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Thursday, March 04, 2021 

Does artist Sanford Greene approve of ideologues?

WLTX in South Carolina interviewed artist Sanford Greene, whom they say is paving a path for Black heroes in comicdom. But if the following is correct, he's also, in a way, paving a path for certain leftist ideologues:
Greene's current project is a monster-hunting comic book set in the Harlem Renaissance, titled "Bitter Root." The continuing series was first published in 2018.

In 2020, Greene and writers Chuck Brown and David Walker, were honored with an Eisner Award for "Best Ongoing Series" for "Bitter Root."

The achievement is considered the equivalent of winning a Pulitzer Prize for literature or an Academy Award for the film.
That he's working with Walker, the leftist who made vile statements nearly a decade ago when Axel Alonso was EIC for Marvel and allowed many people under their employ to run rampant at the expense of their reputation, is troubling. Same if Bitter Root is a politically motivated product built on one-sided ideology. On which note, wouldn't you know it, this story is being adapted for the silver screen:
Now, it's all come full circle for the "Bitter Root" team.

Their graphic novel will soon make its way to the big screen, signed by Ryan Coogler, director of the "Black Panther" film. Greene says Coogler owns the right to the "Bitter Root" film.

Greene says this an example of artists feeding off the energy of inspiration.

It's also a nod to why representation matters, seeing Black heroes on the big screen and in comics.

"That's why the inclusion and diversity and all those things matter so much because it's the very thing that's going to spark not only conversations, but it's going to spark innovation."

The comic was created by an all-black team and features mostly black characters. The Washington Post says it embraces "the black artistic creativity of the Harlem Renaissance but also recognizing the racism of the time."

Greene understands and values the weight this kind of story carries.

"We're not doing this because we're angry black men," he said. "We're doing this because, one, it's our truth, but it's a truth in general. This is history that we're using in this. Stuff that people, in general, don't really know a lot about. We're just using it as a backdrop to move this fantastical story along the way as well."
But Walker for one sure sounds like he fits the description of angry, based on his past stories like Occupy Avengers, along with his revolting attitude in past years online. And if people in general don't know about the racism of the early 20th century, has it ever occurred this is because education curriculum in general is very poor? Come to think of it, does Greene think it's right-wingers who don't know? He doesn't improve with the following:
Greene acknowledged the lack of people of color in his industry, but said progress had been made. "It's starting to be very diverse, a lot more than my generation," Greene said. "And definitely anyone before me."
This too is superficial and ambiguous, as it obscures accomplished artists and writers like Ron Wilson, M.D. Bright and Christopher Priest. If you know where to look, you'll find them, yet Greene is making this into a laughable situation again, by failing to acknowledge veterans on the one hand, and apparently dismissing the vitality of merit on the other.
He wants his work to open doors for more artists and storytellers. "The baton is in our hand," Greene said. "We're running with it now. It's up to us, to you know, keep moving it forward."
If he's not willing to open doors for right-wingers, or even Bulgarians, then he fails to convince. However, he may be getting somewhere with the following:
Greene also spoke about the importance of creating characters of color, and said he wants his characters to be roles that people can connect with and have conversations around. "We see you," he said. "We know that this is something that means a lot. It means a lot to us. So if it means a lot to us, we know this is going to mean something to you as well."
This itself is something I can get behind. But the mainstream are failing miserably at following this advice, and would rather shoehorn new characters into an established role with a costume at the expense of the old character, souring whatever entertainment value it might have otherwise. Biggest problem has to be that the superhero roles proper are all that really matter to the mainstream at this point. Exactly why it's better to stick with the indies. But if they're politically motivated, as Bitter Root may be, that's when they falter. Yet that could suggest why it got chosen for movie material. If the whole goal was to produce a story in hopes it'd be adapted the following day, that's hardly the best example to set. Even novels can be undermined by such an approach.

And I wish Greene wouldn't associate with ideologues like Walker. Stories written by people with rabid politics diminish the chances of their stories having any meaning to a wider audience.

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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.
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