04 October 2009

Comics for all genders, race and styles?

In this reading from Scott McCloud, he covers three of the twelve revolutions. The three revolutions that he covers have to do with Gender Balance, Minority Representation and Diversity of Genre. McCloud says that these three things go hand in hand and are created from the same idea. This idea is that comics could really have great potential if these three revolutions were considered while writing comics.
The first one that McCloud talks about is Gender Balance. McCloud says that, “the history of gender imbalance in comics is one of the most striking examples of comics’ squandered potential.” Women didn't really get any kind of recognition until the men were called out to war, but as soon as World War II ended women got “booted back in to the kitchen.” They were no longer reading or writing comics. Now there were some women who were writing, but they were “creating works that were raw, emotionally honest, politically charged and sexually frank.” Even though women writers hit a rut for a while, they have started to make a comeback, they are still a minority, but there writing is in lots of different styles.
The second revolution that McCloud talks about is Minority Representation. McCloud discusses that minority representation is different than gender balance because he says that a male will without engaging persons of color in conversation, or encountering someone who is openly gay, or moving outside their own language. Even when outwardly visible prejudices are lessened, ignorance can still remain.” Today, the diversity issue is getting better, but it is still hard for creators to write about something they may have no idea about. If a white, middle-class male writes about an African American/Hispanic, poor male they really don’t have a clue how to portray the correct ideas and they may give a false impression to those who read their comics. The diversity representation is getting better, but it still has a long way to go before it comes to its full potential, according to McCloud.
The third revolution that McCloud discusses encompasses the last two talked about above. It deals with Diversity of genre. McCloud states that “the push for diversity of genre is the push for comics to achieve excellence in many different genres.” The reason for this push in different genres will help the minority representation and the gender balance because by having different genres, different people will read many different things. At least that is what McCloud is hoping for. McCloud talks about how if he brought together 1,000 authors, her would be able to get 1,000 different ideas or styles of writing. The thing is, is that even if you get those different styles, some are definitely going to have the same theme and some are going to sell much better than others. So, most likely only one genre will be produced creating the same thing that we have now with the diversity of genre.
Each of these revolutions do go hand in hand in creating a great comic, but the question is: Are they really all going to be applied to the creation of comics? I think that in a way, comics are achieving, at a very small level these three very important revolutions. Even if I take our class for example, how many of us read comics, or even really knew about the different genres of comic books? If I remember correctly there were only like one or two people who really read comics and knew what comics could offer. So out of our 25 students, 23 of us now have a better idea of comics. Some of us being a minority, some the majority, some of us with different ethnicity and some of us middle-class or pour. So, just in our class we are helping comics by reading different types of comics and trying to get the Superhero look of comics not as dominant. I am actually interested to read different comics that have nothing to do with comics. McCloud creates a very good point and I think that his points are valid and are coming into their own in this day and age.

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Scottie, but proofread for clarity a bit closer.