Diversity is a hot buzzword in the comics industry lately, mostly because we are actually seeing examples of it. Many people have championed diversity for many years as a way of expanding the market and the medium. The expectation is that the broadening diversity currently experienced in the comics industry would be welcomed and celebrated but, unfortunately, that is not always the case.
The comics industry has a long history of narrow vision when it comes to nearly every aspect of it which has been focused predominantly on white males. People that enjoy comics have been generally comfortable with this for too long. Now that things are changing so is the warm, fuzzy feeling of what has been familiar.
Diversity can refer to many things including race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. In a comic shop it could simply refer to product diversity like books, clothing and toys. The important thing to remember is that diversity is good especially when it involves a creative medium that is as powerful and communicative as comics.
Heroes Con 2013 Cosplay group shot
Diversity in a medium like comics has the power to bring people together rather than push them apart. If we let it.
The first step to truly encouraging diversity is to actually respect it. Many find it very easy to give diversity in comics “lip service” but struggle to walk the talk. Too many people squirm when they actually experience attempts at instilling diversity in the medium because deep down it violates their comfort zone and they are unwilling to muster enough respect for the tastes of the broader audience to accept that which is different.
I refuse to call it ignorance, prejudice, bigotry or even small-mindedness because that would be just as disrespectful. Expanding diversity means investing in a willingness to have such a variety of comics that there is product that can appeal to everybody. It is not the industry’s place to segregate anyone for enjoying something that may be specific to them regardless if they are a minority or a majority. Respect goes both ways. That is how it is achieved. Mutually.
Those that champion diversity have to also accept that which has been homogenous for so many years because true diversity cannot exist without it. Let it be, rather than change it and use all energies to create something new. Then celebrate that. Celebrate all.
We celebrate our diversity everyday at CO2 Comics and are proud of it. That does not mean that we don’t still love the superhero comics that influenced us. They inspired us to want to create something different and more diverse. Check out our creator page and you will find talented people of all ages, race, gender and orientation none of which matters more than the fact that we respect each and every one of them for who they are as individuals and for their tremendous talents and that they share with us.
Their diversity extends to their creations which are as unique and brilliant as each and every one of them. Their comics speak to the new, broader market place that is now so politically correct. Their comics deserve your respect for their diversity
If you consider yourself a fan or champion of diversity in comics you owe it to yourself to read and enjoy the diversity we present here at CO2 Comics. If you respect what you find here, you will share it with your friends. Take the time to look, not just here but industry wide, and acknowledge the variety of comics created by others who are not the usual fare and be prepared to be impressed. The industry cannot be diverse if we are unwilling to recognize the diversity that is already there.
Our very special thanks to all of the creators that have ever chosen to break the mold. We know, through all of your endeavors that the diversity you bring to comics is what truly equals creative independence. You have our respect and always will. You are our inspiration and why we continue to make independent comics.
Making Comics Because We Want to,