A couple of months ago a group of artists got together, dressed up as superheroes and took some pictures. It got a modicum of press around town. We blogged about it back in August. It also sparked a bit of contention. Someone has anonymously created a site that complicates the superhero project. Understandable.
Being somewhat unfamiliar with the original project other than what I read in the press (Phoenix not Boston Mag) I was a bit taken aback by the critique yet I find much about it valid. The history of comic books and their depiction of race (and queerness and the disabled) is problematic and perhaps something that didn't enter into the thoughts of those creating the superhero project. It is this unwitting embracing of a artistic medium (without acknowledging its inherent complications) that has historically lead to the erasure of many participants of the art world not to mention the comics world. That said, this is an opportunity to, like anonymous has said, spark a dialogue. I invite people to visit the sites and think deeply about what is - or is not - taking place here. I have prompted the other bloggers of ODR to step up and begin the conversation.
I have invited a friend of mine to the conversation as well. We took a comic book history class together and she writes about disability and technology at her site here.
Tonight - If you are interested in having this dialogue in person there is a reception for the Superheroes project at the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 539 Tremont St.