27 October 2005

Buzzscope: What's a Nubian? #1

When I first came across PopCultureShock.com last year, it was the combination of the favorable response in their forums to the announcement of Reggie Hudlin taking on Black Panther (in contrast to the immediate sniping over at NEWSarama and throughout the comics blogosphere, with ignorant comments like, "Oh no! He's going to gangstify the Black Panther!"), and the "Color Commentary" column that surveyed black characters' appearances each month, that landed it a spot in my bookmarks. Of course, Hudlin turned out to be a bit of a dud, and "Color Commentary" disappeared before really fulfilling its promise, but those two things still suggested an appealing level of inclusiveness not seen on the other major sites that kept me going back, and eventually signing on as a contributor when they relaunched as Buzzscope.

Fast forward, and I've since taken over as Senior Comics Editor, and one of my primary goals is to expand that sense of inclusiveness, not just in terms of balancing our Marvel/DC:Indie coverage, but also with regard to audience representation, ie: women and minorities.

On the women's side of things, we have both Rambunctious Ronée and Friends of Lulu in the mix, not to mention the estimable Comics Shrew as one of our best reviewers; and there's at least one more columnist of note forthcoming, hopefully in time for the January relaunch.

Meanwhile, with "Color Commentary" on indefinite hiatus, I turned to Glyphs Online's Rich Watson and convinced him to join the Buzzscope Bullpen with a monthly column not just previewing upcoming appearances by black characters and creators, but also offering his own intelligent commentary on them, on the industry, and on the unique issues facing both characters and creators of color. His first offering, "What's a Nubian? #1" went up today.

We’re anomalies. Aberrations.

It’s like this: while we may enjoy rap music, we don’t wear our jeans halfway down our ass or buy jewelry that we need to take out a bank loan to pay for. While we may dig basketball, we don’t wear jackets with NBA logos speckled all over the front and back like a tool. While we may laugh our asses off at Dave Chappelle, we demand more from television than “bling bling” music videos, and more from Hollywood than movies like Soul Plane. And most importantly… while we may enjoy reading and know how to speak articulately, not only does that not mean we’re “acting white,” we reject outright the entire notion of “acting white,” or “acting black,” for that matter...

Where are the comics fans of color? We’re here, there, and everywhere.

And the time has come for us to stand up and be counted.
I'm thrilled to have him onboard and am looking forward to his column, every 4th Thursday of the month. Check it out and leave him a comment in the forums welcoming him to the site.

And keep an eye out for more announcements over the next couple of months.

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