Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
Comics Creating Change
Melissa Starker

The comics industry has given birth to a range of characters with extraordinary powers and stories that are out of this world in a literal and figurative sense. But historically, it’s also had its limitations.

As The A.V. Club’s Oliver Sava wrote last year, “There’s no question about it: Straight white men dominate comic books, both on and off the page.”

In the 80 years that comic books have been produced in the U.S., the role of women and people of color in their creation has been minor, if not non-existent.

Laurenn McCubbin, a professor at Columbus College of Design (CCAD) and comic artist who’s drawn and designed for publishers ranging from powerhouse Marvel to indie purveyors like Milkfed Criminal Masterminds (Bitch Planet), offered some current industry numbers: “At Marvel Comics, about 14 percent of their creators are women and people are color. DC has about 15 percent, and Image Comics has about nine  percent. And the numbers aren’t much better in independent comics. There’s still a big disparity.”

McCubbin noted that there’s been some movement in the mainstream recently, promoted by readers with a hunger for something different. They’ve made bestsellers of titles like Ms. Marvel, featuring a female Muslim superhero, and a new version of Thor with a woman assuming control of the hammer.

Nonetheless says McCubbin, “The way that comics tend to work, like many other industries, is that people go with what they’re comfortable with.” She added. “If your entire editing staff is white dudes, unless they’re making an effort, they’re going for other white dudes. We have some catching up to do.”

On the local front, comic artists and professionals are working to be one step ahead of the industry as a whole. When Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) made its debut in October as the newest American festival for the art of comics, its first satellite event, Sol-Con, focused on the work of black and Latino artists. And when CXC’s first Emerging Artist Award was presented, the recipient was a woman—Brooklyn-based graphic novelist Katie Skelly (Operation Margarine). Taking the award, Skelly dedicated it to “all the bad bitches” now staking a claim in the comics landscape.

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Deer Sculptures, OSU Drum Major & the Columbus Museum of Art Expansion Artist Profile
Bryan Moss Headshot Painter and comic artist
Bryan Moss

For this issue Lacey Luce caught up with Bryan Moss a painter, comic artist and educator to talk comics, books, inspirations and ideal superpowers.

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Sneak Peek

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra presents Brahms Symphony No. 4

Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and a guest quartet of horns, three great composers of the Romantic Era and four glorious artists of today come together for a concert not to be missed. ProMusica Chamber Orchestra’s Brahms Symphony No. 4 program on Nov. 14 & 15 features lush melodies and blazing fanfares with the orchestra led by Music Director David Danzmayr.

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Thurber House Presents Audrey Niffenegger, Jason Gay

The weather in Columbus may be cooling down, but Thurber House’s fall programming is heating up. Two events remain in the 2015 Evenings with Authors series, and you won’t want to miss either one. Bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger, talks about Ghostly, an anthology of the best ghost stories of all time featuring her own original illustrations. Jason Gay, A sports columnist for The Wall Street Journal, talks about Little Victories, a life guide combining both humor and humanity for those who hate guides and rules.

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Columbus Film Council Presents the 2015 Columbus International Film and Video Festival

For the 63rd year, the Columbus International Film and Video Festival is back and this time we’ve brought some friends to the party. The CIF+VF is working with CCAD, The Drexel Theatre, CAPA, Stonewall Columbus and the Vanderelli Room to showcase a wide collection of narrative, animated, experimental and non-fiction films from around the world.

Continue Reading → © 2016 Greater Columbus Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.
GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.