Culture-Shocking Comics

Scholarship Entrant: Kenta from Aurora, CO
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Kenta: 8115

Honestly, I am not really sure I want to make a living doing what I love most. Creating comics is easily my most cherished hobby, and I feel that commercial working conditions marginalize the importance of why they were initially created: to entertain. Today, success is measured not by the quality of experience a project offers, but by the amount of profit it generates. I worry that I would become decadent and my work would suffer.
When your work suffers, your message suffers. This is particularly disastrous for comics since their influence permeates nearly every aspect of American culture. Which heroes have captivated moviegoers for years? Those sporting capes and tights. Who taught LGBT children that they could do just as much good as heterosexual children? Homosexual superheroes like Northstar and Apollo. Even the Captain America series was rewritten in 2003 to feature Isaiah Bradley, an African-American man, as the titular hero. As you can see, comics have already changed the world. I fear that if I were paid to make them, I would actually be making the world worse off.
So, I am content to just publish comics in my spare time. Every day I push myself to practice pencilling for at least three hours, and I study the work of pioneering artists just to get better. If I so happen to inspire a love of reading in a stubborn child with the dynamic storytelling and imagination that only comics can offer, then that’s change enough for me.

Vote for Kenta: 8115

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