Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Disability in Comics

Here's a thoughtful article on the ups and downs of disability in comics, particularly the X-Men.

One of the interesting things I've noticed is the mention of training.  You know who actually has a pretty decent broadband awareness of how to cope with all the isms that should be wasms?  Shiv, of all people.  Because Boss White won't put up with that shit in his gang, so he's trained all his supervillains -- and even the naries -- with at least basic expectations like "treat women with respect" and "don't manhandle someone's adaptive equipment."  Shiv is short on details, yes, because he's young and still kind of a jerk.  But he's gotten more of an introduction than most superheroes in mainstream comics have, and it shows.  There are dozens of tiny instances where he does the right thing because he's been taught  to by someone he respects enough to mind.

As for the rest of the examples, I've got characters in wheelchairs (with a variety of conditions), the whole range of traumatic stress conditions, a wide variety of mental illnesses and injuries (including claustrophobia), vision impairment (hmm, though I had colorblindness but it's not coming up in a search), loads of sexual assault survivors (including a lot of my supervillains), and so forth.  Many of the prompts come from people with disabilities, which I think really helps the accuracy.

So how do you think we're doing?
Tags: activism, entertainment, fantasy, networking, reading, writing

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