While it’s becoming more common for a comic book series to occasionally feature an LGBT hero (or two if we’re lucky), it’s extremely rare for an entire team of heroes to consist solely of queer characters. Thankfully, indie comic book The Pride has arrived. It’s a fun, entertaining comic book series with a wide spectrum of out, proud, and diverse LGBT heroes.
Created by out writer Joe Glass and funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the comic book series has recently been collected as a handsome graphic novel. It’s a book that celebrates the importance of queer representation and unapologetically features strong, powerful LGBT superheroes.
The Pride's heroes are well-rounded characters that transcend their sexual orientation and give readers a thoughtful, rockling adventure with plenty of twists and turns. It’s a series that even the most casual superhero fan can pick up and thoroughly enjoy. The Advocate was excited to sit down with Glass and discuss his series; enjoy an eight-page preview of the new graphic novel collection on the following pages.
The Advocate: Tell us about the series.
Glass: The Pride is all about a team of LGBTQ superheroes. It came about from me wanting to see better representation of the community in superhero comics and to have queer characters front and center instead of supporting or languishing in the background.
In the book, FabMan — Tomorrow's Fabulous Man, today! — gets sick and tired of LGBTQ superheroes being underrepresented or seen as jokesand forms a whole team of the greatest queer superheroes the world has to offer. They face adversity from other teams and the media but soon find themselves the only heroes left in the world capable of stopping the villainous plot of the Reverend.
The series is now collected in full, with tons of extra adventures and spin-offs, so there's loads of Pride action out there. The first issue was also one of the Top 25 ComiXology Submit Titles of 2014.
Although these are all new, original superhero characters, a few of them seem to be homages to more familiar heroes. Was this your intention?
Absolutely! The goal was to kind use archetypes for a couple reasons. Firstly, so that readers can feel an air of familiarity even with these brand-new characters. That on some level they can feel like they know them. Secondly, and which links to the first, so that readers, whether they are LGBTQ or not, would be able to relate to the characters on that level, and that may help them relate to different people in ways they'd never considered before. Lastly, simply to show that even a flamboyantly camp gay man can be a kick-ass Superman type just as much as any straight dude can.
Why do you feel stories about LGBT heroes are important?
Representation is vitally important. If we can never see ourselves in our beloved medium, then it can lead to us feeling like there is something wrong with us; something too different, too weird to be shared. And that would be terrible. Because every single thing that makes each and every person different is beautiful and wonderful and deserves to be shared with the world. Sadly, we live in a world where there are those who hate the LGBT community. We live in a world where young LGBT people sometimes feel their only option is to leave this world. By including LGBT characters in our fiction, in all mediums, we can help change the minds of those who know nothing about us. We can show the young reader or viewer that there is a future and there is hope. In a very real sense, representation saves lives.
With your entire series now collected in one graphic novel, what can readers expect for the book?
Well, the Kickstarter let us collect the book into a massive, beautiful hardcover volume, containing all six issues of the main Pride series as well as all three issues of the anthology sister book, The Pride Adventures. We also included some brand-new exclusive shorts in there too as well as behind-the-scenes stuff. It's nearly 280 pages of LGBT superhero awesomeness. At the moment, I'm working on getting the book into comic stores, though it can be ordered online. As a self-published creator, the easiest way at the moment to get the book is via the online store.
Do you have a favorite hero from you team? If so, why?
Oh, that's so hard to say! They're all my babies. But I guess, if I had to say one, I'd say FabMan. He's ridiculously over-the-top and camp as hell, and I love that about him, because camp, "stereotypical" gay men are so rarely seen in comics these days, but hey, we exist and deserve to be heard. And he means well but often sticks his foot in it, which I can relate to at times. Of course, pretty much everyone else seems to love Bear or Muscle Mary the most.
What's next for the comic? For you?
At the moment, I'm doing a lot more comics journalism work, but I've also been working on some other comic projects which are a little too early days to say too much about right now. And I have scripted The Pride volume 2 as well; I'm just looking for artists who can work on the series. So hopefully, The Pride will be back out saving the world and showing how awesome LGBT superheroes can be before you know it