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Everyone! Listen to This Speech by Gene Luen Yang on Diversity and Comics Right Now
On Saturday, writer Gene Luen Yang gave a speech at the National Book Festival where he discussed the issue of diversity in publishing and specifically in comics and it is amazing.
The award-winning Boxers and Saints author began his speech by discussing the importance of Dwayne McDuffie to his own entrance in to comics and to comics overall. McDuffie, of course, fought for diversity in comics ultimately creating his own comic company so he could see people like himself in comics.
Yang talks about the importance of that company, Milestone, because the character Xombi was also an Asian American male.
But he also addresses the issue of diversity in terms of the writer’s responsibility and overcoming the fear of “not getting it right” and suffering the wrath of the Internet.
I strongly recommend that every writer or potential writer in comics listen to this speech. I strongly recommend that every editor and publisher in comics listen to this speech. I strongly recommend every comic reader listen to this speech. And I strongly hope that every person who diminishes diversity in comics with snide remarks listens to this speech.
A single panel taken from the SW graphic novel: Star Wars: Dark Times 1: The Path to Nowhere, Part 1.
The context of the scene is Vader kneeling before Sidious’s holographic face while once again being indoctrinated with the dark ways of the force, while this scene is triggered in the back of Vader’s mind.
Another beautiful illustration by Doug Wheatley.