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Friday, August 01, 2014 

Brett Booth thinks diversity at all costs is helping

Artist Booth is toeing the leftist talking points about diversity in comics:
With announcements that the new Thor is a woman and the new Captain America will be black, the comic book industry is undergoing historic changes. Veteran comic artist Brett Booth believes these changes will bring much needed diversity to the industry.
As if it hadn't happened already! What about Black Panther? He wasn't a breakthrough for black heroes in the Silver Age? Nowhere in the article does T'Challa appear. What kind of research is this supposed to be?
To Booth, increasing gender and racial diversity in comic books make them more inclusive and relatable to many readers.
There's one problem, and maybe more: only the superheroes are undergoing this diversity madness. Very few co-stars, guests and recurring casts are emphasized as diverse, if at all, and nobody's promoting them in the press as folks the readers might want to invest an interest in. Mary Jane Watson, a standout co-star for Spider-Man, has been marginalized for 6 years now. And if that's how it's going to be, how do they expect to make comics "inclusive and relatable"? What a joke.
In a recent podcast, Booth explained that when many of the popular superheroes were originally designed, their creators didn’t consider diversity as seriously as we do today. Hence, many heroes and villains tended to look like their creators: white and male.
Did they? Gee, and I thought some women did have significant roles in the Golden Age, with Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Mary Marvel, Phantom Lady and Black Canary serving as examples of superheroines who were famous or noteworthy at the time. And there were others, even if not as prominent. I also thought story quality was what mattered to those early contributors, and comes before diversity. Plus, if diversity is that important, shouldn't co-stars and supporting casts take priority over superheroes?
Today, Booth said, the aim is “... to include everybody, and not exclude anybody.”
Wrong! Everyone except a select few, like conservatives, Republicans, and Judeo-Christian practitioners, unless they're structured as a liberal's idea of what a conservative et al should be. Come to think of it, no Armenians and Ghanians have been included either. So what's his point? If he's trying to apologize for that pointless attack he made on a valid critique by Janelle Asselin a few months ago, he's not doing a good job at it.
In terms of racial diversity, the comic book world has seen some notable changes. In 2011, Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man’s Miles Morales is of black and Hispanic descent. John Stewart (aka The Green Lantern) is also black.

Changing the gender of an established superhero is not unprecedented, either. Marvel’s character Sasquatch (aka Walter Langkowski) turned into Wanda Langkowski when his soul came to inhabit a human female’s body. Batgirl (who recently received a brand-new look) has also taken on a life of her own after only starting out as a female version of Batman.
Oh, that citation of an Alpha Flight story is funny - it wasn't intended as a step in diversity (although Northstar's outing was, in some of the worst scripting possible by Scott Lobdell), and Sasquatch was changed back to his proper male forms eventually. There's also a difference between Morales and Stewart: the former, as a recent creation, was intended as a diversity concept, though in a different dimension of the MCU. The latter, while a GL Corps member, was still created as his own protagonist without forcing Hal Jordan out of his own role in the Bronze Age. Yet they don't mention the series Stewart got in the early 90s, GL: Mosaic, which could've been a big chance for him to shine on his own but was shut down by Kevin Dooley as part of the Emerald Twilight mandate (and writer Gerard Jones was thrown out).

And the part about Barbara Gordon starting as only a femme take on Batman is also clumsy research. Yes, it was a female take on a role started by a guy, but even back in 1967, she still began as a pretty different kind of protagonist, a teenaged girl seeking adventure and a purpose in life, who convinced Batman to give her a chance.
The best way to quell worried fans’ concerns is to focus on dynamic storylines for female and minority characters, said Booth. Simple inclusion without the attendant attention to writing and art won’t do much good.
And that's not what they're doing, alas. Instead of creating new characters who can stand on their own two feet, they keep shoehorning them into established roles instead of their very own, with very untalented hacks assigned to do the writing. And some of these stories are rife with leftist politics to boot.
Nevertheless, Booth is optimistic about the future of the comics and the work of people who are making them more inclusive.

“Luckily there are hardcore fans that will buy everything, so there is a bit of a safety net while you try and find a way to appeal to both groups,” Booth said. “There is no easy solution,There is no formula to making a good comic that appeals to everyone. Every book is a bit of luck with lots of trial and error.”
I thought there was a formula, and that's telling stand-alone stories faithful to established continuity and character traits beginning several decades ago. However, as per Bill Cosby, the key to failure is trying to appeal to "everyone", and if they cater to Communists, Islamofascists and Marxists, those are examples of groups that shouldn't be pandered to.

Interesting how he justifies the idea hardcores who make no distinctions in writing quality should buy no matter what, because the major publishers have been taking advantage of hardcores for years now, and laughing behind their backs. That's simply not the way to market, and crossovers, another serious matter not mentioned here, are still another reason why it's not worth the effort: they only make the so-called diversity more pointless.

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Makes sense he's saying this. He was the one who "diversified" Wally West.

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