Whatever Marvel is doing with Secret Wars, one established fact stands out to me: they’re bringing back British, hijabi superhero, and personal favorite, Faiza Hussain, to the printed page. My heart swells.
Faiza Hussain debuted in 2008, in Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk’s Captain Britain & MI:13. I adored this book, and I immediately adored her; Faiza’s debut was both the introduction of a vibrant, individual human character and a tight superhero origin story. She's a necessary part of the Marvel Universe, not just because she represents modern Britain, but because there was already a seat laid for her at the Round Table.
Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics creators, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.
Inés Estrada is a cartoonist, illustrator, fashion designer, and publisher. She also organized Mexico City's first ever festival dedicated to self-published comics and zines. Last year she published her first graphic novel, Lapsos, and is currently working on multiple projects.
The Advocate has published leaked pages from All-New X-Men #40, on sale tomorrow, which reveal that one of the characters is secretly gay. It's a big moment, and one that could potentially increase gay visibility in the Marvel Universe in a significant way, but there are complications to the story that make it hard to read as an unambiguous victory for LGBTQ representation. Read on if you don't mind having the issue spoiled.
Just funded on Kickstarter, The Stripling Warrior is a new superhero character created by Brian Andersen and James Neish. A gay Mormon hero, the character is a personal project for Andersen, who is himself gay and a Mormon --- and also, perhaps, a hero. The series follows Sam Shepherd, who is approached on his wedding night by the Angel Abish --- one of the few named female characters in the Book of Mormon --- and asked to become the Hand of God on Earth.
The Mormon Church has a reputation for not being accepting of homosexuality, making this a comic that directly addresses some quite powerful taboos within the religion. Coming from Brian's own personal experiences, this seemed like a project well worth exploring further, so we spoke to him about how it came together, and why he wanted to tell this story.
Cartoonist Ronnie Richie has a great piece up at Everyday Feminism that explains what makes a portrayal of a woman empowering versus objectifying. It seems like there should be an easy answer to this question, and Richie offers one, but they also make clear that creators and consumers still really need to think seriously about individual portrayals and depictions in order to understand the distinction. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes something empowering rather than objectifying, because there's an eternally shifting dynamic in each situation: who has the power.
You may have missed it, but last week Frank Cho posted an image he'd drawn on a sketch cover of Spider-Gwen in a pose reminiscent of the Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover that drew a lot of negative attention. Many people were grossed out by Cho's drawing, including Spider-Gwen artist Robbi Rodriguez, while others jumped to Cho's defense, like J. Scott Campbell and Rob Liefeld. What began as not that big of a deal turned into the latest hot mess to preoccupy the industry, so let's talk about outrage and complacency in comics.
Rachel Dukes is a cartoonist who has a diverse body of work, including contributions to the Subcultures and Beyond anthologies and a Steven Universe comic, as well as her own self-published Frankie Comics about her cat. Dukes has her first graphic novel, Let Me Walk You Home, coming out through Abrams in the fall.
The American Library Association (ALA) announced their list of Most Challenged Books in 2014, and three comics were on the list: Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga, and Raina Telgemeier's Drama. These comics were challenged for a number of reasons, but many of the complaints had a basis in trying to limit what books children have access to. It's important to note that the ALA is made up of more than just school libraries; public and academic libraries are also part of the ALA.
I’m not a perfect feminist. You’ve never met one; they don’t exist. Any feminist theory worth spit will tell you that we are all products of a misogynist, patriarchal society which has gotten its hooks into each of us in one way or another. As a friend of mine lyrically puts it “The poison’s in us all”. Everyone on Earth is a recovering sexist, classist, ableist racist, including you, and including me.
Given we’re all at risk of perpetuating patriarchy, it stands to reason that we ought to take a very serious look at the question of reform and rehabilitation. What do they look like, and how do they come about?
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
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