04 October 2009

Biases and Sexism is the Wrong Direction

I have come to the conclusion I have a hate-love relationship with Scott McCloud. One moment I feel like I’m grasping his ideas and I’m feeling confident. Then I come across a chapter that is completely filled with twists and turns with double meanings, and I’m completely lost. Sadly, this past chapter, Big World: The Battle for Diversity, took me for a loop where I couldn’t find the beginning. I re-read the chapter multiple times and I still found it hard to understand where McCloud is going with his gender/ethnicity/genre diversity idea.

To begin with, women in comics aren’t being respected. Regardless of their “raw and underground” ideas, men in the field are being prejudice against women since comics have been apart of the boy’s club (102). Apparently there isn’t enough room for women. Or is there? Despite the demurred image of women during the 40’s, McCloud’s point is women have original ideas that are helpful towards reaching a new audience and the expansion of comics for the future. Tying in with gender equality is minority division; which is also problematic for comics. I found this particular section hard to follow, but what I learned was McCloud establishes that minority comics are tricky for comic writers and artists. Multicultural comics are having a hard time making a place next to popular comics, and it is easy to cross the line and offend other ethnicities. Also, guessing and writing about a different ethnicity other than your own is a bad idea. Next, McCloud discusses genre diversity. Superhero comics have created this bar where it’s become a stereotype that comics are only that. Come to think of it, that is all I thought comics were until I started to read Scott McCloud’s books. It proves that the genre needs to become more diverse where it can attract different audiences, but first we have to relieve comics of the superhero label. How does one do that though? McCloud suggests comics need a clean slate for them to re-surface, and also writers, whom are very talented yet aren’t respected, need to catch the eye of the right audience in order for them to take off.

Another chapter down for Scott McCloud and I can only hope I gets clearer. I doubt it though. I respect McCloud’s relentless attempts at drawing in a varied audience; I just hope comics can have a revolution. McCloud is sensible and he has legitimate answers for all of his questions he is proving. Right now, though, I feel like there should be more than just talk. I would like to see the change in comics, but when will this happen? Like Woody Allen says, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not being very innovative,” is there some truth to that? We will see…


  1. Yes I agree with you I definitely feel like Im grasping his message most of the time then I just become lost. I think its just how he writes. He confuses me. Good Post

  2. Ha!

    Good post, Lynnae; and good quote, too! This really will be the last time you have to read any McCloud. But the library does have Reinventing Comics :-)

    With 8 years since this book, though, things really have changed--if only subtly--you just have to know where to look!