Friday, November 9, 2012

BLACK SUPERHERO SYNDROME; ARE YOU ONE OF THE MILLIONS SUFFERING FROM THIS MALADY...READ ON!

What it is HAMMERHEADS? Once again it's on...coming straight at ya from the black cave with a fist full of kryptonite and some literary dynamite...it's time for us to have some real talk about a condition I call Black Superhero Syndrome. I have recently seen a bunch of tweets and remarks about black superheroes and their  absence in recent big screen spectacles like The Avengers. I even contributed my own dirge to this futile dream....check it out here http://luciushammer.blogspot.com/2012/05/avengers-aftermath.html. The hope of seeing a respectable big screen depiction of a righteous paranormal brother or sister in costume getting their scrap on for the good of mankind is fun to imagine but unlikely. When God graces me with the financial means to suit up and go to an actual comic-con, I see thousands of lost souls in the crowd....zombie-like wraiths looking for that special book...that action figure....that pin-up in which they perhaps see a hint of themselves. At the ECBACC (East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention if you don't know) in 2009, I watched rabid Black consumers enter the hotel where the show was held and proceed to devour spiritually and physically the "black" product that was being peddled. There also were quite a few Caucasian customers as well. Evidence of this clear desire for these heroes of color and their exploits is plain to be seen at a show like this. I started thinking about the Black Superhero Movies that have been made over the past twenty five years or so and began to straight up wonder how Blankman was made before Black Panther? Or how we have Hancock before Luke Cage? Of course I know why these movies were made in lieu of depicting an African King of a technologically advanced empire who moonlights as a superhero or showing a belligerent black man with super powers who doesn't give a fuck about the system. If you're reading this blog you know why too...but we'll just act like we don't so our conversation can continue.

Personally, I thought Hancock was funny as hell. It was silly, but Will Smith nailed the super slacker motif. It just needed a better script. I hate to say this because obviously I'm a black writer and this next statement is probably going to be taken the wrong way by a lot of people....but the one dynamic I thought was missing from Hancock was his interaction with the black public. Once again we have a black protagonist who is preoccupied with the white people around him and what they think of him. With his extreme cache of super powers...what did Hancock ever do for the hood? And better yet....what did black people think about Hancock within the story's universe. These are questions we will never have answered because most of the writers who contributed to Hancock were probably Caucasian. And I have no problem with white writers. Some of my favorite writers are white. But that doesn't stop me from thinking there is a much greater, potentially more interesting and fulfilling story for Hancock if some brothers and sisters had been involved in the plot construction. Experience is a mother fucker. I know the President is black...but being African American in this country is a mother fucker from all sorts of angles you would never even consider. Our experience is rich and interesting...it would be very much worth documenting this experience in film but Hollywood Execs seem to think otherwise. This is the number one symptom of BLACK SUPERHERO SYNDROME. Writers, artists, directors and the film industry either have A) A Dave Chapellian secret agenda to denigrate black people in media and therefore have chosen only to develop films where we are horribly disfigured, monsters...drunken anti-heroes or super powered Amos and Andy's B) Have no interest in creating new films that depict black heroes in a positive and uplifting manner because they don't think audiences will buy it or find it engaging or C) Both of the above. The bottom line is this...in an industry dominated by white writers where most of the iconic black superheroes were created by white guys anyway...we stand very little chance of seeing something epic, authentic and similar to their heroes because we (the black creative community) have not created anything economically viable to compete and perhaps drive up the stock price of black superheroes. Simply put...if we build it....everyone together now....THEY WILL COME. Remember HIP HOP? But if we don't build it....nothing can be said about the lack of black superheroes because ultimately it's up to us to record our experiences. So enough of all the fanboy banter about Black Panther and Luke Cage movies...pray that they don't make those movies because I guarantee they will be paranormal minstrel shows that just serve only to infuriate. Here's an idea for black creators and any other creators out there that are interested in seeing movies, cartoons, video games featuring black superheroes....CREATE YOUR OWN SHIT. INVEST IN YOUR OWN SHIT. TAKE YOUR PRODUCT TO SHOWS AND YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE. MAKE YOUR OWN MOVIES. REINVENT THE GENRE. FLIP THE DAMN SCRIPT. WE DO IT ALL THE TIME. WAKE UP BLACK COMIC BOOK CREATORS, UP YOU WAKE. DON"T TALK ABOUT IT...BE ABOUT IT.

I'm actually so irritated by black creators bitching and moaning about quality African American Superheroes and their presence in various media that (as the creator of a burgeoning independent comic book myself that stars a black superhero) I am willing to head up a Summit of Black Creators. Not just writers and artists...but special effects people, musicians...animators...camera people...advertisers...graphic design folk. Let's organize and create some dope shit. Has anyone ever stopped to think about the mind-blowing possibilities of highly creative like minded people getting in one room for a weekend...networking, brainstorming in fellowship and resolving to help one another accomplish what other people won't do for us?

I need all you creators, dreamers, writers, artists and fanboys to read this rant and get hype. 2013 is looming. It's time to kick doors in...it's time for this black comic book movement to catch fire. Quit succumbing to BLACK SUPERHERO SYNDROME. This is a call to arms.

I am about to go out and have several strong drinks for my birthday. I'm going to post this blog and repost on FACEBOOK so all my creative brethren can get a taste of this rebellious vitriol. Then when I get back from the pub...I want to see some comments and some cats responding as to the actions we can take as a group. If no one responds...you will still see me grinding to get LUCIUS HAMMER to the masses. And when black superheroes finally hit their stride like I think we all know they will...can't nobody say shit to me because right now....I live for this. It's Do or Die. Now or Never. Are you in or are you out?

3 Comments:

Blogger Guy D. Copes III said...

Got me hyped. Well I was already hyped up to do my own damn thing in 2013, but this just fired me up more. As my Pops would say, Nothing to it but to do it.

November 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Networml said...

I'm with you on this Brother! Five years ago I began to produce the world of CyPhrons Networml.... check out one of the sites at CyPhrons.blogspot.com There is an ecosystem. We are there, but coming together is part of the issue to collaborate, create, and disseminate the material to common channels.... Peace! I'd like to help. I joined your group today on Black Science Fiction Society.

January 4, 2013 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger M. Turner said...

I heard a podcast recently touching a bit on this subject and in that cast someone said that Milestone was an aberration. What struck me about that was the fact that we as a creative community should not look at the success of Milestone and say something like that can only happen once. You hit it right on the head when you said that creators should be banding together. We should be creating something along the lines of an Image or Milestone and becoming a place for not just black creators, but talented creators who are women and other ethnic groups not represented in the industry. If we as creators provide the content and high profile that draws attention and fans do their part by supporting such efforts....anything is possible! I'd love to talk to you more about your idea and doing what little I can to help give what you have given voice to momentum.

March 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM  

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