Ethnic diversity not the issue in Marvel comic books

Many of the classic comic book readers were not fans of the new characters in Marvel that added new diverse characters like the black female Ironman called Ironheart and a Muslim teenage girl as a version of Ms. Marvel. The sales for them have been low as mentioned in the article “Marvel executive says the emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers”. In this article, many retailers told a journalist in the Marvel retailer summit that

What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.”

I don’t think diversity is the issue here. The majority of the comic book readers are a demographic of mostly white males which is shown in “Report: 63% Of Comics Bought By Men, 37% By Women”. Is this a bad, maybe? But people like reading what they are accustomed to. And to comic book readers that are the old traditional superheroes like the Hulk, Ironmen, and Thor. However, these comic books went through different types of storylines and different iteration of the same traditional superhero. So changing the race or gender of these tradition heroes will just give them a more interesting backstory and a fresh start from the overdone character of a White male superhero.

The comic book market is in trouble right now and these comic books about these diverse characters are new. Thee graph from “Are Marvel & DC Comics Really Close to Failing?”  article shows that the unit sales for comics books are declining. The trend from 2016 to 2018 shows a steady decline. For example, in 2016, the sales were over 80 million units but in 2018 the sales were significantly lower. So according to the writers of this article on why the comic book market is doing badly is because the comic book market’s publisher and retailers are still trying to figure out itself in today’s market. So, these new diversity characters are being introduced in a comic book market that is struggling so it makes sense for them to do badly compared to other comic books with the traditional superhero that already has a built brand and a longtime fanbase.

I believe with the movies being made about these characters with diverse backgrounds; their popularity will skyrocket. These characters being new and having a negative feedback from the comic fans will quickly change with the movies coming out. More people watch the movies than read the comic books so just through the release of movies, the popularity of these characters will go up. This happened recently with a biracial character of Spider-man, Miles Morales in the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not a lot of people knew who he was except through reading comic books but with the movie, his comics and the character’s popularity went up.

Black Panther party as disruptors

            From the reading THE PEOPLE’S FREE MEDICAL CLINICS by Alondra Nelson it reminded me of the video “Life Inside Detroit Public Schools”. The school in the video has been failed by its government. I thought some of the public schools in NYC were underfunded but watching this video boggled my mind. They have rain and snowing flowing right through their walls. And their school so damaged, I am surprised how it isn’t closed for being a health hazard for the kids in it going there. These schools would benefit from co-operative community organizers that can support them or organization like the Black Panther as they did with the free clinics in the reading. 

           However, Alondra Nelson’s reading shows that people are punished for taking the problem into their own hands when the government and other types of organizations fail them. The reading goes into how minorities coming from low socio-economic especially black women were being mistreated and given poor service by private hospitals. in the early 1970s. To resolve this the Black Panthers by making their own clinics called People’s Free Medical Clinic short for (PFMC). They were able to get clinics across thirteen. The service The Black Panthers were able to provide with their free clinics was successful would be an understatement. However, they were bullied and terrorized by law enforcement from running these clinics. The lash back against them by law enforcement, makes me wonder if the same privately-owned corporate hospitals that were treating people of color badly had a hand in this. These hospitals were making a lot of money and the Black Panther are somewhat a disruptor that showed you can’t mistreat people of color. 

           The pharmaceutical industry like the hospitals is mistreating people except instead of only people of color, they mistreat us Americans of all color with their overpriced medicine. The article “Drug Companies, Not ‘Middlemen’, Are Responsible For High Drug Prices” explains why drug companies are able to overprice their drugs with saying “ As a result, in the absence of competition, manufacturers frequently charge the highest prices they believe they can justify in the court of public opinion”. This shady business practice causes many without insurance not be able to get the treatment they need. 

           To tackle social issues like the pharmaceutical industry, it wouldn’t hurt if we have more disruptors like Black Panthers. If an organization starts letting people have medicine for free, imagine the damage it would do to these industries that practice these terrible business tactics on the American people. Then maybe the corporations such as the ones in the pharmaceutical industry will have to be more careful and change their practices. 

The Influence of Social Media

The social media platforms has been a major impact and influence towards the youth, especially in today’s society and in regards to the generation that is rising. Being that I am also focusing on the influences of social media for my final project on my research paper, I would like to expand on that idea and on the readings of “Confessions of an ex-social media influencer”. Just by reading the title of that article, I was so eager to read the full article and dive deep on how good or bad social media really is.  For example, Instagram. Instagram has some benefits such as financially from after a user’s photo has been posted, it increases their popularity. Therefore, if you have a higher following count, especially women, they are getting paid monetarily from what they post. Instagram reflects class, media and identity in so many ways where young women are forced by society to show an image of themselves just to fit in. 

