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Tuesday, January 07, 2014 

Comics Alliance wants more biased "diversity" for 2014

Ever the left-wing propagandists they've been since they first began, Comics Alliance published a list of "diversity resolutions" for this year. It begins thus:
A new year. A new start. A new chance to make a change. Long-time readers of this site may know that we at ComicsAlliance are proud cheerleaders for a more representative industry. We like political correctness. We like feminism. We like diversity. We want the industry at large — and the superhero publishers in particular — to embrace these things.
Interesting they don't mention they like leftism. Whatever "feminism" they like, you can be sure it's no good kind. Nor is political correctness or diversity, because their vision is a very narrow one. And they can claim what they like, but so long as Bulgarians, Finnish, Cameroonians and Armenians have no significant representation in American comics - superhero or otherwise - they're not in favor of a more representative industry.

The list of 10 wishes begins with "women of color", and isn't very honest about a little something:
When the new Ms Marvel book from G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona debuts in February it will be the only book from Marvel or DC headlined by a woman of color -- thanks to the recent cancellation of DC's Katana. Across all of Marvel and DC at the moment, there are about as many non-white female superheroes total as there are white guys in Avengers teams, and that's shocking.

You may wonder why we're specifically mentioning women of color when we obviously want more women and more people of color in our comics. Doesn't that cover it? It doesn't, because these are both marginalized groups. When we talk about people of color the default tends to be men, and when we talk about women the default tends to be white. It takes more effort to improve visibility and representation for anyone at the intersection of two marginal groups. We want more women of color.

Resolution: There are about 18 straight white dudes in the Avengers when you look across all the Avengers titles. By the end of 2014, we want to be able to say there are at least twice that many female heroes of color starring in Marvel and DC superhero titles.
Hmm, I wonder why this propaganda piece doesn't mention religions like Islam, since that's what Marvel's idea for a new Ms. Marvel was really about? At this point, they probably find the issue embarrassing to deal with, so they've carefully avoided it. While Kamala Khan may be of Pakistani background, and a lot of Pakistanis come from the same race as Hindus, that was never the real intention Marvel's editors had. Otherwise, they'd never go miles out of their way to concern themselves about the protagonist's being even remotely religious.

Obviously, they've decided they want the same political correctness they shamelessly champion to be brought over from X-Men to the Avengers as well. In fact, the third segment is specially devoted to this, hoping for LGBT in the JLA and even the Avengers:
Avengers editor Tom Brevoort was recently asked on Tumblr, "if we can expect any gay members on the Avengers?" His response: "Who says you don’t already?" And the answer is, anyone can say we don't if Marvel hasn't presented it.

In 50 years, the main Avengers teams have never had a serving member who was known to be LGBT. (Moondragon, Living Lightning, Hercules and Valkyrie were all established as LGBT after leaving the team.) The JLA fairs a little better with two LGBT members, Icemaiden and Tasmanian Devil, plus Obsidian, who came out after his time on the team, but none of them yet exist in the new continuity. If current member Catwoman is bisexual, as some have speculated, that's also not a fact in the new continuity.

We take Tom Brevoort's remarks to mean that there are imminent plans to establish a serving Avenger as LGBT, and we're excited to see it. We hope the JLA follows suit.

Resolution: At least one LGBT member in the JLA, at least one LGBT member in the Avengers by the end of 2014.
But no Arab Christians or Egyptian Copts? I don't see their point. I'm not sure, but I figure any retcons of the 4 Avengers members were done in the 90s and certainly post-2000, as was the case with the 3 DC characters they brought up. They proceed with more sleaze in the following paragraph about same-sex relations:
Romance is part of the soap of superhero comics. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy keeps secrets from girl, girl gets abducted by super villain, boy angsts over terrible life choices, something something, kissing?

But it's almost always boy-meets-girl. When it's two guys, they seem to fall in love somewhere in the gutters. (In the comics sense, not the puritanical sense, nor the Oscar Wilde sense.) Gay characters step off the gay boat in pre-set pairs, and we never see any courtship.

There are two recent exceptions to this that we can think of. Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer were allowed to fall in love in Batwoman (but not allowed to marry). Annabelle Riggs almost had a troubled romance in Fearless Defenders before it was canceled. We never saw Wiccan fall in love with Hulkling. We never saw Northstar fall in love with Kyle. We never even saw Rictor fall in love with Shatterstar, despite the fact that it happened in X-Force right under our noses!

Resolution: No more motorcycle-and-sidecar gay couples. Let's see some single LGBT heroes fall in love. Prodigy. Starling. Julie Power. Bunker. Ben Deeds. Show, don't tell.
It's grown old as the dinosaurs, and with the low sales comics have today, it should be pretty obvious to them nobody cares. But, they keep on gushing with another paragraph about transgenderism:
We need to see transgender superheroes in the Marvel and DC universes. We don't mean mutant shapeshifters, gender-ambiguous aliens or magical tricksters. We mean a person assigned the wrong gender at birth, who is either transitioning to their correct gender or has already transitioned. And we don't mean a supporting cast member. We mean a hero.

Young people struggling with gender identity need heroes, just as lesbian, gay and bisexual people need heroes, just as people of all races need heroes. Superhero comics were so slow, so shamefully slow, to accept that LGBT people belong in general audience comics. That has changed at a rapid pace, but the T in LGBT is still in the margins.

Other forms of narrative media haven't been great on this issue, but we're seeing gradual change, supported by the greater visibility achieved by transgender people like Laverne Cox, Lana Wachowski, Chaz Bono, and Janet Mock. Let this be one time that comics actually lead change rather than trailing a decade behind.

