I had the privilege of being one of the fifty voices included in Molly's excellent feature at Brooklyn Magazine (the interview for which inspired my last post), and it's a must-read for everyone in publishing. It left me with mixed emotions, no less frustrated with the industry and still vaguely optimistic that real change is on the horizon. Maybe. Go read it and share it widely.
If you're white and work in publishing, the path to creating a more diverse industry that represents the real world is actually a lot clearer than it is for those who are underrepresented. You're the default; you have access and influence and the ability to drive change from the inside. And thankfully, I know many who are doing exactly that and I appreciate their efforts. But what about the rest of us? How can we help drive change in this industry we care so much about, despite it so often not caring all that much about us?
Thankfully, it sounds like Milestone isn't planning to place all their chips on comics alone because I doubt they'll find much success in the core comics market. But as part of a broader distribution and media strategy that will hopefully include original graphic novels, webcomics, animation, and, eventually, live-action TV and/or movies and video games, I'm excited about the possibilities.
Having our own kids growing up around a relatively diverse group of kids was an important factor for us when we left the Bronx nearly four years ago, and while we technically found what we were looking for, what we didn't account for was the overwhelmingly white staff that would be teaching them.
In light of Marvel and DC's continued inability to introduce new superheroes with diverse backgrounds, a full generation after everyone wanted to "be like Mike" and Will Smith became a bankable leading man, what does the furor over Morales say about the state of comics and their place within pop culture?