The Lack of Diversity in Comics and Who Gets It Right?

I grew up reading comics littered with straight, white characters—predominantly male heroes. The biggest diversity I can remember was seeing Storm and Bishop in X-men comics. The lack of diversity in literature definitely hasn’t helped the world’s struggle for equality. People need to see and read about the lives of all people and cultures and not succumb to one majority. I think by now many of us have learned that fear is created by what we do not understand, and how do we understand the marginalized groups if no one will give them a voice?

In fact, I personally struggled with this as a young adult because I lived in southern state crammed with religion and homophobia—a typical haven for “White America.” So I fought myself for years before I accepted my sexuality. The 90s weren’t nearly as diverse as 2016, and yet we still have so far left to go on the road to equality. So reading books and comics with those straight, white, male protagonists didn’t help my struggle because there was so much hate towards the LGBTQIA community and our voices weren’t recognized.

Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first show I saw properly recognize LGBTQ characters, but we were still nowhere to be found in any literature I was reading.

So as I discovered Brian K. Vaughan’s comics as an adult, I was quite pleased to find much more authentic diversity. He wrote strong female characters, provided racial diversity, and gave me the LGBTQ characters no one else seemed to be writing. Hell, BKV was writing sundry characters before everyone else realized it was the right thing to do.

My heart melted when I discovered Karolina Dean’s sexuality in Runaways and followed her journeys through romance. She was the character I needed in comics when I was younger. She’s the character many LGBTQ readers needed. The entire Runaways series offered a diverse team with characters such as Alex Wilder as an African-American, Nico Minoru who is a Japanese-American, and Xavin who served as a gender fluid shapeshifter.

marvel-runaways-hc

Marvel comic series created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona.

Just like Runaways, Y: The Last Man stands as one of my all-time favorite comic series. The series might revolve around Yorick Brown, who is dubbed the “Last Man on Earth,” but my favorite characters were Agent 355, who was an African-American badass and Dr. Allison Mann, who was of Chinese-Japanese decent and also an awesome LGBTQ character. Honestly, Y: The Last Man had several same sex relationships, and I felt the entire series authentically depicted the craziness and diversity of society thrown into chaos when almost the entire male population dies off.

y-the-last-man-issue-covers-y-the-last-man-8057277-420-643

Vertigo Comics series created by Brian K Vaughan & Pia Guerra. Cover by J.G. Jones.

 

Combine diversity with BKV’s witty dialogue—best compared to Joss Whedon’s writing style—and it’s easy to see why two of my all-time favorite comic book series are Brian K. Vaughan creations. BVK has earned several awards for his creations, including Saga and Ex Machina.

I look forward to reading the next BKV creation because I believe he will continue to create the authentic and diverse worlds more in tune with reality than many other stories offer. We must further diversify our stories if we wish to do break down the barriers which still prevent equality.

Project Updates

Hi everyone! I’ve been slow to give updates, but I wanted to assure everyone that I am hard at work. I’ve been experiencing technical difficulties because it seems that I am an internet killer. Everywhere I go, the internet just randomly stops working. You can just call me Galactus, Destroyer of Internets.

I’ve spent my abundance of offline time working on my new novel which is currently untitled, but I hope to have more info to give in the next two months. I dedicate time to work  every night/morning before bed. I find that my brain creates the best ideas in the very late night hours leading in to early mornings. I won’t elaborate on the details, but I will say that it is an urban fantasy YA novel that focuses on a very diverse group that includes gay and lesbian characters.

The Alliance:Bloodlines novel is in a holding pattern while I get a few things in order before taking the route of self publication. I’ve also been creating digital portraits of many Alliance characters and I hope to share those with everyone soon. I’d like to be able to post one portrait a week, but they are taking quite a while to complete. I am new to digital painting so I am probably doing things the hard way, but also learning different techniques and progress is going a little faster now.

I’m still working on a few comic book projects which are now going into the art stages. One is my own creator owned project, which is a zombie horror/survival genre mixed with a little fantasy.  I hope to have some art work to show you soon!

So please stay tuned for more information and if you have any questions please feel free to ask!