Michael Davis: March
A young black kid recently asked my reaction to the graphic novel March: Book One. Before I could answer the young man who asked chimed in with this little gem of insight, “I can’t believe there are no creators of color on that book!”
I looked at that young motherfucker like he was a flying monkey.
I’m sincerely sorry about the above language as I was going to try and write this essay without resorting to my trademark swear words.
I tried, really I did, but I was so pissed at the lack of knowledge and history from this guy, hence, I looked at that young motherfucker like he was a flying monkey.
“No people of color? What do you call John Lewis?” I asked fighting the urge to ask if his wings hurt when tucked into his pants. I won’t bore you (or enrage myself more than I am now) with this simian’s stupid response.
From that asinine response it was clear he had no idea John Lewis was a real person and it was his life story being told. He had no clue John Lewis was more than a little responsible for his stupid ass being able to ask me such a stupid question in the first place.
What did I care that the co-writer and artist were both white? He wanted to know.
“Those are some bad ass white boys,” I told him. Translation: Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell are two very talented people.
I’m aware there is some in the black creator community who feel the entire book should have had a black creative team. I don’t share that opinion. John Lewis is a civil rights icon. His fight is what allowed those talented white boys to work with him in the first place.
If the year were 1964 all three creators would have faced real threats if they appeared with each other to promote the books at say a North Carolina comic book convention if they existed then. Jim Crow was still in full effect back in the day.
Hell, Jim Crow is in full effect now in North Carolina. Gov. Patrick McCrory just signed into law a sweeping voter reform bill that imposes Jim Crow like restrictions on guess whom?
Black and poor people.
It’s 2013 and instead of John Lewis being able to sit back and look at his contributions as a shining accomplishment of the Civil Rights movement, instead of him being able to tell his story to a new generation of young brown and black brothers and sisters as a cautionary tale he instead has to continue to fight the same fight he’s been fighting since before that flying monkey was born.
So, my reaction to March: Book One? The book was wonderfully written, the art was incredible and I can’t wait until book two. While I do wait, I’ll pray the second part of the series will be a cautionary tale and not a primer of what’s happening today.
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold
THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil