Good day or evening, POP CULTURE fans...this is the inaugural blog entry of something new. This blog will be known from this day going forward as THE BAD GUY BLOG. The address is hello2thebadguy.blogspot.com. In this blog, I will do as I have always done in my previous blog, Luciushammer.blogspot.com, flip and rip on the latest offerings of multimedia entertainment as it pertains to comics, movies and tv. I'm really a comic book writer struggling to produce a quality, independently published series of books that focus on black superheroes but since that is a very expensive undertaking, I am building a comprehensive website and online presence that will also focus on creating "entertainment content" from a different perspective. What perspective you may be asking yourself right now?
From the unique and maybe shocking perspective of an irreverent black writer's mind.
There...I said it. Now there is no turning back. I've made the statement and I've played the race card. So many folks out there say that "color" doesn't matter and while I agree, it shouldn't...it almost always certainly does. For years, I have been considered to be somewhat of a radical by different colleagues, co-workers and even fans of my writing...I have chosen to be very outspoken when it comes to my number one passion besides my family which happens to be storytelling. Well my interest in storytelling has led me to this critical juncture in my burgeoning career as a comic book creator. My overwhelming motivation to write comes from my insatiable thirst to see characters of color get a fair shake. Most of my diatribes about comics, movies and tv will in some way revolve around "race" because not only do I find "race" fascinating but it happens to be my current situation that I am a brother in the greatest country in the world and now might be the perfect time to chronicle my adventures.
You might think my blog is only for black readers or just people of color. That's where you would be wrong. If you are a POP CULTURE fan of a different color, you may find what I have to say sometimes to be challenging and it may even occur to you that I am just flat out wrong. But I will initiate the conversation, I will provoke interaction and speculation. And I will maintain respect and decorum while doing so. I have realized that my experience as an African American is not only a key piece of our country's DNA...but my opinions, criticisms and reflections are also tantamount to this incredible multicultural swap meet we call the United States. I want readers of every color, every nationality, religion or sexual persuasion to read and use my articles. Because the knowledge I drop is based on my travels as a brother between these lines of red, white and blue. And in seeing the ideas that you are normally used to viewing refracted through the Caucasian lens...you will soon discover that there are new adventures to experience if you look at the Rubik's cube from another angle.
I've decided the subject of my first essay will be about the strange treatment of African American Males as Superheroes at the Big Two. It is something that I have been witnessing and examining for a long time and now the time has come to speak on it. My ideas are of course my own personal reflections but it appears to me that Black Male protagonists are neutered somewhat in their fictional roles and not permitted the same kind of liberation that white characters have always enjoyed. Now is that because of the publishers' mandate in particular, or is that because of the limited cache of cultural experience available to a white writer trying to effect an authentic voice while writing Black Male Superhero fiction? Another thing to consider would be the comic book industry as the white male's final frontier...their last bastion of absolute control. Is it so outlandish to believe that the predominantly white fraternity of male comic book creators have boxed out creators of color and their potential influence over the medium? I don't know, but in a world fraught with many different pitfalls and agendas...I sometimes feel the oppressive vise of a system that limits the creative expression of not only it's employees but it's fictional characters. My dream has always been to somehow penetrate the droves of would be writers and artists and find myself writing a definitive run on Black Panther or perhaps Dr. Fate or Hawkman (reimagined as characters of color) but somewhere in the back of my mind I know that my ideas would be far to progressive and ethnic...incendiary and provocative even for mainstream comics. I have recently been supremely underwhelmed by the current incarnations of great Black superhero characters and I have the feeling it has everything to do with the powers that be and the artifice of "diversity".
But it would also be irresponsible of me to ignore the efforts and output of the Black creative community. I recall a line from Oliver Stone's The Doors where Ray Manzarek is telling a young Jim Morrison that "we have to make the myths..." and I'm not even convinced this was ever truly said in real life but in this case it's very appropriate. Creators of color, critics of color and audiences of color...it is highly important that we tell our own stories and financially support our own mythic structures in literature as well as film. White writers and artists are not responsible for creating characters of color. I have welcomed many concepts that have been offered to me as vehicles of escapism as a person of color; Blade, Luke Cage, The Falcon...Black Lightning...Misty Knight. But the time has come for others to step forward with a more clear, and definitive perspective of the African American experience seen through the lens of the Superhero.
This is just the beginning of a brand new dialogue.
So until we meet again...say hello to the bad guy.