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Bless Christopher Butcher. He turns the bad news of Buenaventura Press having closed at the beginning of the year (they were the ones who published the $125 Kramer’s Ergot 7, and I’m sure there’s a good reason they can’t yet reveal that they waited five months to say they were no longer selling) into a wonderful recommendation list of small publishers you should be supporting, complete with suggested titles.

Comics doesn’t mean superheroes. If you’re only interested in talking about superhero comics, for instance at your “women and comics” event, then call it “women and superhero comics”. I mean, it might seem obvious when the second item on your agenda is “Female versions of already established heroes”, but people like me get grumpy when you assume superheroes are all there are to comics.

Speaking of superheroes, Marvel seems to be trying to make more money by collecting fewer issues in their comic collections. Says Rich Lovatt, “this new format at $15 for 4 issues –- the same price that 4 issue regular-sized trades are retailing for, and the same price we were paying for 6 issue regular size trades just a few months ago!”

Finally, David Brothers covers the basics in explaining the many problems with a DC editor’s recent statement, in response to a question about how often the company kills minority cast members in their stories, that they are diverse because “we have green, pink, and blue characters”. It’s a shame he has to, but some people haven’t yet thought through why DC’s lack of concern about the apparent racism and sexism of their policies is so very troublesome.

If you don’t think you did anything wrong, stick to your guns. “I don’t think it was racist” is perfectly fine. “We didn’t mean it, but also people say we’re mad sexist, too, isn’t that weird?” isn’t. …

The problem with this statement is that green, pink, and blue people don’t exist. In fact, comparing actual, real-life people to fake people when discussing real-life issues is a pretty screwed up thing to do, isn’t it? …

The point of diversity is to reflect reality. If you’re bringing up imaginary people when talking about actual people… you probably should just stop talking.

Then he runs some quick numbers in terms of cover appearances:

There is one Brazilian woman, one Asian woman crying in a cemetery (and perhaps another in Birds of Prey, but I can’t tell through the mask), and five black people. Except two of the black men are unnamed criminal henchmen, one is Azrael, one is Static, and the other is Bumblebee on Tiny Titans. I didn’t count the covers Damian appeared in, but probably should have, as he is at the very least part Arab and part Chinese. In contrast, there are eight alien characters who have recurring roles and seven blonde teenage girls.

So, please. Tell me about how you “strive very hard to have a diverse DCU.” There’s an equal number of talking monkeys and black women on your covers.

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