Two Quotes From Ian Sattler

Two Quotes From Ian Sattler

Jun 07

“We have learned we need to be more mindful of things in the future.”

-Ian Sattler – DC Nation Panel, Heroes Con 2010

“We don’t see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse DCU. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters.”

-Ian Sattler – DC Nation Panel, Heroes Con 2010

I didn’t get to attend Heroes Con this year, so I don’t know if this is the most insulting doubletalk out of the DC Nation panel, but the reaction it seems to have gotten from some of the panel attendees seems to suggest that it was. A close second, the notion that it’s okay to kill Ryan Choi because DC has The Great Ten (a team whose 10 issue miniseries was chopped short after seven issues). Not said was that The Great Ten “are like ten Ryan Chois, people. Seriously. Suck it up.”


  1. Johnny

    You know, maybe the DC panel did insult the intendee(s), but if some fanboy got up and accused me of being racist or condoning racism in stories I wrote and/or edited, I’d kick him in his pimply face. That crap is insulting. You can debate the quality of a man or woman’s work, but don’t question the person himself. Because if you honestly think that DC or Marvel or Image, etc. creators are closet racists, you are as paranoid and delusional as those Tea Bagger/Conspiracy nuts.

    When I was a kid, I actually wanted to write and/or draw comics when I grew up…and now I’m glad I didn’t, because at some point, I would probably have to defend my work and my name from crazy fan at Comic Con because I killed off a character who half-Polish!

    Seriously, I do not see why creators have to be nice or apologetic or sensitive to whims of these jaded 30-Something Comic Snobs who are seemingly offended by anything more controversal than a damsel in distress tied to a railroad track by the bad guy. Creators shouldn’t have to be stifled by these people.

    I’ve been talking to several people at the comic book shops I go to in my area (shop owners, young readers, old readers, long-time readers, I even had a very long very nice conversation with a guy who hasn’t read comics in 20 years and wanted to catch up) and talked them about recent events in comics, including the Ryan Choi Debate. And what I’ve found is that most of them didn’t care about Ryan Choi. The owner of a shop I go to didn’t even remember who Ryan Choi was! When I told him about the controversy, he actually laughed. When I told him how Choi died during Asian Pacific Heritage Month and how readers, commenters, bloggers were drawing parallels between those facts, he said that “They are giving the writers WAAAAY too much credit”. Furthermore, he went on to say that “It seems to me that the character wasn’t bankable anymore. So they got rid of him. It doesn’t have anything to do with race.”

    Fans talk about Choi like he was some big time character or at least a cult favorite. No. Choi was not a cult favorite. Vixen is a cult favorite. Firestorm is a cult favorite. Swamp Thing is a cult favorite. Choi was an idea that DC threw against the wall to see if it would stick. And it did…for awhile. But it dried out, peeled off, fell and hit the floor.

  2. Jeff

    Well, Hi Johnny. Thanks for reading. You know, I’m not of the opinion that Ian Sattler or Eric Wallace or Brian Cunningham or Dan Didio are racists. I don’t think that there’s some secret hate-fueled conspiracy to rid comics of minority characters.

    I don’t even think that most of the people who you’re ascribing that sort of thinking to believe it, either. Only the most paranoid and vapid.

    I DO think that the current editorial mood at DC is regressive and that popular Silver Age characters are being brought back at the expense of their newer, often multicultural, legacies. I have no problem with Ray Palmer being the Atom, or Barry Allen being the Flash or Hal Jordan being Green Lantern or Ronnie Raymond being the ‘lead’ in the Firestorm matrix. I understand the transitive nature of comic book stories and comic book heroes and the illusion of change and yadda yadda yadda but I also understand that senselessly murdering a new character for a lame-ass reason (to make the villain evil!) is cheap and lazy and it deprives the shared DC universe of a number of potential Ryan Choi stores that will never be told because he isn’t from the 60s or 70s enough for anybody to want to resurrect him. You’d prefer that I talk about the quality of the writing, Johnny, well I think I’ve already commented negatively about that – it’s bullshit, is what it is. It’s lazy, cheap, unnecessarily gory bullshit that flies in the face of the thing that every creator says they intend to do when they sign onto Random Superhero Book – respect the characters.

    That he is Asian and that his murder follows on the heels of another shock death of another Asian character infers to me, and to many other fans, that DC – who aren’t racists and nobody said they were racists – simply don’t give a fuck about diversity. And again, you know what? That’s fine. The creative process comes first and no creator should be forced to write a Chinese man who shrinks when he has a story about a white man who shrinks that he really wants to tell. The mass resurrection in Blackest Night? Bunch of white people and a martian (and hey! Osiris! He’s middle eastern or something, right?! So stop complaining because that clearly means there’s not a trend! Because that martian isn’t white either, chucklefuck!)! Taking toys out of the sandbox is stultifying and inconsiderate and carelessly removing people of color without a legitimate reason for doing so is going to look bad to some people, regardless of intent. Is it overreaction? Maybe. Does that mean that the issue of race in comics is worth discussing? It’s certainly worth discussing. And giving a semi-mocking, hand-wave of a response like “We have pink and blue people!” is not a way to have that conversation intelligently.

  3. As someone who was at that panel, I will say that Sattler wasn’t talking to a ‘jaded 30-something’ fanboy but to a young woman, and that she phrased her question extremely respectfully. I was not at the panel the next day where a DC creator said that he would like to shoot young women who had made critical comments about his work on a particular internet community (a group that included several people who WERE present at the panel.)

    Not that this really has anything to do with the issue, but Johnny’s attempt to dismiss every criticism for the reason that it came from 30 year old fanboys seems especially bizarre.

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