"I'm Just Wrong" – Michael Davis, From The Edge

Bleeding Cool illustration 2Michael Davis is the co-founder of Milestone Comics and a current graphic novelist. He runs The Black Panel at San Diego Comic Con. And he now writes a weekly column for Bleeding Cool, starting today. We're going to get letters…

Illustration by James Rhodes.

I'm Just Wrong.

Although the very first sentence I wrote for my very first Bleeding Cool article was "I'm as politically correct as a porn star," many here, and some friends of mine, have taken me to task and called me sexist and chauvinistic.

Some said what I wrote about Grace Randolph was demeaning to women.

That was not my intent, and I deeply regret if some thought it was.

Because I think it's important to show contrition, I've rewritten the parts of the article that pertains to Ms. Randolph. Keeping my critics in mind, and with the heartfelt intention of righting any wrongs some think I've committed, I've included last week's original text and the politically correct rewrite, so there is no doubt as to where I stand…

The Original:

That brings me to Grace Randolph.

Grace Randolph is a tremendously talented intelligent and pretty white girl. Yes, Black women, I said Grace Randolph is pretty. But there is no need for you worry, my Nubian sisters. I am NOT another successful Black man who lusts after white girls, so cool your jets.

I lust after Asian girls.

Duh.

Grace Randolph is the creator of the completely bad ass Supurbia.That is a GREAT freakin' series.

Some time ago she filmed a piece for the net where she listed what she thought were the Top Ten Black Superheroes. I take issue with that, and not because there were no Milestone Media characters on the list (although Milestone Media is the most successful Black comic book company in the history of comics, bar none). I was not upset she completely ignored characters like Static, Rocket, Hardware, and Icon.

That was not my complaint — no one, and I mean no one, has ever written a top ten list without taking some criticism. I just took a bunch of heat on Facebook for naming The Wiz to my all time favorite movie musicals and not Chicago.

I loved The Wiz, I hated Chicago but that's just me. It was my list, just like Ms. Randolph's list was hers. Except for one entry, I wasn't upset with whom she had on her list — Luke Cage, Storm, Agent 355, Falcon, John Stewart, Michonne, Spawn, Cyborg, Amanda Waller, and Miles Morales.

I hate Luke Cage — other than that, I think the rest of the Black characters on her list are really cool.

But…

HOW can you name all the Black characters to a top ten list without a single one of them being created by a Black creator?

I may be wrong, as I have not met all the creators who have characters represented on her list, but I'm pretty sure white guys created all of the characters on her list.

W

T

FUCK?

When the GOP opened hearings on the subject of "women's health," there was not a single woman on their "panels of experts," and most rational people thought that was a pretty dumb thing to do.

It was a dumb thing to do, and I'm being nice by using the word "dumb" to describe it. Imagine having hearings on professional baseball, and no one from baseball was represented.

Dumb" would be a step up.

Frankly, I think it's kind of cool (hell, I think it's kind of hot) to have a white girl list her favorite Black characters.

Really.

But by omitting any Black characters created by Black people from the list, that's saying "Black people can't write Black people." And I don't care how fine she is (I do, but I have to appear that I don't), Ms. Randolph's list is fuc…er, messed up.

Those of you who know me, know I'm going out of my way not the tear Ms. Randolph a new one. That's because I respect what she was trying to do. She was trying to draw attention to the richness and diversity of the noble African American…oh just screw it.

I have no idea what she was trying to do. I only know that she was trying to do something good, and because of that she gets a pass.

Because of that, and she's hot. Sisters! Relax! Asian girls!

I've never met her and I bear her no ill will. If my longtime friend Neil Gaiman had put the same list together, I would have been all up in his ass also.

Not in the way Orson Scott Card would be upset about, but on his ass I would be about a list of great Black characters where no Black creators are represented.

I know you meant well Ms. Randolph, but:

Nigg…err…

Foxy, please.

Now for the new and improved politically correct rewrite:

That brings me to Grace Randolph.

