Robot 6

John Rozum explains his exit from Static Shock

When Danny Donovan shared some thoughts about what went wrong with Static Shock, he ended up inspiring John Rozum to reveal his own insights into the recently canceled series. In the comments to Donovan’s post, Rozum writes:

I went into Static Shock with a lot of high hopes. Among them was showing that Static wasn’t simply an A-list character, but one of the most powerful in the DCnU. I really wanted this series to be fun and exciting and to bring the same degree of creativity to it that I put into Xombi balanced with making Virgil’s personal life at least as engaging as his superhero life. I also saw Static Shock as an excellent gateway through which to pull the rest of the Milestone characters into the DCnU.

I quickly learned that none of these plans were going to see fruition. I wound up being shunted to the sidelines as the writer while Scott McDaniel’s “high concept” criminal syndicate made up of Power Rangers and a big monosyllabic thug took center stage and Harvey’s ideas of the 2 Sharon’s and slicing off Static’s arm were implemented as desperate means of trying to draw attention to the book.

I tried my best to keep it from being a total turd, but as I said, I was completely sidelined. My main contributions were the Pale Man character, Guillotina, naming the school after Dwayne McDuffie, and including Hardware, along with random lines of dialogue. I decided it was unethical to stick with a title that a) I thought was garbage b) that people were buying because of my involvement, due to Xombi, when really I had nothing to do with it c) because I wasn’t being utilized on the title.

Frankly, Static deserved a lot better.

Rozum talked more about it on his own blog:

Initially, I had never intended to openly discuss the reasons why I chose to leave Static Shock. My reasons were my own, and I felt that after expressing them to the powers that be at DC Comics and after discussing them with Bob Harras that the situation was resolved amicably and that there was no reason to say anything further than acknowledging that I had indeed left the series. However, since the announcement that Static Shock would cease publication with issue #8 ( I was only involved with issues 1-4) there’s been a lot of online chatter about why the series failed, and I’ve received a lot of angry email blaming me for wrecking the series, the character, and the opportunity for an African-American character to take center stage at one of the big publishing companies. I’ve had people announce that due to the low quality of comic that they would no longer buy anything that had my name on it. I’ve had an editor at a publisher other than DC say they weren’t interested in having me write for them because they thought Static Shock was a poor comic book series.

There’s more to his post and you should read the whole thing. It’s an enlightening, but sad story. As one of the people who was interested in Static Shock because of Rozum’s involvement, I dropped the series as soon as he announced his departure. Rozum’s one of the most under-appreciated writers in comics today and if you only know him from Xombi, check out his work on Milestone’s Kobalt and his two Midnight, Mass. series for Vertigo. It’s too bad his thoughts about what would make a Milestone series work for DC weren’t taken into consideration, but it’s a tragedy if his brief association with that series is affecting his ability to get more work.

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45 Comments

The other sadness is that DC didn’t save Rozum’s and Frazer Irving’s stunning Xombi for a New 52 title, because if they had, it’d be grabbing the same kind of sales and buzz as Swamp Thing and Animal Man.

IMHO, they should have taken the (excuses?) reasons they gave for Barbara as Batgirl and applied them to Static. Namely reflect more of the DCAU than cutting off limbs cloning sisters and other things. If making Barbara Batgirl in DCnU was because she was recognizable in all the media, making Virgil more a shout out to his cartoon self might have been the better option.

Oh well, I have my memories.

Wow. I don’t detect any maliciousness with Rozum’s blog post, but that all sounds like a pretty damning testimony, at least for McDaniels and the editor.

Jeez, this book seemed almost set up to fail. When the writer has the least input in the stories being told, no wonder Rozum walked.

Underground Dave

January 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

Totally agree with the questioning of DC not including Xombi with the new 52. That title was fantastic and DC missed a great opportunity there. It’s crazy because a LOT of the new 52 isn’t as good as that book was with Rozum and Irving.

I stopped reading Static after the first issue because it didn’t grab my attention. I enjoyed his cartoon and wished his comic was more like that. It’s too bad for Rozum being blamed for stuff that he was forced to include.

