Full name Professor Subject Date Issues on Representations Representations in comics are among the more fun ways of expressing one’s thoughts about certain subjects. However, there are several concerns that need to be considered when thinking of representations. First, a writer or cartoonist has to decide on what theme would the comic delve with. This will basically affect all of the other things needed to be considered. As Scott McCloud discussed, the profitability of the material should also be seriously thought of otherwise the comic will not succeed.
In doing so, one considers the range of potential readers and therefore thinks about gender balance to at least reach all kinds of people. Of course profitability is a serious matter to cartoonists and writers because it is not Just an expression of their artistic side but it is also their Job that should be well- compensated. Minority representation is a social issue that becomes a major concern in comics. It does not only make readers critical of social issues going around them such as feminism, sexism, racism and others which have been the theme of any comic strips that made great noise in the industry.
Sometimes, the most daring themes often succeed because of the popularity it can cause from the criticisms it gains from the public eye. Nevertheless, there are laws that often hold back artists in seriously considering their kinds of material otherwise they will be considered pornographic Just as it was ruled in 1973 by the Supreme Court that a material is “considered obscene if they offended prevailing community standards”. Another important detail to consider in representations is diversity of genre. When genres are etermined, it would be easier for writers and readers to identify what is most read.
As a medium, some of the benefits of representations are becoming the voice for minorities, discuss on social issues in a catchy manner and educate and encourage children to become more critical of social issues. Comics are interesting because of the cartoonish drawings that attract the attention of readers from children to adults. Therefore it is a medium that one can use to speak to a variety of readers. The images represented and captions written on comics can reflect the environmental ircumstances and oftentimes call the attention of readers of different ages who have diverse opinions as shown in “Say it Loud”.
The representations became the voice of Lesbians (Bechdel), racial minorities (Coleman) and feminists (Farmer & Robbins). Although there have been various reactions from readers, there have been a lot who applauded the works of cartoonists who had the courage to speak for the ones they represented. The limitations of representations are interconnected. As mentioned earlier, writers and cartoonists are concerned about gender balance, minority epresentations and diversity of genre which often limit their decisions.
In addition, technological advancements have a great effect on the products because of the use of television and computers which draw the attention of potential readers. There are possible comic readers. Therefore, the probability is the fear of many cartoonists, that when one starts small, it might stay small (McCloud). There have been tensions that arose among readers and writers about visibility and assimilation. For the artists, perhaps their objective was to create a critical mind in their readers with epresentations that would appeal to their audiences.
However, they have received various reactions. Some enjoyed comic strips while others were able to relate to them because they find that it is their very life that is being represented. Some simply acknowledged the genius of the artists but some had violent reactions. One of the readers of Aaron McGrouder’s is quoted to have said his comic strips are teaching children to become racists. The reader claims to understand the objective of the comic strips for the adult audience but she presents her pleas to the writer to onsider the children who might read and misunderstand his representations.
Moreover, another reader wrote that the same comic strips are “a clever way to get negative images and thoughts into the minds of youth without their parents realizing it. ” Another tension that arose from similar issues is the arrest of the Laguna Beach bookstore which was dubbed as an “alternative bookstore” in Orange County, California because of selling a magazine entitled “Tits and Clits” (Farmer & Robbins, 88). The arrest was in response to the Supreme Court rule mentioned earlier that was iven in 1973.
Considered to be obscene, the bookstore owners became an example of how seriously the matter could be handled. Fear fell on many bookstore owners and they refused to sell the magazine knowing that they can be arrested. Consequently, the artists were affected because no one wanted to sell their works anymore. Although the bookstore owners were released, they have become paranoid and were extra careful about their products from then on. The publishers on the other hand continued with their business but their sales were not as good compared o the time before the arrest.
Bechdel, Allison. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2008. Coleman, robin R. Means (Ed. ). Say it Loud: African-American Audiences, Media and Identity. New York & London: Routledge. 2002. Farmer, Joyce. Busted: The Story of Tits and Clits, An Underground Comic Published in 1972. 1988. McCloud, Scott. Reinventing Comics. 2000. Robbins, Trina. From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women’s Comics From Teens to Zines. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 1999.