Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Representation (Just Like This Panel) Is Important (And Awesome)

The difference between the second panel I attended and the first was like emerging from a den of ignorance and into the shining light of truth. This panel had actual creators - Amy Chu and Alitha Martinez were especially impressive - and an amazing moderator, Alex Simmons. We talked about the problems creators and characters of color (say that three times fast) face every day, the differences between creating for DC or Marvel versus doing indie comics, and online racial/sexual harassment, to name a few. Each panelist had a unique individual perspective and was aware enough of the general milieu to provide an excellent basis for discussion. We even talked about solutions to said problems.

Left to Right: Alex Simmons, Amy Chu, Alitha Martinez,
Laura Lee Gulledge, Jeremy Whitley

"You gotta wait for those old guards who just don't get it to die." - Alex Simmons

Paraphrasing Alitha Martinez: You need to make new characters, not just colorize a classic.

We talked a bit about "voting with your dollar," and it made perfect sense at the time. But how do we get the  general (let's be honest, still predominantly white, male, and straight) comic book audience to vote with us? And how to we communicate that we're buying, for example, Captain Marvel because Carol Danvers is an interesting character and not because Carol Danvers is an attractive blonde? Food for thought...

P.S. I need to be reading Amy Chu's Girls Night Out starting YESTERDAY. Just ordered my copy!

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