deep into the Internet to find fans of the mindset that do not appreciate a female Iron Man or an African American Spiderman. The odd thing is if a superhero is an archetype as long as the writing is consistent and remains true to the character then gender, skin color, or country of origin are immaterial.

 

Phoenix Comicon 2012

Phoenix Comicon 2012 LogoI spent the weekend wandering the halls and exhibitor space of Phoenix Comicon. I get such a warm spot in my heart when I see so many fans of comics, sci-fi and all things geek. How great is it that there is a place we can all make our pilgrimage to once a year, renew old bonds, celebrate our idols and buy cool stuff? Lots of cool stuff. I always come away from these events with such a charge of inspiration. I could probably take the next couple of weeks off from work just jotting down all the cool story ideas. I went this year as a fan, maybe next year I will get a table for my books. I still haven’t graduated from writer to marketer just yet. I am hoping to have both Undead Heart and The 4th Prometheus for sale by next year’s event, there is only¬†360 days to go.

 

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