Comics are great. Comics are so good.
Comics, as I’ve written about before, directly led to me realizing I was trans. Before I read Neil Gaiman’s (and various artists) “A Game of You”, I had never encountered a trans woman who was, you know, an actual woman. Before that, all the portrayals I had seen of trans woman had been of effeminate gay men, of crossdressers, of men — basically. But then came Wanda Mann (yes, she has an unfortunate last name, but my last name means Johnson and Laverne Cox is famous so I forgive it). She’s presented, in death, as she actually is: a beautiful, awesome woman, who not only made me want to cosplay, but also gave me my first vision of someone like myself. Someone with this weird gangly body that didn’t resonate with who I actually was. Honestly, as problematic as Wanda’s portrayal is — there’s lots of complaints made about “AGoY“, almost none of which I care about — she helped me realize who I was and how I could actually… become myself. (No, not through death.)
There was Alysia Yeoh, there’s Sera (the beautiful and perfect, married to Angela). There’s Doctor Victoria October who — as all trans woman should — is portrayed as a sardonic sort of super villain. There’s girls like me in comic books. Girls who look like me, act like me, but also do cooler stuff like kick butt like I very much want to but don’t.
Not to sound too much like a movie trailer: In a world where women and minorities are often shut out of creative positions like director and writer, comics are a refreshing change. Now, I’m not saying the Big Two are stellar examples, but webcomics are. And indies. And, well, your friends, honestly.
Anyone, anyone can make a comic. That’s the best part. Now, with the internet, to create a comic all you need is a twitter account, a pen, paper, and a camera/scanner. Anyone — literally anyone! — can make a comic about anything. As others have said, a space battle costs as much as a quiet scene in a coffee shop. Comics are unfiltered creativity. You don’t need money. Heck, judging by a ton of webcomics out there — even great ones! — you don’t even need a lot of talent: just dedication. Your dedication will sharpen your skills until you get better. Just check out the first Questionable Content strip versus the newest one. All you need to do to make good comics is to persevere.
Which is why I love comics. Because anyone can create them and everyone does, and so I can see girls like me — people like me — in the pages and behind the scenes. Because it’s a huge entire world filled with every type of idea and thought and feeling and emotion and idea out there: it’s an entire magical world and it’s, just, wonderful.