“Anti-gay” writer takes on gay superhero

200612121416The blogosphere has a new talking point as the news that Chuck Dixon is writing a comic starring Midnighter, the gay character from THE AUTHORITY hits. Dixon is well known to be on the conservative side, but Crocodile Caucus picks up some past rhetoric from him on the topic of homosexuality in comics:

The guy who wrote “I don’t want to expect to be able to shield my kids from the subject of homosexuality as the media seems intent on bringing into my home and nothing short of cutting the electricity and boarding the windows will stop it. But I DON’T want my kids reading about it in comics.â€? will be writing a character that’s been the motivation of many GLAAD media award nominations? (IIRC, The Authority never won.)

Lovely. I’m feeling a little more motivated about writing about dropping out of floppies.

Johanna has her own reaction. Loren at One Diverse Comic Book Nation sums up both sides:

So, how do I feel about Chuck Dixon writing the character Midnighter? Surprisingly, it’s mixed. I’m extremely worried that a part of who Midnighter is will be erased from this mini-series. Some people argue that this kind of book would not warrant him talking about his sexual orientation. Yes, it would be highly unlikely for him to wander around coming out to everybody, BUT, I defy you to find me an issue of Batman or Superman or any other comic where their own sexual orientations aren’t brought up. By virtue of Superman being married to Lois Lane, we know he’s straight. When Batman is millionaire Bruce Wayne, surrounded by women, we know he’s straight. Midnighter’s sexual orientation has played a big part in The Authority. His relationship with Apollo has made him a poster child for gay unions in comic books. It just worries me.


Can we expect a public statement from Dixon soon?

Comments

  1. I expect what we’ll all see is an action comic book with two super powered heroes taking on the bad guy and trading quips.

    And every comics blogger analyzing every panel looking for homophobic undercurrent.

    I can’t wait.

  2. Jimmie Robinson says:

    I also can’t wait…. but I admit, I’m not expecting much. Perhaps Dixon’s past comments won’t raise their heads in the book. A good writer worth their salt should easily take on subjects that even he doesn’t agree with.

  3. Primate says:

    Interesting. Frankly, the quoted comments attributed to Dixon are on the vanilla side of negative. I’ve heard far worse from other comics creators. I have no problem purchasing material from creators with whom I disagree – as I probably disagree with Dixon. When creators start making vitriolic anti-gay remarks publicly – again, not referring to Dixon here, but to others such as Orson Scott Card and Mike S. Miller that I have read over the years – I see it as an invitation to leave their work on the shelf…and do.

  4. Thank you for that delightlfully dismissive post, Augie.

    Personally, I see it as more than a bit hypocritical that the comics community—which generally goes completely stark-raving-mad upon hearing rumors that Spider-Man’s web-shooters might be biological, for example—is so casual about erasing character traits that ostensibly have something real to do with a person’s life.

    Take all the traces of heterosexualty out of your comics, Augie, and see how much you have left.

    I can’t wait.

  5. Daniel says:

    He said he would never write a gay character in an title marketed for all ages. Wildstorm comics are and never have been marketed as all ages, so I don’t really see what the ruckus is all about.

  6. Primate says:

    Cause comics nerds just love ruckus, my man. Love. It.

  7. Having known Chuck for over 20 years and working with him both as a co-writer and a VP of marketing with various publishers I would like to state that Chuck is a A-List writer with incredible skills and the best work ethic I have ever seen. Never has he ever let his politics or views tint the color of the characters. He has too much respect as a creator and for the characters to ever do something like that.

    I would also like to remind folks that when working for a large publisher like Marvel or DC Comics and using their characters, you are also as a writer “playing with their toysâ€? so editorial almost always has a heavy hand in what comes out. Yes, the writer usually gets the praise as well as the spitballs, but please remember that when it’s spitballs there is always someone trying to wipe their fingerprints off the dead body.

    Your amigo,

    Beau

  8. “He said he would never write a gay character in an title marketed for all ages. Wildstorm comics are and never have been marketed as all ages, so I don’t really see what the ruckus is all about. ”

    Thats kind of what I figured too. But if he feels that the concept itself is something that he has to sheild his kids from, he can’t have a very open mind about it.

