Crossed Genres cover art featuring MLK as Terminator, KKK as girl-ninjas, with lashings of go-go boots and jetpacks

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16 Responses to “Crossed Genres cover art featuring MLK as Terminator, KKK as girl-ninjas, with lashings of go-go boots and jetpacks”

  1. RadioGuy says:

    @ace0415

    So if the meaning of a work of art is ambiguous, the art is bad and/or distasteful?

    To me, subtlety and ambiguity of meaning increase the merits of art rather than lessen it.

    Also (and now I’m just nitpicking), leading characters of all but the first movie have been heroic Terminators.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Um… Am I the only one who doesn’t see the aforementioned jetpacks?

  3. Anonymous says:

    It looks like only sexy ninjas in the the zubaz print are KKK — the blonde on the motorcycle, the redhead and the, um pink head are sporting some sort of anti- logo and are battling the klan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think the issue is that art should have no limits. There should not be anything so sacred or untouchable (idea, religion, revered historical figure, feared evil) that it can’t be addressed in art.

    MLK is so beloved, so revered that it makes him seem kind of stodgy – I think this is a cool way to blow some fresh air onto him. Say something new about someone we seem to know everything about.

    Art should have no boundaries!

    You dig?

    Frank Wu

  5. phisrow says:

    The KKK, actually, check pretty much all the “superhero” boxes, other than possessing superpowers and being heroic.

    Highly theatrical costumes and transformations from mundane to secret identity? Check.

    Elaborate and similarly theatrical codenames, personal and organizational, used when in the secret identity? Check.

    Mythos wherein they are the ones who step outside the normal workings of the system to save from corruption and decay a society that cannot or will not save itself? Check.

    It would be extremely interesting to see what a suitably clever cartoonist would make of it. Played too straight, it would just be propaganda for scumbags; but played almost straight, with a hard sardonic edge, could be quite interesting; as could a version that examines the pathos, delusion, and horrific violence of klan activity.

    “Imperial Wizard!”

    “Yes, Grand Dragon?”

    “Light the cross signal, Carpetbagger’s union negroids are attacking the legislature!”

  6. Anonymous says:

    And almost all sexy manga chicks have been heroes too.

    Art is supposed to make you think. Most people think this means “if I make it ambiguous, people will have to draw their own conclusions, which is thinking.” I believe art is supposed to come up with a new idea (which this has) and execute it in a way that presents the idea clearly(which this does not).

  7. Anonymous says:

    oh, well, just as long as it is tasteful…

  8. Spacekatgal says:

    Thanks for posting this, Corey!

    I wanted to do something to deconstruct the solemn mythos around MLK. I thought that by making him a comic book hero, it would make him more real and relatable.

    Attitudes at Ole Miss about race are very interesting. This is the state that had both white and black winners for prom queen at many schools. My own prom in the late 90s was segregated. Yet, there’s this strong insistence that no one there “sees race.”

    Brianna Spacekat Wu

  9. Darren Garrison says:

    Great. Just great. Run across a subversive web site like this and now I want the KKK to beat a black man.

  10. BBNinja says:

    I have no idea if I should be offended or not. :P

  11. Takuan says:

    glad none of the offended were around during the 60′s underground comics heyday.

  12. ace0415 says:

    Does anyone else find this more than a little distasteful?? I’m all for challenging mythos, but you didn’t make MLK a comic book hero, you made him a villain. Terminators try to destroy humanity, they’re not heroes. One is going to have to go through quite the series of mental hoops to pull off MLK as Terminator = Hero. But that’s just the beginning.

    Then there are the simple practical issues with the work. Unless you’re told who all the characters are in the work it’s very difficult to know, which is never a good thing for comic type art. MLK is the big muscled black guy Terminator thing? And some of those women are KKK?? Which ones exactly?? And why is the explosion of the rocked behind MLK when the rocket launcher is in front of him? And what’s wrong with the poor red haired girls head/neck? It seems to be jutting out past her right arm and shoulder like some sort of Escher drawing.

    So what seems at first to be a fanciful comic picture with your standard explosions and overwrought/sexualized characters actually turns out to be commentary on Martin Luther King, the KKK, and people’s relationship with these people in the South? Except that MLK is a Terminator, who are evil, and the KKK are a bunch of sexy blonds with a magic rocket launcher, which seems backward, but there’s no sense of irony. Oh, and there are some other sexy non blonds who are helping MLK, cause he’s actually good and he’s going to kick their butts.

    This sounds like something a 12 year old boy would do. This is crap, sorry to say Spacekat. BoingBoing can do better. Way way better.

  13. Takuan says:

    I prefer to get angry over real evil.

  14. Avram / Moderator says:

    Phisrow @2, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons make that comparison in Watchmen. Hooded Justice, the first superhero in that book, wears a costume reminiscent of a Klan hood. The New Frontiersman (a fictional right-wing newspaper within the world of Watchmen) runs an editorial pointing out how the masked adventurers are similar to the Klan (only, because this is a far-right paper, that’s meant as praise).

  15. holyalmost says:

    I agree with the poster above who said that without the explanation of what was going on, it is incredibly unclear, and a bit difficult to tell that this piece is a comment on race relations. Then again, I’ve never lived in a place where there was a high emphasis on segregation, so perhaps I’m just not sensitive enough to this issue. What I am sensitive to is the depiction of gender. I can appreciate the use of sexy female ninja’s in contrast to the historical KKK man, but after having a look at the artist’s website it appears that this was not so much a conscious thematic choice but an automatic one. I personally have an issue with women artists who depict women as sexual objects with no clear reason as to why she has done so. I truly believe that women are the worst for objectifying themselves. We’ve been trained to do it unconsciously. If drawing women like this turns her crank, then that’s great. But I find this piece in particular less engaging now that I have this info.

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