Tag Archives: homosexuality

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Kevin Keller, Sensational Wonder Man

spider-woman-1-milo-manaraIt hasn’t yet been even a month since the release to the public of variant covers by Milo Manara for the upcoming Spider-Woman series by Marvel.  In the wake of the release, many criticized the medium for once again making a mockery of female characters. Others fought back and defended the move, but once again it threw gender into the spotlight for the mainstream side of the medium of comics. Some focused on it from afar as editorials from Time and Elle criticized the pose of the character in such a way. Others simply highlighted what were other fan reactions to the same topic through such artistic and critical ventures as the Hawkeye Initiative.

The Hawkeye Initiative is an interesting one. Although often looking very amateurish, its premise is simple. It takes male characters and puts them into female poses, and even sometimes into female costumes. The outcome is ridiculous as expected, but in a different sense, it also highlights the focus of the medium to the big two publishers. While the big two of Marvel and DC sometimes blunder their way through their own popularity, other publishers are taking some more progressive approaches to their own titles.

Surprisingly for me, one of these came this week from an unlikely source, Archie Comics. I am not much of an Archie fan, not generally speaking anyway, but my wife buys Betty and Veronica Double Digest every month, and I usually get around to reading some of it (if not all of it.) The stories are goofy and old fashioned as expected, but while there are some anachronistic throwbacks to other times, it is surprisingly progressive at times, addressing among other topics human rights, bullying and the environment. One of the more interesting developments of characters in recent years is Kevin Keller, the gang’s openly gay friend from high school, who has been given his own monthly series. I hadn’t been keeping up with the stories at all, but on a whim I decided to check out this issue as it involved Kevin becoming a superhero in Riverdale, an unusual enough development in Archie Comics.

wwcover01The story was kind of goofy, though I guess it was fun enough, but it was not the story which was of note. I might argue that the characterization of the character himself was a little off, as his reactions to his crush is a lot more along the lines of how females are presented in this series (hearts in place of eyes) which could be borderline offensive to the representation of homosexual people. The more interesting part than the story or the character was the cover, particularly in this case the variant cover, which as far as I knew had drawn very little interest, although by rights it maybe should have. I am far from an expert on the subject, but comics are known for creating homage covers, often for previous covers in the medium. Such iconic covers as Amazing Fantasy #15, Detective Comics #27, Action Comics #1 or even Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. One of the these covers which is most often copied is actually also copied here, that being the second variant cover for Kevin Keller which is a variant of Uncanny X-Men #141.  Although the homage here is a lot more humorous, it is really the first that is more noteworthy. Sensation Comics #1 which introduced Wonder Woman is a fairly iconic cover, but it is one which is rarely paid homage to. In fact, this might be the very first instance of an homage to this cover, and if it is not first then it is among a small handful. There was an homage in the first volume of Wonder Woman (issue #288) but this was a case of the same character and so this may in fact be the first time that another character shared this pose.

wwcover03What is most interesting about this is that it is a male character taking the place of a female character, something which happens so very rarely in comics that it can be considered to be almost unique. Female versions of male characters occur all the time, with the likes of Supergirl, Batgirl or even a female Robin, but a male version of most female characters would end up in a ridiculous visual much like the efforts of those behind the Hawkeye Initiative. In this case though it occurs, even when the male hero of Kevin Keller looks nothing like Wonder Woman. As one of the counter criticism of the medium goes, if one wants to find better representations of minorities, or women or non-straight people, they only need to look to the independents. For the comic fan though, it is important to remember when saying this that Archie Comics is often pretty close to being an independent as well, if not necessarily in terms of content then at least in terms of context.

Poplitico: SC Legislators Want to Punish Colleges for Fun Home

fun home coverSouth Carolina legislators are trying to punish two public colleges for assigning Alison Bechdel‘s praised graphic novel Fun Home. The story deals with Bechdel’s childhood and her closeted gay father and her own coming out as a lesbian.

