On Saturday the 21st of January, more than 5 million people marched on 7 continents in defiance of Donald Trump, and of injustice and oppression in the United States and worldwide. More than 1 million people marched in Washington D.C. alone. All of the marches featured a fantastic collection of people all coming together, and while we may not agree on every ideal, or even most of them, we all seemed to agree that we’re not taking any more lying down. From Dublin’s own Sister March and all of the articles and photo roundups and twitter accounts I’ve seen since then, the comics community seems to have been overwhelmingly well-represented.
So many of the comics creators we read were present at their various marches and were showing up in very public, and awesome ways.
— Marguerite Bennett (@EvilMarguerite) January 21, 2017
Marching in LA in a huge peaceful crowd, my parents are in DC ✊️ we got this ✊️ pic.twitter.com/haxRmhwA8y
— Molly Ostertag (@MollyOstertag) January 21, 2017
Not only were they marching with signs, showing the people around them that they were here for them, but so many of these people, who create the stories we read and love, also tweeted about it. And they didn’t just tweet once. They talked about it all day and for the most part are still talking about it, in one way or another. It’s so refreshing to see and know that these people visibly support us, and each other.
— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) January 21, 2017
It’s important to remember as well, that these people are using, what is for them, a large part of their professional lives. Just about every comics publishing house, creator, shop, reviewer, or site is on Twitter and it is frequently used to discuss their new projects, to form collaborations and to publicize their work. There are real negative connotations for comics professionals sharing their opinions publicly, especially for women, who are already at risk just existing online.
Which is also why it was so wonderful to see that these creators, and the stories that they tell have had an effect on people.
Among the banners and t-shirts everywhere in the march were a whole host of comics quotes, characters and superheroes.
I can’t count the amount of Wonder woman and Supergirl posters I saw. Then the Kamala Khan Posters
— Melissa K. (@coverstosleep) January 22, 2017
and the legion of Non-Compliant Bitch Plant readers.
— Nopetopus (@anthroepi) January 21, 2017
— Alexander Burns (@afburns) January 22, 2017
— beth (@bethrests) January 21, 2017
These stories and these characters clearly spoke to these marchers so much that they chose them as ways to amplify their voices and as ways to find community in these giant crowds. For someone who maybe feels alone, or afraid, or who might be going to their first march, or who feels uncomfortable in crowds, it’s just reassuring to know that this power, and this sense of familiarity is there to comfort them and to help them through the hard parts of their lives. I have no doubt that they’ll be needed further in the coming years.
It’s clear as well that heroes and characters provided someone for marchers to identify with. The pictures that made me tear up the most were always going to be young girls dressed as Wonder woman. But this man who spent the day of the march dressed as Spider-man, carrying around a Spider-man quote, also touched the hearts of many, if the sheer number of pictures of him I saw are anything to go by.
Day. Well. Spent. pic.twitter.com/yNoZ0SodO9
— Zachary J Luna (@ZacharyJLuna) January 21, 2017
These characters also clearly didn’t just have an effect on readers. Among the numerous celebrities who showed up to the marches, was CW Supergirl Actress, Melissa Benoist.
It seems like she thought it would be more meaningful, and admittedly funny, to show up as Supergirl, than as herself, a well-known actress in her own right. And again, a week further on, this image is still being shared because it did touch so many people. Getting to see this actress, who played this character that they cared about standing with them was strengthening and empowering and lifted people’s spirits.
The main points I’m teasing out of all of this is that the comics industry showed the hell up for The Women’s March, has continued supporting it since then. Our creators showed up for us, our stories and our heroes showed up for us, and we showed up for each other. It’s times like this where we really can see the community aspect of the Comics Community. And where we can also see that the stories we tell do make a difference to people’s lives. They have genuine meaning and they can give us strength, and most importantly right now, they can give us hope.
comments powered by Disqus