Bob Wayne was once a comic book retailer. Then, poacher-turned-gamekeeper, he began working for DC Comics, working with other comic store owners. I have known him for as long as I have been comic to comic book shows, going back to the late eighties, where he worked for almost thirty years.
He is now an industry consultant, most often seen representing the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at events. And today he gave the Keynote speech at ComicsPRO, the comic book retailer advocacy group meeting at Charlotte, North Carolina. There are few figures who comic book retailers have as much respect for as Bob Wayne.
The Gay League website, administered by his former DC colleague Patty Jeres, ran the following excerpt. As he talked about the challenges that the comics industry faced, and his own history with the medium. And wanted to make it very clear where he stood.
“One change in our industry to me is inarguably for the better, so let me be clear:I believe that inclusion is important to the future of comics, and I believe in the power of tolerance, diversity, and representation. I don’t believe that comics should be set in stone based on how they looked when any of us were children. I don’t believe that most readers today would be interested in stories where Jimmy Olsen uses his signal watch to have Superman get a kitten out of a tree while a batch of generic white kids gather to cheer him. So don’t misconstrue any of my remarks as support for any reactionary back to mono movements within our community. That ain’t me.“
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We look forward to reading the whole of the speech at a later date.