The state’s House budget-writing committee approved cuts on Wednesday of $52,000 to the College of Charleston and $17,142 from the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Those reductions is about what each college spent on their programs that involved the graphic novel as well as other selections on homosexuality. In USC Upstate’s case, they assigned Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio for a required course for all freshmen. The course also featured lectures and other activities.

Rep. Garry Smith said:

I understand diversity and academic freedom. This is purely promotion of a lifestyle with no academic debate.

The House Ways and Means Committee defeated by a vote of 13-10 an effort by Republican Rep. B.R. Skelton to restore the money. Skelton felt this sort of retribution was inappropriate action from the elected officials.

Skelton is a retired Clemson University professor and said:

If we’re going to begin funding institutions on the basis of books they’ve assigned, we’re going down a road we don’t need to go down.

Rep. Jim Merrill, a Republican felt the whole thing was “stupid” and only to make them “feel better.” That didn’t stop him from voting down Skelton’s attempt to restore the funding.

Skelton felt he wanted to make a point and offered an amendment to force the legislators to approve every book on a college reading list. He then pulled the amendment before a vote took place.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is here, what comics are everyone reading?

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – The Missing Spider-WeddingToo funny.

Robot 6 – ‘Alan Scott won’t be the only gay character in Earth 2Oh noes, it’s spreading.

News Press – Holocaust Museum exhibit shows how America’s cartoon heroes battled the NazisWish I could check this out.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Spider-Men #1

MTV Geek – Spider-Men #1

CBR – Superman Family Adventures #1

Bigots Come Out Against Gay Characters. Target Marvel and DC.

One Million Bigots Moms have decided to set their sites on Marvel and DC comics over their coming into the modern era and presenting diverse characters, including some of the gays… This hate group had previously targeted Archie Comics over Kevin Keller and his same-sex wedding.  They failed with that one.

Not being determined by their batting 0.00, the group has decided to press on with it’s latest action.

DC Comics AND Marvel Superheroes Come Out of the Closet

Part 1: DC Comics recently announced one of their most popular, but as of yet unnamed, prominent characters will soon be coming out of the closet. DC Comics, owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, has decided that one of their beloved superheroes will be homosexual. Who will they choose; Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, or another one of their characters that children look up to?

Last year, DC Comics Co-publisher Dan DiDio said that the company would not change the sexual orientation of an existing superhero and would bring in a new one altogether. Parents may have been able to avoid a new character since it would not be one many children have grown to admire. DiDio has changed his mind and will not be introducing a brand new character. They will feature an existing character who was previously assumed to be straight, will now become openly gay. Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne said DiDio’s view ‘had evolved’, comparing the shift to Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, according to a report. DiDio did not specify which character would ‘come out’ or in which issue it would be featured. It will likely be a June issue during LBGT month, joining lesbian character Batwoman.

Part 2: And to make matters more shocking, Marvel, now owned by Disney, followed DC Comics’ announcement with a surprise of their own. Northstar, Marvel’s first openly gay hero, is going to tie the knot with his boyfriend in the current issue of “Astonishing X-Men.” This is the first same-sex wedding in a superhero comic book.

In “Astonishing X-Men” #50, which hit comic shop shelves Wednesday, Northstar proposes to his boyfriend, Kyle, a fellow snow sports enthusiast who possesses no superpowers. The couple will seal the deal in issue #51, slated for a June 20 release.

“The story of Northstar and Kyle is universal, and at the core of everything I write: a powerful love between two people who have to fight for it against all odds,” said X-Men comic writer Marjorie Liu in a statement.

Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, “I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?”

This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don’t but do want to indoctrate [sic] impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable. As Christians, we know that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27).

Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to homosexuality at an early age. Comic books would be one of the last places a parent would expect their child to be confronted with homosexual topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Children do not know what straight, homosexual, or coming out of the closet even means, but DC Comics and Marvel are using superheroes to confuse them on this topic to raise questions and awareness of an alternative lifestyle choice. These companies are prompting a premature discussion on sexual orientation.

Northstar’s wedding will be the first same-sex wedding in the world of mainstream superhero comics, but not the first gay comic books character. Earlier this year One Million Moms emailed Toys ‘R’ Us concerning the “Life With Archie” No. 16 with two gay characters getting hitched. Toys ‘R’ Us had the audacity to display “Archie- Just Married” at the front of the store by the checkout counters.

