PHOTOS: Earlier this month, New York Comic Con hit New York like—well, like a hurricane. We reported on it while it was going on, but we’ve gotten some great additional images from our pals at Geeks Out, New York’s homegrown LGBT sci-fi and pop culture group, that we just had to share.
Each year has brought more queer guests, attendees and visibility and this year was no exception: with booths manned by Geeks Out and Prism Comics, plenty of gay geeks roaming Javits Center and three panels devoted to LGBT issues.
The “Gay Marriage in Comics” panel hosted by Fanboys of the Universe Chance Whitmire, welcomed comic-book editors Paul Kupperberg and Joan Hilty, Archie Comics’ Dan Parent (who introduced the world to Kevin Keller) and beloved Wonder Woman artist Phil Jimenez. Panelists discussed how marriage equality has infiltrated comics, and why the same-sex unions of characters like Keller and Marvel Comics’ Northstar have garnered so much more mainstream attention.
The answer, says Kupperberg, is publicity. With DC owned by Warner Brothers and Marvel owned by Disney, there’s more PR power to get the word out, and a public more receptive to news about gay storylines. It’s worth noting One Million Mom’s attempt to get Kevin Keller comics removed from Toys ‘R’ Us failed utterly. (Their effort probably helped sell more issues.)
From a storytelling standpoint, the panelists admitted marriage, gay or straight, can be problematic. You’re essentially painting your character into a box, said Kupperberg, who blamed the cancellation of the 1990s TV show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on the eponymous couple tying the not. (In comics themselves, both Superman and Spider-Man have had their long-term marriages erased as if they never happened.)
Hilty and Jimenez disagreed, maintaining that marriage can be interesting as long as the relationship and the characters in it remain complex. If a couple brought interesting issues to the table before the wedding, there’s no reason why they can’t stay relevant after the thank-you cards are sent.
What do you think: Are gay relationships and marriages important in comic books or is the medium too limited to handle right? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos: Geeks Out