It was my privilege to hang out with Jeff and Rick at the Unpacking the Power of Power Pack podcast. We talk about the upcoming Future Foundation on-going series which features Alex and Julie Power. Give it a listen!
The Future Foundation will be making its return in Fantastic Four #12, which comes out this Wednesday – July 31.
I had a chance to talk with Matthew Scott Kirkham of The Bard’s Gambit podcast about The Unstoppable Wasp.
He also did a write up for Medium about the comic back in February.
Whitley’s work in this first run does more to humanize a character than any other comic I’ve ever read. In this run, Nadia is established with clear, reachable goals (claim citizenship, save friend, find smart women), she’s given a personal role model (Mockingbird/Bobbi Morse), she and Janet organically fall into their surrogate mother/daughter roles, she’s given a close-knit group of friends (a diverse and colorful group of friends at that), and most importantly, clear and apparent weaknesses. Nadia may be intelligent and powerful, but she can’t solve everything on her own, and every aspect of the comic reinforces this idea as a very clear theme. She can’t claim citizenship without Janet, she can’t save her friend Ying without the help of the intelligent women she’s come across throughout the story, and she couldn’t have found those women without help from Jarvis (the avenger’s butler, also strongly characterized in this series).
Kirkham, Matthew S. “Let’s Talk About Nadia Van Dyne”, Medium.com. 27 July 2019.
I’m honored that The Unstoppable Wasp was featured in bp Magazine. This magazine is part of an online community that strives to increase awareness of bipolar disorder as well as provide support for those in the bipolar community.
How did you go about creating a realistic, respectful portrayal?
I started off by doing some reading. Informative stuff about what the symptoms are, what the onset of bipolar looks like, especially in teenagers, but from that moving out to the personal. I worked with both a psychiatrist and a professor of psychology, but also with several people who either have first-hand experience with bipolar or who have friends and family members dealing with it.
In this interview I discuss the origin of my love of comics, the complexities of breaking into the comics industry, upcoming projects, and hope for the future.
Nrama: Your work primarily focuses on all-ages/coming of age stories. What do you like about this form of storytelling?
Whitley: I feel like this is the home of what’s made comics great. All-ages comics are the foundation of modern comics. Telling stories that offer hope to kids and adults alike is important. There’s a place for dark and scary stories, and I have a few of those pitches too, but comics are about hope, love, and justice for me. And while I’m unlikely to say that the world needs another gritty deconstruction of the superhero mythos, we do need hope. We always need hope.
Calamia, Kat. “The Secret Origin of JEREMY WHITLEY (And His Love of All Ages Stories)”, Newsarama. 7 June 2019.
At the point that we started working on it we were about to have my daughter, and although I’d gotten back into comics, unfortunately, there wasn’t much out there for me to read with her. The New 52 had just launched and it was a very aggressively straight white male time in comics. And for me, especially having a daughter who’s a young woman of color, I wanted something that she could herself reflected in, where it had the kind of messages and stuff that I want her to get. So I started writing [Princeless] with the intention of meeting her and other girls where they were at with princess stuff. I’m not trying to force girls to not like princesses, but I can make a princess who actually saves herself and does the kind of things that I want my daughter to be able to see role models doing. That’s kind of where it started, re-writing the fairy tale trope. It just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Horne, Karama. “INDIE COMICS SPOTLIGHT: WHY JEREMY WHITLEY CREATES CHARACTERS AS ROLE MODELS FOR HIS DAUGHTER” SYFYWire. 8 April 2019.
Lizzy Garcia, writer for But Why Tho? The Podcast, and I discussed the legacy and future of Rainbow Brite … and my love of Steven Universe.
But Why Tho: Why do you think Rainbow Brite is so important?
Whitley: I think Rainbow Brite is important because it is a story where the hero solves many of the problems by talking to others and making an attempt to understand them. Rainbow Brite, in what was a pretty rare move in the 80’s, demonstrates what are generally held to be feminine attributes in a heroic way. The emphasis isn’t on strength, anger, will, determination, rage or any of that. Rainbow Brite saves the day using kindness, compassion, empathy, and love. I feel like there are some adults out there that could learn a lot from characters like her and Steven Universe.
Garcia, Lizzy. “Rainbow Brite: Shining Light on a Franchise – An Interview with Jeremy Whitley” But Why Tho? The Podcast. 2 February 2019.
I got to join the Ladies of Valhalla – Sarah Miles, Bronwyn Kelly-Seigh and Jessica Garris-Schaeffer – to talk about some comics!
Ladies of Valhalla is a Talking Comics podcast. Each month, they discuss media either produced by female or female-identifying creators or featuring female or female-identifying characters. You can find Sarah, Bronwyn and Jessica on Twitter (@ValhallaLadies) or Facebook (ValhallaLadies).