“This is an original fantasy book with no superheroes, two non-white leads and an opening chapter featuring graphic robot sex. I thought we might be cancelled by our third issue.”
- Brian K. Vaughan (x)
Both Brian and Fiona have repeatedly said that their heroes are PoC. And of course it’s clear from Fiona’s illustrations that neither Alana nor Marko are white, but that Alana has darker skin than Marko.
The only featured/recurring character in the Saga universe who actually seems to have white skin is The Stalk.
However, I still come across white-washed Saga fan art and fancasting posts, which never cease to amaze and infuriate me. No matter how pretty the art, I will never repost that shit.
If people genuinely see these characters as white, they need to check their eyesight or their racism. And I doubt the optometrist will find any deficiencies.
Thanks for the ask. I haven’t had a good rant on this subject in a while!
Personal pet peeve is folks who think Marko is white. He ain’t.
Marko is meant to be Asian- more specifically, I combined features from a handful of Japanese models and actors when I was designing him. I can see why people sometimes mistake him for white, because I avoided using exaggerated racial markers (slanted eyes, rounded nose, etc). With simple cartoon drawings like these, a lot is left to the reader’s imagination. So I accept there will be some misidentification because I didn’t draw Marko’s family like Mulan characters, haha.
I see Alana as having mixed heritage. When I drew her father I was envisioning an Indian man. Her mother remains a mystery!
An answer from fionastaples herself!
(omg we are not worthy, etc!)
The Problem of Slytherin
Or, “the negative treatment of Slytherin House in canon.”
To me, “the Problem of Slytherin” (which I’ve nicknamed based on the infamous “Problem of Susan” from CS Lewis’s Narnia) is one of the major flaws of the series. Not as bad as my issues with DH, certainly, but something that detracts from the series as a whole.
Again, this is a somewhat unpopular opinion: there are plenty of people who feel that the portrayal of Slytherin was fine as-is, many who argue that it was inevitable because of the books’ first-person Gryffindor-centric POV, and some people who believe that an ambition-oriented House is more likely to produce evil people than one that values intelligence/wit, hard work/patience, or bravery/fame, particularly given Salazar Slytherin’s penchant for conflating greatness and blood purity, making a House that seems pre-made for prejudice.*
*I think that Slytherin’s orientation on blood-purity could have been written as something that was a rational response to his historical period, but I don’t think that JKR intends it to be viewed that way. If mass persecutions were occurring and lots of wizards were dying, then you could make a case for hiding/not accepting Muggle-borns - but again, this is something that’s more grounds for an AU fic based on what we know of Rowling’s Wizarding history, in which witch-hunting/problems didn’t get to be significant until three to four centuries after the Founders’ era, and in which the dangers weren’t that significant in any case. (Yes, that’s no consolation to Nearly Headless Nick, but we’re led to believe that persecutions weren’t that terrible a danger in the great scheme of things. In canon, Salazar Slytherin is not Wizarding Magneto, who believes that wizards need to create a wholly separate society of their own because the real world has given them concrete evidence they’ll never be accepted otherwise - although, again, I do believe that Salazar Slytherin-as-Wizard-Magneto, a man with some valid points but extreme views and methods, could successfully exist in fanfic.)
But, even given the idea that Slytherin held an indefensible, reactionary opinion for his own time, I believe that the books could have - and should have - written Slytherin differently. Because, as it is, there is a huge problem with the general portrayal of Slytherin characters, and, moreover, with the idea of House Unity and that entire theme, which became so important in OotP.
This is long, so I’m placing it behind a cut.