The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, on the campus of Ohio State University, houses the world’s largest collection of comic strip tear sheets and clippings, and also archives original art, manuscript materials, and other comics-related items. This week Caitlin McGurk, Associate Curator at the museum, talks to Tim about Milton Canniff’s connection to the museum, the challenges of art preservation, some highlights of the museum’s holdings, and more.
Comics have come a long way since Milton Caniff could put a hideous Chinese stereotype in a family newspaper, or create a racist World War II guide to telling “Japs” from Chinese people — right? Well… but what about those papers today that only want one “black strip” — Candorville or Curtis, but not both? The top ranks of Marvel & DC heroes are overwhelmingly white — and, thanks to “regressive storytelling” at DC, they’re becoming more so. Black heroes, Hispanic heroes, seldom have their own titles. And, oh by the way — how about some characters with roots in India? Please? Tim, Kumar, and Mulele discuss the past history of racism — intentional and not — in American comics, and the present-day reality of most comics’ racial non-diversity. Also: Why Canadian-citizen Kumar never cared about Alpha Flight!
Links, links, and more links:
- A new beginning for the black superhero?
- Why we need minority heroes in superhero comics
- The five most unintentionally offensive comic book characters (featuring racial separatist Tyroc, black Lois Lane, and “pimp” Falcon)
- Yellowface: A Story in Pictures
- Why Ebony White isn’t Sassy
- Top 12 Latin Superheroes
- Black Racer
- Black Panther
- Is Mark Millar sexist and racist?
- Why does this insanely racist thing happen in Spider-Man: Fever?
- Idris Elba to play Heimdall in Thor movie
- EC’s controversial 1950s story “Judgement Day”