The short interview in question, as well as Cooke’s attempt to partially walk back his statement in which he appears to condemn revealing previously established characters to be gay can be found here, and are worth looking at, especially for David Uzumeri’s respone to Cooke.

Given the backwards-looking nature of much of Cooke’s work, I can’t say I find his objection to a lesbian Batwoman terribly surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising.

While some may be outraged by Cooke’s statement, for myself I’m not sure his statement deserves a response above the level of “heavy sighing.” His statements seem to fall along the same level of disagreement that Alex Ross had with making Obsidian gay. I don’t think either Cooke or Ross are homophobes, I just think they’re a bit too blinded by heterosexual privilege to realize how what they’re saying can sound homophobic.

5 Responses to “On Darwyn Cooke at FanExpo”
  1. François says:

    Damn. I can’t say that this won’t have an effect on my enjoyment of Cooke’s work.

  2. Mark Clapham says:

    Heavy sighing is probably the best response. I love Cooke’s work, but virtually every interview I’ve read with him comes across like the cranky, random ramblings of an old man at a bus stop.

  3. Arynne says:

    Yeah, it’s probably his age that led to him never thinking of the possibility that those characters might be gay. Never even entered his mind before, I bet. A lot of people who are my parents’ age or older simply don’t consider that when they meet someone, even now. Not that they’re against it, they just take hetero-ness for granted, without realizing the unfortunate implications thereof.

    I don’t think the man’s a reactionary, though — his work may be backwards-looking, but it doesn’t regard the past through rose-colored glasses. Remember the fate of John Henry in NEW FRONTIER? I figure he just has an idea in his head of what his favorite characters are like and gets ooomphy when other writers violate his personal canon. Gods know he’s not the only one.

  4. Hal Shipman says:

    He wasn’t that off on some of the stuff, like the use of rape (which is why I immediately dropped the Authority in Millar’s first arc).

    His response on 4thletter was a bit more reasoned on the surface, “I’ve always believed that if another creator’s character can’t bear the spectrum of expression I need to reach, then I don’t use that character.” But, come on, Obsidian?

    That’s your best example of someone doing that? He didn’t name him like Ross did, but that’s the highest profile character this has ever happened to. It’s making a bugbear of a situation that does not exist. The tiny few characters that have been retro-gayed desperately needed development anyway.

    It’s kind of Byrne-ian, really.

    On another note – I really thought Cooke was black, for some reason. Hmm. Wonder why…

  5. Martin Wisse says:

    New Frontier was hardly daring though, now was it, lip service paid to the civil rights struggle or not. there was nothing in there Roy Thomas didn’t do three decades earlier…

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