Oh yes, I have this blog I am supposed to update and throw cartoons up on. Well, lemme see what I can talk about... Oh. I have it...
So about five or six years ago, I wanted to make a Phantom Of The Opera-style character for AMPUTHEATRE. He is after all one of the classic monsters, and he for sure needed a representative Slasher in my horror fighting game opus. Trouble was that the actual Phantom doesn't really have any abnormal powers. He's just a music teacher with a scarred face, and AMPUTHEATRE already has a wildly uneven beef-stroganoff-face-to-GQ-looker ratio.
So I delved a little bit into Phantom folklore, and found out that Tony Todd once portrayed him on Broadway. At this time, Bill Cosby was making headlines for NO, NOT THE RAPES; he was approaching any podium that would have him and order black kids and black performers to stop swearing, pull up their pants, and quit embracing the thug life. So an African-American phantom determined to educate the inner-city youth on Shakespeare clicked with me...
And Fantome is one of the better characters in the game, I feel; his
move set is cool and his man-catcher theater hook is quite iconic. Plus I got to make a black villain without falling on obnoxiously overdone stereotypes. Which is nice.
So what I want to ask myself today is this: Would I have conceived Fantome if Andrew Lloyd Webber said "NO; THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IS WHITE, HE'S ALWAYS BEEN WHITE. TONY TODD CAN'T PLAY HIM, FUCK OFF"...? I can't say for sure.
Shorter Stan Lee: We made Spider-Man's costume full-cover so he could be any race, BUT HE'S WHITE. Does it genuinely matter?
...Why are so many of you comic book fans so creatively incarcerated and weirdly conservative? You swallow so many notions about these goofball stories, like rings that can affect anything except yellow things, a pair of glasses making Clark Kent indistinguishable from the train-hefting man-god, and the fact that DEATH FLAT-OUT DOESN'T WORK IN COMICS because these costumed cretins just come back twelve issues later.
Creativity will always blossom, just give it a chance. Make a black Spider-Man.
Hell, they made Jesus a white dude...