Online comic book writing course aims to tackle gender roles, LGBT issues

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Two of the biggest comic book companies, DC and Marvel, have entered the hotly debated topic with established LGBT characters, marriage equality, and same-sex relationships. It also looks like a prominent writer will take the next step and expand LGBT issues.

Best known for his current work on Daredevil and The Incredible Hulk, writer Mark Waid offers a free online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) class with the intention of discussing gender roles and identity in comic books.

Comics Scholar Christina Blanch of Ball State, Indiana will teach the class and will feature well-known interviews from noted professionals of the comic book industry: Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men), Kelly Sue Deconnick (Captain Marvel), Matt Fraction (Casanova) and Brian K. Vaughn (Saga).

The course will include interview broadcasts from the stated professions and will encourage participation from the students. Aside from a valid email address for enrollment, reading the assigned comics will be crucial.

But as Comics Alliance’s website said: “If you’ve been reading or collecting comics for awhile now, there’s a chance, as Blanch has said, that you may already own or have easy access to the required reading.”

The course will begin on April 2.

The comic book industry has made national news in the past decades since the adoption of the Comics Authority Code that barred material considered “offensive” or “family-friendly.” Marvel comics had Superhero Northstar marry his long-time boyfriend and established fan-favorite LGBT characters like Wicca, Hulking, and Stryker. DC Comics has also furthered the same-sex relationships of characters like Green Lantern and Batwoman.

The course will include LGBT-related issues.

429Magazine

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