At the end of last week, I took part in the Imagine Festival, running a comics-making workshop for kids. This was set up by Inclusive Minds – an organization that promotes inclusivity in children’s literature. They’re basically the Let Toys Be Toys of the book world. 🙂
Every child should feel books are for them, and the world needs more protagonists in kidlit that are not the “default” white male (or white feminine passive princess). In terms of superhero comics – ie what most people think of as the mainstream of comic – this default is slowly changing. Ms Marvel debuted recently, for example. To my knowledge, the first mainstream teenage female muslim superhero. We’ve had a hispanic spiderman. We have a Captain Marvel who’s female without it being a *thing*… she’s not such and such Girl, she’s a captain, and that’s no longer just male territory. At the more literary end of things, we’re seeing a wonderfully wide range of perspectives, too.
But one way to give kids the heroes they deserve – heroes that reflect them – is to help them make up their own. And the children at the Imagine Festival came up with some storming stories. Here are just a few. I’m hoping to add more pics later.