I’m telling you… this whole diversity thing from DC is a fraud. I knew Static wasn’t gonna get a fair shake…. Damn…

I read the special Mcduffie issue that came out right before the New 52 launch and I thought that was complete hog wash and did the character and Dwayne a disservice. I really loved Xombie and Rozum’s push for diverse characters. We still have Mr. Terrific….

Not anymore. Title’s cancelled. Now it’s only Batwing. I would say Voodoo but unfortunately artists don’t know if her human half is Black or ?

Schnitzy Pretzelpants

January 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Rozum is a class act of bringing this up, and in the way that he broaches it.

As others have already pointed out, greater detail on this is to be found on his website, and it is really disheartening.

I think, regardless of what Rozum says that his experiences on Staci Shock aren’t isolated to him or that title. There is much about the relaunch that screams of excessive editorial interference.

Rozum on his site talks about McDaniel invoking Robert McKee’s book STORY – and McDanile telling Rozum that his (Rozum’s) stories didn’t follow McKee’s template about what makes a story…

Got to say that ANYONE that swears by that book as if it were the only way to write a story, is bound to be a paint-by-numbers, but lackluster storyteller.

That book is the perfect screenwriting bible for people who have no imagination, and ironically NO capacity for writing a compelling story.

If everyone followed that book, we wouldn’t have a single unique or surprising tale to read.

I hope speaking the truth about his experiences doesn’t cost Rozum his DC work that is under consideration, but considering what the little that they sacked Dwayne McDuffie for on JLA, I can’t imagine these statements won’t cost poor Rozum.

Wherever he lands, I will be following.

Rozum is a really-good-to-bordering-on-great writer. I’ve not purchased any of Marvel’s New 52 books, and by that I mean the Lobdell books and Hawk & Dove. Nor will I be purchasing any of the forthcoming Heroes Reborn New 52 books, and by that I mean the Liefeld trifecta and the Mackie shite. Bob Harras is wrongheaded if he thinks that bringing his 90s Marvel stable of “talent” to DC is going to do any long-term good. If anything, he should look to his Marvel EIC successor’s early years. There seemed to be a lot of creative control given to -shock among shocks- the CREATORS in those Marvel Knights-ing of the whole line days. Early Quesada Marvel was the last time the line from either of the big 2 was really strong. It didn’t last, of course.
It looks like we’re going to be getting DC versions of Avengers: The Crossing and the Clone Saga. No thank you. I’m going to keep on buying the Dark line and some Batbooks, but only if they keep on feeling like they do now. No more 90s redux, please.
Let real CREATORS like Rozum do what they’re supposed to do and create the stories being told. You may as well hire undergraduate English majors to fart out the scripts if that’s all you’re hiring “writers” to do. They would be happy for the pittance offered to them and could doubtless do a comparable (or better) job to that which is put out under Lobdell’s pen.

Bring back Xombi, or release rights so that Rozum can get a new home for it.

Schnitzy, I don’t see anything the least bit “classy” about how Rozum handled this at all. Just the opposite. He openly insults his fellow creators and their work by way of basically setting himself up as some kind of martyr at their expense. If he has issues with how people are characterizing him and his work in the aftermath of what happened, then there are was for him to address and resolve those misconceptions without throwing other creators under the bus for the sin of having a take on the character that (A) was different than his (B) the editor preferred to his and (C) didn’t sell well. There’s an undercurrent of arrogance and payback seeking to his comments that’s a bit offputting and uncalled for, I think.

Schnitzy Pretzelpants

January 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

@ kalorama

Well, you’ve won me over with your argument. (that was sarcasm)

I will admit that classy was the wrong word. The fact is I feel for him, as I would feel for any superior talent being forced to cow-tow to a hack.

My class comment was more to do with him making it clear on his own website where he laid blame, and making a very concerted point about where blame does not lie.

Sorry, I have always been a person that believes in taking full ownership of my mistakes, errors and shortcomings, but the counterpoint to that is that I will not brook being smeared or disdained for someone else’s failures – especially if my name is on the project somewhere.

