Posted by : Wendy B Saturday, 6 August 2011

Blah blah blah new Spiderman is Black/Hispanic blah blah Laurence Fishburne is White blah blah.

Old news.

Racist people don't like new Spiderman!

Old news, too.

Hell, everything I'm going to write here is old news, but this is my blog and I'm feeling ranty, dammit!

Because you see, I'm tired of being part of a trend. I'm happy that DC is rebooting its universe, but I'm rather annoyed that DIVERSITYTM seems to be their new catch phrase.

Call me picky and paranoid, but I find it troubling that they've had to raid Jim Lee's pockets to pull out a semi-A-list female minority (who's also bisexual, because it's easier to roll our minorities together! Compact DIVERSITYTM)

I'm tired of the notion of a minority Spiderman being frontpage news (okay, not front page, BUT STILL).

I'm tired of tokenism. I'm tired of tokenishm being mistaken for DIVERSITYTM. It makes me sad that DC is making this big effort to bring minority characters to the forefront, because it means that it's taken them this many decades to figure out that there are minorities in the world in the first place. And yes, we do buy your comics!

Black Heimdall was ohgoodlord sexy and I'm sure the new Spiderman will be just fine, but I do have issue with the timing. I have issue with the notion that Black is the new Black. It's a bloody trend. And I'm growing tired of it.

I've been here for a long, long time. I'm not a fucking trend to be catered to when you think sales numbers will be able to handle it.

***

Okay, now that I have that off my chest, allow the voice of reason to conclude:

Change has to start somewhere, right?

I don't like it now, but it means that, some time in the not so distant future, my grandkids will be reading comic books with a-list not-so-minority heroes that they can relate to and none of it will make headline news at all because it will just be normal.

And I'll be sitting in my rocking chair yelling at them about how back in my day.....

3 Responses so far.

  1. I agree with you on most points. Except the one about all the publicity on the diversity in the DC universe. Yes, it is a bit overdone. But it needs to publicized. Comic books are dying in readership slowly year by year and the need for forward movement is neccesary. Just like studios bring up remakes of hit movies, do comics need to reinvent itself from time to time. In this case, the diversity aspect may help in making comics interesting for the growing population of minorities that can become fans and are becoming exposed to the movies and cartoons and video games.
    It all is summed up imperfectly in a catchphrase but it's all just part of a way to get the publicity that they wouldn't attract any other way. Is there really another way for say, Ultimate Spider-Man to be promoted? Probably. But would they get the headlines they have if they didn't promote out ront that the new Spider-Man is half-black, half-Latino? As for DC they are just trying to attract the attention through the press with "Diversity". At lest we are seeing the effort.
    By the way, the reason I love this conversation from you is the fact that you are a minority also and see things from a different perspective. I'm also a minority but see it from a slightly different perspective also.
    Whew. Enough typing. :)

  2. Yup, publicity is still publicity, and it certainly gets the word out, whether I like the word/method or not.

    Don't worry, I might be ranty, but in the end, I get it and am always happy when the things that I was shunned for in my youth grow to be more and more acceptable.

    I love that my kids can talk about their love of comics without people thinking they or their parents are weird the way it was for me.

    I don't like the means, but I do appreciate the end.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Comics are very very, very, alive these days. It's not a dying art, your just not looking in the right places.

    No longer is a comic controlled and published by a big company. They have evolved, they are now entirely property of normal people.

    Look around you on the net, webcomcis in infinite quantities. Famous examples are XKCD and Gunnerkrigg Court.

    The truth is that I couldn't list them all for you, because they have become so much and are updated so regularly, you couldn't read them in your entire lifetime -- it's simple maths.

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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