THE COLOR BARRIER: The Direct Impact of Dwayne McDuffie & What Comes Next - Joseph Illidge’s final COLOR BARRIER recounts lessons learned from Dwayne McDuffie and the looks to the future of diversity in comics.
I mean, they said “LGBT lifestyle” but I’m sure the intention was pure :/
Are Hollywood studios missing out on greater box office success by excluding LGBT characters from their biggest superhero franchises?
Thirty years ago, the idea of finding LGBT representation in a mainstream superhero comic book seemed as far from reality as waking up with the ability to fly. An entertainment medium that once adopted a code forbidding even the mention of alternative sexual orientations, however, has evolved by leaps and single-bounds.
With heroes such as DC Comics’ lesbian caped crusader, Batwoman, and Marvel Comics’ gay teen power couple, Hulkling and Wiccan of the Young Avengers, a diverse spectrum of LGBT characters can currently be seen battling evil alongside icons such as Wonder Woman, Superman, and Wolverine. But while LGBT visibility in comics is growing faster than a speeding bullet, Hollywood’s unstoppable superhero scene is evolving at a snail’s pace. It’s an oversight that is beginning to raise the eyebrows of not only LGBT fans who desire to see a fundamental aspect of their lives reflected in the empowering fantasies the genre provides, but several of Hollywood’s biggest and rising stars as well.
QUEER NERD WRAP-UP OF SD COMIC-CON 2012!
Another Comic-Con comes to an end! It goes by in a rush, with me feeling like a salmon swimming upstream. Sometimes I’m able to stand still long enough to Twitter and other times I’m sweating, desperately running from one side of the convention center to another. This time, so much was going on that I couldn’t catch it all, so apologies if I don’t have any pictures of your appearance/signing/panel/party.
It’s a testament to the increasing visibility and interest in LGBTQI comics and creators that I couldn’t cover everything (I may need an assistant!).
Speaking of testament, before starting the day, it’s always good to get a blessing. Thank God for cosplay.
One project that debuted at the Con that did seem to be blessed was the Fantagraphics anthology No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, birthed and edited by our very own Justin Hall. It’s a beautiful book, giving you an amazing rundown of the history of queer comics. Justin was tireless in promoting it, with a panel featuring just a sampling of the creators in the book, signings, an event at Trickster, and basically just about anything he could do to get the word out. And it worked. By Saturday, both Prism and Fantagraphics were running low on copies, and apparently it was selling out online as well. Get your copy now!
Here is Gail Simone, with So Super Duper's Brian Andersen! Gail was signing Charles “Zan” Christensen’s anti-bullying book The Power Within and offering portfolio review and Brian was presenting his spankin’ new collection of Reignbow and Dee-Va.
David explained how the top brass of Marvel attended his wedding to his boyfriend, and saw them weeping, so he knew they would be okay with Northstar getting married. For Marjorie, the writer of the wedding issue in Astonishing X-Men), this al came through organically in terms of character and story instead of because of marketing and sales; however, once it was decided, they whiplashed a teaser just before last year’s Con, but thought it was too early. Then they had to keep the whole thing hush-hush until Whoopi Goldberg found out about it and wanted to announce it on The View—the rest is history.
Phil Jimenez said he was happy with the storyline but wondered whether getting prominent gay characters like Northstar and Kevin Keller married off was a way to neuter them. Can the mainstream handle a “promiscuous whore”? It was pointed out that Daken could fit this description, so it’s not like that isn’t represented. Plus Marjorie (pictured below with moderator Chance Whitmire of Fanboys of the Universe) said that being married doesn’t mean the characters suddenly become boring. They’re the same people as before and it’s the challenge for the writer to keep telling interesting stories, bottom line. Great discussion and Chance did an expert job moderating.
The second big event of the day was Andy Mangels' 25th anniversary celebration of his “Gays in Comics” panel, the longest running of any panel in Comic-Con's history. And groundbreaking for the comics industry. Andy promised an extravaganza and delivered.
First, unbeknownst to Andy, he was presented with Comic-Con’s prestigious Inkpot Award. This was much deserved and everyone was clearly very happy for Andy. Congrats!!!
Andy proceeded with the show, where he did a year-by-year rundown of the history of not only the “Gays in Comics” panel but what was happening with gay characters, gay creators and at Comic-Con, with the emergence of the Gay League, Out in Comics, Prism Comics and beyond. For each year, he had at least one speaker come up on stage, plus taped messages (I have the list somewhere, but it’s 3am…).
Here are just some of those who gave funny and heartfelt remarks (and cried in many cases).
Here’s Paige Braddock:
Chip Kidd (who announced he would not cry and told a hilarious story of holding Andy’s magnificent ass):
Andy announced this would be his “Gays in Comics” as moderator, but that it would continue with Roger Klorese and a co-host each year, who was revealed to be Paige Braddock for next year.
Prism Comics returns to Emerald City Comicon this Weekend!
