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GLAAD Media Award Nominees for Outstanding Comic Book

Astonishing X-Men #51 variant courtesy Marvel

Astonishing X-Men #51 variant courtesy Marvel

2012 was a big year for GLBT comic book characters. X-Man Northstar got married. New Mutant Karma became the star of a major storyline. The Buffyverse welcomed Billy the Vampire Slayer. Batwoman kept kicking butt and teamed up with Wonder Woman. Green Lantern Alan Scott is gay on a reborn Earth 2. Archie Comics star Kevin Keller met George Takei.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their portrayal of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Here are the GLAAD Media Award Nominees for Outstanding Comic Book:

Astonishing X-Men by Marjorie Liu (Marvel)

Batwoman by W. Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III (DC)

Kevin Keller by Dan Parent (Archie)

Earth 2 by James Robinson (DC)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espensen, Drew Z. Greenberg and Scott Allie (Dark Horse)

Congratulations to all the nominees!

By Editor


Batwoman Wins GLAAD Award

Batwoman #8 preview courtesy DC Comics

  Congratulations to the team behind Batwoman for winning the 2012 GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book Series. JH Williams III, W Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder are the creators on the DC Comics title.

  “This is extremely gratifying, because we’ve been working very hard to make this character multifaceted and someone to believe in, while showing her develop realistic personal relationships over time,” Williams wrote on his blog.

 “So the recognition from the GLAAD awards bolsters us greatly. And thank you for all of the support the series has been getting from you all, the comics readership community.”

Batwoman #6 courtesy DC Comics

  Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, Secret Six, Veronica Presents: Kevin Keller and X-Factor were also nominated.

This is the second win for the Kate Kane aka Batwoman, whose run in Detective Comics received the same award two years ago.

Thanks to Digital Spy.

Here are my predictions for characters to watch for next year’s awards published by Marvel and by DC.

Astonishing X-Men’s New Writer, New Controversy

Astonishing X-Men #48 interior art courtesy

  One of the most anticipated X change is Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins taking on Astonishing X-Men with issue #48. The unique line-up includes Wolverine, Iceman, Gambit, Warbird, Karma and Northstar. The writer says she will show the characters lives away from the X-Men. Today Liu told how this cast of characters came together.

  “They’re all in the wrong place at the wrong time, basically, but being X-Men, they’re not the types to turn away from a dangerous situation. What none of them realize, of course, is that working together will lead them into some very unfamiliar—and uncomfortable—situations

  I’m excited Northstar found a home with the X-Men after Alpha Flight’s cancellation. Liu expanded on why she brought Jean-Paul back with the mutants:

Astonishing X-Men #49 preview art courtesy

  “Northstar has so much to offer in terms of character; not just his personality, but where he is now, where he wants to be, who he might become under certain circumstances. All of which will be addressed in these first two arcs. Also, despite being a powerhouse of experience when it comes to this super hero gig, he’s also a bit unpredictable; his emotions get the better of him, sometimes, and that’s very interesting to play with when he’s under pressure.”

   Marvel said the arc will be the most controversial story of the year. Liu said one character will be changed forever but she has a long-term plan in mind.

 “There’s a long-term mystery playing out over the first two arcs that establishes these individual X-Men as a real team. We have fights, deaths [and] explosions, but in many ways it’s a very intimate story, and by that, I mean these characters will literally live and die based on the strength of their relationships to one another. There’s an enemy, of course, but the battle against this individual’s machinations will force the X-Men to look inward, and at each other, in ways that may be very uncomfortable, and illuminating.”

 For the entire interview and more of Mike Perkins preview art here’s the link.

Archie Comics Targeted By Christian Convervative Group

Life With Archie #16 courtesy Archie Comics

   Archie Comics has been praised for the introduction of gay character Kevin Keller. A Christian conservative group is targeting the all-ages publisher for their depiction of gay marriage according to Digital Spy. In Life with Archie #16 a look into Kevin’s future features his wedding to his African-American boyfriend.

 The American Family Association is campaigning against Toys ‘R’ Us to stop the retailer from pulling any Archie titles with the subject matter from their shelves. Select stores are now selling the issue seen to the right.

