Diversity & Comics is a fantastic youtube channel which has reignited my enthusiasm for comic books. The host of Diversity & Comics hasn’t, to my knowledge shared his name, so I’m just going to call him D&C Host, because that seems to be the most succinct way to handle the situation. Anyway,D&C Host has highlighted a lot of his issues with present day Marvel Comics. The crux of his issue is surface level diversity. He has demonstrated that many of the supposedly diverse characters are flat, token characters who happened to not be white or male.
I have been working on a children’s book titled Superheroes Get Hungry, Too. It features a colorful cast of (legitimately) diverse superheroes from all around the world. Half of the superheroes in my book are female, the other half her male, and there is a cat who turns into a catman for good measure. I want this book to be fun and exciting like the old comic books I used to read. I had a stash of my dad’s comics from the 80s and I would pick up comics in the mid-90s from convenience stores. I love those old books. They were simple and fun and exciting. I even got a bunch of graphic novels of this “Onslaught” story arc that reached across the whole Marvel Universe and had a lot of interesting things happening in it. Reading all these fun stories in trade paper back really helped me improve my vocabulary because I was reading it when I was somewhere between 8 and 10.
In watching D&C Host’s videos, I have seen that Modern Marvel is actually just utilizing caricatures of diverse individuals and it feels to me like a shameless, insincere money grab.
I happen to not be white. I grew up around a bunch of people who happened to not be white. I, at one point, lived with a black family. While I do not think that America is a terribly racist country, I would like to see more authentic representation of non-white people in media of all kinds. It feels right to me and it feels good for that to be a goal or eventual reality, because the world is not solely populated by white people.
I have spent hours researching different cultures and different places around the world in order to accurately represent the characters of varying ethnicities in my book. I actively enjoy learning about other cultures because different cultures, much like different people, are a result of the different experiences and natural inclinations of the people in distinct areas through time. Those differences are fascinating to me and approaching them with an open mind can be of great benefit to an individual, no matter origin or identity.