The Path

Jon Maki, President and Publisher
Jon Maki, President and Publisher

As I’ve been toiling away working on the Media Kit mentioned in my last post – which is why it’s been a while since my last post – there’s been something at the back of my mind that’s given me a bit of pause.

We all know by now (I hope) that OpenDoor Comics is about inclusion and diversity, and giving the opportunity for people who have been excluded or underrepresented in comics – on and off the page – to share their stories.

My concern, though, is that I’m not articulating that message and what it actually means as clearly as I should, and there are certain paths that I’ve seen others who, in general, share the same vision and values that drive OpenDoor Comics, wander down.

That is, I’ve seen times in which the solution to the “diversity problem” – the scare quotes indicate that I don’t see it as a problem so much as an opportunity for improvement; also it’s exclusion, not diversity that is the actual problem – is to essentially take a segregated approach.

Namely, “Let’s draw in women readers by publishing a bunch of comics for women that feature women and are made by women.”

That’s not a bad thing per se, but it’s also kind of a half-assed measure that misses the point.

It’s also not the path I want OpenDoor Comics to take.

Do I want to publish comics made by women that feature women and appeal to women?  Of course!  Comics by and about Trans* people that are for Trans* people?  Absolutely!

I want all of these things and more.

But what I don’t want is to have any sort of rigidly exclusive targeting or creative restrictions.  “Oh, that comic is for women, and I’m a man, so it’s not intended for me.”  Wrong!  That comic is intended for anyone who is interested in it.

“I’m gay, so I have to make comics about gay people for gay people.”  Nope!  Make comics about whatever you want for whomever you want.

That’s the idea behind OpenDoor Comics.  Everyone gets a voice, and everyone is part of the audience.

None of this is to say that women creators, as an example, can’t make comics about women that are primarily targeted at women if that’s what they want to do, it’s that they don’t have to do that.

If you’re a woman and you only want to read comics about women that are by women, that’s your choice to make as well, and hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for here, as it’s certainly the intent for that to be available, but it is a choice, and the door is open if you want to check out something different, with “something different” being almost anything, with every possible combination of creator and content.

Make what you want to make, read what you want to read, and recognize that it’s your decision.

As for the Media Kit…it’s coming, I promise, and once that step has been taken I’ll move on to the other hundred billion things I need to do in order to make this open door one that people are interested in walking through.

In the meantime, as always, I’m hoping that any of you reading this think that the word is worth spreading and are responding accordingly.

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Jon Maki

Born and raised in the sparsely-populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jon Maki developed an enduring love for comics at an early age.

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