So, when I see Rozum simple protecting himself from a taint that he shouldn’t own in any way, I say all is fair. It’s unlikely he won’t get anymore work at DC as a result of publicizing this, so he knew what he was doing, and I think he made a brave call. At least as brave as anything can be when the internet is involved.

I don’t know, it just seems that the way DC handles its minority books (and Marvel its books with women as lead characters) in such a way that they are set up for failure right from the gate, it makes me think a little bit.

Rozum says it’s not some racist plot and I am sure it is not, but there may be something subconscious going on?

I bought the first two issues and thought they were mediocre at best. They lacked any of what makes Static magical and fun. It was a disappointing read made all the worse by the fact that I just finished reading through the old Static series from Milestone.

I bought the first issue of Static Shock b/c I love McDaniel’s artwork, but this book was a POS from the get go. Couldn’t even read through it all it was SO bad.

If Rozum is trying to distance himself from this turd b/c being associated w/it is costing him future work, I don’t blame him!

To poke my nose – I’m with ya, Schnitzy.

I think Rozum has been reserved in his commentary. And he was classy enough to not do a knee-jerk spouting off, which surely would have been more emotional.

Fact is, Rozum was a huge part of the Milestone characters’ histories. He wrote 2 of the ongoings back in the day. Plus, he was great pals with Dwayne McDuffie, creator of Static. I think it’s pretty remarkable he reigned in his emotions enough to be as cogent and (relatively) polite as he was in his postings. I can only imagine the bitter taste left in his mouth at (not only) his work being contorted and misguided beyond recognition, but the mangling of a character that he had great reason to feel affection for.

I hope Rozum gets a lot more work, regardless of where.

Blame bob harris and his 90s centered thinking. Nu Dc is a failure. But did any of you guys sign rob granitos ipetition yet to get him back in the industry?? Dc could hire him back, ha ha.

Kobalt was actually the only Milestone series I liked back then. I’m glad he came forward. His rep was being tarnished for things he didn’t do. The Pale Man was just about the only thing positive about the series and I did like the appearance of Hardware. Static is not, however, nor has he ever been, nor will he ever be an A-list character nor one of the most powerful. Hell, he’s not even one of the most powerful Milestone characters, much less in the DCU. The book failed, among other reasons, because picking up issue #1, it’s feels like you’re 3/4 of the way though a story and have zero clue what is going on. After 4 issues, that’s not much different. I’m aware that is the case with several of the New 52, but I don’t think any is more disorienting, or handled more poorly, than Static.

So, why is DC hiring writer’s if they’re going to let the artists and editors write the series? This is just one of the many silly things that’s wrong with comics … yeah, I say that a lot about everything but its true. There is much wrong with the beast that is superhero comics at the big two. Its ridiculous to let a small group of people or even two, as in the case of DC, to let them architect the whole universe of their myriad diverse characters. Two kinds of people don’t read comic books, as can be exampled by the different kinds of replies on this board alone. Though the way Marvel and DC are going about it, alienating children, then women and minorities soon they will only have two kinds of people reading their silly dreck, the people making it, and the people trying to break into the comic book field.
Why hire the man if you’re going to disregard his ideas? I mean, isn’t the point of the writer to write the book, and the artist to draw? I could respect DC’s decision if they had initially made the artist the writer on the book, but honestly what do artists know about writing? Their first and foremost passion is drawing otherwise they would have gone into writing, and yes there are awesome artist/writer people out there in comics but that does not translate to every artist can write. I love Jim Lee but I only bought the Adventures of Max Faraday back in the day because he drew it, I think I stopped reading it at one point just to look at the pictures.
Likewise, editorial should be there to back up the writer, either with ideas or tweaks or warnings about their storylines, because writer’s can’t have absolute control of a title nor should they but they shouldn’t sit there and dictate “This is what you’re going to write” unless its implicitly stated from the beginning, before a job is even taken. This is the kind of crap that happens all the time, writers saying the editor made me do it, and the fighting back and forth like with Straczinsky and Spiderman. I applaud the writer for leaving the book and I’m just sorry that people are holding the book’s failure against him. I for one think the other publisher should seriously look at more of his unpublished work or hear out his ideas before making again ridiculously hasty decisions based on one book. But then that’s the problem at the big two, the editors and they’re lack of diversity.
You want to solve the problem with comics? Diversify your writership so that you have a more diverse readership, and stop tying everything in to each other. Also don’t lie. DC promised done in one stories and in all the books of theirs I collected Legion, TT, Action I have yet to read one single story that resolved itself in an issue or could seriously be called stand-alone.

