Queer representation in comics has been making small but appreciable advances in recent years, but there are some queer identities that comics and all media seem to struggle to get to grips with. Asexuals --- people who do not experience sexual attraction --- and aromantics --- people who do not experience romantic attraction --- are still incredibly rarely represented in fiction, with Archie Comics' Jughead one of the few notable examples.
ComicsAlliance spoke to four comics fans and creators who are asexual, aromantic, or on the asexual spectrum, to get their thoughts on representation in comics, Jughead, Riverdale, and the best comics out there for young ace/aro readers.
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.
Mutants, Marvel Comics' best known superhuman minority group, have long served as an imperfect analogue for real world minority struggles and injustices, from the concentration camps of Days of Future Past to the segregationist society of Genosha.
Yet it's when X-Men stories are not trying so hard to draw parallels that they come closest to representing the experiences of one particular marginalized group. In the first of three essays in observance of LGBT Pride Month, I'll look at the special resonance that mutants have with LGBT readers, starting with an examination of the X-Men as a representation of queer family and queer community.
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