With today’s announcement of this year’s GLAAD Media Award nominees, usually a day of celebrating queer representation in media, for comics fans it’s instead been a disheartening reminder. Of the 10 comic book titles nominated for “Outstanding Comic Book,” the three Marvel comic books have already been canceled.
The nominees for the 2018 award included The Backstagers, Batwoman, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, Goldie Vance, Lumberjanes, Quantum Teens are Go, The Woods, America, Black Panther: World of Wakanda and Iceman. (The latter three are the Marvel comic books.)
Sadly, 2017 saw them canceled rather unceremoniously in yet another move that hurts the Marvel Comics lifeblood of queer comic fans.
It was back in April 2015 when we discovered that Iceman, a founding member of the X-Men, would be coming out as gay in Marvel comic books. Then we discovered he’d be getting his own solo title, penned by the brilliant Sina Grace. The title, exploring the superhero mutant’s struggle with sexuality while kicking the ass of bigots here and there, will unfortunately come to an end in March with its 11th issue.
Black Panther: World of Wakanda was an unfortunate cancelation since the upcoming Black Panther film is such an anticipated one for the world of on-screen comics stories. And who can forget issue 2 of America (the latest incarnation of Captain America, a Latin-American queer teenager) that drew its inspiration from Beyoncé??
Marvel claims it was low sales that resulted in the threefold cancelation, though in fairness there were multiple other Marvel titles that met the same fate as well. But of course it just stings more for queer comics fans, who have fewer opportunities to see people like them reflected back at them in comic books.
As Charles Pulliam-Moore of Gizmodo relates in his coverage of the GLAAD Awards nominations, “[I]t makes you wonder what might have become of the series and their sales numbers if they’d been given a chance to continue after this sort of high-profile nomination.”