Come on over you are included.
Inclusivity was the main topic of this week’s lecture and the group exercise was to create a property and examine who the target demographic was and how to further develop the property to include other target audiences. After the lecture, I thought about the concepts, stories and characters I have created over the years and whether or not they are target audience specific or do they have a wider appeal. Some were yes but most were no.
When working on my own projects my creative process is somewhat selfish, the core motivation behind them is whether or not I think is cool. Very rarely to I consider what others will think about it or what kind impact it will have, sure a few like minded people will like it but I am sure there will be those that think it is crap. A primary example of this was a concept that I recently developed that was created purely out of the things I loved about the 80's namely the adventure cartoons such as Thundercats, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the heavy metal music of the era.
I was telling a friend about this idea I had about a heavy metal band that was made up of anthropomorphic cats called Iron Lion that traveled across the multiverse destroying evil and leaving world rocked in their wake. Needless to say, she loved the idea, it is always good to have friends that are the same kind of twisted that you are but like I said this was created purely because it is the kind of thing would watch.
At about the same time I came across the most excellent Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit though it was a hoax for a lost cartoon from the 80’s this opening credit sequence created by, Wesley Louis was created out of the inspiration that helped shaped Iron Lion. This just showed that you can reach a target audience just creating from what you know.
I then looked at my major creation “Gods of Defiance” a project that has been in the making for some 15 years already, the one that will become my Star Wars by that I mean if I create nothing else I will still have a claim to fame. These stories and characters have evolved out of my love of mythology and fascination with theology so when I began to craft my stories I drew from there for inspiration.
The Celtic myths and legends, however, don’t really have a lot of diversity as far as races go in fact none of the European pantheons that I initially drew inspiration from. Looking past western cultures and beyond the well-known myths and legends of Egypt, I found a plethora of material to draw from to create characters. Though I didn’t go about creating from this material to fill space or to cater to a certain demographic no each character has been created to with a back story that is vital to the story as a whole. So thought I have a cast of diverse characters I didn’t intentionally go out of my way to create then to appeal to different groups but they were created to make the story world appeal to a wider audience by catering to wide range of cultural heritages.
If asked would I make changes to the characters to actually get this to production it would depend on what characters and what had to change. For example would I change the one of the major villains race from middle eastern to something that would cause less controversy well the answer is no as the character is Judas of Iscariot and he was middle eastern and as for the fact that he is the head of a global criminal organisation well that is essential to the story and was decided long before the rise of similar real world elements.
It would be like taking a major superhero and changing their gender and entire backstory just to diversify and open the readership up to other demographics, yes I’m looking at you, Thor.
I am not saying that a major change can’t bring about drastic shift in the size of an audience, until Brian Hitch had the stroke of genius to cast Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury in the first issue of The Ultimates version of the Avengers from the Ultimate Marvel line of books released in 2000 I did not care for the character at all but the change proved so popular this version made the leap to the big screen. Similarly over at DC with the New 52 reboot, Wally West was re-cast as African American a move that was later worked into the Flash TV series. I was never a big reader of the Flash but I personally like the new direction. Not a fan of the new female Thor concept though.
Coghlan, D. (2014). Iron Lion band logo.
Turner, M. (2007). Thor. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://www.mdcu-comics.fr/news-007428-commencer-les-comics-thor.html
Louis, W. (2015, September 3). Super turbo atomic Ninja rabbit Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmkAcGz1BJk
Peters, M. Superhero switch-ups: A history of race and gender switches in comics. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://www.salon.com/2014/07/19/superhero_switch_ups_a_history_of_race_and_gender_switches_in_comics/
Sarmiento, J. (2015, August 12). Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://jsarmientoart.tumblr.com/post/126523312655/thor-aka-jane-foster-earth-616-as-thor-jane