Prism Comics will be making its eighth appearance at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, and will be joined at its booth by Jeff Krell (creator of Jayson), Donna Barr (creator of The Desert Peach andStinz), and by creators from Lambda-Award winning publisher Northwest Press, including David Kelly (Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics), Mark Brill and Charles “Zan” Christensen(The Power Within, The Mark of Aeacus). Emerald City Comicon takes place March 30th & 31st and April 1st at the Washington State Convention Center.
All weekend at the convention, Prism will offer a wide selection of comics and related items that are of interest to LGBT readers at their exhibitor booth. Prism also provides free space for comics artists and writers who do not have their own exhibition space, so that they can sell their books and meet with their fans.
Other LGBT creators appearing at the show include Adriana Ferguson (Minor Acts of Heroism), Cat Staggs (Smallville Season 11), Erika Moen (DAR!), Terry Blas (Briar Hollow), and Roberta Gregory(Bitchy Bitch).
Prism has compiled an Emerald City Comicon edition of “The Gay Agenda”, the guide to events of interest to LGBT attendees of Comicon. This guide is available online and at the Prism Comics booth. Some of the events highlighted include:
THE BAD AND THE BOLD: LGBT CHARACTERS
Friday, March 30 @ 4-5 pm
Creators face a double-edged sword of either “positive” portrayals of LGBT characters and potentially creating lackluster work, or pushing the envelope and potentially sparking a firestorm and alienating readers. Mild gay innuendo labeled “Adults Only” in Rawhide Kid; “gerbiling” and gay blackmail in The Boys (which later won a GLAAD award); a bisexual alien in Voodoo spending a lot of time in strip clubs; a new, unabashedly flamboyant gay teen in Teen Titans: Some say these succeed as good comics and some disagree. What makes or breaks an “edgy” depiction of a queer character? Is there such a thing as “too far”? Join Donna Barr (The Desert Peach, Stinz), Stephen Sadowski (JSA, Warlord of Mars), Colleen Coover (Small Favors, Banana Sunday) and moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen for a lively discussion of LGBT representation in comics that’s sure to push some buttons. ROOM 3AB
QUEER COMICS MEETUP AT CC ATTLE’S
Friday, March 30 @ 8pm-Midnight
Prism has organized a Friday night meetup for LGBT comics fans and creators starting at 8pm at CC Attle’s on Capitol Hill. Comics and t-shirts will be given away courtesy of Northwest Press, and the bar will offer specials on beer and spirits when you show your Comicon badge or proof of purchase. Consider wearing your tights and joining the pub crawl afterwards! (This event is for those 21 years of age and older only.) CC Attle’s, 1701 East Olive Way
HEROES VS VILLAINS PUB CRAWL
Friday, March 30 @ 9pm
Join Gay Geeks Friday, March 30th at 9pm for the 1st annual Heroes vs. Villains pub crawl! In preparation for the Emerald City Comicon, come dressed as your favorite hero or villain and be prepared to answer some trivia for a chance to win some swag! (This event is for those 21 years of age and older only.) Lobby Bar, 716 E Pike Street
QUEERS IN GAMING
Saturday, March 31 @ 11am-Noon
The presence of queer characters and culture in gaming has been a hot-button topic the last few years. Recent breakthroughs in representing and serving queer tastes in big titles such as Dragon Age, Persona 4, Mass Effect and others have elicited strong responses and highlighted a conflict in our wider culture. This panel will touch on many topics including gender, homophobia, diversity, and why having queers in gaming is a good thing. We’ll discuss where queers in gaming have been, where they stand now, and what we see for the future. With Ashley Cook (writer), Jeremy Crawford (Wizards of the Coast), Crystal Frasier (Paizo Publishing), Erik Scott de Bie (fantasy author) and moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (Prism Comics).ROOM TCC 102
Where: Prism Comics at Emerald City Comicon
Hall D, Booth #200
Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place
When: Friday, March 30th: 2pm-8pm
Saturday, March 31st: 10am – 7pm
Sunday, April 1st: Noon – 5pm
Terrance Griep’s “Danger Drive”, Featuring The Question and The Riddler, in BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT2011 #1—Out Today
Question: what does DC Comics’ Riddler have in common with his latest writer? Answer: they’re both super-villains! Today marks the release of “Danger Drive,” a story written by Terrance Griep, that appears in BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT 2011 #1. That comic book anthology, published by DC Comics, shines a Bat-Signal-like light on the Caped Crusader’s allies in crimefighting.
Just like the heroes and villains featured in the anthology, writer Griep harbors his own dual identity. When he isn’t contributing scripts to DC Comics’ Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, Griep spends his nights and weekends as the professional wrestling heel known as The SpiderBaby. “When other writers tell stories of larger-than-life, spandex-clad figures engaged in battles of Good Versus Evil, they’re engaged in fiction,” Griep asserts. “When I tell such stories, I’m continuing an autobiography.”
