Sunday, February 27, 2005

Column takes a closer look at minorities in comics

Pop Culture Shock kicks off its monthly column devoted to minorities in comics with a look at the books released during Black History Month, including the Birth of A Nation softcover, Black Panther, Papa Midnite and Ex Machina. And not everything is positive:
S. Akinnuso: ... Accolades notwithstanding, I'm just tired of characters like Bishop and BLADE. How about some personality with that hard edge? I'll take a side of depth with that, too. I guess if the heroes don't fit into that Sam Jackson, Benjamin Cisco, Blade feel, it's tough for white writers to relate to, I guess. Whatever. I hear there's an audience for this.

... Another reason why it's so important for black creators to get the chance to do black characters is because we capture little important details that white artists and writers miss. Black people have three hairstyles at most when 'other' artists are doing the books. We're either bald, horrible looking dreadlocks, or fucked up 80's haircuts. One of the joys of, say, Chriscross, is that he captures the little things. Little hairs on the fadeline of a good haircut. Proper placement of slits and up-to-date apparel, and that sort. Black guys in comics ALWAYS look like they just stepped right out of a time warp...or look like Samuel L. Jackson or Blade. It's hilarious.
The columnists also pause to discuss the much-debated death of Northstar in the pages of Wolverine:
J. Chan: ... Millar warned us that a popular X-character was going to die, and if this was a movie we could probably kiss somebody's black ass goodbye. But this is comics. So of course they should kill... THE ONE OPENLY GAY MAINSTREAM SUPERHERO. RIP Northstar.

S. Akinnuso:
Yeah ... that kinda sucked, too. While none of the writers have done anything with the character since he was 'outed', it was sad to see him go. Millar is such an EXCELLENT writer, though, that at least he made the passing tolerable. I really ought to stop being a hater. Gays are HORRIBLY misrepresented. ...