Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Panda's Day (Part 1)

The (negative) inspiration for this comic came in part from a Hollywood movie that shall remain unnamed in this post.

It was a movie about a white American boy who goes to China to visit his father, who is a panda researcher. In accordance to that usual Hollywood formula, the Asian character with the most screen time is the white boy's Chinese (female) "love interest". Predictably, most of the Chinese male characters are adversaries to the white hero - poachers who threaten the panda, or callous bureaucrats who want to close down the panda reserve.

The only "positive" Asian male character with more than a passing role drops out of the story part way through, leaving the white man and white boy to save China's wildlife and rescue the Chinese girl. Really, do some screenwriters have to be so predictable and formulaic in how they treat characters of color as props to make white characters look good?

If you grew up watching such movies, you can hardly avoid being brainwashed into thinking that people of color can't take action to protect their own communities and resources without the intervention of some white Westerner; stories of non-whites or non-Westerners don't matter unless a white person appears in it; and the only reason that an Asian woman is in a story is because of her relationship to a white male. (Sure, there might be a few exceptions here and there, but their numbers don't compare to the overwhelming flood of stereotypical portrayals.)

Anyway, I think a Chinese boy deserves to be the center of his own panda story. I think the panda deserves to be given some agency too. :-) Stay tuned for Part 2.

A Panda's Day (Part 1) from Wolfberry Studio on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. I won't even ask what movie that sewage is. Your story looks adorable. Looking forward to part 2. That poor kid. :)