« Home | Gene Ha's anti-Trump tweets » | A webcomic based on Overwatch sets up a character ... » | "Love is Love" anthology features stories by Meltz... » | Why does it matter that WW defeated fellow crimefi... » | A columnist who belittled women's physique suppose... » | Are these creators qualified to speak in defense o... » | Gal Gadot's mad at the UN for slut-shaming WW » | Both Comics Beat and Jason Latour are perpetuating... » | NY Review of Books looks at an early mangaka's his... » | Marz whines about the entrance of Trump to the Ova... » 

Friday, December 30, 2016 

Stereotypes of campus figures in science tales

The Times Higher Education site wrote about some examples of how minorities are portrayed in past storylines at universities, but don't pay much attention to anything outside of academia:
Given that “masses of young people have consumed repeated messages about higher education from comic books since the 1930s”, the paper also examined some of the assumptions and absences.

For instance, the authors found only three female professors in their whole sample, and none fares particularly well.

One is mauled and killed by Dracula on the very first page of the comic in which she appears. Another is “bullied by students about her looks” and, unconscious after an accident, “given a physical transformation without her consent by Supergirl’s under-the-sea Atlantean friends”. A third is accidentally blinded after being taken “into space to witness an astronomical event for her research” and explodes into “an intense, sustained, exaggerated and irrational fury” revealed through “distorted facial features”.

Two of the three “men of colour” the authors discovered in their sample comics are also “harmed” in some way. All are also relatively light-skinned and foreigners in the US: a Japanese professor in the 1940s, a Latino professor in the 1970s and a Brazilian professor in the 1990s.
I'll admit those don't sound like good examples of representation for guests and co-stars. But if they need great examples of women or people of different skin color in prominent jobs, Jean Loring as a lawyer and Black Lightning as a school teacher are pretty close. Why, in fact, what about Black Panther, established decades ago as a guy who'd been educated at the best of universities and later came back to his fictional homeland of Wakanda to make it one of the most advanced lands around?

In fact, what if the crafters of the study paper cited didn't do as much research as they could've? What if there's some non-superhero comics out there from smaller publishers they never bothered to look up? I'm sure there's some early examples from places like Dark Horse that were never included in the study. And if not, their research is a joke courtesy of what it leaves out.
Completely absent are “Americans of colour portrayed as academics”. The Brazilian, moreover, is shown as “an untrustworthy figure” who reduces a student to tears, presenting a “stark contrast with the predominantly saintly if sometimes affectionately mishap-prone portrayals of white, male professors”.

Such comics, reflects Dr Reynolds, “over-exaggerate the dominance of white men. That can be quite dangerous and is perhaps part of why women and minorities get more pushback in real life.”
Oh please! This leaves out white mad scientist types like Doctor Octopus who were far from being depicted affectionately. Even Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin wasn't portrayed very flatteringly by the Bronze Age when he murdered Gwen Stacy. There was even an early example in Batman called Doctor Death, who debuted a few issues in. But if it's somebody with the title of "professor" they're really looking for, how about Miles Warren from the Spider-Man books, who became the Jackal and cloned both Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker in 1975, and tried to set a bad trap for the latter? How come he doesn't figure into this?

Still, if "pushback" is such a concern to them, how come we don't see them bringing up loathsome products like Identity Crisis, which featured quite a bit of girl-bashing? Even the 2nd Mr. Terrific, who's black, may have fared badly in that disgusting story. And they don't dig very deep to find those stories, which do make for very challenging subjects? As a result, this sounds to me like just another joke research topic coming from universities that aren't particularly interested in showing they're capable of looking in the most ideal places for details to analyze. No wonder academia's suffering from such a lack of intelligence.

Labels: , , , ,

Wanna bet they deliberately discounted superheroes, supervillains, and their supporting casts so they could try to have more accurate data in other comic magazine genres?

So when they say sample, does it mean every single issue from each title selected or just a few random issues from each title selected in equal amounts (like five issues per title for example)?

Post a Comment

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile



  • avigreen2002@yahoo.com
  • Fansites I Created

  • Hawkfan
  • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
  • The Outer Observatory
  • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
  • The Co-Stars Primer
  • Realtime Website Traffic

    Comic book websites (open menu)

    Comic book weblogs (open menu)

    Writers and Artists (open menu)

    Video commentators (open menu)

    Miscellanous links (open menu)

  • W3 Counter stats
  • Bio Link page
  • blog directory Bloggeries Blog Directory View My Stats Blog Directory & Search engine eXTReMe Tracker Locations of visitors to this page  
    Flag Counter

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

The Four Color Media Monitor is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.