Comics nominees announced for 24th GLAAD Awards

Thu. January 17, 2013 12:00 AM
by Danny Bernardo

Every year, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation honors outstanding depictions of the LGBT community in all facets of media. While the film and television industries are the most instantly recognizable, the organization extends its recognition to media and literary recipients as well. With LGBT representation on the rise in the comic book industry, our spandex-wearing superheroes have been getting recognized as well. Here are this year's nominees:

Astonishing X-Men by Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins (Marvel)

The superhero franchise that has long served as a metaphor for the civil rights movement (especially the LGBT community) kicked it up a notch this year with the wedding of (Marvel's first out hero) Northstar to his human boyfriend Kyle. Writer Marjorie Liu treated the event with the reverence that the LGBT fans needed mixed with a surprisingly empathetic take on the opposing side.

You can find my coverage of the issue here.

Batwoman by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder (DC Comics)

The character "Batwoman" sure has come a long way since her 1956 debut. The first "Kathy Kane" to don the mantle was originally introduced as a love interest for Batman to dissuade rumors that there was something more lascivious going on between him and Robin. Modern Kathy Kane has evolved in her 2005 reboot as an empowered lesbian crime fighter. The recipient of last year's GLAAD Media Award for Comics, Batwoman is one of the only titles to keep its complete history after the "52" relaunch.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Andrew Chambliss, Scott Allie, Jane Espenson, Drew Z. Greenberg, Georges Jeanty and others (Dark Horse)

No matter what the medium, the "Buffy" franchise has always portrayed members of the LGBT community with dignity and the signature Whedon wit. The TV series won the GLAAD Media Award for Best TV Series in 2001 and 2002 for its portrayal of lesbian lead character Willow Rosenburg (played by Allison Hannigan.) The comic book that continued the series when the TV show went off the air has also been nominated three times, winning in 2009. It is nominated again this year for the introduction of Billy, a gay teen who empowers himself to stand up to bullying and save his town from evil by becoming the first male slayer.

You can find my coverage of this heartwarming and courageous story arc here.

Earth 2 by James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Eduardo Pansica and Tomas Giorello (DC Comics)

When DC Comics announced their status quo changing "52" event, they teased that one of their mainstream heroes would come out as gay. In June 2012, Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, came out in the pages of Earth 2 which is set in an alternate reality of the DC Universe.

"He doesn't come out in issue two; he is already a gay man," writer James Robinson said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "Alan Scott is super-heroic, he's super gallant, he'll die for the earth, he'll die for its people, he's everything you want in a hero. I imagine he's such a Type A character that when he realized he was gay, he was like, 'Okay, I'm gay, now I'm just gonna go on with my life.' He's so accepting of it himself and he's such a compelling person that the world knows Alan Scott's gay. He's such a leader, he's such a good man, that the Justice League don't care. And that's a healthy depiction of a team and how it should be."

Kevin Keller by Dan Parent (Archie Comics)

Riverdale's gay-next-door gets his GLAAD nomination! Creator Dan Parent received a nomination for Kevin's 2011 debut and Mr. Keller has had a banner year since. From serving proudly in the army, getting married to a doctor, and hanging with gay geek icon George Takei, Kevin is taking Riverdale (and our hearts) by storm!

The winners in all categories will be announced during ceremonies in New York City (March 16), Los Angeles (April 20) and San Francisco (May 11). The location where the recipients in the Comics category will receive their award has not been announced.