Author Topic: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies  (Read 4166 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9958
    • View Profile
John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« on: February 03, 2011, 03:15:13 pm »
from BLEEDING COOL:

John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies

We're not talking Luke Cage's "Sweet Christmas" exclamations here. But in a discussion on the Byrne Robotics board about offense in comics, starting with the rejection by DC of the previously-approved Swamp Thing #88, John Byrne gave his recollection of Marvel offices back in the day.

I have commented before, on more than one occasion, that some of the current "generation", so eager to take offense at everything and anything, would suffer a severe case of exploding headitis, if they could time travel back to Marvel in the Seventies. Then the thinking was informed almost entirely by the eternally non-PC NATIONAL LAMPOON, and it seemed that no one could ever really be offended by things that were so totally off the wall -- so utterly and deliberately extreme. Some example (and watch these get ME in trouble now!):

It was the habit in the Office to refer to CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON as "Captain America and the Fowl Coon".

Black Goliath was frequently referred to as "The Big Nig".

One writer expressed his desire to do a Black Goliath story titled "The Jig is Up".

Another wanted to put the credit names on furniture on the opening splash of an issue he scripted, so the name of a Jewish member of the team could be lettered on a lampshade.

And, of course, the various examples of "f*ck", "sh*t", and other such words worked into backgrounds are infamous.

And if there was anyone who didn't think these were "funny", they sure didn't say anything about it at the time!*

-----

* Altho in the PC world in which we live today, there are plenty of people now all to eager to talk about how "difficult" it was to work at Marvel in those days. Retroactive offense?


Out of curiosity, were any of the staff in the office black? And would it have mattered if they were?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10020
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 07:28:57 pm »
From the article:

Quote
"And if there was anyone who didn't think these were "funny", they sure didn't say anything about it at the time!"





What a stupid thing to say.  He doesn't seem to understand why no one would openly object to the offenses if that action would mean losing thier job because of the off-hand remarks.

Offline BlackRodimus

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 831
  • You got me straight trippin', boo.
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 11:53:50 pm »
This the same guy who drew pikaninnys into some of his artwork back then? Or, right, he said it was really his inker who did that.

I really hate that reductionist thinking of "well it was the times." Dodging accountability, and then trying to put the onus on the other person by saying we're "so eager to take offense" and other nonsense.

This is old news, why are we talking about it again? Pointing out how Byrne is a self-important has-been who refuses to see his own errors is like pointing out water is wet.
"don't fight the power, be the power" - Reginald Hudlin

Offline Vic Vega

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4143
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011, 07:32:36 am »
Bryne still seems to be under the impression that what he says or thinks matters now.

It hasnít been 1980 for a while now, so he must be confused.

Offline JRCarter

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 08:41:49 pm »
It was the habit in the Office to refer to CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON as "Captain America and the Fowl Coon".

Black Goliath was frequently referred to as "The Big Nig".

One writer expressed his desire to do a Black Goliath story titled "The Jig is Up".


Uh...yeah.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10020
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 08:15:22 am »
As bad as things were in those days of MARVEL before Mr. Priest came around, it was nothing comapred to dc comics where the staff  wouldn't even have considered many black characters in thier books to even have such blatant discussions.

Offline TripleX

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 07:50:50 pm »
John Byrne is an unconscionable douche bag, nothing he says surprises me. He couched his racism in "look what happened back then" only to reiterate it for an all new generation. I checked his site, there's a rest in peace thread for some member's unknown dead coworker but absolutely no mention of Dewayne McDuffie and all he brought to comics. I hope John Byrne's fat @ss has a massive heart attack and drops dead in bowl of tainted soup,  the has been stankin bastard.

Offline Jihad the Roughneck

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Thomas Sankara was the greatest!
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 06:32:12 pm »
I thought Marvel was doing black folk a solid with their black content.  I made an effort to collect Black Goliath and most of the Cap and Falcon books.  Knowing how they felt about black and Jewish feelings back then makes me wanna get rid of these books.
I've got bass tone, I use cologne
and I rock the funky rhymes on the microphone
RUNDMC perfection

Offline hero X

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • Repping the Black Heroes
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 10:06:01 pm »
Bryne still seems to be under the impression that what he says or thinks matters now.

It hasnít been 1980 for a while now, so he must be confused.

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D FUNNY!!!

Offline BlackRodimus

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 831
  • You got me straight trippin', boo.
    • View Profile
Re: John Byrne Describes Marvel's Casual Racism In The Seventies
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 05:17:15 pm »
John Byrne is an unconscionable douche bag, nothing he says surprises me. He couched his racism in "look what happened back then" only to reiterate it for an all new generation. I checked his site, there's a rest in peace thread for some member's unknown dead coworker but absolutely no mention of Dewayne McDuffie and all he brought to comics. I hope John Byrne's fat @ss has a massive heart attack and drops dead in bowl of tainted soup,  the has been stankin bastard.

McDuffie was black, so of course Byrne wouldn't say or mention anything about his passing on his board.
"don't fight the power, be the power" - Reginald Hudlin