“I believe in the power of myth.”-Tom Zarek, BattleStar Galactica
How do you judge the non-scholarly or religious books that you read? Are you more likely to purchase a book if it is marketed to your race or gender? For a while now, I have faced a dilemma: what should my comic book pile look like? Should the pages have people who look like me, a black male? Isn’t that how theology and biblical studies should be? Reading books by people who look, act, and believe like me? Whatever I consume and read, I shouldn’t have to be confronted with difference, no?
For me, I decided earlier this year I wanted to have a monthly pile if I could afford it, of a few DC Comics. I figure I will be buying the graphic novels of BatMan so, that was out, and Chad is right, I am a Graphic Novel kinda guy. I tried Justice League, SuperGirl, BatWing, and BatGirl for a month until I decided on just BatWing and BatGirl. BatWing, as I ranted about last month became a disappointment. A member of the BatFamily who looked like me, but he had no personality, and is on his way to Justice League International (cough cough, gonna get benched). So, I am just strictly going with BatGirl, written by Gail Simone, who is an excellent writer. What separates BatGirl from other heroes/heroines is that she is the survivor of a traumatic event, and that part of her backstory plays some part in the current comic series. The importance of memory and knowing yourself is very much a part of the BatGirl’s narrative.
I coulda went with the Red Lanterns, Green Lantern Corps, even Ultimate Spiderman (a marvel token black), but I chose quality over content. I even own a BatGirl t-shirt. When I wear it to work, people love it, and it’s good, but I didn’t buy it for them, I bought it for me.
I did pick up graphic novels of Black Lightning:Year One of DC Comics, and I hope that he is brought back as promised by Dan DiDio. If BL ever returns, I hope they change his name (Black heroes have to have Black in their names?), but I would go with both BL and BG definitely.
Those are my thoughts. Here are some Russ Burlingame, a guest post from DC Women Kicking A%*: Male Comic Readers and Female-led Superhero Comics
So, what are the deciding factors when you choose what fiction books to read?