A great article, and any time I hear a thing about Chabon working in Casanova-land I do a little twitch in my seat in excitement.
There’ve been no other comics about sex because something something superhero comics…? Ridiculous, but people have to sell their comics, I guess— I’m not really a marketing person so I don’t really know how that works. But at what point do we get to talk about comics without pretending (a) that anyone making a nice comic is Dorflar the Three-Eyed Wonder-Mutant and (b) defining all other comics as just the shitty ones?? Why is that the weird mythology of comics that people are so insistent upon? Is it because, like, people got raised on Batman… he can’t just be writing a nice comic— he has to be Batman? Sex Batman? (It’d be less weird if your Sex Batman had a little more hesitation about writing Maria Hill rape-comics but… pobody’s nerfect, I guess).
There have been lots of comics about sex (even if you don’t count manga)(I don’t know why you’re not allowed, but). Some of them have been better than Sex Criminals. More of them have been arguably much worse— I’d definitely rather read Sex Criminals than all the Broken Guy sex-comics. But “There’s never been this sort of comic book"—?? I don’t know. I’m just not a marketing guy. I still like comics because I think they have a history, though, so that "it needs saving" myth doesn’t find purchase with me like it probably does with most people. I am looking forward to Chabon, too, though!
(Also, entirely separately but since I’m taking a while getting my morning going: this whole saying I keep hearing in connection to the “there are too many rape threats in comics" conversation— which is a delightful subject— there’s this weird thing people keep saying over, "We ALL have to do better." Where did that come from? It’s a nice sentiment— I don’t want to crap on the sentiment. I think it’s great that rape threats got their own Smokey D. Bear motto, but it’s just more interesting to me how these little lines dig into people’s skulls and go viral like that. I’m probably the only one who finds that interesting because everyone else is probably, like, paying attention to the rape threats, whereas I’m obviously not a very good person. Sayings are interesting though!).
Watch: ‘SNL' - Blue River Dog Food
Cecily Strong, everybody.
Hey, Brian. I'm an aspiring writer, and I have this complex about being a person of color trying to break into comics. I know I'm probably making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but it's kind of disheartening to see gatherings of creators and to notice the lack of color. Am I worrying for nothing? I tend to over analyze things, so this has been bugging me more than it probably should. I apologize in advance if this question is stupid, annoying, or has been asked before.
I am not a person of color but I am the father of a multiracial household and I’m Hypery aware of the world we live in in this regard. but I truly believe that there is nothing standing in your way of making your dreams as a creative person come true. It’s between you and your talent.
truthfully most of us don’t even know what each other looks like. all anybody cares about is the quality of each other’s work.
do not put things in front of you to stop yourself from making your dreams come true. do not. people do this all the time and I truly believe it’s the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.
stop rejecting yourself before the rejection comes. and if rejection comes, and it will, don’t make it about anything but your work.
Bendis has a good point here, with the idea that you shouldn’t put things in front of you and that you need to hone your craft and focus on you.
But for really real, speaking as a black man who has worked in and around comics for a while now: race matters. You’ll have to live with people treating you like their ____ friend. You’ll have to deal with people pulling you aside to show their bonafides or dropping your name as some type of proof they or someone else isn’t racist. You’ll have to deal with rarely being able to call a spade a spade without being painted as angry or sensitive. You’ll have to deal with all the usual stuff you have to deal with as a person of color, but comics is a relatively small world even now, so pushing back a little—”You need to stop talking to me about this”—makes people feel some type of way about you.
I’m real careful who I associate with in comics for these reasons. I don’t like barcon because I know somebody’s gonna say something stupid. I’ve been going to several cons a year since 2007, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m batting a thousand when it comes to people saying idiotic or messed up or banal racial stuff to me because I’m The Black Guy. My friends got the same story. I know women that comics boys have said garbage things to, I know professionals who have repeatedly called other folks out of their name and shrugged and smiled about it.
Comics is not a special oasis of no barriers and complete freedom. Comics is American society, and chances are good that you already know how it works.
For me, the trick ended up gathering a comics family that is wild diverse. I didn’t do it intentionally, I’m not trying to catch Pokémon out here, but real recognizes real, and I’ve gravitated to people who aren’t just the current guard in comics. My wolf pack is crucial to keeping me interested in and happy with comics.
None of this is your fault, none of this anything you should have to deal with. But as a person of color, you’re already dealing with it. You’re not overthinking it. You’re not pre-rejecting. You’re protecting yourself. You recognized a problem and you’re looking for ways to deal it. You’re on the right track, and you can beat it. You’ll find a way to beat it. You’ll find your family, and together you’ll steamroll through the nonsense.
and no shots, but it’s never just about the work if you’re anything but a white guy. That’s not how life works. Some people can’t network like white dudes in comics if they’re seen as Other, or an Anomaly, and networking is a big part of how you get gigs.
Ryu from Street Fighter vs. Jesse from Breaking Bad.
Forgot to animate Jesse crying, at the end.
What three movies are you most looking forward to for the remainder of 2014?
1. Boyhood, the Richard Linklater coming-of-age movie he’s been filming with the same cast since 2002. I really like that Linklater has dedicated himself to making formally ambitious, small scale films and not School of Rock-style crowd pleasers.
2. Interstellar, the Christopher Nolan time/space travel movie. I don’t really know anything about this other than the genre and that Matthew McConaughey gives this monologue and I couldn’t be more excited for it. I’m also happy that Nolan isn’t going to spend more time trying to rein in Zack Snyder.
3. Inherent Vice, the Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon detective novel of the same name. Anderson has been on the insane winning streak since Punch-Drunk Love and I think his Jackie Brown will be amazing.