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Kieron Gillen on gender and diversity in comics

Today is a big day in the UK: the general election. After we mark our ballots (because, of course, all BtGS listeners will get out there and vote today, right?!) and while we all bite our nails in nervous anticipation of the result, we have the perfect distraction… an interview with comic writer Kieron Gillen.

We are all about equality here at Breaking the Glass Slipper. However, we noticed that we’d been a little unfair in our representation – we have interviewed many, many women, but only featured two men since the podcast started! Shame on us. But here we are, attempting to redress this ghastly oversight with a man! Lucky number three!

Most well known for his work at Image Comics, Kieron is the creator of The Wicked + The Divine (which I highly recommend you read) and Phonogram. He’s also done his fair share of work for the big names in comics, such as Marvel, working on titles like Uncanny X-Men, Young Avengers, and Star Wars. In other words, Kieron knows his shit – or at least, he ought to.

We discuss equality in the industry of comics as well as the representation within the medium itself, from a lack of body diversity, over-sexualisation of female characters, to the importance of authentic voices, and unpacking masculinity in comics. We even talk about things to consider as writers when covering topics or writing characters that might potentially be problematic or be triggers for readers (and don’t forget that you can always ask/consult with people during the development process!). This is one meaty episode if I do say so myself.

We mention much in the way of pop culture in this one…

  • Kate Leth: Beware the Valkyries 
  • Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
  • The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • PJ Harvey
  • Bjork
  • Robyn
  • Poly Styrene (of X-Ray Spex)
  • Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Animosity by Marguerite Bennett
  • Art Babe by Jessica Abel
  • Finder by Carla Speed McNeil
  • Antony Johnston
  • Noelle Stevenson – Lumberjanes and Nimona
  • 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
  • Faith by Jody Houser

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