Georgia State professor addresses plight of black super heroes at Comic-Con

Jonathan Gayles, associate professor of African-American studies at Georgia State, will screen his documentary at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival in San Diego on July 25, according to his website.

Gayles’ documentary “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books” discusses the racial stereotypes of black superheroes in comic books.

Over the years Gayles came to realize the ill misrepresentation of black males in the comic books he read as a child, according to the documentary’s website.

“By screening at Comic-Con I hope to increase exposure to the documentary and to bring social awareness in regards to the comics. All people have a need to see themselves represented as fantastic, powerful individuals,” Gayles said.

He also said the documentary has been well-received thus far and expects similar feedback following its screening at the Comic-Con film festival.

“I have found that the documentary reflect issues many comic fans have had for a long time now,” Gayles said.

However the film has not gone without backlash but he describes negative feedback as less critical and more personal.

“People grow up loving these characters, then the documentary shows them in a different light. It’s like finding out a bad secret about someone you care about,” he said.

Although traditional comic books are not a part of pop culture as they once were, the stories are more popular than ever, according to Gayles.

“They are still very popular because of the success of all of the films based off of them. There are billions of dollars being made,” he said.

Attendees do not need a Comic-Con badge to attend the festival, according to the event’s website. However the event is sold out of badges.

More information about this year’s Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival and Gayles’ documentary can be found on the website.