January 31, 2007

What publishers are saying

Let's ignore the fact that controversy sells, as it's arguably doing with the SCALPED series. I'm willing to be that no comic-book publishers are sitting around saying, "I'd really like to publish an Indian comic, but I'm afraid of the protests." What they're probably saying is, "Are Indians still around? I thought they were dead.

"Okay, I'll consider an Indian comic to make people feel good about themselves. But I don't want to expend too much energy on it. Because it might not work and then we'd look foolish. Despite the popularity of Dances with Wolves and Pocahontas, there's probably not much of a market for it.

"So let's not waste time or money finding creators who might actually understand Indians. Let's go with my stereotypical impressions. Indians are warriors with tomahawks or shamans with magic artifacts, right? We've done comics like that before and they've sold okay, so give me something like that.

"Hey, here's a proposal to do Independence Day (Indians as savage freedom fighters!) or The Sopranos (Indians as savage casino owners!) on the rez. They're Apaches or Lakotas, so they're savage by definition, but they're also human beings. Wow, that's heavy.

"No need to look any further. It sounds like something I've seen or read before, and it's close enough to reality for readers, who are as ignorant as I am. Let's do it."

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