LNH/ACRA: The Legion of the Net. Heroes Vol. 2, # 10

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 28 17:21:00 PDT 2005

Saxon Brenton wrote:
> Off the top of my head, the most prominent RACC works that treat
> homosexuality
> seriosly would be some of Dvandom's stuff - such as Aaron and Paul and in
> Academy
> of Super Heroes, or going back *much* further, Greymask and, uh, Defender?
> <googlegooglegoogel> no, sorry, Greymask and Beacon in The Machine for the
> Patrol imprint.

Just want to say here that I wasn't trying to imply in the story that
the subject matter hadn't been breached before in this group, and I
would hardly call my story a serious treatment of it.  I was trying
first and foremost to be funny and entertaining, and if there's any
kind of thematic comment I was trying to make, it was more on the
treatment of "controversial" issues in mainstream comics and
television.  Usually, the character that comes out, or has a drug
problem, or cheats on a test, or whatever, is someone's cousin or
hither-to unmentioned best friend.  Or it's a fairly minor supporting
character, like the famous Harry Osborne drug arc from Amazing

And when it is a major character, like Frat Boy (if he could be called
a "major" character in the scheme of things), chances are at the end of
the story status quo is reaffirmed so as not to alienate the fans.  I'm
not sure how strong the fandom of Frat Boy is, or how much affection
people have for him, so I don't think there would be that much of an
uproar about it.  But I thought it'd be funnier to make fun of the
convention than to defy it. :-)

The thing that always bugs me about the few gay superheroes in
mainstream publication, is that such a big thing is made about it.
Maybe not by the writers themselves or the publishers, but the readers.
 There are great strides made in all media towards diversity or
what-not, but it's like the old joke, if you have to count how many
black friends you have, or you know the number, then you're no friend
at all.  If one has to say to the GLBT (what is that, some kind of
sandwich? :-) ) community, look!  Northstar is gay.  And so is the Pied
Piper!  And, ooh, look at this guy! or this chick! then no service is
really being rendered to them at all.

And the other thing-- why is it that a story about a gay character
coming out or falling in love usually cause so much more uproar than
one about, say, chasing a serial killer?  Or an alien race?  Murder and
devestation and alien invasions are so much more common place in this
genre(s), that they're to be expected and are readily accepted.  These
should things that are controversial, and cause wonderment.  A
character being gay should not be "topical" or "brave".  It should be.
Period.  Just like a character being straight, or liking orange juice,
or being old.

Kurt Busiek addressed this, and much better than I, in the letter
column in the first issue of his new Astro City series, the Dark Age.
A fan wrote it, saying previous Astro City comics had recently become
sex-saturated, simply because of a couple anatomically correct crotches
in skin tight clothes and a character calling herself a lesbian.
Busiek argued that through out the series, there's been a lot of
heterosexual preference going around, including kissing.  So a
character stating that she is a lesbian shouldn't "saturate" the book
with sex, and neither should showing bulges where "they naturally

I get a little bit off on a rant there, and I just want to clarify that
the target of said rant (and the story itself) is more the consumers of
mainstream media, and of comics in particular: not RACC.  RACC has, as
Saxon elaborated, covered this ground before, and better than I ever
could.  Also, there hasn't been any kind of uproar here: just a
discussion, which is healthy for a newsgroup, and, I think, fosters a
sense of community-- and a boost of self-esteem for the writer who
started the thread.  Thanks, guys.  :-)

And while RACC doesn't have the same number of posts it had some years
ago,  I think the group is still growing, but in a different and
perhaps more fulfilling way.  The work that's posted each year on RACC
has, I think, on a whole, become more refined, intelligent, and mature.
 I think any writer who has written here has become better in the
process, and that the discussion threads have become more measured,
considerate, and invigorating.

Anyway.  We've come a long way since the woody scandal. :-)

Though, admittedly, that was before my time.  Hmm.  Wonder what would
have happened had I written Speak! in 1992.

> There's probably also stuff in the Omega stuff that I'm blanking on,
> although it's
> even chance that their stuff is just as likley to be inherently depraved as
> romantic,
> but that's a more than adequate description of the Omega imprint on almost
> any
> topic  :-P

Archer Sloane for... aw, never mind.

> Saxon Brenton

--Tom Russell

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