I am not a person of color but I am the father of a multiracial household and I’m Hypery aware of the world we live in in this regard. but I truly believe that there is nothing standing in your way of making your dreams as a creative person come true. It’s between you and your talent.
truthfully most of us don’t even know what each other looks like. all anybody cares about is the quality of each other’s work.
do not put things in front of you to stop yourself from making your dreams come true. do not. people do this all the time and I truly believe it’s the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.
stop rejecting yourself before the rejection comes. and if rejection comes, and it will, don’t make it about anything but your work.
Bendis has a good point here, with the idea that you shouldn’t put things in front of you and that you need to hone your craft and focus on you.
But for really real, speaking as a black man who has worked in and around comics for a while now: race matters. You’ll have to live with people treating you like their ____ friend. You’ll have to deal with people pulling you aside to show their bonafides or dropping your name as some type of proof they or someone else isn’t racist. You’ll have to deal with rarely being able to call a spade a spade without being painted as angry or sensitive. You’ll have to deal with all the usual stuff you have to deal with as a person of color, but comics is a relatively small world even now, so pushing back a little—”You need to stop talking to me about this”—makes people feel some type of way about you.
I’m real careful who I associate with in comics for these reasons. I don’t like barcon because I know somebody’s gonna say something stupid. I’ve been going to several cons a year since 2007, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m batting a thousand when it comes to people saying idiotic or messed up or banal racial stuff to me because I’m The Black Guy. My friends got the same story. I know women that comics boys have said garbage things to, I know professionals who have repeatedly called other folks out of their name and shrugged and smiled about it.
Comics is not a special oasis of no barriers and complete freedom. Comics is American society, and chances are good that you already know how it works.
For me, the trick ended up gathering a comics family that is wild diverse. I didn’t do it intentionally, I’m not trying to catch Pokémon out here, but real recognizes real, and I’ve gravitated to people who aren’t just the current guard in comics. My wolf pack is crucial to keeping me interested in and happy with comics.
None of this is your fault, none of this anything you should have to deal with. But as a person of color, you’re already dealing with it. You’re not overthinking it. You’re not pre-rejecting. You’re protecting yourself. You recognized a problem and you’re looking for ways to deal it. You’re on the right track, and you can beat it. You’ll find a way to beat it. You’ll find your family, and together you’ll steamroll through the nonsense.
and no shots, but it’s never just about the work if you’re anything but a white guy. That’s not how life works. Some people can’t network like white dudes in comics if they’re seen as Other, or an Anomaly, and networking is a big part of how you get gigs.