DC Comics recently gave a bunch of students from the Harvey Milk High School a tour of their New York office, enlisting "Fairest" artist Phil Jimenez to teach them about creating comic books. It was all part of Time Warner's "Break Out Day," where LGBTQ organizations from each department organize an event to celebrate diversity and reach out to the community.
The students, who attend Harvey Milk's "Hetrick-Martin Institute," started the day having a breakfast with some of DC's staff, and were later joined with Jimenez, who gave the kids encouragement to create their own comics. The artist also showed them samples of his work from high-school all the way up the the present day with Vertigo's "Fairest." His advice for new comic creators? "Practice, practice, practice."
"Fairest" artist Phil Jimenez talks to students from the Hetrick-Martin Institute
I think this tour -- chronicled in DC's "Out at DC" post on their blog -- is such a positive and life-affirming step. The history of comics, like every other industry, has had a times a rocky road in terms of coming to grips with diversity issues. Every event like "Break Out Day" -- and every comic like the GLAAD-winning "Batwoman" and Archie's "Kevin Keller" -- helps make things better and the industry evolve.
The easiest thing to do is focus on negatives -- it's an easy way to get big hits and a lot of press. But if we want the world of comics to truly get to the next level in terms of diversity, we have to also spotlight the positives and look forward to a better future for everyone.