Natural Progression

When I see a person, I do see their skin color. I'm not afraid to admit it. Because I'm smart enough to know that acknowledging the differences alone doesn't make you a bigot. There are so many things that make up 'self', and ethnicity is one of them. We are beautifully complex creatures, and nothing is wrong with observing and appreciating the details that weave our uniqueness.  
 
Now, on to the business of diversity being "shoved down our throats", and "comics making a big deal about it," 'cuase I'm lost. I am seriously without a clue as to what most people mean by that. In real life, I'm sorry, but going back to all these different things that make a 'self', some of these things can be observed with the casual eye about an individual, and those things can and sometimes does effect how society treats them. If that were to happen, would that be "shoving it in your face?" It doesn't have to happen in every single panel. But, completely glossing over some of the awkward moments and un-niceties the world offers becomes a little stale and misses out on opportunities for character development. 
  
In the early days of comics, minorities did not have the buying power that they have now. The demographic that did often would buy what would allow them to indulge in a power fantasy of seeing their super-selves being great, mighty, and heroic. In abundance. They were specifically catered to because quite simply, they had the economic buying power. Today, that demographic is ever decreasing and almost everything else is growing, not only in number, but in buying power as well.  
    While so many are crying "political correctness", please keep in mind: the comic industry is dying. And if dying is too strong a word, let's just say that it's not making the money it did ten to twenty years ago. It's a mad dash to figure out how to save it. "Should we re-number our books to be more friendly to those who may be intimidated by decades of long and complex continuity? 'Why, by god, we may never know until we try!'" "Should we make our comics more easily available to the iPad/Kindle/iPhone generation of e-readers?? 'Comics on-the-go?? Why, that's a splendid idea!!'" "Have you noticed that there are more people whodon't read comics than there are who do, and a lot of the ones who don't, do not look like our heroes...could they some how feel...left out?? 'Why, the Census Bureau Reports have been saying that before 2050, the US will be minority-majority nation. Let's make comics that reflect the world as it really is today, and tomorrow!! TO THE FUTURE!!!'" 
 
    For the comics industry, it's about survival. There is a reason why they renumber. Why they have event after event. Why they deliberately "spoil." Why they do controversial things like change the ethnicity of characters. It's because half the time, all they have to do is mention it once, and it starts a wild fire of controversy. They don't have to shove anything down your throat, you will do it for them. In chat rooms. On blog sites. On social networking sites. Moan and complain. We are nerds. We show our love for the things we enjoy by trying to posses encyclopedic knowledge of the things we celebrate and treat the beloved source material like scripture. Most nerds are afraid of change. It's who we are. But the world is changing. Evolving. So should we. Because if we keep treating comics like the "He-Man woman Haters Club", we are going to be inside that thing when it burns down, while everyone else is just looking at us like the Dodo.  
    Too many of us are treating comics like Lenny does rabbits in 'Of Mice And Men.' "George, I just want to pet it, and rub it, and treat it like my very own". And then you wind up killing the damn thing in your hand. Open up your palm. Relax.  Breathe. Let new readers who may not have previously been interested in comics in so the industry can stay alive. Otherwise, what can I say, but, "it's been real."

10 Comments
10 Comments
Edited by Cervantes

'Th' best laid schemes o' mice and men often go astray, and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.' 
Great blog!
Posted by Osiris1428
@Cervantes said:
'Th' best laid schemes o' mice and men often go astray, and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.' Great blog!
See...somebody gets it!!
Posted by velle37

Nice, breakdown. I largely agree.
Posted by Osiris1428
@velle37 said:
Nice, breakdown. I largely agree.
Thanks, velle
Posted by Osiris1428
Bump* Shameless? Yep
Edited by CATPANEXE
@Osiris1428: I don't usually read long articles, but I have to say this pulled me in and held me the whole way through. Excellent job. I agree fully with what you have put down here, and props to your verse involved.
 
