Writer Joe Glass is out to change the world with his super powered comic book team The Pride, a team of super-heroes fighting against adversity for LGBTQ everywhere. I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe about The Pride project, his inspirations, and his upcoming adventures!
VALERIE: Can you provide a small synopsis of The Pride?
JOE: The Pride is about the adventures of FabMan and the team as he brings them together to improve representation of LGBTQ superheroes in a world where they are too often seen as a joke or faced with homophobia. They face some interesting challenges in this, but it gets all the more challenging when the team finds they are the only super-team left in the world to face a nefarious, globe-threatening madman.
Sounds intriguing! It’s always refreshing to hear about groundbreaking projects such as yours. Which brings me to my next question… What was your inspiration for creating The Pride?
It started back when I was a teen and wanting to make comics that I wanted, and to have characters like me. I wanted to make LGBTQ individuals visible in the medium. At the time, there were not many gay characters in comics, and those that did exist, were obscure, or rarely found any comics. While characters like the X-Men are great metaphors for diversity, but to me that did not seem like enough. It seemed that a lot of people felt the same way I did, so I started making characters like my friends and I. From there, The Pride started to form. Of course, by the time I got the first issue out, things were starting to improve in mainstream comics, but I think there is still a long way to go. I like to think The Pride can help push things a long in that area.
I think some of these comic writers, especially at the big two — Marvel and DC — fail to realize there is more than one demographic in this world. Targeting and representing other groups and subgroups of individuals could possibly bring more readers and money to the comic medium. I would like to hear more about The Pride characters. How did you go about coming up with the characters and their powers?
Well, it’s hard to say. A lot of their personalities formed naturally from the people in my life and myself. A lot of the power sets and things came from my desire to show the classic hero, and, how being LGBTQ doesn’t change their heroism or capabilities. Some would argue that some of the characters are stereotypes too, but that’s kind of the point. The stereotypical gay guy exists, I’m one a lot of the time. Many of my closest friends are that way as well. Stereotypes can be used in such negative ways that it’s caused the LGBTQ community to automatically aim negativity towards those of us within the community that fit that stereotype. This is a sad and dangerous thing. I knew I also wanted to take stereotypes and present them in a stronger, positive light, and maybe spin people’s preconceptions on their heads.
That is an interesting perspective, Joe. I’m glad that someone is looking to change the public perception of LGBTQ. As far as the look and art of The Pride, what type of artistic look are you going for? And how do the artist help further your vision?
One thing I wanted to do was create a product that wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves next to Justice League, or X-Men. I think we have done that with our mix of artists both pro and small press/rising stars. I love the idea of having diversity in the art styles as well as the context of the book, so I’ve never really looked for a specific style per se.
The series has been blessed with a wide range of art styles, from pros like Kris Anka, W Scott Forbes, and Cory Smith, to rising stars like Gavin Mitchell, Christian Wildgoose and so many more to count. Hopefully, fans enjoy seeing all these new artists too.
I think diversifying the art in your publication keeps fans guessing. There is nothing worse than a predictable comic. Ugh! With that said, what do you think of the current state of LGBTQ characters in mainstream comics? And how do you think things can be improved upon?
I think we need continuous representation in big mainstream comics. We also need to get some inclusion of LGBTQ creative voices too. However, I will say things are definitely on the road to improvement. I would just love to see mainstream LGBTQ characters involved in important story lines or events. Not for the sake of pandering either, just a good character and a good story. I would say there is more inclusion and representation in indie comics than anything else, so that is a good thing.
Have you experienced any adversity on your journey to making The Pride a reality?
Only financially! LOL! If anything, the response has been almost entirely positive and we’ve had loads of great support. I have not experienced any homophobia, and we have lots of straight readers and fans who love seeing these kinds of characters as much as anyone else.
Well, that’s good news to hear! I think these days LGBTQ topics are expected to be met with adversity. However, your situation tells me that maybe times are finally a-changing. Okay, last question… What can fans expect from The Pride in the near future? And what can they expect from Joe Glass in general?
I have a few new projects up my sleeve that I’m slowly working on, we’ll see how soon I can make announcements on them, but I think a lot of people will be very excited. As for The Pride, we have the second half of the main series still to come, and another issue of The Pride Adventures too. We have some big surprises, shocks and even a new member still to come, so there’s still plenty more to come. There’s never been a better time to jump on board with The Pride!
Joe could not be more correct. You cannot deny Joe’s enthusiasm for The Pride, and that enthusiasm is going to help this comic skyrocket. To all comic fans, do not miss your opportunity to be a part of something big, so check out The Pride store or ComiXology for new comic issues!