05 October 2009

Diversity of Comics

Reinventing Comics “Big World The Battle For Diversity” is about the three revolutions that are centralized around Diversity. The three revolutions are Gender Balance, Minority Representation, and Diversity of Genre.
McCloud first addresses the seventh revolution, gender balance. Gender imbalance was considered wasted potential in comics. Women making comics were considered unusual, because it was a male dominated world. Women had made modest gains in comics during the labor shortages of World War II, but as the 1950’s approached women were given the boot “back to the kitchen”. In the late nineteen sixties traditional girl comics was dying and the same young artists had to find or make there own markets to be heard. So women created works that “were raw, emotionally honest, politically charged and sexually frank”.
Next McCloud talks about minority representation. McCloud discusses how this revolution “is vitally linked to the experiences of the owner of the hand that holds the pen”. Scott McCloud gives an example of how a white writer should not write a black character, because it would be overly broad. It would be more reasonable to have a white writer to write about a white character. When writing about a social or physical difference, members of that minority will have an advantage of portraying it. McCloud also says that in the mid seventies, skin color was a popular subject. White writers and artists strove to give voice to the African-American concerns with predictably mixed results. White writers began to create black superheroes, but they didn’t know how to present them in a positive way without draining their subjects of their humanity.
Lastly McCloud talks about the ninth revolution, Diversity of Genre. McCloud says that the Diversity of Genre is a key result of Gender Balance and Minority Representation, and confronts the same obstacles. McCloud talks about how super hero comics were the only type of genre that was popular and made sales. But in recent years things have gotten a little better and more genres are being created. McCloud also explains how comic book shops only had so many shelves and that they only could hold so many comics. So by choice the seller is going to stock up on the books that are in demand, for example the superhero comics. Sellers aren’t going to bother selling romance comics if superhero comics sell faster and more people want it. That’s part of the reason why we are so reduced to one single genre. Scott McCloud believes that with more genres it will draw more diverse readers to comics.
I found this reading very difficult to read. I had to read it several times in order to get the main points. But I do agree with Scott McCloud because with more genres I believe more people will read comics. I think when people think of comics they think of superheroes only. So we kind of reduce comics to a single genre. I think these three revolutions would definitely help to enhance the potential growth of comics.


  1. Kahoku, very good summary of the chapter. I found it confusing to read this particular chapter, but you seemed to understand it well. I agree that we see comics only being about Superheros because I honestly thought that for a while. Only after reading Scott McCloud I found out there was much more to them. I hope comics are able to broaden it's genre so everyone can enjoy them without the stereotype.

  2. I liked this reading and I didnt have a hard time reading it...I thought it was better then 12 revolutions...

  3. Good post, Kahoku. I agree with Lynnae; your summary is excellent. You just might want to proofread for clarity and awkward phrasing a bit :-)