Saturday, January 22, 2011

Re: "Ethnic Images in the Comics" posts...

You'll note that over the last few days I've shared with you Nemo #28 and their spotlight on "Ethnic Images in the Comics" and I've done so without any commentary from myself. I did so partially because it can be a sticky subject talking about different ethnicity's and I wanted to present the comics and Nemo's editorials without my usual rambling muddling things up.

I have many things I can say about the priceless contributions people of all countries have brought to all things American and I could lay out shopping lists of the value of both the positive and the negative stereotypes that we look back on disdainfully. They both served their purpose and what we are now is seasoned with all good things and bad things of our past.

Irish stereotypes in Maggie and Jiggs were laid out by Irishman George McManus. The German shenanigans of The Katzenjammers came from German Rudolph Dirks. All manner of what we would now see as racist or anti-Semitic Jewish stereotypes come from the pen of Rube Goldberg, Milt Gross and many others. I feel in some way the stereotypes are born from the artist trying to find his own way in the world...not in judgement over a culture or in ridicule of their own.

Like I said. I kept my commentary to myself. Though I can pinpoint exactly where my heritage is and show exactly where my branch on my family tree came from...German, Austrian, French, Irish, Scottish and Chippewa...I am a 7th generation American, white bread through and through. I am a straight, Caucasian, male between the ages of 18 and 55 and am therefore in the only demographic not defended by any organization and the only group who (by law) cannot sue other people for hurting my feelings. And no one cares OR SHOULD care about my opinions on what the immigrant life experience is.

It was coincidence that my posts were around Martin Luther King, Jr Day. A happy happenstance. Dr. King dreamt of a day where his children would be judged by their character and not by color of skin or belief system. It's coming. It's just taking a while. I dream of it too.

And that's why I shut up for 5 days. Man, it was tough.

Talk to you soon.


Lysdexicuss said...

Great article, ya Rummy Mick ;~j

George Herriman was another who explored stereotypes in an acceptable, non-judgmental way. Artists represent the Seeker in Everyman, exploring that age-old question (ala Nina Simone) "Who Am I ?"

Jeff Overturf said...

From Aristotle to Dr. Suess "Who am I?", "I am who?" goes round and round. :)

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