Artist Ronald Wimberly just posted an excellent autobiographical cartoon over at The Nib recounting when a Marvel comic book editor told him to lighten the skin of Wolverine’s ex-girlfriend Melita Garner.
Garner is biracial — she has a Mexican father and an African-American mother — and Wimberly notes that such women come in a spectrum of colors. So why lighten her?
You really should read the entire piece, but it’s particularly interesting considering the gender and race issues boiling over recently in geek-culture: from the outrage over the all-female cast of the new Ghostbusters movie to actress Michelle Rodriguez’s recent comment that “minorities” should “stop stealing” superhero roles from white people.
Rodriguez later apologized for her comment (and for the record, her mother is a native of the Dominican Republic while her father is Puerto Rican), but race, gender, and LGBT issues of representation in geek media will take much longer to resolve.