I’m Al Ewing and I’ve been a writer in comics since 2002. I’ve been reading them since I was very small. I love the medium, I enjoy the various genres of it and I try to encourage people to make their own. I am very much comics.
It’s only very recently that I’ve started having anything to do with the answering of letters. One thing I noticed immediately was the amount of mail coming in from new readers. People who were just getting into it for the first time, and by ‘it’ I mean comics as a whole. It was a significant percentage. If, like me, you’ve been told for years that comics are a dying husk with an increasingly shrinking customer base, you can understand why I’m very happy to welcome these people.
In addition, I’ve been getting letters from people who don’t fit the commonly-accepted stereotype of what a comics reader looks like - the white, male, cisgendered, straight adult. There’s a lot of diversity that makes itself apparent in the letters I get to read and answer, and, again, that makes me very happy indeed.
This is the comics community I love and want to encourage, a community that’s vast and inclusive and has a space for anyone who wants to be part of it or even just poke their nose in and see what all the fuss is about. That can critique itself without fear and have discussions that don’t involve threats or abuse.
I don’t want a community with a big padlocked gate on it, patrolled by guards in sleazy t-shirts, making sure only their own kind can enter and attacking anyone they think doesn’t belong. That kind of community is horrible and doomed and I want to actively discourage it.
Everyone loves comics. This shouldn’t be news. There shouldn’t be any doors in the way of people reading a comic, or talking about it, or critiquing it or doing anything else connected to it. The doors need to go.
Everyone loves comics, and comics are for everyone.
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