NYT distorts about diversity
While the comic book industry has been making great strides in its efforts to reflect the real world in its characters, the same has not always been true of their creators, who have typically been straight, white and male. But the ratio of representation continues to change. David F. Walker, who is black, is writing a new Luke Cage series for Marvel that begins in May; that same month introduces a superhero universe from Lion Forge, with a diverse team of creators and characters, including Noble, the flagship hero who is black; and this summer will see the return of Kim & Kim, from Black Mask Studios, about two bounty hunters, one a trans woman, the other bisexual, written by Magdalene Visaggio, who is transgender. They join the growing list of comic book series with diverse characters at the forefront.I miss the part where Macedonians and Peruvians get some emphasis. And curious how no mention is made of Ramona Fradon, the artist of Metamorpho, Trina Robbins, artist of Vampirella, or Carole Seuling, the writer of Shanna the She-Devil. Nor do they mention that George Perez is of Latino background. And Walker's awful personality and politics go throughly without comment.
At least the creations they cite from smaller publishers are their own ideas and agencies, and thus weren't created merely to replace established white protagonists.
For a long time, “the American comic book industry has marginalized and excluded the voices of writers of color,” said Joseph Phillip Illidge, a senior editor at Lion Forge Comics. That has caused some fans to ask that characters of color have their stories done by creators of color.This is extremely ambiguous, and obscures what's become the real picture at Marvel for starters: instead of offering a creator of color the chance to write a book starring a white protagonist like Spider-Man, they just seem to assign them to script those characters who're already of different racial background like Black Panther. Indeed, I don't think there's ever been a black writer assigned to Spidey since Jim Owsley (Christopher Priest) wrote a number of issues in the mid-80s, but if there's any black writer who did get assignments involving white protagonists, it's him (and if memory serves, he was the co-creator of Quantum & Woody). So what are they driving at?
And it sure is funny how they don't say fans of whatever they're talking about ever asked that creators of color be provided the assignment of writing heroes who aren't of color. How come no mention whether these fans they speak of ever asked if a black writer can get a gig on Superman, for example? Or whether there already has been? I know there have been some women who worked on the Man of Steel, like Louise Simonson, that's for sure. Today, however, with Eddie Berganza still editing the Superman franchise under protection of Dan DiDio and company, the chances we'll see one again soon if there's currently none is probably very minor.
When characters and creators share a special bond, there is an increased chance of authenticity. That seems to be the case in Ms. Rivera’s work on America, judging by the early reviews. [...]Here, I'd say the mistake they're making is dragging race and sexual orientation into the whole mess. Why must racial issues be such a big deal? And if they are, who says somebody who's not of color can't pull it off? If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby could do it with Black Panther, Tony Isabella with Black Lightning, and Archie Goodwin with Luke Cage, then I think it's assured the same could be done even today. Especially if, let us consider, race doesn't have to factor into in everything at all costs. Point: racial issues alone do not a talented story make.
They do mention that there have been say, Latino creators who've written up what's supposedly lacking (e.g-Love & Rockets). However, they don't have any comment on why only costumed superheroes seem to matter in the mainstream. At the end:
While having diversity among creators and characters is a step forward, more needs to be done, said Mr. Illidge, who also writes for Comic Book Resources (cbr.com), where he spotlights diversity in comics and popular entertainment. “The ultimate answer cannot be that people can only write characters that reflect their experience,” he said. “Part of the answer should be that companies that publish books that contain a significant number of characters of color should have a significant number of writers of color in their talent pool.” Ultimately, “the more diverse voices you have in the room, the greater the worldview you’ll get in your fiction.”But does that guarantee an entertaining story? Hardly. And this still doesn't answer any queries about why the diversity-advocates in the mainstream seem more concerned about introducing superheroes of color than civilian co-stars. Nor does it answer any questions about why only skin color matters, and not nationalities like Kenyans, Argentinians, Columbians, French, Romanians and Georgians. Hence, this is not an issue of "diversity" at all. It's just more of the same limited cliches.