Monday, August 17, 2015

A Rant About "Diversity" in Comics

Remember how back in my previous post regarding My Love/Hate Relationship With Comics, I briefly hinted to the topic of diversity in comics? Well good news my fellow Internets, I'm here to drop a very much called for nuclear-sized rant on this hotly discussed subject. What could possibly call for such an earth-rendering response you might inquire? Well you can thank a recent opinion piece published on Comics Alliance for that, which was written by a Miss J.A. Michelline.

In this piece J.A., or JAM as she refers to herself as, is condemning Marvel Comics for it's lack of diverse creators being involved in some of Marvel's more diverse characters and their books (such as Blade, Hercules, and a few others). She then goes on to critique them on why it's important that comics finally get with the times, and start having more writers of color and sexual orientations being placed behind their titles. Now granted I am paraphrasing it a bit, but that's basically the core message of her piece. And after listing all of her grievances, she then states very clearly that she is of course boycotting Marvel Comics all together, and refuses to support them again until her list of demands are met. Such as "(1) you hire three different black writers for your ongoing books and (2) you put forth three ongoing books with different queer leads. Both of those conditions must be met to get me to buy any of the rest of your books for the foreseeable future."

Now JAM, if you'll permit me, but is there some sort of preconceived quota that needs to be filled when it comes to creators of different ethnicities and sexual orientations? Why is this such a big deal with you people?

It's no secret that I've made it clear many times before that I'm not a supporter of this diversity for the sake of diversity bullshit, nor will I ever be in the foreseeable future, as I'm of the belief that those who are right for the job should be given the opportunity purely on merit rather then insert random ethnicity and or sexual orientation here. However with that said, if Marvel should decide on any given day that they want to hire on some "diverse" writers and creators, that's entirely up to them. But as a consumer and fan of Marvel in general I'm not going to impose these standards that you SJW types think should be implemented. Because it's flat out nonsense, and doing so would at the end of the day be all for nothing, especially seeing as how these twits are never happy with anything. You cannot please these people, so why bother?

Now I know what you're thinking, "It's not for the sake of nothing, it's called getting with the times." Yeah well as far as I'm concerned those "times" can take a long walk off a short bridge. I'm not saying that comics don't need a change up here and there, but more often than not the ones espousing this "get with the times" argument, are nothing more then pretentious bloggers trying to shove their didactic political dogma into a medium that never asked for it to begin with. These are the type of people who are always looking to find offense with something. Which is precisely what JAM's problem is. She's offended that Marvel isn't doing this or that to satisfy her specific standards (course that's a common occurrence with SJWs in general), thus she's decided to boycott them.

You wanna boycott Marvel? Spectacular. Go right on ahead, I won't stop you. But let's be realistic here, even if you boycott Marvel, what's it going to accomplish in the long run? I've asked myself that same question after I stopped buying any books written by Dan Slott after his continuous tirades towards fans on Twitter. And I'm fully aware of the fact that my choice to boycott Dan Slott doesn't mean jack with a side of shit 
in the grand scheme of things. Much like you, I'm just a small but very loud contingent. Marvel could probably care less if I drop a particular series written by a particular writer, they've got other folks that are buying his books. What do they care if I boycott Dan Slott? You think they'll care anymore for your boycotting of them either?

If DC, Marvel, or whoever decides to get some more diverse creators, go right on ahead. But don't go doing it just to appease these asshats over at Comics Alliance, TheMarySue, or Io9. Because there's no guarantee that will make things any better. Sure you'll probably get some good press out of it, hell maybe even a temporary influx of new readership, but after a while these people will abandon you for the next popular fad. They won't stick with you like we will, because they're not real comic fans like us. So shoehorning this diversity for the sake of diversity narrative into the medium is not the answer here. Because in the end, all that will accomplish is the complete alienation of longtime readers and dedicated fans.

And then there's the whole hip hop variant covers controversy, which JAM also touches upon in her piece. Now for those who are unaware, recently Marvel decided to do a little one-off event with their variant covers this year by making them stylized tributes to various hip hop albums and artists. Each one of the covers had various Marvel characters emulating the original album's style and design. Which you can see here:

Obviously like most variant covers it's a gimmick, albeit a pretty cool looking one in my opinion. But leave it to pissants like JAM and other SJW crackpots to shout out "cultural appropriation", and start condemning Marvel on the spot for having the audacity for paying tribute to various hip hop icons in what was supposed to be a fun little one-off event. And this is despite the fact that a lot of these hip hop artists of whom Marvel was paying tribute to, were actually praising Marvel.

"The response of the hip-hop community to these variants has been tremendous. All the major hip-hop sites are shining a spotlight on this, and social media outside of comics has exploded with excitement -- which means we are talking to a new audience. We've revealed less than a quarter of our variant covers at this point, and already the hip-hop community is showering us with love -- including the hip-hop artists themselves. I'm talking luminaries: Killer Mike [of Run the Jewels], Posdnuos [of De La Soul], the legendary DMC, the Pharcyde, Pete Rock, Nas -- they've all expressed their excitement and joy on social media." -Alex Alonso, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief

You can check out the rest of the interview here.

Sadly as usual, this wasn't enough to please the Social Justice Inquisition. They of course immediately leapt into action accusing Marvel of cultural appropriation. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, cultural appropriation is when someone adopts a certain element (such as hairstyle, fashion, entertainment and etc.) of another culture, and makes it their own. 

Now like any rational human being, I don't necessarily see anything wrong with this. Hip hop, as well as comicbooks in general, are part of pop culture. Meaning that it basically belongs to everyone. Granted the hip hop genre is predominantly composed of black artists, but once something like hip hop gains a big enough following among mainstream audiences, it becomes part of our everyday culture, as well as ingrained into our own individual identities. So this really isn't a case of "cultural appropriation", but rather a case of a bunch of whiny little snowflakes getting offended at a company for paying tribute to a popular musical genre.

Honestly I can't even begin to tell you how much I despise these rats.

Anywho, since I've pretty much said all that needs to be said on my end, I'd like close out this rant by sharing with you this particular comment that I came across after reading JAM's opinion piece, as I believe it encompasses everything I've been saying about these pseudo-comic fans who whine about everything concerning race, gender, and etc..

"No, you're wrong on that one rather large and crucial point. It's not Marvel, it really is you.

You know what matters most with a book? Good story and art. If it's a good story, I don't care who writes it. I've read books for years where the lead characters were male and the writer was female. Didn't bother me in the least. The stories were good. I've read books for years where the lead characters were white and the writer was black or Asian. Never bothered me in the least. The stories were good, so the gender, sexual orientation, and color of the people creating the book never mattered to me. Hell, never mattered when the book was bad either. The fact that maybe someone pitched a really good story concept for the series that hooked the powers that be should be the issue, not whether you can check the "right" boxes on a SJW check sheet.

Marvel is looking for good stories. Readers are looking for good stories. Neither Marvel nor the majority of comic book readers out there care what color, gender, or sexual identity defines or describes the person doing the writing or the art. You're the one getting bent out of shape because the stories matter less to you than being able to check off certain boxes on your SJW list for approved creative teams for a book.

So, no, it's not Marvel that's the problem, and, yeah, it's absolutely you and only you in a big way." -Jerry Chandler

Couldn't have said it better myself Jerry.