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04 December 2009 @ 11:07 pm
Ethics: "A Comic of One's Own"  
Below are scans of the sixth Ethics column I published in The Comics Journal back in the mid-'80s, after I'd left the field and was trying to make sense of it all. This one appeared in TCJ #107, the April 1986 issue.

This installment dealt with sexism in the comics industry, and the politics of privilege, how those of us who benefit from an unfair institutionalized situation often cannot see the workings of the machinery that acts in our favor.

If I could temper anything I wrote here, it would be ... well, give the piece a read, and I'll see you on the other side.

[Click on each page below multiple times to view at a readable size.]



As I was saying ...

I shouldn't have allowed my disappointment with Women in the Comics, by Trina Robbins and Cat Yronwode, to cause me to damn it to the extent that I did. Yes, I felt, and still feel, that the many silences I noted should have been documented, still need to be documented. But I can see, as I could not see then, that I gave in to hyperbole, and it wasn't the evil book I painted it to be. I didn't necessarily need to trash their efforts to make the case I was trying to make, and I'm sorry.

Only one published Ethics column remains. There were two further ones written which The Comics Journal never printed. Will I share them here? We'll see ...
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rtbinc on December 5th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Death solves many problems
Maybe death is under rated as a force for good and change. The sad truth is that most "...isms" won't be changed by the people who engage in them. They are woven deeply and complexly into our society and the intimate and unthought details of people's day to day lives. You struck a powerful chord, did you notice it? Politeness. To unravel many "...isms" requires many subtle changes to politeness, which cause people to live in a permeant paradox. How can I nice to someone by being rude? By the time we are adults rewireing something so basic to our lives becomes untenable. So the generation following has to teach the generation following them a new form of politeness that corrects the problem. Of course this won't be done perfectly, so another generation must pass while this is sorted out. The death of the previous generations becomes vital to allowing new generations to sweep "isms" away.
scottedelman: BuhZurkscottedelman on December 5th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Death solves many problems
I agree that progress, true change, depends on those who would never alter their beliefs dying. It's unfortunate, but true. Some people can change, most cannot. And so for a society to move forward, those who can only remember the old ways and imagine no other must slip away.
~twilight~_twilight_ on December 5th, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
"I didn't necessarily need to trash their efforts to make the case I was trying to make, and I'm sorry."

Been there. And, in retrospect, one of those times it wasn't the book's fault. It was that the cover photo, title, and the words written on the back had almost nothing to do with the contents. And the authors probably had no control over that.