4th letter's David Brothers gets the award for biggest jump in logic for the week, taking my statement that "DC African-American superheroes have largely been written blandly" to this:
"Going by her logic, I got some family members who’re gonna be hoodlums their whole life and are going to be worthless because of that fact. You go to jail and come out a different man? Who cares, dog, you’re still a criminal."
Seems to me, David, the real shame is that John Irons had to be originally cast in Superman's image, not his own.
That John Stewart had to be cast in Green Lantern/Hal Jordan's image, not his own.
That Jakeem Thunder had to be cast in Johnny Lightning's image, not his own.
That Shilo Norman had to be cast in Mister Miracle's image, not his own.
That Ryan Choi had to be cast in The Atom's image, not his own.
That Kathy Kane had to be cast in Batman's image, not her own.
Do you know why that happens, David, behind-the-scenes?
Because editors are afraid that a non-white non-male non-straight character cannot lead their own comic unless they are tied in to a preexisting character. Because there is the perception behind-the-scenes that "women books don't sell," that "Black books don't sell," "that books with gays don't sell," etc.
You think I'm making it up?
You think when I say I've heard editors say "Black books don't sell," I'm lying? You think when I say I've heard editors say "we already have a Black book on the schedule, we don't have room for another," I'm lying?
As for Firestorm -- I was THERE to witness behind-the-scenes what took place regarding Jason Rusch. Were you? I had the corporate memo regarding diversity in my hands. Then I was asked to think of characters of color we could "plug" into the JLA. "Plug."
You think it's racist to find John Irons bland? You think that's the real issue? When I find characters like Gunn from Angel, Blade, Cloak, Misty Knight, Storm, and T'Challa awesome? That I think, on a whole, Marvel has more compelling African-American characters than DC? Do you see a racist agenda in that? Know what all the aforementioned characters have in common? THEY WERE CAST IN THEIR OWN IMAGE!
The real issue is that there are not more characters of color heading their own books that are NOT derived from originally-white superheroes.
The real issue is that there are not more people of color in high positions in mainstream comic book publishing.
The real issue is that there seems to be a deficit of talented writers like Dwayne McDuffie (or Marv Wolfman!) who not only can make these characters interesting -- but have the inclination and interest to.
But you know what -- I'm not letting that post embitter me into being afraid to keep agitating for diversity in comics for people of color, for women, or for people of different sexual orientations or religious faiths. I'm not going to stop posting about how I think people of color could be better written in comics just because I'm afraid of a blogger like you misinterpreting it.
And, I said it before, and I'll say it again: you get true diversity in comics by having a diverse editorial staff and roster of creative talent. Then the diversity flows organically. At Acclaim Comics, we had a diverse staff and diverse talent, and we never had to "plug" in diversity. The character "Quantum" in "Quantum and Woody" stood on his own as a fascinating character -- written by Christopher Priest, who would later make Black Panther so compelling and such a headlining character.
Compared to Quantum, Black Panther, Blade -- and even the Bendis-penned Luke Cage (though he has been a bit whiny last issue) -- John Irons, to me, is just not that interesting. So sue me. You know who is more interesting to me than Vixen, who has been better characterized in a handful of issues than Vixen has been in her entire existence? Gauntlet from Avengers: The Initiative as written by Dan Slott.
So, David Brothers, if you think the real problem with race in comics today is my tacit inability to find John Irons compelling, if you think I have a racist agenda because I think Blade is cooler than Mr. Terrific, if you think the real issue we should be focusing on is that I closed comments as the result of an obnoxious poster, if you think me saying "there should be more interesting superheroes of color" = me hurling slurs to your entire family, then I'm sorry. We clearly disagree, we do not see eye-to-eye, we are not on the same page.
So feel free to pick apart this post, show how I'm stupid and you're smart, how I clearly don't know anything I'm talking about. I expect it. I don't care. I'm enjoying my weekend.