My experience with Instagram has never been a great one. Although, so many people in my generation adore this social media platform, I do not. Instagram has always been a place where takes advantage of young women to body shame them. There is a complicated truth about social media and body image, that has affected many young women like myself. I have my opinions towards social media in general, where people think I am crazy to even belief such thing and others think that I am hitting it right on the mark. When scrolling through Instagram, you begin to compare yourself to others and lower your self-esteem. People are comparing their appearance to and they judge themselves to be the worst one of the other side of the screen. To be a social media influencer requires a lot of time, self-confidence and engagement to actually impact, unfortunately I would say. However, I believe instagram is a platform for many people to create a false identity of someone who they are not. Although this may be the case, it can be a great platform for people to express who they truly are in a unique way. It is up to society to choose which path they would take to impact others in media. 

Ironheart!

When reading the comic issue of Ironheart by Eve L. Ewing I found it interesting how most of the cast of characters were minorities which isn’t something we see often in modern day comics or even recent super hero movies. It’s definitely great to see such a change as I feel it makes media more interesting when the cast is more diverse. I’ve always loved female characters in comics and movies more than males because their backstory and the way they’re written is different in every comic or movie while male characters have a tendency to fit various male stereotypes. Although I’m glad that there is this change in Ironheart I was a little disappointed to see how similar her Riri’s abilities were to Ironman, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised as Ironheart and Ironman are similar names and maybe there is a connection to Ironman in later issues. I just wish that she’d do something really different maybe some type of unique alien power, magic, anything of that sort. I know how hard it is to make unique and original characters so already pushing the boundaries with a racial minority and female superhero is a lot and probably anything you can think of has already been made.

As an artist myself the art style really appealed to me and I found it unique comparatively to other comics I’ve read. Recently possibly due to budget cuts or maybe overworking of comic book artists, the art in comics have gone down in detail due to time constrains most likely. However, this comic doesn’t skimp out on art direction at all. The detail of her suit and the scene in the store is incredible and reminds me of comics from the 80s and 90s which had loads of detail in every panel. The same is seen here only its more modernized with smoother lines and shading. Lastly, I really appreciate the storytelling. There seems to be a lot more to it then just what’s here especially with her origins which we get a glimpse of with the flashback in the beginning and the scene where she’s getting shot at and has another flashback of someone dying. I’m assuming the person who died is now the AI in her suit which is awesome. I once made a character myself who had an AI of a character who died in her life that would work in her computer so that connection really stood out to me. Overall it was an interesting read and I’m looking forward to reading more of Ironheart in the future.

The Truth about Being a Social Media Influencer

Considering my final project is on social media influencers it’s only natural I would be drawn to an article titled “Confessions of an ex-social media influencer”. Written by Rachel Klaver it touches on her experiences on being a former social media influencer. She mentions how she used to receive a lot of free products but wouldn’t make much money even if it looked like she was loaded. This was interesting to me and made me wonder how many social media influencers we see online that really are broke and we just believe they have it made it and found this secret way to make money and get free stuff. This has always been a question on my mind since it’s so easy to fake to what you are on social media but hearing it from a direct source is different.  She does mention that it’s different now and there are plenty of influencers actually making money but says the majority are probably like she was, broke with useless free stuff. It’s hilarious that companies believe they can just give influencers free stuff and it’ll pay their bills. While doing research for my paper I learned a large majority of younger people in the United States actually want to be social media influencers. The fantasy that’s sold on social media is what gets to a lot of people and it’s really important to do your research if this is what you’re looking to do for a living.

I myself have considered doing something to do with social media but I always believed in having a plan B for everything. However it seems like a lot of people drop their job, their schooling, everything to do social media, youtube, or livestream. I understand wanting to pursue your dreams or even the current job economy and ideals that people have to not work 9-5 and be your own boss but in some aspects it’s dangerous for someone’s livelihood. It’s something you can gain and lose so fast and that argument can be made for so many things in life the difference with a typical job is the experience you gain and can push towards another job if you lose your current one. It’s important to do what you love and try and reach that goal I’m not arguing not to just to be aware and do research beforehand to make sure you’re in a secure spot financially, emotionally and otherwise.

Appalachian Pawns

Understanding the people of Appalachia is a hard feat. Long regarded as ‘Rednecks’, their history has been tailored to fit various groups’ agendas. Elizabeth Catte’s book “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia,” deletes into the problem at length. She talks about how the Appalachian people are deeply misunderstood. Being called a ‘redneck’ for instance is regarded as something negative though its roots are tainted. Rednecks is a term that conjures up images of poor, white, lazy, and uneducated people, however, it formed in the most unholy of ways. In the early 1900’s the people of Appalachia were protesting against big coal mining companies. The workers wanted to unionize but the companies were blocking their efforts to do so. As a sign of support for the unionization of workers, protesters wore red bandanas around their necks. Their enemies saw this and decided to nickname them “rednecks”. They pushed the narrative that these Rednecks were lazy, uneducated people who only wanted to take from the company that gave them jobs to begin with. 

