Monday, April 30, 2007

White comic book artist Shaenon speaks on the annoyingness of white conservatives writing black folk:

I'm not racist! I drew a black friend! The protagonist of Day by Day is African-American, mainly so that Muir can use him as a mouthpiece for his opposition to civil rights. Here, for example, he's offended that Hillary Clinton talks to black people about black issues. After all, only rich white liberals care about racial equality; black people have totally gotten over it. Take it from a fictional black man drawn by a white cartoonist.

I'm not saying that white cartoonists shouldn't draw minority characters; on the contrary, I'd like to see more diversity in comics, and it gets boring drawing white people all the time. But using a black character specifically to advance political views with which most black people not currently serving as Secretary of State violently disagree seems...I dunno, a little disingenuous. In fact, I find it faintly ironic that Muir would accuse Clinton of donning political blackface, when the main character in his strip is essentially a blackface version of Chris Muir.

Between this strip and Scott Stantis' Prickly City, I think there are now more black Republicans in conservative comics than there are in the actual Republican Party.

You know on the tcj board, there is one guy who has a long series of posts on writing a black superhero. While I'm not miss kumbaya, I don't see color, I'm just like take a character, put him or her in their environment- did this person come from the suburbs? The city? What sort of personality does this person have? Are they believing in the dominant ideology, or do they have their own ideology? (Note: black people have many different ideologies which are not all expressed on BET. Maybe you could say, talk to a black person or a book by a black person.) Are they afrocentric? Are they feminists? What is their worldview and their way of relating to the world? How did it get that way? What ethnic group are they from?(by this I mean, an Ibo person from Nigeria, a Dominican and some black dude from Chicago, not all the same!) Also, class is important, as well as skin color. Is she a black woman who has always been teased for having darker skin than other folk? Did he go to Jack and Jill as a kid? There's no template for making a black character. You just have to think about it case by case I guess. Just maybe you could do some research and make your character believable.


Post a Comment

<< Home