Genre writing for the rest of us (all-ages)
Why do we write and draw superheroes? Superheroes give us hope, they are us, solving problems without authority guiding hand. They are us imagined higher, more stellar, more in control, more anarchic. They are aesthetically enticing, absolute fun, and totally liberated. They protect us in ways that authority cannot, in ways that put us in the driver seat. Superheroes demand that we push, stretch, bend our own imaginations, our own sense of self, our own sense of place in the universe. They demand we marvel at the world with a kaleidoscopic lens. And they look totally cool doing it.
Its important to have superheroes represent us, all of us. Characters in sci-fi in general should reflect a wide range of possibilities. Anyone can be thrust into a situation where their power is great, where their responsibility is high; any one of us could be the alien rocketing towards earth from a dying planet, could be key to unlock a mystic talisman. There are billions of people on planet earth– why do so few of us get to be painted with cosmic radiation, blessed with magic orbs, or be born with the ability to teleport far far away? By the very law of probability, If you’re reading or hearing this, super-heroes should look like you. Shouldn’t they?
Well, Hollywood and the people who publish comics don’t often think so. They didn’t think, for instance, that “the world wasn’t ready for a Black superhero”, even in 2017, 53 years after the civil rights bill was passed into law. That belief stood until Black Panther showed gloriously that the world was more than ready; the world was starved and ravenous for not just a Black superhero, but an entire world built around one. The reality is, everyone has always been worthy of traversing the stars, some of us just have not had the power of voice to get us there.
But today we do! We will build a super hero team from the ground up that is reflective of the world we live in, of our own personal universes. People with different abilities and body sizes; of different races and cultures; of different gender expressions and orientations. So, get out your pens and learn:
- character, world, super-team building
- diversity, and issue driven storytelling tools that impact our own world
- creative active use of characters through role playing, games, hands on construction, collage work, zine making
- how to write comic book scripts