Tough love

I added two What the Author Says posts onto the FPI blog this week, both from indy comics creators and both, coincidentally, and unsually, dealing primarily with gay characters. In a further coincidence both Abby Denson and Tim Fish will be heading out on tour in the US to promote Tough Love: High School Confidential and Cavalcade of Boys, with their appearances overlapping at some points. They are both quite interesting – there is a fascinating part where Abby describes when she realised that it was not ‘just’ a story as she receives mail from gay kids who had dealt with experiences she had described, including teen suicide. For an author to know people enjoy their work is a pleasure, but to find people identifying with it and drawing strength and support from it must be marvellous.

Comic, book, film; it rarely is ‘just’ a tale to many of us. When story is well told in any medium we empathise with the characters, identify with them – without the emotional connection the tale doesn’t touch as properly, doesn’t connect, doesn’t work fully as a story. And then again for some stories and characters can be a source of inspiration and strength, especially for those who feel different (and if we are all honest, we are all different really, its what makes us individuals). This kind of came together the following day when I commented on the work blog on the media’s widespread coverage of a lesbian Batwoman in DC’s 52 and the increase in ethnically diverse comics characters. It’s been an interesting week – if I was still at college there would be a good paper in there begging to be written.