A Q&A with Comics Artist Jennifer Cruté, author of The Life of a SubUrban Girl
You have to put a jester hat on any oppressor—be that oppressor a person, a group or your own mind. I feel that the skill of dark humor is something that is innate in most cartoonists/artists that had to or have to deal with the oppression of racism, prejudice, sexism, homophobia, etc. etc. This skill helps me to draw a funny image with a message that may disturb, but will most certainly inform and hopefully educate.
My heart goes out to her…we have actually had the opposite problem many times, where even after repeatedly asking an artist to draw an African American woman (or an African woman, such as Vixen), with more classically African features, we would routinely get back drawings that looked like blonde Barbie with dark, non-African hair. Even after including multiple photo references, even then we would get back women who looked identical to the white females. Even with POC artists, in many cases. Why is something so simple so hard?
That goes for a significant number of superhero artists and just about ANY character of any race, male or female. It seems like a lot of them learn to draw one dude, one bigger dude, and one lady, then treat all of the characters they need to work with like a paper dolls with interchangeable costumes and hairstyles.
There was a great gif a while back that just cycled through a bunch of edits of a Michael Turner Superman that made him look like different heroes, and they all conceivably looked like something he would have drawn.
I remember actually arguing with an artist once that if you needed colour to convey that a character wasn’t a white person, you probably haven’t drawn them correctly.