31 March 2011

Equality in Comics?

Scott McCloud’s chapter Big World the Battle for Diversity from his book, Reinventing Comics, concentrates on three of the twelve revolutions. These revolutions in comics are gender balance, minority representation, and diversity of genre. First, McCloud discusses females in the comic world. He claims, “The history of gender imbalance in comics is one of the most striking examples of comic’s squandered potential” (100). It is difficult for females to break out into the comic industry, and they usually work way more and harder than everyone else. What many do not know is that females have been a part of comics for a long time, but they were not mainstream. For example, women created comics during the 50s when the men went to fight in World War II. McCloud believes that in order to achieve gender balance there must be more female comic creators, more comics read by females, and more female comic characters. Second, McCloud discusses ethnicity, class, religion, and sexual orientation. McCloud claims, “Clearly it’s foolish to say that no member of one “group” should ever write about another. Fiction positively requires us to venture beyond the world of our experiences” (106). Most creators and characters in comics are white males. Writing about other ethnicity's or sexual orientation’s is not common because the creator does not have appropriate credibility and experience. Minority representation is in worse shape than gender balance. Third, McCloud discusses the over popularity of superhero comics over other genres. Crime fiction comics have outstanding work, but they just do not gain market presence. Romance comics face hostile market presence and have a difficult time to reach the audience. The impact World War II made on comics is still going strong. Since then, superhero comics remain the dominate genre. Also, the sales in superhero comics are higher than any other genre, which keeps them popular to the public. McCloud claims, “A conscious examination of these tendencies can help artists break out of their box, but the greatest progress will come from the same sources it always has; the individuals efforts of artists with a vision too strong to be contained” (124). A solution for the diversity of genre in comics will be up to the creators and artists solve.

I very much enjoyed reading this chapter. Realizing how much discrimination against genders and prejudice towards other ethnicity's are involved in comics is just shocking! As a female, I consider it extremely offensive for women to not be given equal rights as men in the comic work place. World War II portrays that females are fully capable being creatively successful in the comic industry. Seeing more color in comics would be more appealing, there are just as much people of color than average white males in the world. I truthfully feel that solving diversity of genre is too far in the future, I once had this perception that comics and superhero’s go together. So, when comics can expect other one for who they are, then maybe the public will openly welcome comics a whole lot more.

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