TAKE ACTION

Please send DC Comics (Warner Bros. Entertainment Company) and Marvel (Disney) an email urging them to change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters immediately. Ask them to do the right thing and reverse their decision to have sexual orientation displayed to readers.

The humor of of this action is both publishing companies have had gay characters for many years.  But, I guess better late than never to spew your puritanical zealotry.

One Million Moms is an offshoot of the American Family Association which has been labelled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Editor’s Note: Focus less on the gays and more on your grammar and spelling….

Around the Tubes

A long weekend is almost here!  Yay!

Around the Blogs:

The Beat – Okay, now WB is getting in on the gay superhero PR actionRemember the days when people ran away from gay characters?

Bleeding Cool – Scott Young Writes About The Days Of DC CompgateA great bit of history.

CBLDF – Critical Fail: The Censorship of RPGs – A good read.

The Beat – Jim Starlin on Avengers Film Compensation (Or Lack Thereof) – Go out and buy this man’s comics!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – The Flash #9

CBR – Rebel Blood #3

The First Gay DC Character – Except all the Ones That Came (Out) Before

News sources have been running with the story broke on Bleeding Cool that a previously “straight” DC comic book character would come out as “gay.”  That lead to the expected flurry of coverage…

Zap 2 It – Gay DC comics character will be a previously straight character

DiDio says they are about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”

Seattle Pi – DC Comics Character to Come Out As Gay

The gay DC superhero won’t be the first gay comic book character. In 2010, Archie Comics introduced gay student Kevin Keller, who later got married. Marvel Comics will reportedly feature the first gay superhero wedding between Northstar and his boyfriend in next month’s issue of Astonishing X-Men.

Huffington Post – DC Comics’ Gay Superhero In The Works: Publisher Dan DiDio Hints At Established Character’s Coming Out

Now comics fans and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) blogosphere is abuzz with news that a major DC Comics character will “come out” in a future issue.But also some incorrect coverage…

And then there’s the folks that didn’t quite get their facts straight.

Web Pro News – Gay DC Character Headed to the Comic Book Universe

This isn’t the first time that DC had dabbled with delivering gay comic book characters to the masses. After going back to the drawing board with the “New 52″, the company released books featuring Batwoman as a lesbian and Voodoo as a bisexual.

Examiner – Gay DC character: Comics superhero ‘comes out of closet’

The first ever DC Comics gay character was the buzz at the Kapow Comic Convention in London last weekend.

For the record, this ISN’T the first gay character in the DC universe and gays being present isn’t anything new.  Scandal Savage, Batwoman and Renee Montoya are just a few examples of prominent gay characters who were around well before the recent reboot.  A simple Google search turns up the numerous characters

Prism Comics Presents LGBT Disney Fandom Panel and More at WonderCon 2012 In Anaheim!

Prism Comics

Prism Comics Presents LGBT Disney Fandom Panel and More at WonderCon 2012 IN Anaheim!

Anaheim, CA – Prism Comics, the premier nonprofit organization supporting LGBT comic books, creators, and readers, is taking advantage of WonderCon’s move to Anaheim, California this year by highlighting LGBT Disney fandom and by presenting a host of LGBT comics creators and professionals including Brian Andersen, Marc Andreyko, Jim McCann, Bob Schreck, and many others in panels and booth appearances. This year’s WonderCon is being held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center from March 16th through the 18th.

“We at Prism love being part of WonderCon in San Francisco because of the large LGBT community,” said Prism Events Chairperson Ted Abenheim, “But WonderCon’s San Francisco home is under construction this year so we’re packing our mouse ears, capes and tights and going to Anaheim to be part of the fun. We expect WonderCon 2012 to be a great show with a huge turnout and the opportunity to meet a whole new community. Come and see us at Booth 200 right at the front of Hall D!”