While I do agree with a lot of these posts, that the artists are being given too many writing opportunities at DC, and the guys who are the “writers” for these books need to be given their chance, I am so sick to death of the race and diversity card being played. To seriously feel that DC has something against minority characters or creators is a very pathetic train of thought, and you embarrass yourself by posting it.

Static is not, nor ever will he be a top-tier character. And in fact, the same can be said of all of the Milestone characters. They have had multiple opportunities to be successful, including all of those stories you all mention written by McDuffie and Rozum, and those couldn’t even last. And they were published in the 90s when comics were selling millions.

Bash the companies all you want for letting artists write, lord knows Rob Liefeld doesn’t need to be writing/plotting 3 books, but please stop using the ridiculous race argument.

Having read John Rozum’s complete statement on his blog, I too agree with Schnitzy that Rozum’s remarks were pretty classy. Rozum got saddled with a crappy editor, period.

Reminds me of the crappy editor who ruined the X-Men by driving away Chris Claremont, then got promoted to Editor-In-Chief and drove Marvel into bankruptcy.

It’s very, very telling that DC gave Static to an artist (McDaniel) who boasts that he never read the original Static series. The “nu” Static Shock was destined to fail from day one. If I was a professional writer or artist, I would surely not want my name associated with that mess. Rozum certainly has a right to defend himself if the dimwitted actions of McDaniel and Richards are costing him work at other companies.

@Dude

You’re so right about the overplayed “race and diversity card”. That is really not what these failures are about at all. These comics failed because of poor editing (which allowed poor writing and poor art to be published).

But Static/Virgil was once an extremely interesting character, certainly more interesting than Wonder Woman or Aquaman could ever be. If Grant Morrison or some other major talent was behind the wheel, Static could very well become comics’ biggest minority character ever. If folks can ignore this recent fiasco.

Laughing at YOU

January 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

DC and possibly Rozum missed the boat on what Static Shock could or should be. We remember Static the best for his kids cartoon. THAT is what’s missing in the whole new 52 line. Where are the comics for kids? Static did skew youngest of all the new 52 but could really have been a strong link between Young Justice and the Justice League. In fact some of it is there in the book. Static explaining how his powers work is both entertaining and educational. And Static could be an A-list character. Look at all the similarities between Static and Spider-Man

Comics are dead. They pandered too much. They’ve imploded!

@Jake and Dude:

Sorry… but in all due honesty–and regretfully– say you’re wrong. I can understand you think the status quo is fine but there are more people who want TRUE Diversity (and not the smoke screen DC tries to put up).

This situation highlights one of the Big 2′s big problems – the inability to “sell” characters other than their big stars. A sad fact is that alot of the other characters happen to be different than the classic, square jawed, fair skinned male heroes.

Writers being hired by the Big 2 then being handcuffed with editorial task ( who are probably just following orders from hire ups who focus on making sure that the stories make $$). After reading the 1st issue of Static, what struck me was the last page which featured Statics’ arm being chopped off. The event screamed “editorial” due to the fact that several of the 52 books had shocking, sudden burst of graphic violence within them. It seems that DC decided to follow a formula, which isn’t suprising. When a company makes a big change in direction, some type of game plan will be put in place. In this instance, they decided to execute the Geoff Johns style for how they would tell their stories. It can work for some books but not line wide.

I appreciate the insight into the workings of comics that we’ve seen in recent days (I’m thinking of Rozum and Brandon Graham). Some say they were a bit harsh but with some of the poor work being put out, a little harsh reality seems a bit needed.

Brian from Canada

January 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm

@ Jake Earnwhile: Harras didn’t fire Claremont and he didn’t drive them into bankruptcy; if anything, he brought them OUT of bankruptcy and had set the frame for the Ultimate line before being sacked — and he was sacked in part from CLAREMONT creating X-Men comics that were impenetrable for the long-term fan, much less the fans who might come in from the biggest movie Marvel had ever seen.

