MICHAEL DAVIS: Comics in Black… And White

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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9 Responses

  1. John Ostrander says:

    I’ve always tried to add diversity to the books i write. African-Americans, female, African-American females, Asians, gays and so on. I asked myself early on what a middle class white bread fellow such as myself was doing trying to write these types of characters so outside my own experiences. So I focused on a common humanity that I shared with them. The reason I do that — I think it’s part of my job.

    • John,

      Good, no, GREAT point.

      It being part of your job as a writer I completely understand and respect. In the black comic community and in the black community at large there exists an almost mandate, an un-written rule that black comic creators focus on Black characters.

      You see the same thing in music and the movies which is why there’s such a big deal when a black artist sings country or rock. Creating characters of color has been MY internal marching orders since getting into the business.

      I don’t see anything wrong with creators doing that, I’m just asking if anyone cares or does it matter? I’m torn on my answer to those questions, part of me wants it to matter, part of me wants it not to matter.

      Unlike Comicmix, I don;t have long boxes, I have issues.

      • John Ostrander says:


        It’s a complicated issue as your column and your post suggests. Does it matter? Well, it matters enough to you to ask the question. Does it matter as much as it used to? I think not but that’s because I hope we have seen some progress since you and I started in the biz. We need more characters of color, of gender, of gender preference and so on. I think that IS important if only from a commercial sense. People like to see people like themselves and why shouldn’t they?

        OTOH, would I like to see you do a white character? Yup. I’d LOVE to see your take on Batman, for example.

        So maybe it’s not an either/or situation regarding black characters and not black characters. Maybe it’s “and” and “both”?

        — John

        • John,

          I’D like to see my take on Batman.

          That is without a doubt my all time dream project. DC and I are back on good terms but I doubt they think I’m sane enough to do a Batman project. OK-they just might but I doubt if I’m sane enough to do it.

          I’d spend all the time pinching myself so I would believe the project was real and completely blow the deadline. Then the realization that I’d blown the deadline to my dream project would be followed by my shooting myself because I blew the deadline.

          Clearly I’m not ready. ;-)

          On a serious note, I’d also like to think that we have gotten to the point where color is an option and the work is the point but what I’d like to think and what is has constantly gotten me in trouble.

          However, THAT kind of trouble I’d be OK with.

          BTW-I’d KILL to see your take on Icon. DAMN-that would be cool!!

  2. Damon1212 says:

    Ironically, the janitor was a much better role model than the newspaper reporter . . .

  3. Mindy Newell says:

    The old writer’s adage is “write what you know.” It is true in that I seem to have an affinity for writing women characters–of course, the question is, are they all really just shades of Mindy, a nice Jewish girl from the metropolitan New York area? To some degree I’d say yes–my life experience(s) certainly shade my writing.

    But I also think I’m capable of writing everybody and every animal–calling the Legion of Super-Pets! LOL!. As John Ostrander said above, it’s about the common humanity in us all.

    And we all have a (super) hero of color in real life now anyway–President Obama. The best of all possible icons for every child of every ethnicity.