Comics – Vote For Genius!

So Top Cow Comics is having their pilot season where they release 6 one-shot comics and people vote. The top two vote-getters get picked up as series. I’m really hoping Genius is one of the two. The story…well –

Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Patton. What if the greatest military mind of OUR generation was born in strife, surrounded by violence and combat since birth? When the gauntlet is dropped, the question isn’t “How did 17-year-old Destiny Ajaye unite the gangs of South Central into a killer army and declare war on the LAPD?” No, the question is, “Can anyone stop her?”

I think the question is – Should anyone stop her?

Already a lot of folks are saying how hateful the comic is and how horrible it is that Destiny has organized the gangs into a force to attack the police. How most of the police are really good people and this doesn’t make sense. I’m willing to bet all my possessions that 99.9% of those folks have never lived in the ghetto. To them the black-and-white in the rear view, the flashing red-and-blue is indicative of safety and protection.

To me and most other brown folks – well we know the score, the police are just as likely to fill us full of 40 bullets, say we had a gun afterwards and get off when they go to trial as to save our lives. We’re told over and over that our lives don’t matter,  that the police can snuff out our breath in a matter of seconds and have absolutely no repercussions. It is a war, a cold war at times, an undeclared war all the time but a war none the less and we (brown folks) are all – whether we acknowledge it or not – potential victims.

Amadou Diallo, Johnny Gammage, Abner Louima, Sean Bell, Rodney King, Ousmane Zongo, Patrick Dorimund, Kathryn Johnston, Steve Biko, Robert Davis, and those are just the ones that received national attention and not even all of those. I’d like to point out that in most of these cases the police themselves were not punished at all. Sure the county or city might have paid millions to the family but the killers were just allowed to return to work – what message does that send both to the terrorists and the community they’re terrorizing? 

If you live with that constant fear you don’t need to see the cops act bad and evil to know the justification for this war, you live the justification every damn day. And this is nothing new, we’ve tried to bring this up many times – remember Fuck Tha Police (1988) & Cop Killer (1992)? This is far from the first time we’ve brought it up and far from the first time we’ve been placated by a bunch of nice words and no real change has happened.   

Also the hypocrisy of folks that will read horrible graphic comic that slaughter women and brown folks like pigs – “Wanted” comes to mind – but somehow this comic is too violent or too angry? These are the same folks that are ready to pick up the whole Grand Theft Auto series and slaughter minorites, women and police with equal abandon and for no reason at all! Just because they’re there.  But this comic with it’s societal critique and political message is somehow too offensive or violent?

What you really mean is this you’re scared. That you realize the inequity in our society, you see it and do nothing about it and the fact that brown folks themselves might take action – violence in response to violence “By Any Means Necessary” kind of violence – scares the pants off of you. It’s why society always talks about MLK jr. instead of Malcom X (despite the fact that later in life their positions flip-flopped). You acknowledge the inequity by the constant fear that brown folks will riot, you acknowledge that they might have a reason to riot and that scares you more than anything.

Go Here To Check Out The Preview Of “Genius” And To Vote For It.  Vote now and often – I think you can vote once a day.

Other Discussions Happening About Genius:

White People Can’t Understand Police Corruption @ Seeking Avalon (Has some of the odius comments in the post itself, pay special attention to the ‘Special Notes’ Avalon’s Willow adds to a couple)

Frustration…thy name is LJ conversations @ Karnythia’s LJ

Tangentially – LAPD Looking For Andrea Wilson-Smith – Missing 14-Year-Old Girl @ And We Shall March

(links via delux_vivens)

Post-Script: I don’t think I have to point out how awesome it is that the military genius of our generation is a black woman.

E.T.A. – I’m really glad it’s getting good reviews.

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18 responses to “Comics – Vote For Genius!

  1. G-tron is still cracking me up.

  2. Delux-
    Seriously! And I love Chavonne, even though we don’t get a lot of her in this comic I really like her already and I like the fact that Destiny has a female best friend.

  3. I love this comic! Love, Love, Love it! And since I’m about to move back into the LA ghetto I know exactly what the police are like to people there. Horrible, corrupt, and pretty close to downright evil. I wish that more people who come from privilege could get this. I know that most of my friends will stop visiting me once I move (even though it’s a pretty nice section of the ghetto) because they will be to scared. Hell, these are the same people who couldn’t handle visiting me in mid-city LA cuz it was to scary. And it’s stupid. My awesomely liberal friends will never be able to get this type of life because they are to afraid to even look at it. They just hide and see only what they want to see. Even my brown friends grew up in privelege so they don’t get that sometimes cops are bad and life isn’t fair.

    OK, reigning in this completely random rant 😉 to say that I vote for Genius every day and so should everyone else. It is full of the win!

