If you’re looking for out-of-the-box comics of diverse characters, stories, and creators, your first stop should be the indie/small press publishers. Especially BOOM! Studios and their imprint BOOM! Box. Some of the best comics around are coming out of BOOM!, and yeah, I’m counting Image in that ranking. BOOM! is balancing a fine line between bringing in new talent with fresh ideas and Big Two vets with vast reservoirs of creativity, and it’s paying off like gangbusters. Marvel and DC would never publish anything like the two titles we’re looking at this month, Ladycastle and Goldie Vance, but then again neither would Image. All the better for BOOM!, if you ask me.
Goldie Vance and Ladycastle are two pretty different series—the former about a girl detective, the latter a women-driven high fantasy—but both take the stale tropes of their chosen genres and subvert them with intersectional feminism. The hard truth of the matter is no matter how many Riri Washingtons or Jessica Cruzes the Big Two create, there’s always a Tony Stark or Hal Jordan ready to take back their mantles. The real diversity work is happening in the small presses and YA.