The publisher’s CEO Jon Goldwater responded to Comic Book Resources:

“We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealised version of America that will hopefully become reality someday,” he wrote.

“We’re sorry the American Family Association/ feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours.

“Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”

For the entire story here’s the Digital Spy link.

Archie Comics was nnominated for Outstanding Comic Book by GLAAD Media Awards. Kevin Keller now has his own series.

A Geek’s Opinion:

 I think parents have a right to control what their children read or watch. Consumers can decide where or where not to shop. I’m always shocked at how conservative groups can be so upset over the most non-threatening portrayal of gay people in movies, television and now comic books but not the violence in video games and comics.

 Archie Comics should be praised for depicting real life including the hopes and dreams of gay characters. Comic books always reflect real life. Seeing this issue may lead to an uncomfortable conversation with a parent and kid but more importantly, it may inspire dialogue that could prevent a gay youth from taking their own life or becoming a bully.

Astonishing GLBT X-Men In Action

Astonishing X-Men #50 courtesy

  Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins are the new team on Astonishing X-Men. The lineup includes Wolverine, Iceman, Gambit, Warbird, Karma and Northstar. With the cancellation of Alpha Flight I had hoped Marvel would bring Jean Paul back to the X-Men. Northstar is at the Jean Grey School and he’s continuing his relationship with boyfriend Kyle.

  I call Astonishing X-Men the title to watch for next year’s GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Comic Book. In the solicit for May’s issue Liu is keeping Karma and Northstar pivotal to the first arc.

  The mutant with mind possession power is losing control over her own. How will the X-Men stop Karma from taking control over her teammates. Northstar’s boyfriend Kyle is in danger. Will Jean Paul be forced to choose between him or his team. Plus Marvel promises that his issue’s ending will “be the most talked about moment of the year!”

Top 5 Comics Picks for 2-8-12

Secret Avengers #22 cover Gabriel Hardman courtesy

Secret Avengers #22

Hawkeye takes command and recruits Captain Britain for his covert team. He’s going to need the extra muscle as the Avengers’ version of the Sentinels strike. Rick Remender revolutionized Uncanny X-Force so get ready for a wild ride with the bad boys and girls of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Batgirl #6

Batgirl and Batman meet for the first time since her recovery. The deadly man manipulating Gretel makes her move. Barbara deals with the emotional wallop by a return from someone in her past.

Thief of Thieves #1

When the writers of The Walking Dead and Morning Glories unite for a book it’s a huge reason to rush to the comic store. Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer tells the story of the ultimate thief who can steal anything except the life he lost. A master criminal tries to connect with the son and wife he lost while evading the FBI and an even bigger threat.

Kevin Keller #1 courtesy Archie Comics

Kevin Keller #1

Archie Comics didn’t just give the Riverdale Gang a gay sidekick – they made Kevin Keller openly gay young man who wants to serving in the military. This week the groundbreaking character gets his own series and hardcover graphic novel featuring the GLAAD Media Award outstanding comic story about Kevin’s first meeting with Archie and life before Riverdale.

 Wolverine and the X-Men #5

Kitty Pryde is pregnant. A billion alien Brood show up and I don’t think it’s for a baby shower! Is this the child that could bring Kitty and Colossus back together or has an alien enemy delivered a curse on my favorite X-woman?

Marjorie Liu Ready to Astonish X-Men Fans

Astonishing X-Men #50 by Mike Perkins, courtesy Marvel, Comic Book Resources

  Don’t think of it as Marjorie Liu losing X-23, think of it as Liu now writing a whole team of mutants! X-23’s solo title was cancelled. Laura went to Avengers Academy. Liu went to the Jean Grey School to take over Astonishing X-Men with Mike Perkins on art. Liu tells Comic Book Resources her book will definitely be in continuity with Wolverine and the X-Men.

  When asked about how she built her eclectic team:

  “I started with a large list of characters, and then just crossed off the ones I didn’t think would contribute to the story. For example, I considered Paige (a.k.a. Husk) for a time, but ultimately, she fell to the wayside in favor of Karma, who I thought was a much better “fit” for the team I was trying to build.”

  “Natural leaders rise to the top in difficult situations. And Gambit is good under pressure,” Liu responded to a fan’s question about Gambit taking over when Wolverine is away.