  4. Like i said to Karnythia, I’m LOL at how the protagonist is already commented on for ‘talking white’ and none of these ‘experts’ on ‘ghetto life’ is saying anything about it. Usually they are falling over themselves defending someone who is described as ‘talking white’ as a paragon of upwardly mobile virtue in a sea of rabid misplaced anger.

  5. Maria-
    I got a lot of the same thing when people found out I was moving to Oakland: “oh really” “You should be careful.” “Isn’t it dangerous there?”

    My response was always – No more so than any other city. Are there areas that are more dangerous? Yes but that’s everywhere. I had to constantly point out to folks that the murder rate for Oakland was no higher than the one in San Francisco. See, they know all about these “dangerous” ghetoos or whole cities that are labeled that way btu never step foot in them to see what’s really going on.

    They never come out to the east bay because it’s ‘oh so frightening’ but then want to say how good the cops are everywhere. No, they aren’t. This is something brown folks have known for over a hundred years. People quickly forget that law enforcement were the ones turnign the hoses on us during Civil Rights and the ones who encouraged mob justice in a lot of placesd. That mentality hasn’t stopped it’s simply gone a bit more underground and it’s in areas that these folks never go to but intrinsically fear so they’re allowed to keep their ros colored glasses on – we never get that option.

    See you’re rant totally sparked one of my own 🙂

  6. Delux-
    Well they’re so surprised that someone who “talks white” would hold this obviously unjustified anger at the police who are just doing their job that they’ve lost the ability of speech (or in this case typing). I love the experts on ghetto life who’ve never stepped foot in the ghetto – they make me laugh heartily.

  7. You have hit the nail on the head. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the ‘but black people don’t read comics and scifi’ crowd come out and weigh in on this one.

  8. I think my last comment was probably stupid. Feel free not to let it through moderation. :/

    I was just trying to say “I don’t get people who trust cops implicitly.” It’s not that hard to understand that one person’s privileged experiences with people who have lots of power =/= everyone’s experiences with those people. Anyone who doesn’t understand that there can and are a lot of abuses probably shouldn’t be allowed to read anything more challenging than “Run, Spot, Run.”

    The comic still looks awesome, though. 😀

  9. This post. I love it. THANK you.

  10. Seriously hoping Genius gets its own series. Not just to spite the stupid–that’s merely a bonus *grin*–but it can stand well as its own work and it stands out a bit from the other contestants which feel more standard fair and ‘the usual.’ And when you play it side by side with the other contestants you see the bullshit accusations of events being impossible or the character being a Mary Sue as even more bullshit than you already did.

    But yeah. Really wish the nearest comic book store wasn’t over a blasted thirty minute drive.

  11. Ryuutchi-
    I didn’t see anything wrong with your last comment but if you want it deleted from my queue I have no prob with that. Yeah it’s a really weird dynamic to see those comments because they don’t make sense AT ALL. and I do think their complaints have more to do with a fear of brown folks revolting than the actually killing of cops.

    Katie-
    You’re very welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Juan-
    The polls are closed and now we only wait on the announcement of which two won. I really hope that Genius is one of the two. If it’s not (which would piss me the fuck off especially after all the constant whining among comics fans about wanting different things yet they vote for the same old, same old) I hope it finds a life somewhere else like Archaia Studios or they decide to release it independently. Keep your fingers crossed.

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  14. And yet – if they were only white guys with English accents beating down other white guys (and gals) with American – or Scots – accents, then the fans would have no problem “getting it”…

    I actually am in the odd position of knowing a LOT of (white) working class folks who have been in trouble (or have family/friends/lovers who have) with the police in this part of the country (Northeast New England Small Town and/or Boston) most of it over drugs, and living where they actually blew up the police station in my town once, or tried, in the ’60s, so it might go over well with some of my RL acquaintance if they read comics. (At least these days the PD in my particular town try to be progressive and work *with* communities and make sure that minorities are aware of their civil & human rights – even if their papers are not in order – and feel like they can come forward if they’re being threatened.) Or not, b/c of the whole not recognizing stuff in different paradigms problem. Also relatives of mine both were a) corrupt cops, b) hassled for being hippies *by* cops in the ’60s, so it didnt take Minneapolis or the RNC in 2004 to “wake me up” to this.

    But yeah, major “until they came for me” blindness plus cognitive dissonance where it’s okay to cheer for Mel Gibson or Chuck Norris or Arnold Schwarzenneger fighting off the police state…but we live in a post-racial world. Right.

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  16. Mary Sue or not, the Genius in question is also a woman. That’s revolution.

  17. Liz_A-
    Exactly! The military genius of our entire generation being a young black woman? That’s pretty damn awesome.

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