  9. I really hope he writes the character portraying every homophobic stereotype he can fit in the pages. A lisping, effete, perverted, promiscuous, christ hating, gay agenda having, special treatment demanding, terrorist loving, fruity, bottom, sodomite whose entire identity is HE LIKES TO HAVE SEX WITH MEN. Full of bad gay jokes and an incalulable amount of double entendres about male genitalia.

  10. Trevor says:

    I’m not too worried about it. Chuck’s wife is Mercedes Lackey,who writes the Valdemar series,featuring a gay hero.It’s pretty well done,according to my two bi friends who read it.Hopefully it’s rubbed off on him some.

  11. Mercedes Lackey’s husband is the novelist Larry Dixon. Not the comic book writer Chuck Dixon.

  12. Um, NO. Mercedes Lackey’s husband is LARRY Dixon. Different guy.

  13. I’m sure Chuck Dixon will write the Midnighter with the same dignity and good taste that we have come to expect from the character’s long association with such high-minded and sensitive writers as Mark Millar and Garth Ennis. Ahem.

  14. matteo says:

    I notice how people are simply dismissing or glossing over Beau Smith ‘ s post, who, unlike us, knows Dixon and more importantly makes a really good and reasonable point.

  15. Yeah, about that:

    “Never has he ever let his politics or views tint the color of the characters. He has too much respect as a creator and for the characters to ever do something like that.”

    coughkoffAMERICANPOWERcoff

    OK, look, the vast majority of his output, both in quality and in politics, can swing either way, no pun intended. And part of what makes a good writer is making even characters one finds loathsome sympathetic. Plus, of course, Midnighter is intended as an X-treme version of Batman, who Dixon was practically married to (OK, pun intended there). So I expect that this will likely be a well-written book for those who like such things.

    Just remember one thing, and that one thing speaks volumes more about the comics industry than Chuck Dixon:

    Nobody is going to ask Michael Richards to write a Chris Rock vehicle. Like, EVER.

  16. Ethan C. says:

    I guess I can say I know Chuck, nowhere near as well as Beau, but I can also vouch for him not being the raving homophobe that the blogisphere likes to paint him as. And that’s coming from a blue-state, big city liberal. For as long as I’ve been reading his work, he’s written plenty of characters who he’d probably disagree with in real life on a political level, but on the page he’s given them respect and an authentic voice.

    I don’t think his career (or any writer who has the longevity that he has) would last as long as it has if he was only capable of writing characters who reflect his own worldview.

  17. Zan – It’s all the typical knee jerk hysteria that makes me giddy. I could have written the script for this fallout before the announcement was made, and all the pieces are now falling into place. This book and this creator have already been tarred and feathered before the first issue has hit the stands. I’d expect nothing less. (Of course, this only works when a conservative creator is involved. Nobody makes this presuppositions about storylines based on political motivations of liberal writers, who are the clear majority in the world of comics.)

    I don’t get so agitated about the web shooters, so I delight in those knee jerk reactions, too.

    There are plenty of comics out there that I’ve enjoyed that haven’t included a personal romantic life for its lead character: About 95% of the Duck books I’ve read. ASTERIX. Plenty of individual issues of Batman and Robin comics written by Chuck Dixon. You don’t NEED a romantic subplot to carry a storyline. Plenty of stories would be fine without one, and plenty have them forced in for the sake of forcing a movie blockbuster to draw in the teenaged girls. (TITANIC? PEARL HARBOR?)

    Someone else mentioned AMERICAN POWER — yes, how evil to suggest that fighting radical Islamic terrorists is a good thing. How horribly political. Dixon made the script available? Did you read it?

  18. Based on what I know about the guy, Dixon’s someone I’d never want to waste a beer with, but he’s a decent writer. I expect this story will simply very carefully avoid any mention of Midnighter’s personal life, since that’s Dixon’s stated position on the subject. So we get a 1-dimensional character instead of 2-dimensional… not the first time that’s happened. But it makes me wonder what the editor was thinking when they hired someone who didn’t actually like the character. Kind of like hiring me to write a Punisher mini. {scratches head}

    Augie: We had this discussion about whether comics are all pushing a liberal agenda 10 years ago, and I’m not in the mood to repeat it. But I will add that if you think that people don’t start making snarky predictions of a leftie storyline about AIDS or homosexuality when Judd Winick is announced as a writer (for example), you’re not paying attention.

