Readersforum's Blog

October 20, 2012

Comic books embrace gay characters as readers hope it’s just the beginning

Archie’s happy ending: the gay wedding issue sold out.

Marvel and DC featured high-profile plot lines this year, but many gay readers are wondering where the industry will go next.

By Amanda Holpuch

The comic-book industry has earned billions over the years with variations on one very simple story: do-gooders helping the oppressed defend themselves. It’s a tale that resonates strongly with the medium’s fans – especially gay readers, who have often faced oppression in the real world and sought solace in superheroes.

This year, finally, the industry embraced those readers as mainstream publishers offered prominent gay plot lines. Archie Comics’ first gay character, Kevin Keller, was married in January; Marvel’s X-man Northstar was married in May; and DC Comics reintroduced the Green Lantern as gay in June.

“I think any large industry responds more slowly than the culture it feeds, so I think that the prevailing attitude in society are leading popular culture in that direction, towards acceptance, towards embracing all members of their community,” said Jono Jarrett, the co-founder of Geeks Out, a group that celebrates the overlap between geek and LGBTQ culture.

The perceived geekiness of comic book culture can be mark readers out as somehow odd – and for young gay people coming to terms with a sexual preference that goes against the mainstream, that can be yet another thing that identifies them as different.

“We’re trying to address the sense that if you are a gay geek, you are not doubly doomed, you are doubly awesome,” Jarrett said.

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1 Comment »

  1. “Comic books embrace gay characters as readers hope its just the beginning
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    Comment by — January 26, 2013 @ 10:19 am

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