I thought about this when I left Nigeria to go to university in the United States. I was 19. My American roommate was shocked by me. She asked where I had learned to speak English so well, and was confused when I said that Nigeria happened to have English as its official language. She asked if she could listen to what she called my “tribal music” and was consequently disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey. She assumed that I did not know how to use a stove.
What struck me was this: she had felt sorry for me even before she saw me. Her default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa, a single story of catastrophe. In this single story there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.
[…] I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called American Psycho and that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.
Now— now, obviously I said this in a fit of mild irritation, but it would never have occurred to me to think that just because I had read a novel in which a character was a serial killer, that somehow he was representative of all Americans. Now, this is not because I am a better person than that student, but because of America’s cultural and economic power, I had many stories of America. I had read Tyler and Updike and Steinbeck and Gaitskill. I did not have a single story of America.
“I’ll say this: if the comic industry never created another young white male super hero, we’d be okay. Not that I have anything against them, but I don’t think the overabundance of them reflect[s] the world we live in… I don’t think there are inherently different types of stories that are told because there are black or Japanese or Mexican super heroes fight[ing] alongside Robin and Wondergirl.
Over the years I’ve shared in the creation of a handful of super heroes that have been “diverse”… Skin, Mondo, Cecilia Reyes, Synch, the unfortunately named Maggot, Noir over in Wildcats, Puck’s daughter, Centennial and M to name a few. Do I do it on purpose? Honestly, yes… because I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to pick up a comic book and not see “yourself” reflected on the pages.
At Marvel I used to argue you can’t have a team sub-titled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and then have no people of color represented. “Really? Seven billion people on the planet and you can’t find one of them that isn’t white to put on a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? On Earth. On all of earth?” One editor even told me “Vision is red!” Seriously.”—
Scott Lobdell, who will be writing the new Teen Titans, Superboy, and Red Hood and the Outlaws. He also announced that the fourth member of the Outlaws (as yet unsolicited, potentially a new character) will be black. (via itsinthetrees)
You know what’s most telling about this list of characters? Skin, Mondo, Dr. Reyes, Synch and Maggot are all dead :| And I could make a case for at least three of them being fridged for no good reason.
[image description: an illustration of Sam Winchester, bent over a sink in extreme manpain, splashing his face with water. Above him is a speech balloon with the words “NONONONONONO-” as he tries to wash away the wtfery. He is dressed in a spotted brown jacket and jeans]
I don’t even like Supernatural but this art and this humour is WHAT I TOTALLY LOVE SO MUCH ABOUT FANDOM AND FANART and I wish the canon of this show was actually as adorable (for me) as fandom like this makes it out to be. *happy*
Also, how does one tell a fanartist (who is a stranger and not a friend) that they undercharge for their commissions and I REALLY WANT THEM TO CHARGE FAIRLY BECAUSE THEY ARE ONLY PUNISHING THEMSELVES. Arrrgh why must the best fanartists have the most severe self-deprecation/imposter syndrome.
Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
WTF is this, the 1990’s? I’m having flashbacks of over-done costume accessories and extraneous pouches stretched over too many muscles…
MURDOCH MYSTERIES: CURSE OF THE LAST PHARAOHS FIRST GIVEAWAY! Every first Tuesday of the month (for the next four months), we will be hosting a fantastic giveaway for fans of the new Murdoch Mysteries webseries: Curse of the Lost Pharaohs – a peak into Constable George Crabtree’s diary.
Win a copy of the screenplay for the first ever episode of Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, signed by writer Patrick Tarr and Yannick Bisson (Inspector Murdoch.)
I’m suddenly in $500+ debt basically because of my inability to sublease my room for full rent during this summer (UGH). Combine that with my unstoppable lust for shopping and the subsequent mountain of pretty clothes in my too small closet == I opened a tumblr shop! Go go go, there’s a little…