  19. M.E. Baz says:

    Augie – Perhaps it’s so easy to predict the “knee-jerk” reaction because it’s such a reasonable reaction. In other words, how else would you expect people, especially gay people, to react? Imagine if there was a comic book writer who had stated that he was against African Americans showing up in comic books and who had insulted them time and time again. I think it’s safe to say that such a person wouldn’t be hired to work on anything at all.

    So, it’s great that Mr. Dixon is a wonderful writer, and it’s great that he can separate his “politics” from his work, but that’s not really the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that gay people are still forced to even have to deal with situations like this at all.

    Note: I think it’s funny when someone calls a person’s homophobia their “politics” – I guess that means Michael Richards was just expressing his political viewpoint that night at the Laugh Factory…?

  20. “Someone else mentioned AMERICAN POWER — yes, how evil to suggest that fighting radical Islamic terrorists is a good thing. How horribly political. Dixon made the script available? Did you read it?”

    Did you read what I wrote? It was a lot shorter, but nowhere did it employ the word “evil” nor anything that could be construed as such. Don’t you put words in my mouth, bucko; you’ve got enough trouble with your own.

  21. Boink says:

    >

    Huh? What are we forced to deal with? what exactly is the situation? I love the Midnighter character, and I think I will give it a try BEFORE I flambay the writer. If they do a stupid job of portraying the character, THEN I will get all agitated.

  22. Luogo interessante, buon disegno, lo gradisco, signore! =)

  23. Michael says:

    I can’t believe all this. The utter most I see that Dixon said is he wants control over what his kids understand about the different aspects of society. He didn’t say anything homophobic. I’m so thankful my gay and bi friends don’t feel the need to be able to take control of my kids to justify their lifestyle. Additionally, Dixon HAS written for kids. It would be entirely inappropriate to include preferential treatment towards Jews, Christians, straights, gays, bi-s, or even the stupid war in Iraq in a story marketed for other people’s children, unless that parent felt it was the right time and the right manner in which to reveal such things to their child. In this instance, he will be writing for the gay community. Therefore his previous statement does not really apply. And the quote above is not at all homophobic. . . I’m certain that he wouldn’t include straight sex in comics for kids, either. He said nothing about approving or disapproving of one particular lifestyle over another. . . He was talking about his own ability to deliver sex education to his children without facists insisting on doing it for him and labeling him when he doesn’t let them. I praise the maturity of those who have defended him here. I pity those demonstrating their insecurity, selfishness, and lack of understanding of the freedom and non-judgemental treatment they insist on for themselves but can’t give to others. Unfortunately the former is in the minority.

  24. Great post and very funny. Anyways I thought you might be interested in taking this Superhero Exam. Its really quick and easy and it will tell you which superhero you are. Just thought you might like it. Keep up the great writing i like to read your blog!

  25. Augie de Blieck wrote:

    (Of course, this only works when a conservative creator is involved. Nobody makes this presuppositions about storylines based on political motivations of liberal writers, who are the clear majority in the world of comics.)

    That’s an overgeneralization. When someone has publically taken an anti-gay stance, it’s reasonable to question whether he should then be hired to write a gay character. It has nothing to do with whether he’s conservative or liberal.

  26. Here we have people like you on a web site who is a sick degrading Nazi.Here you go around & follow in their foots steps since they happen to be all the trend setters.Like the film writing/derector Mel Brooks said one time to a gay author about the ones in Hollywood.Mel Brooks replied,”If it were not for Gypsies,Kikes or Fags,we would not have a Hollywood”.With all these body piercings,tatoos & trendy close & earings in both ears.They been doing this kind of thing for the past 20+ years.So when you wake up & smell that coffee scented swatstika of yours,you mite start getting some were! May Hitler’s spirit be w/ you always.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] “Anti-gay” writer takes on gay superhero – Heidi from The Beat talks about the blogosphere’s new talking point – Chuck Dixon writing Midnighter (from The Beat) [...]

  2. […] a bit of a rise in the gorge for some. Dixon has long been known for his conservative views, and a ruckus was raised in 2006 when he was assigned to wright The Authority even after expressing what some called anti-gay views. […]

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