Resolution: Let's start with one major trans hero at each major publisher. It's that simple.
If it's truly that important to them, why don't they just erect their own Volkswagen and prove just how inventive they can be? And if they really believe all races need heroes, then why haven't I seen any Portuguese from the Iberian peninsula yet in those kind of roles? I haven't seen any Basque either. In short, I don't buy their claim to dedication one bit. They even write up this retarded insult:
Let's bring Scarlet Witch back to life and have her say, "No more straight white men". We can keep all the ones we already have, but at this point straight white men are so over-represented in superhero comics that we literally do not need any more. Not one. Not a single, solitary one.

This is going to bruise some people's feelings. "You're oppressing us," they'll say, "You're fractionally diminishing the extent to which we are culturally dominant!" That's not what oppression looks like, but how would they know when they've only ever seen it from the other side?

Straight, white and male is the default assumption of an industry that has always been dominated by straight white men. It's a lazy habit that comic creators need to break, so let's go cold turkey.

Resolution: No new straight white male characters in superhero comics in 2014. (And no more time-displaced versions of old ones either.)
Why don't they just come right on out and say being white is abominable, and Jerry Siegel/Joe Shuster were wrong to make Superman white from the very start? And why don't they make any convincing demand for better writing before asking that the medium concern itself to the bitter end with writing up folks of different skin color, which would benefit them better and make it worth the effort? Their continued insults to Scarlet Witch are also as shameful as ever.

And back to LGBT issues, they also call for diversifying the talent pool like this:
These resolutions aren't ordered by importance, but if superhero publishers only make one pledge in 2014, this one matters most; we need more minority creators in the industry. More editors, more pencillers, inkers, colorists and cover artists, and, perhaps most importantly, more writers. If the people making comics are as diverse as their potential audience, the comics they make are more likely to reflect and appeal to that audience.

We've singled out writers for a couple of reasons. First, the industry is heavily focused on writer-led projects. Second, the lack of minorities among writers is especially noticeable. To the best of our knowledge the only non-white writers currently working on any Marvel or DC books are Greg Pak, Francis Manapul and Felipe Smith (and two of those are on books not being published yet). There are no black writers at either company. The only openly LGBT writers that we know of are Marc Andreyko and James Tynion IV (who recently wrote about his bisexuality for the first time). [...]

It takes a pro-active effort to convince people from marginalized groups that they're welcome in any industry where their presence isn't well established. That's hard to understand if you're part of the majority and are used to seeing people like you in the business. People in the majority tend to assume that any effort to extend an invitation to minorities - any action that affirms their welcome - is unfair. In fact it's a fair and equitable corrective to decades of institutional affirmation towards the majority. [...]

Resolution: DC and Marvel need to change the way they think about talent and start actively courting minority creators. They need to show that everyone is welcome by actually welcoming these people in.
Naturally, they don't stop to consider that even minorities don't find the notion of working under severe editorial mandates very appealing. That's just why there simply aren't so many working there now. And if Comics Alliance really wanted minorities working for mainstream companies, which I doubt, they'd be calling for them to find writing talent coming from European countries other than Britain. Yes, language barriers can make it difficult on the surface, but that doesn't mean there aren't writers on the European continent who don't know or haven't learned English. With a little help, they can learn the language and adapt, and work in an industry where their presence really isn't well established. But I guess Comics Alliance just isn't interested in helping decent non-English speaking Europeans find their way into a medium where they might have some good ingredients to offer.

Man, I never thought Comics Alliance could be this crude!

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I'm not surprised by this. Comics Alliance is one of the most politically-correct, hard-left comic sites of any kind. They think "diversity" (which I'm not against, because that would be absurd, but I don't like it when it's forced on the books; to me, it has to occur naturally) is more important than good storytelling? Yeesh. Like a lot of liberals, they're obsessed with quotas and if it doesn't suit their agenda, they throw tantrums and write articles like this.

Sorry for the double post, but I have more to add. If CA thinks diversity is more important than good storytelling, than I'd go so far to suggest that they aren't real comic fans. I hate that term "true fan," but to me, it's appropriate here.

If they really want "diversity," how about some blue collar/working class characters who are not ignorant bigots? How about some southerners who are not inbred, subhuman rednecks? Practicing Christians who are not self-righteous hypocrites? Or some political conservatives who are not greedy warmongers? Veterans who are not whacked-out homicidal maniacs?

They want diversity? Depict a story set in the South without using race.

Until then, all their crap is just progressive agitprop.

Good points, Anonymous (Tom?) and Drizzt. That kind of thinking never occurs to these progressive moonbats, unfortunately, because they think such depictions are "justified."

It would be nice to see Southerners depicted as human beings as opposed to the "Deliverance" stereotype that Hollywood's been perpetuating for years, or Christians who weren't bigots and actually decent beings. And the homicidal veteran with PTSD is another stereotype that bothers me.

Crap like this is a reason why Comics Alliance is an utterly worthless site that adds nothing of value to comic book fandom.

I know a few people down in Florida and they're as far removed from the disgusting "Deliverance" stereotype as one can be.

"Depict the story set in the South without using race."

I agree, Drizzt. They're incapable of doing and always fall back on the tired 1950s and 1960s South cliches, with the KKK lurking around every corner. The KKK is no longer in power, has little influence and they're pretty much shunned by everyone, regardless of political views.

Comics Alliance is nothing but a sleazy internet tabloid.

All they see is "European" or "African", not "Egyptian" or "Belgian".

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