One of the problems with buying comic books these days is figuring out if the book is upholding the ideas and virtues of social justice. Does the book feature any characters from a marginalized group? Are any of the book’s creators from a marginalized group?
I realized the comic book industry needs a way of notifying the customer of a book’s social justice credentials when I noticed a stack of America comics at a local comic book shop.
At first glance, I assumed America was about a Donald Trump supporter.
I thought the book’s title was a nod to the Make America Great Again hat Donald Trump supporters love to wear. I thought there were three other books, Make, Great, and Again. Lay all four books next together and they would spell out Donald Trump’s moto.
The book’s title was one-fourth of a Donald Trump hat.
It turned out I could not have been wrong.
America is about America Chavez, a very awesome college student raised by two mothers from an alternate universe. She’s Latina and gay, quite a spicy combination!
Even though America Chavez is oozing legitimate social justice cred, it’s hard to get this point across to comic readers. It could be the reason sales of the book have been so low. Not only do comic readers today want social justice in their funny books, they want lots of it.
The Social Justice Comics Code of Approval
I’m proposing the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. It would appear on comic books that meet the criteria of social justice. A comic would either feature characters in line with social justice principles or the creators of the book would need to represent social justice in the real world. Books that meet either one of these tests will get the seal.
This is what the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval seal would look like:
America would earn the right to display the seal of the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. Not only does the book’s main character check off many social justice checkboxes, so does the book’s writer, Gabby Rivera. She is lesbian and a Puerto Rican from the Bronx.
Not only is the book’s writer a queer Puerto Rican, I think I read on Reddit one of the assistant inkers is bisexual. At least she was in college. Evidently, she and some friends got hammered on Jägermeister. Her friends dared her to open-mouth kiss another girl for ten seconds. She accepted the challenge. At least she thinks she did. That night is still a little fuzzy for her. This just goes to show you that it’s better to drink milkshakes, not Jägermeister. Not because of the girl-on-girl kissing, but because she can’t remember that night very well.
If America featured the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval, I’m almost certain it would not be hovering at the cancellation level of sales.
America monthly sales to comics shops
America #1 – 43,592
America #2 – 23,987
America #3 – 16,262
America #4 – 12,624
America #5 – 11,354
America #6 – 9,548
America #7 – 9,137
If Marvel doesn’t do something, by this time next year, sales of America will be lower than Cocktails & Mixology by Bill Cosby. Adding the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval to the America‘s cover will go a long way to increase sales.
What good is making a comic book steeped in social justice awesomeness if comic readers don’t know about it.