I've decided to take some time out and write an introductory blog to my comic book project, The Pride, written by yours truly (no...no, I meant me....ass!) and with art once again by the excellent and ever impressive Gavin Mitchell.
Basically, the idea for the comic started forming in my head all those years ago, through thedeepest mists of time, when once I, yes, dear reader, I was but a younling of around 16 years of age.
During my formative experiences as a gay man (I know, I didn't know either, it's such a surprise, isn't it?), I also rediscovered my love of all things comic books and superhero mostly in the form of Generation X and the larger X-Men series of comics. Now, these I reckon were really helpful to me, being as they are about people who are different, hated and persecuted because of those differences, and really just want to live their lives, and maybe even do some good while they're here.
But what bugged me even then was that although the characters and their struggles were certainly metaphorically akin to the experiences of the gay community, none of them were actually gay (I had yet to discover Northstar at this time, mostly becausehe wasn't really in much of anything at the time...kind like how he's handled now really). And I wondered, what if there was a superhero team where they were all gay. The X-Men are tied together by a similar experience and nature, and so what if this superhero team were the same; joined together by their mutual sexuality, and wanting to change the world (or it's perceptions at least).
It kind of stayed there, in the back of my head, building, forming, changing and bubbling, but I never really brought it out much as I worried about who would read it. Was there enough of a market for a comic about gay superheroes?
But then two things happened that made me change gears and go for it: firstly, my friend and colleague Drew Davies read the script for the first issue and liked it. He said he got it, and encouraged me to pursue it. This was hugely encouraging because Drew is straight; a straight man read it and liked it.
Secondly, I came to realise that I just wanted to tell the story. So whatever happens, it will be out there. And maybe it'll do well, maybe it won't. But maybe some young guy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality will read it and find characters like he is, and that he can on some level look up to.
So that was kind of my impetus to get cooking with the book. That I wanted it to be a story that anyone can read, regardless of sexuality, gender, whatever, and see something of their own problems in there. See characters that are heroic, funny, powerful, kick-ass and at times vulnerable, that just happen to be gay.
Sure, I will touch on 'gay issues' (this is one of the other things which occassionally bugs me about comics, they have the chance to tackle real issues and sometimes they skirt around them), but hopefully in a way that everyone can understand, relate to, and empaphise with...where they are just 'issues'.
But that's kind of it: that's the ideas that gave birth to The Pride.
Now, I'll let you in on the upcoming plans (*squee* etc etc )
The Pride will have it's first main story arc taking place in a six issue run, probably initially self-published, but I hope that a publisher will pick it up at some point, so I can reach a wider audience. If you work for a publisher and like the sound of what I'm trying to do, I'm happy to pitch.
The first arc is called 'I Need A Hero' and tells the story of Fabman as he forms the titular team, with a mission of just doing some good and hopefully changing how their seen in a world where LGBT heroes are treated ever so slightly like a joke. I promise comedy, drama and action, because that is when a comic is at it's best.
Hopefully, the first issue can be seen at some time in 2011.
As a primer for the series, there will be a six-page primer story that I'm gonna keep my hat on a little longer. I was recently inspired to tell this tale, and I think Gav's putting some great work into it, so I'm hoping you'll all like it.
Finally, again as a primer, each character will be getting a one page Origin or Primer story, to help people get a feel for the characters and touch on their origins. Each of these will be handled by a different artist, and I'll reveal each as I reveal more about the characters in the coming weeks.
Hopefully, these will make up a small Primer issue, that will be released at the Cardiff International Comic Expo on February 26th 2011.
As always, for more updates on the comic, stay tuned to www.facebook.com/ThePrideComic and press the 'Like' button.
Well, that's it for tonight! Bye for now! x