Brian from Canada

January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I disagree the problem lies with Static not being part of the white square-jawed. And I totally disagree that Bob Harras and editorial were the fault either.

Fault lies with the writers. Period.

People tend to forget that anything mandated outside of the core Leaguers had to have stories strong enough to match what was going on in the higher profile books out there. That’s part of the reason why writers are saying now that they had to come up with the wildest ending to their first issue as possible: shock them in #1, get them to get #2, and leave enough mystery to lure into #3 — where they might continue on based on quality. Animal Man did that. Demon Knights did that.

But Static didn’t have that quality.

Static’s writers didn’t have a handle on the character from day one, and it showed. He was a cartoon: simple story, nothing to hook on to other than flash, and the shock of losing an arm didn’t have any impact because you didn’t care for the character. After four issues, I still don’t care much for Static. Virgil, yes, to a small degree, but more because of his sisters than anything else.

Rozum’s trying to deflect the blame from himself because he was never supportive of this direction and that led to his early departure. Fine: he’s protecting his reputation. But whether you agree with his choice of response or not, it still boils down to the fact that the book failed from the start because the decided excitement lacked any underpinning for readers who weren’t as into Static as the writer and editor.

@Schnitzy,

Gee was that sarcasm? Gosh, it was so artful and subtly done I never would have guessed. Well done sir. Well done. We can all learn from your sterling example. (That was sarcasm.)

As for the rest . . . as I indicated in my original post, I have no problem with Rozum defending his rep or putting the record straight. I just don’t think it was in any way, shape, or form necessary for him to smear Scott McDaniel’s work in the process. He said himself that he initially felt no need to comment because the whole thing had been settled amicably, but he changed his mind when other people starting attacking his work. Okay, fine. But unless Scott McDaniel was one of those people (and there’s no evidence that he was) then there was no need to make crass pronouncements about McDaniel’s work by way of defending his own. Not only is that not “classy” it’s also wildly hypocritical. He could have easily and professionally made his point without it.

I wasn’t fond of this new version of Static at all (and I loved the Milestone book), but add my voice to those who wonder why they didn’t just wait to launch Xombi as a New 52 book. Pretty sure it would still be with us if they had.

Kalorama, please point out where Rozum trashes your friend McDaniel. Rozum says he had great ideas, but having never written anything before couldn’t execute them, that he was uncooperative and (this is my opinion) extremely arrogant waving around a script writing for dummies book and deciding that he, an artist with no writing experience, knew better than a guy who has been paid to write for over two decades now.

Rozum lists what minor contributions to the book he made, and credits McDaniel and the editor everything else. If you loved those things, great, but the sales and cancellation of the book seem to support Rozum’s opinion that they weren’t very good writers, McDaniel and the editor.

Giving your opinion on someone’s work is not trashing them. Rozum took pains to indicate that McDaniel seemed to be a nice guy and a nice guy with his fans, that the editor and he had had good relations on projects before. Simply, your friend McDaniel and the editor got too full of themselves on this one, thought they were more talented than they actually were, and shit the bed, ruining the book.

Classy or not. what Rozum said was real and honest. DC has been doing this to great writers for years. And diversity is weak at best.

I am reistant to change. i was 13 when Bryne revamped Superman in Man of Steel and It took DC 20 yrs to make sense of the soft reboots that started in CRISIS 85 ..
I certainly did not think we needed to Universe Wide Reboot.

For the most part the new 52 has a fun energy to it. The all new takes are refreshing. I am getting alot of stuff.
But the soft reboot makes 52 a disaster that WILL happen when the “newnesss” wares off. OR wen they try to make sense of what did or did not happen.

Anyway.. MARVEL COMICS in the mid 1990s was at its WORST creative period in its entire history.
And alot of the people responsible for that – now run DC comics. So………

The new souless/ heartless DC app looking logo speaks volumes of whats going on behind the scenes at DC.
I hope what happend on static shock isnt going on elsewhere.

