Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mr. Porter's Haiku

If you were a black character in comics in the 1940s, there wasn't much you could do to distinguish yourself. You were lucky if you got some dialogue, and if you did it was probably dialect. Ick.

But clever black characters could not be fully contained by predjudice. Often they took the opportunity to subversively demonstrate, right under the editors' notes, just how much more they were capable of, if treated with respect.

Clever guys like the railroad porter from the Wonder Woman comic book we met during our Black History Month profiles:Suitcase, comin' up!
Dis suitcase show am heaby!
Must be fulla books!


"Oh, yes; you can force me to speak in minstrel dialect, but if you do, I'll be waiving my big black dialect haiku if your face, thank you very much."

Can you compose a haiku of admiration for this clever pioneer or one that appreciates how far we've come in the portrayal of black characters since his day?

8 comments:

Bully said...

Mister Terrific
Would sit down and talk to him.
"Have some respect, man."

Bobby Flashpants said...

Years later, he would
take up the hero's mantle
and expose his thighs

Harvey Jerkwater said...

From the porter:

The mantle of clown
Distracts you from my talent.
Vengeance will be mine.

Assuming this act
Will someday not be needed.
Then I'll kick your ass.

Chris said...

Harvey Jerkwater wins.

gorjus said...

Despite our progress
how come all the Black stars were
made by King Kirby??

Devon said...

Harvey Jerkwater made a man cry today.

Anonymous said...

Scipio,
I was intro'd to your excellent blog by a poster on Classic Comics over at CBR, when I did a post about great black comics characters.

I still haven't gotten thru all your old blogs but am enjoying them greatly. Kudos.

Gene Phillips

Des said...

White bitch! Making him
carry her bags when she has
super powers? For shame...