PRINCELESS: SAVE YOURSELF

So, this just got announced today, so I can finally talk about it!

My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #7 features Princess Luna and Pinkie Pie and is written by yours truly, illustrated by Tony Fleecs, and has this frankly amazing cover by Amy Mebberson. It’s not out till July, but you can start loving it now if you like.

How to be the white guy on the diversity panel:

So, thanks to the types of stories I’m interested in telling and the types of conversations I’m interested in being a part of, I often find myself either part of or hosting diversity or representation panels. For instance, at this year’s Awesome Con I suggested a panel on representation in comics which I titled “Representation is Important”.

To my pleasure, I arrived a minute late to the panel and almost didn’t get in because the panel was overflowing. On the panel with me were Alex Simmons (long time black comic book writer/actor/editor/amazing guy who has worked on everything), Amy Chu (Asian American female comic book writer and all around great person), Alitha Martinez (long time black female comics pro who has worked for both of the big two), and Laura Lee Gulledge (white female indie cartoonist and writer).

Now, I’ve seen panels with similar make ups where the white guy takes it on himself to explain how the comic book industry “really works” to the others on the panel. That’s not really my style. Also, both Alitha and Alex have substantially more history and cred in the industry than I do and Amy and Laura Lee are on pretty well equal footing. So, what do you do? When this is the topic in play, being the white guy on the panel makes you stand out. Also, it can lead to awkward transitions where somebody has just finished talking about the tough time they’ve had dealing with white editors/writers/artists/executives.

Here’s my answer: the first thing everyone did was introduce themselves and how they got into comics. Everybody’s story is pretty different and complex, as they are in any panel where you discuss how you got in. So, I’m at the end of the line and it rolls around to my turn. I take the microphone, smile at the full audience of interested and attentive people and say:

"My name is Jeremy Whitley and I got into comics the old fashioned way: by being a white man."

I have never seen a room full of people melt so easily. I had to stop talking for a solid minute to let everyone finish laughing. It was amazing. Just throw that elephant up on the stage and let everyone have a good look. Then I explained what I was doing there and why I had an interest in this subject. And for my encore, I decided to take it on my shoulders to be the person who complained about some of the really awful stuff that’s going on in the comics community right now. Not only do I not feel the need to explain the actions of other men (white and otherwise), but I’m not going to make the people who have to face that junk bring it up and make them feel like they’re whining.

Also, and I see this far too often, don’t talk over women/girls. Whether they are on the panel or in the audience, you can generally tell when someone wants to talk and here’s the thing: as a white man there are no shortage or places or resources through which you can express your opinion and while it’s perfectly within reason to take your turn, when the subject is hot and somebody has something they want to say, don’t step on them. It’s the first rule of being an ally and no matter how strongly you FEEL about representation, diversity, or rape threats - these are still issues that only concern you indirectly and you should ALWAYS defer to those for whom it is a day to day issue.

TL:DR - Recognize your privilage. Expose it. Facilitate the conversation. Step back and be an ally rather than attempting to run the panel.

nevver:

Baby on board, Robert Sammelin

Will Raven have some hair feature that she needs to tame, like Bedelia's beard and Adrienne's hair? Because it looks like she maybe joins them on their adventure and it seems to be a recurring joke with Bedelia and Adrienne.
Anonymous

You know, I’m not sure.

Will we get to see Sir Gahiji without the lion on?

You know, it’s not in the plan yet, but I wouldn’t rule it out altogether. I like to have characters come back around in stories. However, it would probably be a while.

princelesscomic:

So, bad news gang.

Due to unforeseen life circumstances our good friend and artist Soojin Paek has had to bow out of doing Princeless: The Pirate Princess, which was scheduled to be the next volume of Princeless.

That means that that particular volume is on hold for the…

This has been something that’s been on my mind.  The only problem with that is that I’ll be at a metric ton of shows this summer and won’t have the time to dedicate to a proper crowd funding drive, none the less the time to fulfill any shipments that come out of it.

Bad News

So, bad news gang.

Due to unforeseen life circumstances our good friend and artist Soojin Paek has had to bow out of doing Princeless: The Pirate Princess, which was scheduled to be the next volume of Princeless.

That means that that particular volume is on hold for the immediate future and I am desperately in need of a new amazing artist to work with on this volume and hopefully a ongoing from there.

Sadly I live in a world of mortgage and daycare where I can’t afford to just hire a great artist for the foreseeable future, so this is likely to involve some real hunting for someone who is willing to invest.  I’m always happy to pay folks some amount for short stories, but something of the mass of a whole volume is a bit out of my reach page rate wise.

So, here we go again.

chuunisenpai:

I went to a really really really good panel today on representation in comics that was led by some awesome small and big name comic writers and artists that I promptly went to talk to a couple of them at their respective vendor booths afterwards it was so good.

Bedelia Smith is now on my list of fave comic book ladies.