Didn’t read Static Shock so I don’t know if it was any good or not. But if Scott McDaniel’s writing, read anything like Tony Daniel, the last artist pretending to be a writer. Then I’m glad I stayed clear!

I have, however, heard good thing about Xombi, so I might still pick that up the trade when it comes out.

very disappointing, I wouldn’t have excepted this coming from DC..
fuck them, jonathan, they deserve it..

@Brian

The book was a cartoon? Um, no. The cartoon lasted how many seasons? If the book was more like the cartoon, it might still be being published.

I’m going to be so gutted if Rozum doesn’t get work at DC after this.

Because his stuff has been spectacular, his Xombi at the very least was.

He still has a few weaknesses, ones that I can sort of see coming out as problematic — he’s not great at characterization (27 issues into Xombi and I still didn’t care about or feel for David Kim), and he tends to ‘info dump’ rather than let information reveal itself (tells, rather than shows) but the strength of his concepts are spectacular. It was like reading Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol, reading Xombi.

Milligan’s JL Dark has sort of filled that spot, but I’d love for him to take over, say, Resurrection Man or (higher profile) Green Lantern Corps and just let him CREATE.

I just want to point something out. Rozum knew the ‘New 52′ launch, as any major overhaul, would be an editorial mess with a ton of oversight. Yet he agreed to come onboard for Static Shock, and is surprised when the handful of chefs are sidelined by the wealth of inept chiefs clumsily shuffling pots and pans like neanderthals. Rozum should just admit it was a mistake on his part thinking he could work within that sort of environment. It’s not really a slight on him to do so. Would have liked to see Rozum head something on the Vertigo line…but it’s not really what it used to be either. All in all, Rozum can easily get picked up somewhere else that allows much more creative control. Static Shock is a loss for DC, not Rozum.

@Dude

Dismissing race so blatantly shows your ignorance, while it might be a topic that isn’t dear to you, it isn’t a topic without merit, nor is it not real merely because people are not earnestly being racist. I’m not going to say Geoff Johns or Dan Didio are actively trying to destroy diversity in DC comics but it is absurd to dismiss the ‘race card’ simply because that’s true. When the majority of these books are written or being spearheaded by white men what can you expect but a bland house style in writing that on occasion is while not intentionally racist, racially insensitive.

Wonder Woman is being written and illustrated by men. This isn’t to say that men can’t tell good Wonder Woman stories, but if we’re trying to grow the comic book audience then what’s so wrong with actively trying to recruit a female writer and artist for a book with a female lead? While I love Jim Lee being in an important position in the company he is very likely alone. There are more white male writers at DC than there are women or minorities. If we hold to the idea that that these writers all ascribe to the notion of “write what you know” then white writers are going to write about the white male experience. There’s no problem with that but when you’re whole line is made up of every character even your minority characters being written like that be they men or women they all sound like the same bell.

The race issue is very important. No I don’t actively think people like Johns or Didio or Morrison or any of the countless white editors at DC are trying to be “blatantly” or “unapologetically” racist but you’d be a fool to ignore that they are not exactly sympathetic to minority, female or gay/lesbian causes. There’s the debacle over the apes marking on the African territory last year. While I don’t believe that was intentionally malicious it wasn’t informed by the absence of a minority editor who might have caught that and said, this isn’t such a good idea. Its exactly that lack of diversity that keeps women bemoaning the depiction of females in comics. What disgusts me is the number of apologetic fanboys that jump at the chance to explain about female empowerment when Catwoman and Starfire are written like sixteen year old male fantasies. You’d think 16 year old males where the audience they were writing to. Its speaks a lot to what comic book fans expect out of their books, which is ridiculous, I can’t count the number of times people post about how they stay with a book even when they hate it. We demand mediocrity and we get it from Marvel and DC.

For myself, I will not stop asking for diversity, but just because you put out a Static Shock book doesn’t mean I’m going to buy it. Try putting some decent talent and a good artist behind that book. The last run of Blue Beetle was awesome, but it started horribly and I dropped the book before the 4th issue. It wasn’t until I read the trades that I saw how the book had picked up. The worst thing you can do with a comic is start it in mediocrity and hope that the people will hear about it as it gets better.

