The Color of Comics
Derek is back at Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, and this month he and the customers are discussing ethnoracial issues as they relate to comics. Since this is Black History Month, the guys thought that they’d take the opportunity to look at a few African American comics (however you choose to define that term) and how race and diversity has become part of the comics’ historical tapestry. They mention a variety of specific titles — Craig came prepared with his copies of The Harlem Hellfighters, March: Book One, and the collection Strange Fruit — several key creators, such as Kyle Baker and Ho Che Anderson, and the attempts (at times pathetic) of mainstream publishers to diversify their titles’ rosters. Derek and the guys also spend a good deal of time talking about broader ethnic issues in comics, including stereotyping, the responsibilities of representation, and author subject position. The result is an all-too-brief, tip-of-the-iceberg effort to address one of the medium’s most complicated (and complicating) features, but it’s a conversation well worth having.