The story’s super-hero is the Question, another character who possesses a special resonance with Griep. “The Question made a splash on popular culture in 2003 when she was outed as a lesbian,” the author remembers. Griep is no stranger to increasing positive LGBT visibility, having contributed to such gay interest magazines as The Advocate, Out, and Instinct. “Gay characters can be heroic, too,” Griep insists. “This yarn is a morality play about fighting evil.”
That evil is endowed by the Riddler who, in addition to being a pop culture icon, is also Griep’s favorite Bat-Villain. “The Riddler changes his modus operandi in this story,” Griep recounts. “Traditionally, Edward Nigma signals his thefts with custom-made riddles. Here, inspired by a TV game show, he challenges the good guys by first presenting the solutions to riddles, a technique which proves less helpful than it sounds. The story’s action culminates in an unprecedented hostage situation.”
Griep is quick to point out that his wasn’t the only creative effort behind “Danger Drive.” “Artist Peter Pachoumis visualized the script brilliantly—his Riddler is both charming and terrifying, which is how I imagine the character,” Griep affirms. “And I can’t say enough good things about the project’s masterminds, editors Mike Marts and Harvey Richards. I’m grateful to both for the opportunity to play in the DC Universe sandbox.”
So, with this assignment completed, will Griep be returning to the mean and dirty streets of Gotham City? “Since forming this tag team with DC Comics, I get asked what my next DC Universe project will be,” Griep reveals. “As we say in the funny papers—’To Be Continued…’”
He’s Not Just A Bear, He’s Wuvable Oaf!
Oaf, a gay, cat-obsessed, Morrissey-loving, hairy giant, lumbers through life unencumbered by any worry about how much space he takes up. He’s got a crush on rocker Eiffel, who plays in the “disco grindcore” band Eja©uloid, and his every step propels this alpha bear through a series of weird adventures, all brilliantly captured in Ed Luce’sWuvable Oaf.
A visually and narratively witty breath of fresh (and very odd) air in the world of gay comics, Wuvable Oaf is the product of writer/artist Luce’s out-of-left-field imagination and make-everything-big-and-round drawing style. The third issue, out now, finds Oaf on his first date with Eiffel (at the restaurant Rage Against The Cuisine) and Oaf’s cat, Santino, involved in a brutal Oz-style beatdown with a gang of mean felines.
Nobody’s night ends well.
Super-fans may want the limited, signed and numbered special edition (limited to 200 copies) which features a gory hoof-print variant cover, a set of three Smell-O-Drama scratch n’ sniff cards and the new EJA©ULOID 7″ single, “Sleep Apnea.” (The track comes on a clear vinyl picture disc and features music from members of hardcore bands Limp Wrist and Talk Is Poison.)
Give a wide berth: There’s lots more Wuvable Oaf on the very next page!
Archie’s Gay Character Kevin Keller is Getting Hitched!
And he’s going to have his own ongoing series!
last weekend at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it was announced that the first openly gay Archie Comics character would graduate from his in-progress miniseries to a full-fledged ongoing series next February.
And yes, he is getting married to another man :)
Kevin’s creator Dan Parent told Archie Comics readers to just simply love the guy for who he is.
"Kevin is the all-American teenager who just happens to be gay. We wanted it to be an important factor, yet it doesn’t completely define him either. The reaction from the Riverdale gang is basically a non-reaction, because Riverdale is an accepting and tolerant community where it’s OK to be gay."
The 24th annual Gays In Comics Panel Updates!
The 24th annual Gays In Comics panel featured Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Chip Kidd, Dan Parent (Archie), Jon Macy, Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Captain Britain) and a video appearance by superstar artist J.H. Williams III. After multiple delays, Williams’ ongoing Batwomanseries—which details the Gotham City adventures of lesbian crime fighter Kate Kane—will finally hit stores in the fall.
For more in the Gays in Comics Panel visit: http://www.andymangels.com/gaysincomicspanels.html.
It is a great timeline of the panel.
Two of Prism Comics’ own Win Will Eisner Awards
The following is from Prism Comics Home Page:
“Okay, Prism didn’t, but two of our own did. On Friday night, Eric Shanower and Jim McCann both won Eisner Awards (which are comicdom’s highest honors).
Eric won for “Best Adaptation from Another Work” for Marvel Comics’ The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum which he adapted and Skottie Young illustrated (Skottie also won an Eisner as “Best Penciler/Inker”). And as fate would have it, Eric appeared at the Prism booth just earlier that day signing copies of both Oz collections that have been published by Marvel. I even took a photo of him but can’t get it off my camera, damn technology! But here’s another shot I took earlier at his own booth. Congratulations, Eric!” Congratulations to Eric, Jim, and Prism!
Eric won for “Best Adaptation from Another Work” for Marvel Comics’ The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum which he adapted and Skottie Young illustrated (Skottie also won an Eisner as “Best Penciler/Inker”).
And as fate would have it, Eric appeared at the Prism booth just earlier that day signing copies of both Oz collections that have been published by Marvel. I even took a photo of him but can’t get it off my camera, damn technology! But here’s another shot I took earlier at his own booth. Congratulations, Eric!”
Congratulations to Eric, Jim, and Prism!