Pumzi - dir. Wanuri Kahiu // Kenya
In a dystopian future 35 years after an ecological WWIII has torn the world apart, East African survivors of the devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.
This just in, women can’t criticize sexist things while having the audacity of exposing her bare shoulders. Thank you gamer bro for showing me the light.
Due to an unexpected financial emergency, I have to open commissions again. Please consider getting some art from me! It helps me pay the bills, which have taken an unexpected and foolhardy jump this month.
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The cast of The Pride are (namely): FabMan, Wolf, Muscle Mary, Frost, Twink, Bear, Angel, and White Trash.
It’s a loving take about our own labels and concepts of identity, and how they’re looked at from the outside. He’s not a stereotype — he’s a person. Or, well, a Superhero.
He’s just awesome. Plus, it’s kind of a superhero thing to be based on a concept or stereotype? It’s a fixture of the genre.
lmao so you admit to him being based off of a harmful stereotype
and wow, twink and bear??? get the fuck out of here, is this some kind of joke to you?
like you are literally making a mockery of the gay community with this??
Excuse me? I’m beginning to think your issue here is that you have some sort of innate disrespect towards people who use these labels and act this way. Just because you think queer men who like pink and use the word ‘honey’ aren’t up to your standards of gay behavior, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist and don’t deserve genuine representation. A stereotype is only ‘harmful’ when it’s used and abused by people who want to reduce an entire community to one aspect of themselves and dehumanize them through it.
Fabman is a queer character with a superheroic identity that’s pride-based. The comic is called The Pride. That’s why he has a rainbow flag for a cape, because it’s an internationally recognized symbol of our community. Queer culture isn’t a monolith. Being queer doesn’t immediately align you with any personality traits or inclinations. But we’re allowed our subcultures, we’re allowed our labels like twink and bear and muscle mary. And damn, we’re allowed to joke about it. (For god’s sake, Bear is a literal bear.)
The Pride is diverse, hilarious and exceptional, and it’s going to keep on truckin’ (I hope, glassgears!) even without your approval.
It can be really frustrating working on the comics sometimes.
There’s a large, vocal audience declaring how much they want to see more diversity in comics and more LGBTQ characters. I was one of them, even. And it’s why I made The Pride.
However, when an indie project comes out with just that, a lot of this audience don’t actually buy the product they’d been calling out for: because it’s not from Marvel or DC.
Fact is though, if an audience doesn’t prove a desire and market for such a product, they won’t be willing to take a risk on creating one of their own.
Obviously, I’m small press. I self-publish. I pay to get the comics made out of my own pocket. At the moment, there’s still around £5000 to pay artists for work and get the rest of the series printed when it comes to it. This isn’t even taking into account the cost of postage etc…it’s hard work, and takes up a lot of my time and money.
But it’s a labor of love, so I keep working at it. I wouldn’t change that for the world. But I do wish that I was able to pay the artists faster and could afford printing easier.
The Pride has 841 Likes on Facebook. If all of them bought just one copy of The Pride digital issues (at just £1.50), any issue, that would raise a massive chunk needed towards paying off the remaining artists! It would literally fund itself. I wouldn’t make any money myself, but I don’t care about that. This project is as much about building my profile and name as a writer than it is about getting rich…I will never get rich off The Pride, but I love doing it.
Likes are all well and good, honestly they are great and a massive help in their own right, but it doesn’t help me actually make the comics. And it’s frustrating to see this market, this audience, saying they want a product and then just…not.
Just felt like sharing that is all. In case anyone is considering making comics of their own. Obviously, I don’t want to scare anyone off: you wanna make comics, make comics. But be prepared for hard times and struggles, but if you work hard it could well all be worth it in the end.
And of course, if you do want to buy The Pride, you can do so here.
I really do recommend this book, it’s absolutely a pleasure to read and a clear labor of love.
Seriously, people: walk the walk. Don’t just shout for more representation. Buy the damn comics.
We’ve talked a bit with Joe Glass (glassgears) in the past through Smash Survey, and he’s a really fantastic person. We’ve loved every issue of The Pride so far (and we’re looking forward to reviewing them), and they’re more than worth your time and money. Queer comics made by queer people and allies are sort of the goal here, and it’s hard to find something printed and self published of The Pride’s caliber that is also humorous and pokes fun at our community in a comfortable voice. The Pride feels like a true queer comic. It’s for all of us, about us, and carries both the weight and comedy of our experiences. Not to say it isn’t great and relatable for the casual straight reader, it is. But it’s a lot more than that, too.
We’re putting the finishing touches on our 2013 and 2014 examination of female protagonists in video games. Is there anything else we should talk about, friends and foes?
The #queerlikeme talk is getting all flavors of awesome over at @queercomics (with a big thanks to gailsimone). Join the conversation, and show everyone that queer readers are present and accounted for and very, very cool. Learn how you can win free comics through chatting with us over here.