- Posted by Johanna on June 7, 2006 at 5:50 pm
- Category: Comic News
Did you read the Publishers Weekly article (no longer available) on last month’s East Coast Black Age of Comic Convention?
An after-the-fact “the convention happened and was great” article is like a concert review — you can’t be swayed into going to the event that got the good press, since it’s already passed, but it raises awareness and may spur a reader to check it out next time.
I was surprised to find that this was the fifth year of the show (although the first for the Glyph Awards for “outstanding achievement in black comics”). Not many of the usual comic press outlets covered it, and that omission has raised much discussion at Dwayne McDuffie’s message board.
Some saw it as yet another example of racism in comics, but I suspect a more benign explanation. No one associated with the show sent out a press release on the awards ceremony [edit: I was unclear. I was referring to how the ceremony went, not that there would be one], the winners, or how successful the show was, so I suspect the show was overlooked out of laziness, not prejudice. (With so much material being fed to the online comic headline sites, there’s not much incentive to seek out additional stories, especially ones that don’t involve DC or Marvel, the subjects I believe most of their readers are still most interested in, but competently written press releases get posted easily.)
Update: It’s disappointing but unsurprising that a few are more interested in defending their victimhood than actually solving the problem they were complaining about in the first place. (The original complaint was “the mass media talked about the show being held and how successful it was, why didn’t the comic media?”) How likely is a site to work with you next time if you call them a “racist” whenever you don’t get what you want as soon as you demand it?
It’s not just about skin color, though — that’s a symptom of all kinds of dedicated fans, to become so passionate about what they care about that they wind up accidentally shooting themselves in the foot. It’s hard to remember that that passion can be used for good, attracting interest from others if it can be redirected from drawing exclusionary walls.
I’m pleased to have talked with Rich Watson about positive lessons that can be drawn from this whole experience. If I’m not careful, I’m likely to get distracted by “is not! is too!” arguing, which doesn’t do anyone any good. For those who would like to know more about how online comic journalism often works in practice, see this informative post by Heidi.