So Gail Simone recently tweeted this :
As a writer myself, I find this tweet confusing for a number of reasons. This first reason being this: Why is the gender, sexuality and race of a comic book character important? Allow me to back up and say that I understand the importance of such a thing if it were changed out of nowhere from it's previously established setting; like when my anger at Huntress & Wally West becoming Black when previously both characters were White. Now Wally West a.k.a Wallace West was now retconned as another Flash and that issue has been dealt with...I'm not sure about Huntress though but that's not the point. And again, I'd be saying the SAME THING if the situation was reversed. Change a Black Character to a White Character, I'm mad, Change a White Character to a Black character, I'm mad. STOP CHANGING STUFF THAT DOESN'T MATTER!
But speaking as someone who writes I can honestly tell you that the gender, sexuality and race of a character I create is the LAST thing I think of but if that's the first thing you think about there's a serious problem. The race, gender & sexuality does not determine whether or not a story will be good or whether or not the character is even worth following. And before you start with saying how I'm a Christian, Homophobe etc. etc. please understand one of my favorite writers (Kevin Williamson) is an openly gay man. "The Following" featured 2 bisexual characters (Jacob & Paul) and I really loved their dynamic and how it tied into their story. I'm not adverse to gay characters. What I am adverse to is making gay characters or any character for that matter in which their being gay, Black, Female etc. etc. is the only thing they have to offer.
Recently, Bryan Fuller announced a new series "Star Trek: Discovery" which was stated to feature the first openly gay Star Trek character. It's a shame that I knew that before I knew that "Star Trek: Discovery" was set to take place after "Star Trek: Enterprise". Bryan Fuller is also gay and is also a writer I greatly enjoy (at least his work on "Hannibal" anyway). So why all this attention to superficial things and no attention to the actual details of story-telling? What good will that do anyone to write a story that covers all your bases but absolutely sucks? Making LGBTQ or Black characters won't make the book good and it won't make it suck either, the STORY makes it good and the STORY makes it suck.
Furthermore, who is exactly stopping people from writing comic books featuring people of color or LGBTQ people? The comic book industry? The same industry that made Wonder Woman come out as Bisexual, made Earth 2's Alan Scott gay, that created Batwing, that a character like The Midnighter exists, where North Star got married to his husband, Pied Piper is gay, Jericho is bisexual, where we have a Muslim Ms. Marvel? Where The Question, Renee Montoya is gay and also one of my favorite characters in DC's amazing "52" exists? I could go on but you get the point, no one's exactly stopping comic book creators from making gay characters or characters of color. I mean hell, Vertigo features a comic book titled "Scalped" features a gay character, just about every TV show in recent memory aside from "Breaking Bad" has featured at least one character that was gay. So again, who are these industry people that telling people they can't write gay characters or characters of color?
Lastly, I have no problem supporting ANY writer as long as their material is good! Again, I loved Kevin Williamson's "Scream" movies, I LOVED Bryan Fuller's work on "Hannibal", not because they're both gay but because the work was good, nothing else! And the only reason I can only name those 2 as gay writers is because both of them made it pretty open and obvious that they were gay. If there are more gay writers out there who's works I enjoy, I don't know and frankly don't care because whether or not their ability to tell a good story has nothing to do with their skin color, gender or who they like to have sex with!
Furthermore, why is Gail telling us to like and support gay writers? Rather than shouting out their sexuality why not just shout out their work and say "HEY, CHECK OUT THIS BOOK, IT'S AWESOME!" that'd be more effective than saying "HEY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN BY SOMEONE WHO WAS GAY, CHECK IT OUT!". Does Gail want us to like & support the work because it's good or because it was written by someone who was gay? She can't have it both ways. If I supported a writer just because they were gay "American Horror Story" would be my favorite TV show (and we all know how I feel about "American Horror Story", still trying to recover brain cells any and all donations are acceptable).
Gail, if there is a dream harvest of talent out there simply saying they're gay isn't going to get them hired but maybe a shining recommendation of their work more than likely would. Instead of talking about their sexuality maybe you should talk about the title of their story, an extremely interesting premise or something that would entice readers rather than something that'll show The Mary Sue and the like that you're standing up to the big bad Comic Book Industry. Gail Simone is an incredibly influential writer (haven't read any of her stuff but I hear it's good) but even she's looking at this to virtue signal instead of a meritocracy. She got where she is because her work is good, not because she has a vagina, not because she's gay (she's not) and certainly not because she's a person of color, she got where she is because someone said "Wow, this is good work! Let's hire her.".
But Comic Books have always been falling down this path of becoming less and less about telling stories and more and more about pushing an ideology, to the point where you constantly have female characters one-uping male characters by spouting Modern Day buzzwords and nonsense ideologies that'd only be heard by people who actually pay attention in "Gender Studies". You got Firestar yelling at Iceman about "gender constructs";
We got Wonder Woman using terms like "mansplaining";
If this is the extent of work we can expect to see from comic book writers, I'll pass, thank you. I remember when this stuff didn't matter. When no one cared who was gay, Black, White, etc. etc. the only thing that mattered is a good story. These days it's not about GOOD storytelling, these days it's about "Female superheroes are too sexualized!" just check out this "controversy" around Spider-Woman's Ass that exposes the Double Standard in Feminist ideology;
Didn't watch the video? Here's the short version;
|...and Marvel never did....not once...not one time....except that one time they did...opps.|
and "Female characters are shown to be weak!" just check out this "controversy" around the variant cover of a Batgirl comic book;
Didn't watch the video? Here's the short version;
DC released a cover to a Batgirl comic book which paid homage to a comic book title "The Killing Joke" in which The Joker shot and paralyzed Batgirl and torment her father James Gordon. Certain individuals believed the cover was glorifying "rape culture" and trivializing sexual assault and showing Batgirl as weak. Batgirl may or may not have been sexualy assaulted by The Joker. As a result a twitter campaign began calling for DC to #ChangeTheCover.
and constant ranting about a lack of diversity in comic books that can be easily solved by making new characters. So who are these comic books for? This is what Gail Simone is calling for. If it wasn't then why all the focus on the writer and not what's written? Why all the focus on superficialities and not details? Clearly they weren't written for anyone who enjoys good story-telling. It was written by people who wanna use superheroes to push their obvious agenda. Don't believe me, check out this cover of this Marvel's Mockingbird.