Vincent S. Moore Presents:
Separate And Unequal
Welcome, one and all, to the first Omnium Gatherum column for 2010!
Hopefully all of you ended your 2009 wonderfully and are starting this new year off with a bang.
Comics Waiting Room has seen its shadow and has decided to end its winter nap. Just in time to find the comics world a’buzzing with news and views and topics galore to explore.
Now if readers of the Omnium Gatherum thought the time off did plenty to settle my occasionally restless and dissatisfied mind, well, I have just to disappoint them by getting back into the groove by upsetting a few apple carts.
In the last few weeks, there have been a number of announcements that have made the day of many a female comics fan. Whether it’s Marvel’s Girl Comics anthology or the return of Gail Simone to Birds of Prey or the launch of a Black Widow regular series, it is most definitely looking as if the 21st century is indeed the Century of Women.
However, if you happen to be a fan of color--female and, more importantly to this writer, male--you are on the outside looking in.
It’s almost as if the consolation prize for Hillary Clinton’s failure to win the Presidency of the United States was for her sistren to dominate the pop cultural landscape. Meanwhile, it appears that having Barack Obama as the first African-American president is allowing those folks that shape pop culture to slink off into the night without either taking advantage of having a popular black face to light their way or to even bother pushing for more concepts that feature people of color.
What a way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day!
But I guess this is to be expected.
After all, this is America.
This is a place where the spotlight is earned after much hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.
So what if the percentage of books published by The Big Two featuring superheroines exceeds the percentage of female fans. That’s to be expected. After all, through their collective electronic whining and nagging, the fangirls have earned those very books. After all, it’s the age of women, hear them roar.
Meanwhile, the number of books featuring lead characters of color is zero. Even T’Challa got booted from his own book, in favor of his sister taking his place and mantle. But I guess that’s okay. There are so many other places a black man such as myself can go to read about heroes who look like me. There are tons of science fiction novels and video games and movies.
Oh, yeah, there aren’t any such things.
Or if such black additions to pop culture, to superheroes and science fiction and fantasy are out there, one has to dig and scratch and hunt high and low.
And that’s okay.
Because it’s not like the African-American community has money to spend or is an audience much sought after by advertisers and movie studios. We have Oprah and Tyler Perry and such wonderful pieces of cinema like Precious. That should be more than enough.
Well, for this writer, that isn’t enough. Sistah girl books and church lady films just ain’t enough for this man.
So I’m throwing the gauntlet down right here and right now.
The year of 2010 is my year to find out more about the emerging--some would say burgeoning--black age of comics.
I don’t know what I will find.
I don’t know if I will find what I seek. Or if it will be any good or simply good enough. No, not good enough. If the comics industry has taught me any lessons, then it’s that there is no room for good enough. To be the best means to strive for more than what others are willing to settle for.
And over the course of this year I will share with you readers what I find, good, bad, and ugly.
For it’s time to end the idea of separate and unequal in the world of pop culture and comics.
And I can’t think of a better time to get started.
Copyright 2006- 2010 Marc Mason/Comics Waiting Room. All rights reserved