24 June 2009

Diversity, Minorities and Genres.....Yeah

In Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics he discusses the seventh, eighth and ninth revolution. They include gender balance, minority representation and diversity of genre. McCloud emphasis, that in order to make comic a popular item, artist and publishing companies need to “expand the boundaries of the medium in all directions” (96).

McCloud is making a statement that a gender balance is necessary. If there were a more common or popular female comic it might attract a new group of readers, women. In the history of comics, they were targeted towards young male audience. As we learned in the “Watchmen” the young man eventually becomes a police officer and reads the comic of the young male population for enjoyment. Although it seems that he is interacting with the youth he really is reading the comic because of his interest. McCloud does in fact talk about how there were female artist that created comics for women however they had to take the “back seat” of the comics that were more popular and geared toward men. I believe that if comics were more feminine they would reach an audience of women. It is also possible that if the exploitation on women was eliminated from some comics it would be a success. Some comics portray women as sexual objects and yes, sex sells, but as it degrades women they are more like to not read it.

The eighth revolutionary of minority representation is also a factor to how successful a comic becomes. In the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s there were race issues and that lead publishers to stray away from incorporating minorities into their revolution. As I see it although segregation was a difficult era and time were hard if the publishers would have tried to incorporate all minorities into their comics it might have been a great success. I would have given people of all minorities a chance to laugh and take an interest that might have continued on with them to adulthood. If comic artist would have a variety that reaches different ages, ethnicities, races, religions, class, and sexual orientation to name a few, would really engage more readers because the comic is reaching out to everyone without discrimination. It would reach a larger variety merely because the artist wants to share his/her creativity and love of drawing and creating comics. I think being a new era and the fact that we now have an African American President, and anything is possible, the comic artist that invents a new superhero of minority descent will help flourish the audience and business of comics.

The ninth revolution that McCloud discusses is the diversity of genres. Having a diverse genre could only make things for comics better. Audiences like a variety of reading if there were more romance comics that could attract the female audience, cartoon comics already attract the children with Pokémon and Dragon balls. Superhero’s well that targets people of all ages and the list can o on and on. There are many things that comic artists can create if only the publishers would not set restrictions on what they can and can’t do while creating their art. After all McCloud emphasis that comics are a form of art. I agree with the seven revolutions that he has talked about in Big World: The Battle for Diversity. If incorporating these three revolutionaries could benefit the audience of comic readers why has it not been done.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent post, Caroline. It does seem you started to lose steam towards the end ;-) That last question you pose, however, is exactly what's at the heart of McCloud's book. Why haven't these things been accomplished? Also, way to hit on the topic of the "degradation of women in comics." That's a big one...