Queer Geek News Roundup: October 9, 2016 (NYCC Edition)

It's New York Comic-Con week, which means more news than usual; and it's a very queer news week indeed.

  • Promoting this week's release of Midnighter and Apollo #1, writer Steve Orlando spoke with The AV Club on the need for gay superheroes in comics:

I knew the book was happening before the events of the Pulse shooting, and after that, I sort of said, “Do we need the book?” and “What does the book have to be?” I came to the conclusion that you did. Like, “No, we need it now more than ever.” We need a book where it’s a gay couple that is facing down evil and it’s a gay couple that’s facing down hatred and violence and refuses to back down, refuses to give up in the face of all those things. We need that for everything that you mentioned. I needed that. We need that symbol that, as a community, we’re never going to back down from these things. Even in the face of hatred and death, we’re not going to be afraid. We’re going to keep going. That’s what these characters can represent and should represent and do represent.

  • Many of us have come to love Cartoon Network offshoot Adult Swim for such shows as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros., and Rick and Morty, but a recent report found a less-than-diverse environment at the network; only one in 34 creators are women (versus a not-great but far better one in five in TV overall). The controversy wasn't helped when Adult Swim executive Mike Lazzo made sexist points in an attempted defense posted on Reddit. In an editorial, writer Julia Alexander takes the controversy as a call for change:

We don’t need more creators acknowledging there is a problem: we know there’s a problem. We need executives to start hiring more women, more queer folk and more people of color.

No ifs, ands, or buts. It’s time for a change and it’s time for those in power to be the ones who do it.

Later in the week, New York Comic-Con—not quite as big as San Diego's, but still massive—brought about its fair share of announcements and coverage:

  • In a special NYCC section, the Village Voice ran a feature story spotlighting Pakistani-American heroine Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel), author G. Willow Wilson, and the new wave of diversity in superhero comics.

  • DC Comics announced that lesbian crimefighter Batwoman will receive a new ongoing series in February, from openly queer writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Steve Epting.

"There has never been a heroine I have loved more than Batwoman," said Bennett in a statement. "Her flaws, her ferocity, her struggle to rise above her own history and find a way to serve the greater good and those she loves — she's always cut me straight to the bone. To be a queer woman and to see a queer woman as not just a part but a pillar of the Bat-family was life-changing, inspiring and gave me the courage to pursue this career in comics. The opportunity to add to Kate Kane's story and legacy is both an honor and a sincere dream come true."

  • Marvel announced an ongoing book for queer Latina ass-kicker America Chavez, though they haven't released details on who the creative team is. in a recent piece for this site, Jon named America Marvel's best Latinx character; it's great to see Marvel trying to give her the prominence she deserves, especially when the publisher has earned its fair share of criticism for not emphasizing LGBT characters amidst its (otherwise commendable) diversity push.

As usual, expect more coverage of these comics and shows here at Geeks OUT! And if you're at the con, be sure to check out our booth.