Tuesday, June 26, 2007

P.O.W.E.R. In Comics Call To Action

If you believe that the comic book industry needs to grow, especially by including more women and minorities into the mix, but you haven't yet joined P.O.W.E.R. in Comics, then get over there and join us. We're over 50 members strong already. If you have - thanks! I'm glad you are there and I hope you invite some of your like-minded friends.

Now that we have a good start at growing our network, it's time to take some action. In order to get ourselves noticed we need to do more than just join an on-line network -- otherwise we're not much different than MySpace. This is a call for action! I'm looking for ideas that will grab attention and show the comic book industry that we're serious. Maybe a letter writing campaign where everyone sends in the letter along with a bra, or an offensive comic book cover that publisher released. Maybe a HUGE book drive that we all work on together and send the books to an inner city library somewhere. What do you think? Any ideas/suggestions? It's time to act!

8 comments:

James Meeley said...

I like the idea of a comic drive, with the book going to underprivilaged or sick children. That's a cause most anyone can get behind, no matter who's doing it.

My only suggestion, is to keep the action positive. The idea you suggested of letter-writing over an "offensive cover", while certain something with merit, doesn't seem to be within the greater goal of getting more people into comics. I think the efforts need to be focused on looking for things that are right and supporting them and if there is an issue, doing things that show a better way to do them (not merely complain about them).

Perhaps something like a cover redesign contest. Take a cover that most would find "offensive" and have folks recreate the image themselves in a less offensive manner, yet still get across the same point the original makes. Then those could be sent to the publisher, with a note explaining why this was done. Just a little idea I thought up on fly right now.

Whatever ideas you ultimately use, I'll support them as much as I can.

Lisa said...

Great ideas, James! Any ideas for organizations that work with underprivilaged kids that I could contact?

Good point on the offensive cover thing. Maybe something more unified, like you say. Maybe have women and minorities that read comics all send letters to the publishers with some other item, like a lolly pop or something -- something that's a visable demonstration of how many of us there are.

Vail said...

How about an organization that works to stop violence against women? Or I work with a nonprofit that is trying to raise money for orphans in Russia and Mongolia. Or there is a group that raises money to buy games for children's hospitals. It's called Child's Play http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

Lisa said...

I'll have to look into Child's Play! Thanks for the ideas Vail.

Tintin Pantoja said...

If POWER is going to do miscellaneous charity work, I don't know how that would relate to empowering women and children within the comics field. A worthy cause, but is it relevant? Also, as a non-American, I would sooner give charity to people from my own country. No offense, but those are the people I see begging on the streets everyday. Snail-mailing something to publishers would be impractical for me as well, what with international shipping costs. If POWER has a strictly North American focus, I don't think I can participate. Just my two centavos' worth.
Are there any other possibilities? For instance, the charity suggestion could work by choosing a relevant organization and then soliciting donations from comics proffessionals. Then there's always the tactic of making up a list of minority and women-friendly comics and promoting these to local libraries and bookstores. Or funding microloans for minority/female creators and businesses. Or lobbying stores and comic shops to carry books- even zines and minicomics- by target creators. Or setting up some kind of efficient distribution system that can bypass the Direct Market white male mentality. Or even sponsoring an anthology ala Friends of Lulu- sometimes, all it takes for a single creator to get noticed and work is one piece in an exhibit or anthology. Besides FOL, I can't think of many anthologies/ galleries that specifically cater to women/minority-created work. None of these are original ideas.

Tintin Pantoja said...

Another one: if you do decide on a letter-writing approach, how about creating a form letter :"We are unhappy with your company's products because so and so, see these scans, etc.).(with space for personal comments) that individuals can print, sign, and then mail to executives- not the bosses at Marvel or DC, but THEIR bosses- people at Time Warner, people at Barnes & Noble and Diamond and Amazon and Borders. (Printing the destinations online would also help). I find it helps if you point out how the misogynistic tendencies in stories tend to dilute certain brands....because these mothership companies are still selling their brands as PG-13 "wholesome" creations, a fact that seems lost on the comic companies.

James Meeley said...

If POWER is going to do miscellaneous charity work, I don't know how that would relate to empowering women and children within the comics field. A worthy cause, but is it relevant?

It could be seen as relevent, to show the power women and minorities have as a economic force. Since the group in made up mostly, if not entirely, of those demographics, such a charitable display, not only shows how much they care for the artform of comics, but the power they have to organize and make things happen.

One of the sticking points a lot of publishers have with catering to these demographics, is they are unsure of exactly how large or small they are. If a charity donation of comics to underprivilaged children made by these demographics what large enough, it could go a long way to showing just how much of a market force they can be.

Anyway, that's just how I see it as relevent in doing so. You miles may vary.

Lisa said...

If POWER is going to do miscellaneous charity work, I don't know how that would relate to empowering women and children within the comics field. A worthy cause, but is it relevant?

I don't thing we were thinking of miscellaneous charity work - more like putting comics into the hands of those that can't afford to buy them, and in the process not only giving them entertainment, but possibly also hope and inspiration and a future love of comic books.