In the world of comic books writers and artists are still mostly guys. Most of those writers and artists are white guys. It’s been like that for a very long time. Granted, it’s more spread out than it used to be with gender, race, creed, color and anyone else that I left out, but it’s still mostly white guys.
Is that a good thing? In today’s world most everybody will say “Yes!” immediately. They say this because they feel it’s the right thing to say and it’s the politically correct thing to say. In my opinion (remember, this is my column) that’s not 100% right.
Pay attention to what you’re reading here: I’m all for anyone of any race, creed, color, gender or planet in the universe to have the opportunity to be a writer or artist in comics. I don’t care if you’re red, white, blue or any other color of the rainbow. Your religion is none of my business. Your sexual preference is none of my business; I don’t care what your politics are. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone then wrap yourself in whatever cloth of culture you have and walk proudly.
In the above paragraph the key word was “opportunity”. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to show they have the goods to get the job done.
BUT? as a writer, if you don’t have anything to say with your work then it doesn’t matter what color, sex or religion you are, you shouldn’t have the job. Same with an artist, if you can’t produce the quality then you shouldn’t have the work.
In my 20 years in the business I’ve seen many cases where a publisher/editor has purposely looked for a white guy to write or draw other white characters and never even considered Asian, Latino, black, or any other living being outside of the color white for the job.
On the other side I’ve also seen many cases where the same publisher/editors have a black, female or gay character and they only hire a black, female or gay creator to write or draw that book. I have creator friends of color, female gender and that are gay that have only been sought out exclusively when the character leans to their color, gender or sexual preference.
Behind the scenes they mention that even though they’re glad to have to opportunity and the work, they are still kinda insulted by it because they are only considered a “Minority”, “Female” or “Gay” creator. That ain’t right.
To a certain point every writer and artist in comics is typecast in some fashion. Some by their own design. They only want to do a certain kind of book and after a length of time when work in that genre dries up they find it very hard to get work in another genre because they are known only as a “Super Hero” creator (just an example).
All of us in comics get shoved into a box? “Only does tough guy stuff”, “Only does Vertigo/Indy stuff”, “Only does political stuff”, “He’s British, Let Him Do Anything He Wants”? It might be human nature to do that, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s also not right to have someone write or draw a book because they share the same color, sex or politics of that character. That doesn’t automatically make them a good writer or artist.
Just because someone writes really good comic books doesn’t mean they can write a really good TV show, screenplay or video game. Just because a comic book artist can draw? The Flash or The Avengers doesn’t mean they can do the art for the new Pepsi ad campaign or do the poster art for the new James Bond movie. The same goes for the reverse. Just because you’ve written novels or TV doesn’t mean you can write a good comic book. Just because you’ve drawn cartoons for Playboy doesn’t mean you can draw a good Wonder Woman comic.
For those of you that are aspiring comic book writers and artists know this kinda stuff as you kick in doors and climb through with windows of the comic book business. It’s true that life ain’t fair at times and just because you have more talent than the other guy doesn’t mean you’re gonna get the job.
As comic book readers my only suggestion to you is to always let it be known when you like somebody’s work. Do it by voting with your wallet, by writing the editor and or creator. The same goes when you don’t feel you’re getting your money and entertainment’s worth. Let the guys in charge like Dan DiDio, Joe Quesada, Chris Ryall, Erik Larsen and others hear from you. They always say they want to hear from their consumers in the news articles, so let em’ hear from you. My main request is for you to let them know in a civil, intelligent way. Your words hit a lot deeper that way. More so than being snarky or insulting.
Leave this column knowing this. I am prejudiced.
I’m prejudiced against assholes. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. If you’re not an asshole then I hope you have the greatest career in comic book history.
If you are one?then go create, write or be on a reality TV show and be with your own kind.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
She’s known to most of you as the new star on Spike TVBlade, based off the Marvel Comic Book character and the three hit movies by the same name. (Support this show as well because good buddy and comic book creator Geoff Johns writes this show and has his producing hand in it as well as other good guy, David Goyer, director of the films and comic book writer.)
Like a lot of you, I first saw her as “The Mercury Girl” from the Lincoln-Mercury TV commercials. Let’s face it, there are thousands of pretty people on TV every minute, but when someone is on the screen for a mere 30 to 60 seconds and can not only catch your eye, but get across that they have something special, then you know they are destined for great things. Jill Wagner is one of those people. When I first saw one of the Mercury ads I knew she was somebody to watch. She did it with her looks, but more important she did it with her attitude. It’s one of those things where you can be just a pretty face or you can go past that and in just a few seconds let the world know that there is a lot more to you than looks.
I was real happy when I heard she was gonna be one of the stars on Blade. She plays Krista Starr, a down to Earth woman whose brother was killed by vampires. As a former sergeant in the military she is not about to let her brother’s death go unsolved. During her own investigation she runs into Blade and they become allies in the fight against those pale people with the fetish for blood.
Jill has not only the acting talents, but she is also very able to pull off the action stuff with her fists and guns. You really feel she knows her stuff. The thing I find most attractive about her is that she has a true All-American girl next door, was a Tom-Boy as a kid, athletic look. I think that is the sexiest look a woman can have. Unlike every other young actress in Hollywood, she doesn’t come across as a pole dancing pin-up girl with nothing between her ears. She has that same wonderful appeal that Evangeline Lilly from TV’s LOST has.
Also, just Letting you know that Spike TV is airing a special called “Spike’s Women of Action” on July 27th at 9pm (check local listings) and that Jill is one of the lovely ladies being featured. They filmed her at the shooting range in L.A. for it. I highly suggest in my most fist-in-your face charm that you go to http://www.spiketv.com and on the home page you will see the link to vote for your favorite (woman of Spike)? Throw your vote for Jill. Right now she is behind in the race and we/I can’t have that. I’m sure that I speak for Geoff and David as well. I know they’d want you to toss your vote Jill’s way too.
Tell em’ Beau sent ya.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Police Comics #110
Simplicity is always the best way when it comes to being manly. Police Comics #110 is a perfect example. It features Ken Shannon-Two Fisted Private Eye. Check out the cover blurb: “The shot went wild?.I didn’t have a second to lose as I drove my fist crashing against his jaw.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Check out the babe aiding Ken as she is ready to drive her high heel into the bad guy just for good measures. Gotta love a gal like that.
This could’ve been a cover to Cobb: Off The Leash!
The Round Up
I wanna thank all of you for all the emails I’ve been getting on the topic of Cobb: Off The Leash #1 and last week’s release of Cobb: Off The Leash #2. I can’t thank y’all enough for all the support and positive response on the book. You guys have truly made this a highly recommended book. My only way of thanking you is to promise that you will not be disappointed with the action and dark manly humor of issue #3 due out next month.
Before I sign off for the week I thought I’d throw this taste of testosterone from Cobb: Off The Leash #3 at ya. I look forward to more of your comments.
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