There are countless ways in which DC’s new 52 fails to appeal to women, minorities, children, but perhaps the thing that most angers minority readers like me is the lack of A-list talent on what are automatically considered B-list heroes because they’re minorities. Here’s a clue. You want a book to succeed get a good writer and a great artist. Blue Beetle is not being written by Geoff Johns, nor was Static Shock. Neither book had Jim Lee or any super best selling talent. Whereas JLA which has all the top tier characters needs the best selling talent on it? Why? Shouldn’t the help and the massive talent be on the books that are likely perceived the weakest?

You’re not fixing a broken wheel by leaving all the massive talent on Batman and GL characters that like Superman allegedly sell themselves. The truth is all the titles read the same, and DC puts out Static Shock and Blue Beetle in the hopes that the audiences those books are geared towards are going to buy them, but doesn’t push to grow those characters or their readership to a wider audience. Then they cry that there isn’t an audience for minority characters because minority readers maybe want the same level of talent or someone who might actually know what to do with a minority or female character.

So no. Race in comics is a serious issue. Comics lack diversity and it is not coincidental that they lack an ever shrinking readership. That it might not mean something to you is entirely valid but the issue itself is valid as well and is only too often dismissed by an ever shrinking readership.

You don’t have to be a racist person to do something racist. Unintentional racism happens. And institutionalized racism is not a myth its just something a lot of important people actively work to ignore. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there or that its not a valid point.

After reading all these post all I can say is …..my brain hurts. Writers get no respect in comics and the industry suffers for it. Maybe its time to look at why manga is booming and comics are failing. But maybe the Japanese are just cooler than us.

That old DC chestnut of slicing off character’s arm to get attention. Wonder what was next, someone getting raped?

@Laughing at YOU – Totally agree with your post. There is nothing for young kids in the new 52, and if they want to grow new readers they gotta do start looking at this.

Not only that, but in tying in to @Jesus S! point about making sure the “diversity characters” have decent talent working on them is imperitive.

I think they need to create new line of books outside of the continuity heavy, adult themed New52. Something kids can view as theirs. Perhaps the DC Kids Universe or DCKU if you will.

Diversity is a strange monster it always has been long before it was a fight for civil rights but lets just focus on the modern shall we. The fact that people are expecting a milestone or the cartoon is not wrong nor does not following that really spit on the line that came before. Having a character being a minority does not change or better the field. That fact that it still is offhandedly stated as a minority is stating how the field is. Milestone comics was not made specifically because a author of a minority wanted to make a hero that is a minority it was because one and then a few then a group of individuals wanted to write heroes they felt they could relate to. Calling them the work a minority is automatically typecasting it. Libraries across the united states are proud they have an African American sections. For books written specifically for African Americans to relate to. Romance or otherwise. Hero comics should transcend that labeling. They should be able to relate with all races at some deeper level. Batman is rich unfathomably so, but you understand that he is fighting not because he is rich. Superman is an alien with immunities far beyond that of humans and can easily let humans suffer but he doesn’t. And in the past when he lost his powers or he could just save himself he still fought.

With that said diversity killing is not what killed Static Shock. Nor was it their target audience but the execution. It was written in the 2000 superman hay maker style. Where all action cover to cover where peril is around every corner. In turn the human side was reflected in heroic actions meaning a diminishing look at the alter ego. Which in also changing the very dynamic of how similar characters started out and the clear distinctions that become blurred lines in the future for instance the Vicky Vale arc of the road home. A Slow cook might have done the series better I can not say. But you can see the lack of Rozum through out the book specially in comparison to Zombi. That from the pan to the fire opposed to the build up and crash.

@ Jesus S

You seem confused. First you want minority creators working on minority books because they relate, then you want Geoff Johns writing them so they are well written and sell…

The fact is the major creators want to work on the most popular characters, the characters they grew up loving. Everyone has their favs, mine are the Manhunter characters, minus the most recent. Am I sexist because I don’t like the female one now? Comics are about superheroes in spandex shooting energy beams out of their eyes. People need to stop making them representations of their social views.

And…I wonder if Rozum is giving back the money DC paid him for the issues he co-wrote…probably not.

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