We like diversity here at ComicsAlliance. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. We're also big fans of superheroes, and that probably goes without saying.
We especially like diversity with our superheroes. Diversity broadens the genre's reach, encourages respect and understanding of people's differences, and gives minority audiences more chances to see themselves in fiction, and those are all great things. Because of this, we've come up with a new way to look at diversity in superhero comics - particularly team books. We call it the Harvey/Renee Index.
GLAAD, a high profile media advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has announced the nominees for its 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards, including five nominees for Outstanding Comic Book. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize high quality productions that represents LGBT people in fair, inclusive, original, and impactful ways.
A new year. A new start. A new chance to make a change. Long-time readers of this site may know that we at ComicsAlliance are proud cheerleaders for a more representative industry. We like political correctness. We like feminism. We like diversity. We want the industry at large -- and the superhero publishers in particular -- to embrace these things.
To that end, we have a few suggestions for how superhero publishers might change in 2014. Some of you may look at this list and say it's too ambitious, or that we're asking for too much. We say this list is a good start. These are our ten resolutions for the industry.
Good news; Marvel is launching a new ongoing series with an LGBT lead character. Loki: Agent of Asgard debuts in February from the creative team of writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett, and Ewing confirmed via Tumblr that the lead character will not only be portrayed as bisexual --but be able to change gender. Bad news; Loki is not exactly a good guy. He's a trickster, a manipulator, a supervillain. He's also the second bisexual male to get his own ongoing book at Marvel, and here's the problem; the other one was Daken, son of Wolverine, and he was also a trickster, a manipulator and a supervillain.
The first volume of Burn the Orphanage by Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman introduced the world to Rock, a buff, broody street fighter inspired by classic side-scrolling beat 'em up games. With the help of his friends Bear and Lex, Rock, fought his way through drunken goons and stripper ninjas to track down the guy who burned down the orphanage he grew up in.
In volume two, Demons, the action moves in a darkly demonic new direction. Comics Alliance talked to artist and co-writer Sina Grace to find out more about Demons and its leading man, and to get Grace's thoughts on what the macho aesthetic Rock represents means to gay comics fans like him.
Feeling tired, True Believer? Worn out by superhero controversies? Convinced that vital issues are out there in the genre sphere, deserving of discussion, but suspicious that the typical online back and forth amounts to so many weedy paddles 'round the sunken perimeter of a draining pond? Were you nonplussed when Harley Quinn rode that wrecking ball naked into Batwoman's wedding the other week? I have difficulty even keeping things straight anymore, and it's not because the underlying topics are frivolous or unimportant; I just think there are richer, weirder superhero terrains to explore.
So take my hand, tiger! Let us turn our eyes east, for just one post, to the wide world of anime! You remember Battle of the Planets, right? WELL YOU'D BETTER FORGET IT, because there's a new Tatsunoko superhero cartoon in town -- twelve episodes in total, streaming for free with English subtitles -- and it's a hell of a thing: Gatchaman Crowds.
In a posting to JH Williams III'swebsite late Wednesday night, the acclaimed artist and his Batwoman co-writer W. Haden Blackman announced that due to what they described as a preponderance of "eleventh-hour changes" to stories that had been planned a year or more in advance, they're walking off the book. Among the grievances alleged by Williams and Blackman was publisher DC Comics' refusal to allow principal characters Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) and her fiancé Maggie Sawyer to get married.
I hold Marvel's gay characters in special affection. I love them because they're Marvel characters -- flawed, freaky, forever young. I love them because they're gay characters; they live and love and fear and lust like I do. That's an aspect of fiction that I never got to enjoy when I was a kid.
But, reader; I worry. These characters are currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but what if it's only a passing beat? What if these characters -- and their lesbian and bisexual cohort -- only exist as a temporary corrective to the medium's, the genre's and the publisher's past shortcomings? What if the desire to make that correction passes, and the gay characters fade away?
It's hard to believe that Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Archie Comics, debuted nearly three years ago. It simultaneously seems like the character first appeared yesterday, but it also kind of feels like he's always been around. Archie acknowledged the impact Kevin has made over the past 34 months by declaring July 9 "Kevin Keller Day" and releasing a video about his creation as part of the "It Gets Better" series.
The United States of America was expected to meet its sad end this past weekend when The Hub network debuted its new animated children's series SheZow. The Australian/Canadian cartoon, which already debuted in other, less delicate countries without causing social disorder, is about a boy with a superhero secret identity. The shocking twist that almost brought America to its knees is that his superhero secret identity is female.
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