You’ll have to suffer through one more vaguely Guardians of the Galaxy related posts. I should also note that I am not actually a comic book reader so if I use the wrong terminology/ names, please forgive me. Brian Michael Bendis, one of the head writers at Marvel, did an interview with Vulture back in May touching on Guardians of the Galaxy which was just re- run on the site before the movie’s release.
Guys, it’s amazing. It covers diversity within comics, comics’ influence on the movie adaptations, morality and heroes, sexism in nerd culture, and the most effective ways of introducing diversity into existing stories (hint: shoehorns not needed). It’s a chance to see a straight, white guy with some pull talk about issues that they almost never get asked about. That’s important not because we need more straight, white guys telling us what they think, but because we need to stop thinking of diversity, racism, sexism and discrimination as issues that only affect women, people of color and the LGTB crowd.
So the next time someone asks why it’s important to feature people of color and women in more roles in any genre, may I recommend you use some variation of this:
Now, you can’t make these decisions [to be more inclusive] consciously, because then you’re just writing in reaction to things, and that doesn’t work out, dramatically. But subconsciously, if you look at the world around you and see your readers, you go, I wanna write something that I know is true. So you start writing women better and you write people outside of your experience better, because you look at pages of other people’s comics and you don’t recognize it as the world around you.
Hell. Yes. What a novel idea. Having stories filled with characters reflective of those found in the real goddamn world.
And just to finish things off, Bendis describes Guardians of the Galaxy as “space pirates for good with major daddy issues.” That is the best. I still can’t promise I’m going to become a comic book reader. But if I do, BMB, it’ll be your fault.