Publicly admitting you read comics means you’re willing to put up with a perplexingly persistent notion of the medium as the exclusive domain of the super heroes. Even in the current realm of savvy pop art dabblers as likely to pray at the altar of independents like Image Comics as they are the Big Two there’s this lingering idea that in the beginning there was only the cape and spandex set and it’s just in the past three decades that we’ve really let in the serious Graphic Novelists and autobio peddlers. Sneering intellectual jokesters will spit at the funnybooks without recognizing the origins of that alternate name and basement dwelling dilettantes will tell you it was only when the bearded British men came to our shores that we got hip. But comics have always been weird. Comics have always contained multitudes.On a weekly basis at the start of the 20th century, Winsor McCay cranked out surrealist panel breaking masterpieces lushly detailed enough to inspire both Dali and Moebius decades down the line, with nary a cape in sight. Before Marvel was even an idea, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created romance comics, presaging the soap operas that would eventually inspire Chris Claremont’s convoluted narratives in that other misbegotten Kirby co-creation X-Men. And then there was Herbie. Continue reading…
Posted October 27, 2012
Racebending and Hyperallergic discuss the racism and lack of critical response to racism in Cloud Atlas‘ use of “colorblind casting.” Mike Le responds to the trailer: Ultimately…my belief is that Cloud Atlas will eventually be viewed through the same lens as films like The Good Earth, Birth of a Nation, or even Dumbo. These are films known to have artistic merit, that tell engaging stories, with imagery both striking and iconic. They are also films that are….deeply embedded with concepts of race, interwoven with acts of exclusion and stereotype and prejudice.
Zeba Blay writes of the film: “It’s a problematic message, one that sells the intelligence of the audience short — the only way for us to be invested in these characters, it seems, is to have the easily recognizable faces of our white protagonists just beneath the surface.”