Northstar preview image by Mike Perkins exclusive courtesy Comic Book Resources

  I’m personally happy to see Northstar join the Liu’s team but one fan asked about his twin sister:

 “Aurora, possibly, but not in this first arc. As for Northstar, there’s very little that I dislike about his character. He’s bold, arrogant, but deeply compassionate. And, he’s in love. All these things will factor into his character growth within this first arc.”

 Northstar is moving to the Jean Grey School with his boyfriend Kyle. Karma has never had a serious relationship. Liu would only say “wait and see” to a fan’s question about a girlfriend for Shan. I predict this title may be a real contender for a GLADD Media Award next year.

 I thought this question was great: Is “Astonishing” Logan’s answer to Scott’s Extinction Team?

 “Not exactly. These characters come together because they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — but what happens as a consequence of their trials together will make them a team.”

 For the rest of her answers to fan questions including the cancellation of X-23 here’s the Comic Book Resources link.

Archie Comics Kevin Keller’s Big Week

Kevin Keller Hardcover courtesy Archie Comics

  Some comic book companies have gay and lesbian super heroes but Archie Comics is creating socially relevant and boundary pushing storylines. The publisher didn’t just give the Riverdale Gang a new gay supporting character – they made Kevin Keller a star. 

  Kevin is an openly gay young man wanting to serve proudly in the military. They even had Kevin marry his African-American partner is a future storyline and put them the cover. The publisher has been nominated by the GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Comic Book series.

  This week in comic book stores – Kevin Keller stars in his own hardcover graphic novel featuring the GLAAD nominated story where Kevin first meets the Archie and gang, shares his dream to serve in the military and background of his life as an Army kid before moving to Riverdale. This includes Kevin’s appears in Veronica’s comic and his own 4 issue miniseries but that’s not all for Kevin fans.

Kevin Keller #1 courtesy Archie Comics


  Kevin Keller gets his own first series. In this first issue its Kevin’s first year at Riverdale High Class President and first date with some help from his friends.

GLAAD DC Character to Watch

  DC Comics earned GLAAD Media Awards Best Comic Book Nominations for Secret Six and Batwoman. Kate Kane is the most high profile lesbian character that defies labels and stars in her own critically acclaimed Batwoman series. Scandal Savage and her girlfriend Knockout are the anti-heroines of Secret Six by superstar writer Gail Simone.

Teen Titans #3 from DC Comics. Art by Brett Booth.

  There’s a new out kid in town to watch out for who wears his signature purple and attitude proudly. Miguel Jose Barragan code name Bunker is a Mexican teen wielding purple force field bricks. He debuted in the New 52 Teen Titans.

  “If the comic book industry doesn’t create another white, straight male superhero, that will be ok,” Titans writer Scott Lobdell says in the latest Out magazine.

  Bunker joins established young heroes Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, a revamped Solstice and Skitter, a new creation. The Titans are currently fighting Superboy.

  “It never entered my head that people would object to the color scheme of his outfit based on whether or not he was homosexual,” says Lobdell of Bunker’s signature color and criticism of his flamboyance. Miguel does refer to his own ‘cute butt’ when he first appeared.

  When asked about Bunker’s possible love interests? “He has love in his past and in his future,” Lobdell says, “and will have a healthy relationship life as all the other characters in the book.”


Bunker versus Superboy in Teen Titans by Brett Booth courtesy DC Comics The Source

If you’re reading this great title you know that there’s no time for romance as the kids are trying to survive a twisted version of Superboy and the mysterious organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. that’s hunting down metahuman teens across the DC Universe.

  Scott Lobdell has a history of creating compelling adventures with diverse young characters and groundbreaking stories. He had an epic Uncanny X-Men run in the 90’s and created Generation X – including Monet St. Croix who now stars in GLAAD nominated title X-Factor. M is not a lesbian. M is a diva.

  Lobdell wrote the breakthrough  Alpha Flight issue in 1992 when Northstar came out after years of being in the comic book closet due to editorial policy. The Canadian mutant is rejoining the X-Men later this year.

 For more of the Out interview click here.

 For my take on the latest issue of Teen Titans click here.