Dwayne McDuffie, was known in the comic book community for writing some great episodes of Justice League, Teen Titans, Ben 10: Alien Force and other cartoons; and also for co-creating and being the Story Editor on the Emmy-Award winning animated series, Static Shock, which might just be the first cartoon series with a black superhero as the main protagonist. McDuffie, who's last big project was writing the script for DC's All-Star Superman animated feature, was so good that he was nominated for various awards in the animation and comic-book industry.
McDuffie was also known for being outspoken! Like many other comic-book-loving-minorities, (such as myself), Dwayne was bothered by the lack of people of color, not only inside the pages of comic books, but in the comic book industry itself. This lead him to being one of the co-founders of Milestone Media in 1993, which launched several comic book titles written by a coalition of Black writers and artists.
Earlier this year, McDuffie passed away, just a bit after celebrating his 49th birthday. The biggest comic book convention in the world, the San Diego International Comic Con is set to print tributes to McDuffie in its annual program this month. But, it has come to light that one tribute won't be printed. On the Dwayne McDuffie website forums, his good friend and collaborator, Matt Wayne, informed the world that the tribute he had written won't be printed. Below is his explanation:
"Comic-Con International is printing tributes to Dwayne in the San Diego Comic-Con program this year, and they approached me to write one. What I came back with was my sincere feelings, and something that I feel the industry needs to understand about itself: Dwayne should have been running the comics business, and instead he was barely tolerated.
"I ran my tribute past Dwayne's wife before I sent it, and she dubbed it 'perfect.' But the people at Comic-Con asked me to change it, and I decided to just let it go. I'm worried that Dwayne is going to be the industry's 'proof' that we're all post-racial and chummy, now that they can't be embarrassed into hiring him anymore, and I don't want to contribute to that absurd but inevitable narrative."
To read Wayne's tribute, click here: What Comic-Con International Wouldn't Print