looking at your mention of Lenny, I must say I think a factor that plays in with many dissenters is that they personalize the whole comic experience, at least from their rants
anyways, in that they seem to want for the media to cater to their own wants, rather than adjusting to the fact, which also adheres to movies, that the comic must at least try to cater to it's entire readership, as well as attempt to pull in the demographic that isn't reading, no easy task, by trying to have a broad representation of interest found within.
Posted by Osiris1428
@CATPANEXE said:
@Osiris1428: I don't usually read long articles, but I have to say this pulled me in and held me the whole way through. Excellent job. I agree fully with what you have put down here, and props to your verse involved.  looking at your mention of Lenny, I must say I think a factor that plays in with many dissenters is that they personalize the whole comic experience, at least from their rants anyways, in that they seem to want for the media to cater to their own wants, rather than adjusting to the fact, which also adheres to movies, that the comic must at least try to cater to it's entire readership, as well as attempt to pull in the demographic that isn't reading, no easy task, by trying to have a broad representation of interest found within.
Absolutely!! It's really the selfishness of some of the readership that is the problem. Hearing all these people saying they are going to stop reading Marvel or comics in general just because they acknowledged some else in the same room as them a little more than they used to, now they want to take their toys away from the rest of us and go home. By not buying comics anymore, when comics is an already hurting industry. Aren't we as fans also supposed encourage family and friends to read and enjoy comics???  
 
"If we can't be the center of attention at all times, no one can." Doesn't that sound just like the thought process of a super-villain? If these heros meant so much, wouldn't they have learned something from them??
Posted by SC

I like your title. Natural progression. I think there are a lot of complex arguments here potentially but some simple ones too. More often than not some comic fans like to play the cynic and assume that the other people are either Little Jimmy's or if they are not that, then they have some sort of agenda. So they cry PC, and suddenly the only people that want diversity are people who want diversity for the sake of diversity? Then 'they' claim that only quality matters and how color blind they are. Yet diversity doesn't mean black or white or male or female, or straight or gay. Diversity means diversity. Superman is not the only comic character in books today. There was natural progression. Okay well you know, some people out there might like Superman more or Superman stories more... if he was human, and instead of being really really strong, was really, really smart and instead of wearing blue and red and flying around in the day, he wore black and crept around at night. I know, lets call him Batman? Oh wait, but why? What's wrong with just having Superman? Superman is a good character, this new idea for a character is just a gimmick. Diversity for diversity sake, I mean, Superman has things covered, both are heroes, both have love interests, both are too similar. Its like the people thinking about this character have an agenda... and agenda to make money, and all the lil Jimmy's gonna eat it up. This is wrong, wrong, wrong and so politically correct. Except you know, natural progression. Not that this is the only way it is, or there aren't valid concerns. Cause there are many and that gets complicated... but so many people apply weak reasoning as for why "diversity" is bad and wrong when as you and others have pointed out, a lot of the time, they are largely moaning for selfish, personal, subjective, reasons. 

Moderator
Posted by Osiris1428
@SC said:
I like your title. Natural progression. I think there are a lot of complex arguments here potentially but some simple ones too. More often than not some comic fans like to play the cynic and assume that the other people are either Little Jimmy's or if they are not that, then they have some sort of agenda. So they cry PC, and suddenly the only people that want diversity are people who want diversity for the sake of diversity? Then 'they' claim that only quality matters and how color blind they are. Yet diversity doesn't mean black or white or male or female, or straight or gay. Diversity means diversity. Superman is not the only comic character in books today. There was natural progression. Okay well you know, some people out there might like Superman more or Superman stories more... if he was human, and instead of being really really strong, was really, really smart and instead of wearing blue and red and flying around in the day, he wore black and crept around at night. I know, lets call him Batman? Oh wait, but why? What's wrong with just having Superman? Superman is a good character, this new idea for a character is just a gimmick. Diversity for diversity sake, I mean, Superman has things covered, both are heroes, both have love interests, both are too similar. Its like the people thinking about this character have an agenda... and agenda to make money, and all the lil Jimmy's gonna eat it up. This is wrong, wrong, wrong and so politically correct. Except you know, natural progression. Not that this is the only way it is, or there aren't valid concerns. Cause there are many and that gets complicated... but so many people apply weak reasoning as for why "diversity" is bad and wrong when as you and others have pointed out, a lot of the time, they are largely moaning for selfish, personal, subjective, reasons. 
I always like how you break things down SC. The claim "diversity for diversities sake" is often times misused. It can be accurate, but, sometimes the effort (in comics) is sincere. And this time, I hope it is well written and phenomenal.
Posted by DoomDoomDoom

You made some good points. I think somewhere out there in the comic industry is the presumption that ones ethnicity will decide or greatly influence which superheros one relates to or follows. I've never gotten this.