Looking at the modern media landscape, many of us and our devoted readers determine that wokeness is what’s killing so much of our entertainment and pop culture — including comics, the medium which arguably will go down as ‘patient zero’ for this trend — with blandly sophomoric and agenda-driven storytelling.
However, a tenured pro who witnessed the decline is saying “Not so fast” on that diagnosis.
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In episode #134 of his Q&A series, Chuck Dixon was asked his opinion about the comic book industry and what form it could take if it wasn’t for woke content, and his answer might surprise you. “I don’t think it would be all that different,” he said, adding that in his view it was people lacking talent gaining power that sparked the decline.
They only latched onto wokeness later, Dixon says, and then began hiring others who have a stronger embrace of the ideology at least on the surface.
“You know, a lot of this stuff is job security,” the author explained. “You’ve got to go along. You’ve got a lock step. You’ve got to march along with the rest. You’ve got to raise your fist in anger with everybody else — even if you don’t feel angry because you don’t want to be… you want to conform and that’s what this is about. It’s about conforming.”
Dixon elaborated, “It’s about bending the knee and in order to keep their jobs a lot of the people in charge — particularly [Marvel and DC] — conformed because you can’t be speaking out; you’ll lose your job.”
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“So I think wokism just filled the void of indifference that most of the editors and administrative people, accountable companies, were feeling you. They didn’t care about the product anymore, so someone who did care, not about the product but about their message, came to fill in.”
“I don’t think comics would be… wokeism isn’t killing Comics,” he said. “It’s a symptom. Many things killed American comics. Poor business decisions. Indifference. A failure to produce quality material. A chasing away of top creators.”
Dixon went on, “Marvel and DC created their own competition by chasing away top talent who were not going to go gentle into that ‘good night.’ You got top talent; people at the peak of their powers are going to keep doing comics.”
“And they’re going to do them for whoever will pay them to do them,” he continued. “Or, as you’ve seen in recent years, they’ll find a way to finance themselves. And that’s who DC’s and Marvel’s competition is — it’s a death of thousand cuts.”
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Dixon added, “All of these top talent writers, and pencilers, and inkers, and colorists that [Marvel and DC] have let go are stealing their audience. And not really stealing it because they abandoned their audience.”
“The final straw” of wokeism entered the picture at that point with the new creators making up the vanguard of DC and Marvel demanding their readers change. Rather than do that, they stopped buying their comics as they were invited to do by Kelly Sue DeConnick. She was driven by politics, but Dixon doesn’t care. “If you like my comics, God bless you,” he says.
Do you agree or is wokeness the cause of problems in modern comics in your estimation? Sound off below.
NEXT: Longtime Batman Writer Chuck Dixon: “I Don’t See The Woke Going Away”