Happ Pride month everyone!
This month I decided that I wanted to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community by highlighting the stories, experiences and characters that find themselves within the geek-sphere we call the Otaku Rabbit Hole.
Of course, my mind IMMEDIATELY focused on one of my favourite comic series, and one that celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, that being The Pride by Welsh creator Joe Glass who has released a number of comics under the proud publishing banner of Queer Comix.
This series, which I’ve discussed in a previous blog, explores the highs and hardships that people within the LGBTQ+ community through the lense of a superhero comic, and these LGBTQ+ superheroes will not take predjudice lying down! The Pride features a diverse cast of characters from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum and some may seem somewhat familiar to fans of popular Marvel and DC comics. But this familiarity is not reductive, rather it is a warm and welcoming comfort, while also providing a new perspective of the classic superhero formula. It’s fresh, it’s exciting and it’s important – all of which makes for one hell of a read.
Despite having already had a season 1 physical release, and a release of season 1 and 2 on Amazon’s ComiXology platform, the complete story of The Pride has now, at last, been collected into a single Omnibus, published by Dark Horse Comics, meaning that it is now more accessible to readers than ever.
So then, as it’s pride month, the Otaku Rabbit Hole decided to reach out to The Pride creator Joe Glass with 10 quickfire questions regarding The Pride, advice for LGBTQ+ individuals interested in telling their own stories, and his unique experiences within the comic book industry. Despite being a very busy guy with the recent release of The Pride Omnibus, he was kind enough to get back to us. So without further ado, let’s get into the questions, and I hope you enjoy!
LL: Your comic The Pride has just released worldwide and a HUGE congratulations is due! So to open the questions, I have to start with the obvious. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
JG: I’ve always been rather enamoured by the idea of flight. I really enjoy visiting new places, but I kinda hate the actual travelling part when it’s not under my own speed. Soaring through the air to go wherever I wanted sounds fun. Plus, hey, night out wherever I want, whenever I want!
LL: You’ve created a number of important and gripping stories that centre on the wider LGBTQ+ experience, whether that’s in The Pride, or your more recent Glitter Vipers. Can you tell us what is it that drives you to create these stories and why you feel it’s so important to share them with the world?
JG: Basically, I’ve just always felt there was a dearth of LGBTQ+ content by LGBTQ+ voices that told our stories and shared our POV. As such, I just always strive to include that in everything I do, whether it be supporting cast or the leads.
LL: You have a variety of iconic characters across your comics, but if you had to choose, who would be your favourite character that you’ve created and why?
JG: I think a lot of people would expect me to say Manchester drag queen and street gang leader, Bi Phallicia, but to be honest, it’s still and probably always will be FabMan.
LL: I’m sure this is a difficult one to answer, but could you tell me about one moment you’ll never forget from working in the comic book industry so far, whether it was in creating The Pride or something else entirely?
JG: Weirdly, the one which stood out at NYCC, that I’d gone to to network, and finding out that Thoughtbubble back in the UK were naming a hall after The Pride. The Pride had been going to TBubs for years, from independent small press to picked up second season, so to have that honour really meant a lot and I had to have a little quiet sit down. Or as quiet as it gets in the Javits Center anyway.
LL: What piece of advice would you give someone LGBTQ+ wanting to break into the comic book industry and share their own inclusive stories?
JG: Don’t wait for someone to give you permission. Tell the stories you want to tell, when you want to tell them, however you want to tell them. The rest will come.
LL: Beyond the creation of comics themselves, what aspect of working in the comic book industry do you enjoy the most?
JG: I love comic cons! I think anyone who’s seen me at one knows I am in my element at comic con shows, seeing all the amazing cosplay, meeting fans and checking out the coolest gear. I could honestly happily do a comic con every weekend!
LL: Could you tell me some of the things that inspired you to become a comic creator, or that inspired some of the stories that you’ve created?
JG: I fell in love with comics early on, with X-Men comics, in particular Generation X. The mutant metaphor being a metaphor for queer identity is well documented, but I also loved the soap opera of it all.
LL: If you could see any of your stories adapted into another form of media, be that film, video games etc., what would it be and why?
JG: I’d love for there to be a The Pride TV series. I’m honestly happy with either animated or live action, but seen as The Pride started due to a lack of LGBTQ+ rep in comics and seeing the near non-existence of LGBTQ+ rep in superhero cinema and shows (with The CW doing the most work to correct that), that seems the next front in the battle for inclusion.
LL: I know this is a cheeky one, but I have to ask – what’s next for The Pride, or can you give us just a taste of what’s to come next?
JG: Well, I certainly have ideas for a bunch of new seasons, so hopefully the Omnibus does really well and I can make Season 3 a reality! I have big plans. Big superhero action. Bigger threats. Epic relationship drama!
LL: Finally, is there anything you’d like to add or say following the release of The Pride Omnibus?
JG: I’d like to thank all the artists and creators who’ve helped me to make the series a reality; ComiXology for giving me the chance to keep it going; and Dark Horse Comics for the gorgeous new edition. I couldn’t have done it without that help and support, but also the support of all the fans. So thank you all!
With that, we’ve reached the end of our quickfire interview. Once again, I’d like to thank Joe Glass for taking the time to answer these questions. If you want to keep up to date on all things The Pride and see what other tricks he has up his sleeve, then please go and check him out on his social media channels under @JoeGlass (Instagram) or @JosephGlass (Twitter). If you’re at all interested in The Pride Omnibus, then do please support it and check out Joe Glass’ other comics over at joeglasscomics.co.uk – you won’t be dissapointed.
DISCLAIMER: ALL CREDIT FOR THE IMAGES USED IN THIS REVIEW IS GIVEN TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.