Again their narrative was taken away from them during the 2016 U.S.A primaries. During a CNN sponsored town-hall meeting, Hilary Clinton said, “I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic growth using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country… Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business right?” 28). This did not go over well with many Appalachian natives. When it came time for the elections instead of voting for Hilary Clinton many people voted for Bernie Sanders, her opposition. Democrats at the time believed that Clinton was the only Democrat that had a chance of beating Trump (the Republican opposition) in the presidential election. Therefore, the Appalachian people were viewed as traitors, voting for Sanders so that Trump would win the election. That view of the Appalachian people shows a blatant disregard and ignorance about their history. They are a people that fought for the unionization of coal miners (a more Democratic stance). They do not want to dismantle the democratic party, they just want someone to represent and understand them, and Clinton, to them, did not seem like the right choice. 

The Appalachian people are a deeply misunderstood group who need more recognition for their stance against the big oil companies. They are used as pawns in both the right and left’s narratives, always being labeled the “bad guy.” Until I read “What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia,” I was ignorant about their history and made unfair assumption about the people that live there. Their stories need to be shared and honored. 

I Can/ We Can

As soon as children can express themselves, they express their want for autonomy. They want to be the one to pour their drinks and to cross the street by themselves. Fueled by the little engine that could they find themselves demanding for independence. This independence becomes drilled into them as they grow and are told they must take care of themselves. By their adult life, they no longer need help from others and live within the confines of their abilities. In this week’s readings on “Self and Community Care,” the connection between people’s relationships, vulnerability, and mutual aid is emphasized. It is not enough for one to attempt to change the world on one’s lonesome, community and the relationships we have within our community are the guiding blocks to help those around us.

Adrienne Maree Brown’s article “On Vulnerability, Playfulness, and Keeping Yourself Honest” discusses the importance of being vulnerable and allowing one’s self to acknowledge one’s hardships. Brown states that by letting one’s self be vulnerable, one can see the problems she/he faces and connect those hardships with the hardships of others. Often people disregard their sufferings to make way for others and miss the link between the two. By making that connection people can better work to fix the systemic problems they face.

The article “Mariame Kaba: Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People” by Eve L. Ewing dives into the idea of lone action. The article features an interview with Mariame Kaba who states, “we are in a relationship with each other, we influence each other. What matters to me, as the unit of interest, is relationships.” Here she is discussing the importance of working with others in connection with activism. Activism she says is not an independent activity, it requires you to connect not only the people who suffer with you but also those who have suffered before you. As Ewing articulates, “people who came before me have left me things that mean a lot to me that will never live to see the fruition of. And so, therefore, it’s unreasonable for me to expect, “I’m going to fix this.” When discussing activism there is rarely a cause that has never been touched upon/ fought for. When one decides she/he is going to become an activist and start engaging in activist activities, she/he must consider the legacy of those that came before. It is important to not only recognize the legacy of others but also one’s mortality. If those that came before were not able to complete their activism, then most likely you won’t either. You must work with others to create a legacy of your own.

While the independence one learns as a child is important in terms of development, it is not terms of activism. It takes vulnerability, community relationships, and legacy to engage in effective activism. It is important to open yourself up and recognize the hardships you harbor and connect them with others. That way you can come together and fight against systematic oppression and come out victorious. In that journey, you must also look to the past and those activists that came before, for they have a lot to teach. Say goodbye to “I can activism” and say hello to “we can activism.”

Spring Internships!

Hi everyone,

The company that I currently intern at is seeking a copyblogger intern, marketing intern, and a content and outreach intern. Below I have included a description. Shine Global is a non-profit media company that creates films that give a voice to children and families by telling their stories of resilience. They create awareness, promote action and inspire change. Fun fact: they worked on a film called The Harvest/La Cosecha which was also produced with Eva Longoria. They are located right outside of Port Authority so it’s super easy to get to if you live in and around NYC. For more information or if you’d like to request an educational screening of our movies for a future class, visit www.shineglobal.org !

