Not only do DC and Marvel not have a single Black writer currently writing a monthly (as in not a mini-series or tie-in series) comic book series, but apparently Marvel hasn’t had a Black writer on a monthly series since 2009 (Something I had no clue of and that’s… not good at all if that’s true.)
How do you do that?
I know the first thing out of everyone’s mouth is “talent” and I’m not sure how suggesting that Black people aren’t talented enough to hold a monthly series at DC/Marvel is supposed to make anyone feel better, but the quote and accompanying blurb at the link also mention that (and I quote): “With Dark Horse Presents, Dark Horse has paid more black people in comics in the last year or so than DC and Marvel have done in many, many years.”
Am I really supposed to believe that “talent” is the only thing keeping Black writers from working in the Big Two on monthly series (as the comments on that little snippet say on repeat)? Am I supposed to believe that Black writers aren’t trying to get their foot in the door with these companies?
I mean it’s not as though IDW, Image, and Dark Horse are rolling in Black creative bodies, but I’m shocked at the way people responded to this quote (and to the original article).
How can anyone hear the sentiment that Marvel hasn’t had a Black writer doing a regular monthly issue in several years and follow that up with “Maybe the industry just can’t find someone who’s black that has talent” like I see every time something like this is brought up.
It’s not about talent.
Or rather, it’s not just about talent.
It’s about the fact that the comic book industry does not actually have a history of being super welcoming to POC and how even at the end of 2012, we were still hearing from people who work in/around the comic book industry who have accounts of experiencing racism in the workplace from unnamed higher-ups.
And more people really need to dissect why these things happen and work towards changing them instead of putting the weight of this issue and decision to force change on the Black people complaining and already doing their best to put change into effect.
Regardless of how you feel about whatever reboot is or isn’t going on in your favorite franchise, this sort of thing isn’t okay. This sort of thing needs to be fixed because there’s something wrong when a multi-million dollar industry looks this bad when talking about hiring Black writers on their monthly (and usually more visible/popular) books.
And in before “but no Black men/women are going out and LOOKING for jobs in the comic book industry where they’d be writers on monthly series,” if you knew that there was a huge chance that you’d be subject to racism and discrimination from the moment that you walked in to the building —much less an interview— as someone who wasn’t a white dude in DC/Marvel’s target age regardless of your talent, why would you rush head first into that?
Hell, even I’m loathe to just apply to write articles about the comic book industry/fandom and I’ve gone toe to toe with some truly heinous parts of comic book culture (though not the “worst” parts:). I wouldn’t go near DC/Marvel to submit something even if I had my writing portfolio in order or a completed novel under my belt because it wouldn’t be enough to get around the lingering societal stigma of being Black in what is often perceived as a “white space”.
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