Grace Randolph is a tremendously talented intelligent white girl. Yes, Black women, I said Grace Randolph is white. But there is no need for you to worry, my Nubian sisters. I am NOT another successful Black man who lusts after white girls, because it would be politically incorrect to lust after any other kind of woman outside of my race, as we all know there are few Black men who are not in jail or gay.

Besides, lust is only for married people.

Duh.

Grace Randolph is the creator of Supurbia, which is a wonderfully-written and drawn series.

Some time ago, she filmed a piece for the net where she listed what she thought were the Top Ten Black Superheroes. I think that was just grand!

No one, and I mean no one, has ever written a top ten list as wonderful and right on as this one!

Except for one entry, I thought every single name on her list is just fantastic! Luke Cage, Storm, Agent 355, Falcon, John Stewart, Michonne, Spawn, Cyborg, Amanda Waller and Miles Morales.

You know — I used to hate Luke Cage, but "hate" is such a hard word, such a not nice thing to say…so by golly, I now LOVE Luke Cage!

But…I was thinking (I hope that's OK — to think, that is)

HOW (wow, all caps…I don't want to give the wrong impression, so I'd better re-write that) how can you name all the Black characters to a top ten list without a single one of them being created by a Black creator?

I may be wrong (I'm sure I am) as I have not met all the creators who have characters represented on her list, but I'm pretty darn sure white guys created all of the characters on her list.

W

T

Fish and chips?

When the GOP opened hearings on the subject of "women's health," there was not a single woman on their "panels of experts," and most rational people thought that was a pretty dumb thing to do.

But "dumb" is such a harsh word to use. Perhaps having a bunch of men decide the fate of women is a good thing! Yes, that may be the way to go after all. Why assume women want to have any say regarding their health and bodies?

Frankly, I think it's rather nice to have a Caucasian lady list her favorite African American characters. Why assume Black people want to have a say in the way they are portrayed in pop culture?

By omitting any Black characters created by Black people from the list, that's saying "Black people! Relax! We got this!"

Those of you who know me, know how much I like to relax! Hell, I'd say all Black people like to relax, but someone may think I'm lazy and all Black people are lazy, and that's not politically correct! Even if it was funny (which it is NOT!!), making a non-funny stereotypical observation is bound to piss off– I mean, "disturb" someone, and that's not my intent, nor should it be the intent of anyone who writes anything.

I'm glad Ms. Randolph created her list!

That's because I respect what she has done! Drawing attention to the richness and diversity of the noble African American character as created by white people!

That's just swell!!!

Now if my long time friend Neil Gaiman could also put together his top ten Black characters, such that there are not any Black creators on that list either, that would be the cat's meow!

Not in the way Orson Scott Card would meow, but in the way whoever thought of "the cat's meow" as a phrase meaning "something good."

Negros, please… support your kids!

Unless you're a bleeding idiot, you will recognize the above as satire.

OK, here's the deal — I am not sexist or chauvinistic, nor did I mean to upset any women with my comments last week, but I recognize how women could be offended and I apologize.

But I was being sarcastic.

If people don't see the humor in what I wrote, I get that. If people don't think it's funny, I get that also. If any women were offended, I get that also, and READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY….

I apologize.

Years ago, Eddie Murphy took some flak over some gay men jokes he was telling. His response?

If they can take a dick, they should be able to take a joke."

For the record, Grace Randolph is a phenomenal talent, and I have nothing but respect for her, her work, and her top 10 list.

Again, and this is the fourth time I'm going to say it — if any women were upset by my comments, I am truly sorry. They were meant to be silly, sarcastic, and irreverently absurd.

Let's recap, shall we?

Last week's comments about Grace, white, Asian, and Black women were sarcastic.

I admire and respect Grace Randolph.

Any woman who was offended, that was not my intent and (5th time now) I apologize.

Those of you who can't take a joke, if you don't see humor in stereotypical references and you seek political correctness, stop reading my stuff because last week was tame.

Period.

Lastly, I also got some feedback on my use of profanity. I'm like to offer those offended an apology also.

I'm fucking sorry.

Rich adds: I ran the original article past Grace Randolph before publication. She was not only fine with it – but liked it…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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