Prism Comics will host a number of creators appearing to sign their books plus a full range of hard-to-find LGBT comics and merchandise. Booth partners appearing all weekend include Charles “Zan” Christensen (The Power Within, Northwest Press), Sean-Z (Myth), and Jeff Krell (Jayson). The creator signing schedule is as follows (please check prismcomics.org for the most up-to-date listings and information):

Friday, March 16:
3:00pm: Tommy Kovac
4:00pm: Robert Bulandi
5:00pm: Agnes Czaja

Saturday, March 17:
10:00am-1:00pm: Brian Anderson
3:00pm: Robert Bulandi
4:00pm: Agnes Czaja
5:00pm: Tara Madison Avery

Sunday, March 18:
1:00pm: Tara Madison Avery
2:00pm: Tommy Kovac

Prism will also be presenting two panels featuring major comics and industry professionals:

THE BAD AND THE BOLD: PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES WITH LGBT CHARACTERS
FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 6:30 – 7:30PM

There are more LGBT characters in mainstream comics, independents, Yaoi and Yuri than ever before. Some comics push for truer portrayals of all people in the LGBT community and others push for shock and awe. How do you balance portrayals of LGBT characters in today’s comics market? Join Prism Comics and panelists Brian Andersen (So Super Duper), Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Torso), Tara Madison Avery (Gooch), Agnes Czaja (Acrobats), Jim McCann (Mind the Gap, Return of the Dapper Men), Bob Schreck (Legendary Comics), and other creators as they explore what makes a strong, realistic depiction of an LGBT character, what makes or breaks an edgy depiction of an LGBT character, and what is going too far? Moderated by Charles “Zan” Christensen. Room 211AB

FAIRY DUST: LGBT DISNEY FANDOM
SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 12:30 – 1:30PM

WonderCon is lucky to be right next door to the “Happiest Place on Earth” this year. Disney characters, films, comics, media and theme parks are popular around the world. But Disney is especially popular among the LGBT community. Young or old, LGBT folk identify with the stories, characters, the fantasy and the imagination of Disney. Join Prism Comics and panelists Tommy Kovac (The Royal Historian of Oz, Wonderland, Skelebunnies), Worthie Meacham (Disney Gay Days; expert on Disney Parks and Disneyana), William O. Tyler (Fairies Tell, The Goth Queen Needs a Mate), and Dusty Sage (Founder and CEO of MiceChat.com) and other fans and creators as they explore why the queer community loves all things Disney. Moderated by Ted Abenheim. Room 207ABC

Where:  Prism Comics at WonderCon
Hall D, Booth #200
Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, California

When:  Friday, March 16: 12 noon – 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 17: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 18: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Prism Comics is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) creators, characters, themes and readers in the comic book field. Along with convention appearances, Prism awards an annual Queer Press Grant, and maintains a website (prismcomics.org) with LGBT creator listings and features on all that’s queer in comics.

Around the Tubes

It’s the weekend, yay! It’s a long weekend for me, double yay!  Here’s the news to keep you busy.

SOPA/PIPA News:

GamePolitics – Minecraft to Go Dark in Protest of SOPA, PIPA

GamePolitics – Six Senators Urge Harry Reid to Slow Down on PIPA Vote Plans

GamePolitics – Good Old Games Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA

GamePolitics – Anti-SOPA Petition Aimed at EA Hits 120K Signatures

GamePolitics – Firefall Maker Plans SOPA Blackout Protest Jan. 18

Kotaku – PC Game Cancels E3 Appearance as SOPA Protest, Shutting Down Beta for 24 Hours

Kotaku – Sega Responds to SOPA Question Like a Heartless Robot, Apologises Like Funny Human

Mashable – Victory for SOPA Opponents: DNS Blocking Struck From Bill

TechCrunch – Victory for SOPA Opponents: DNS Blocking Struck From Bill

 

Around the Blogs:

CBLDF – Japanese Censors Discuss Banning Comics for “Making Kids Gay” – Bring this fight.

Kotaku – Get a Glimpse at an Elseworlds Batman in the Cancelled Gotham by Gaslight Game – Looks pretty cool.

Zeismic
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