Stop, Drop, and Throw Dem Bows

June 14th, 2007 by | Tags: , , ,

Courtesy of Pedro Tejeda at Funnybook Babylon, a piece on why Falcon being burned alive on the cover of Captain America 29 really isn’t that bad, dudes. Also, he calls me a “respected black man,” and I just cannot turn that down.

But, really, though, he makes some good points.

I personally feel that the reason, it went over our heads is a slightly more sinister one than us missing the malicious intent hidden in the cover. I hate the fact that a lot of people look at this cover and just see a black man on fire. In some cases, people don’t even mention Snap’s name at all. It’s as if no matter how much the character is developed, advanced in status, or just outright written, readers won’t be able to get past his skin color.

This is the catch-22 that lies at the heart of trying to fix comics. It can make people too cautious, and keep [group] safe and out of danger and… boring. It can be too overzealous and make [group] into a victim. Where is the middle ground? Is there one? That’s the question that everyone has to answer for themselves.

I really like Brian Azzarello’s Loveless. It’s a Reconstruction-era Western, with all that entails. The latest issue, the one that dropped this week, features kind of a lot of black dudes getting lynched and buried. A massacre is the centerpiece of the book. Men come into a township and murder every single able-bodied black male in front of their families. The families don’t even get to cut down the bodies.

It’s harsh and it’s ugly and it’s offensive… and it’s kind of a really good comic series. If I was a different person, I can pinpoint exactly what problems I’d have with the series and be right.

How’d I decide this? Why? I think it’s because I trust the writer to be better than what the story could be. I can point and say “Atticus is going to do this, this, and this” over the course of the next story arc to make this crime right. I don’t feel malicious intent in this, just an attempt to tell a story as it should be told.

“Where do you draw the line?” is something that you should think about, sometimes. Just realize that, a lot of the time, your reasons won’t be consistent or make sense.

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One comment to “Stop, Drop, and Throw Dem Bows”

  1. […] about comics for any length of time, you probably know my opinion on tons of things. I think that this comes back to the idea of “Where do you draw the line?” What does it take for something to offend […]