“Having a full team means the characters have a better chance to be represented” we talk to Joe Glass about The Pride Season 2, LGBTQ superheroes and ComiXology Originals
Joe Glass’ superhero series the Pride has been a shining light in the small press scene for its positive representation of LGBTQ characters, (and because it’s a really fun capes adventure in the vein of Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men). However, The Pride have now been recruited by ComiXology to be part of their Originals stable and with that comes a new adventure and some new costumes. We catch up with Joe to find out more about their step up to the big league of indie superheroes!
For those new to the world of The Pride, tell us a bit about the world and the characters?
Joe Glass: The Pride is a superhero team series action adventure just like Avengers or Justice League, with the soap opera elements of classic X-men with one twist – all the characters are LGBTQ+ or allies. The series focuses on superhero action and fun in an accessible and open way that doesn’t ignore topics that are either considered or generally are LGBTQ+ in nature, so more fans can get the chance to see themselves in the medium they love.
The Pride is an all LGBT superhero group, was it important for you to create a team which represents the LGBT community rather than just have a token member of a larger team?
JG: Oh absolutely! One of the common problems in mainstream superhero comics when handling LGBTQ+ characters or topics is a) the weight of the whole aspect tends to get put on a single character, and no single character can be everything for everyone; and b) often vanish once the ‘gay story’ has been told or become background scene dressing. Having a full team means the characters can cover more ground, there’s more options for everyone and as many as possible have a chance to be seen/represented.
How has the book been embraced by the LGBT community and do you think the small press and indie comics scene is accepting place for a book like yours?
JG: I’ll handle the latter part first: the book has always been openly accepted in the small press and indie comics scene, and there’s a growing number of LGBTQ+ titles on the scene every con I go to, which is awesome to see.
As for the LGBTQ+ community, by and large yeah, it’s been accepted well! People have been happy to see something like this out there. Certainly every con I meet people who are elated to see a joyfully queer, fun superhero story available, and one with such a diverse range of characters and LGBTQ+ voices and representations. But even with such a wide range, we can’t be everything for everyone – the community is so incredibly diverse, nine main cast members will never cover everything.
But we’ll keep trying, learning and pushing further and pushing for better representation of more identities and people.
The Pride has just been picked up by ComiXology and you are releasing a new ‘season’ – can you tell us a bit about how that came about, and what fans have to look forward to in these new issues?
JG: ComiXology have always been super supportive of The Pride ever since the first days of putting the comic up on Submit. Even back then, they included the title in sales and had me appear on panels in SDCC and NYCC when I was there, so they really went out of their way to support and nurture The Pride and LGBTQ+ comics for ages, long before the big upgrade to Originals and other publishers. They’ve really thrown their all into making The Pride bigger than ever before with its step up to Originals, so it’s really been amazing of them.
The new season? We’re gonna see a host of new characters, bringing in new elements of the community than ever before, as well as tackling tough topics like being outed, transphobia in the media and body dysmorphia disorders. Aside from that, we can expect some crazy action and huge obstacles from nuclear meltdowns, superstar divas and even the odd kaiju.
Is this the start of the book being a more ongoing project now you have the support from ComiXology? Will it be more regular or is this just the latest arc?
JG: The release pattern of this season is going to be more regular than when I was self-publishing the title, for sure. As for ongoing…well it all depends on if people buy the book really, doesn’t it? So hopefully, we’ll get a big swing of support for the series, single issues, collection, the works, so that we can keep going.
I’ve certainly got ideas and plans for what to do next.
You’ve had a variety of artists on previous titles, will this be continuing on future issues or are you hoping to get some more continuity going forward?
JG: Going forward in this season we have one set art team. If we get The Pride Adventures up and running again, I’d like to keep it somewhere for a range of creators to take part on small adventures. But yeah, for now, we’re going to keep things with our core creative team of Cem Iroz, Mark Dale and Mike Stock for this series.
And finally, what superhero books inspired The Pride? And are there any other LGBT superhero books you would recommend for people who have enjoyed The Pride?
JG: Well, definitely Avengers, Justice League and X-Men, they’ve been a huge inspiration on The Pride for sure. Especially seen as the core idea of The Pride is showing that we (the LGBTQ+ community) can be the same kind of heroes as their straight counterparts. People looking for similar LGBTQ+ superhero experiences, grab Iceman, West Coast Avengers and Young Avengers.