JOB DESCRIPTION:
As Shine is a small company, interns are very involved in everything that goes on in our office. This provides them with the opportunity to be exposed to the inside workings of independent film production at a variety of stages. Shine is also a non-profit and interns also work with Shine in this capacity, providing insight into the workings of a non-profit organization.
For all internships positions we are looking for candidates that:
  • Are an undergraduate student of an accredited college or university
  • Have living accommodations in or around NYC
  • Be able to dedicate 2-3 days a week January 21, 2020 through May 22, 2020
  • Have at least 3.0 GPA
  • Are interested in social advocacy, educational outreach, non-profit business, and/or media
  • Have excellent organizational, communication, writing skills, and research skills.
  • Be familiar with MAC OS, Microsoft Office, social networking, and internet research
  • Must be able to work independently and meet deadlines with little supervision
  • Must have your own computer or access to a computer to work remotely.
  • Have familiarity with WordPress
Interns are offered a modest stipend to cover internship expenses which half is distributed at the midway point while the other half is distributed at the end.
Copyblogger Intern
The Shine Copyblogger Intern works with staff primarily on managing Shine’s blog, which includes: content creation, curation, and posting in support of our films and impact work; day-to-day optimizing of Shine’s written content for search platforms, including editing headlines and custom URLs, and researching/organizing keyword research data to inform story ideas and editorial strategy.
Duties include but are not limited to:
  • Write weekly 500-1000 word blog posts
  • Reviewing and analyzing previous posts for areas that can be improved and optimized
  • Identifying powerful keywords to drive the most valuable traffic
  • Writing powerful calls-to-action to convert visitors
  • Work with staff to refine and implement digital content strategy
  • Conduct research for current trends/topics
  • Identify influencers in our network and connect
  • Assist with other marketing projects and administrative tasks as needed
To apply, send a resume and cover letter describing your interest in one of the three positions to Sean at sean@shineglobal.org by December 22, 2019.

No New Jails NYC

when I first saw the title “No New Jails NYC” I was confused.  I know jails are not the best solution to punish any individuals for there crimes but it is some sort of punishment that  will keep the public safe at less by locking up the bad people and removing them from our society.  Plus after hearing the many story of Rikers being over popularized I thought adding new jails will be a good thing. However after reading this article I left with mix feelings.  11 billion dollars is a lot of money and I highly agree with the No New jail NYC group when they said there are many different problems that we can fix instead of dropping all that money into new jails around the city.  we can attack other problems  such as homeless people having no place to stay or school funding to better our education.  It also show records that adding new jails does doesn’t increase safety but does the total opposite.  In the article it is mention that in Cincinnati due to a limited of jail bed there had to slow down on arresting people.  many worried because of this that crime will go up but once again the total opposite happened crime when down.  Violent crime dropped by 38.5 percent , property crime by 18.9 percent , while felony arrests and
misdemeanor arrests dropped by 121.3 percent and 32.7 percent.  it is mention that officers had to face the facts arrests were limited commodity rather than a standard response.  This basically means jails create a lot of unnecessary arrests and by adding new jails were just making worst for our community.  Also not everybody in jail deserve to be there there’s a lot of innocent people in jail that have to wait for they trails or serving time for petty crimes such as parking tickets.  one example is Julian Roldan the founder No New Jail NYC what arrested for protesting and end up jail dead.  the police say it was suicide by that’s makes no sense at all.  Roldan had no reason to kill himself and he would’ve still been alive today if he was never placed in jail for exercising his forth amendment.  Also Layleen Polanco was a homeless trans woman and was lock up for alleged sex work.  Layleen was facing trans-phobic hate so therefore she was placed in solitary confinement for her safely.  Layleen had a seizure disorder which the staff was fully aware but still placed her in solitary confinement where she die.  This remains me of the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” where one of the character was placed  solitary confinement for her protection.  i did think we should be spending money on new jails it doesn’t help the community it just ruins lives.

Zine’s

Zines are the perfect example of self expression. I’m glad we were able to have a formal class on a number of zines showed to us and what they represent. Zines can vary in so many different ways because it allows a person to creatively express how they feel or what they think about a certain topic. My particular zine was about women empowerment. This specific Zine was not so decorated but more detailed oriented and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not a competition at all but just a different way of expressing. This Zine had poems made and short stories and all other Zines could be different. You can think of it as your own personal blog post but just hand written. Many famous people also have Zines as well as mentioned in class, Kanye West has one. He’s by far my most influential person of all time since his biggest fan. He definitely has a way of expressing himself and although he receives a lot of criticism, not everyone especially me can agree. His outlook on life does make sense and now that he’s found religion, he’s a whole new person. This isn’t about Kanye though. This is about the Zine world that I didn’t even know existed.  Magazines are periodical publication meanwhile Zines are low circulation, non-commercial publication of original or appropriated texts and images. Zines are basically sheets of paper folded to look like a book while magazines are a literal professionally made type of book. Zines started way back in the 1930’s as “fan magazines” but was shortened to Zines right after. If you’re an artist, this is the perfect example for creative expression since you can decorate all over it since there is no true way to make the perfect Zine. They are all individualized.