She was a good listener. She laughed at my jokes. She knew every line of Byron by heart. … I intend to put her back together, you know.
"With all my predator’s heart."
Astonishing X-Men #13
Ms. Marvel #5, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
"One of my favorite mottos, I actually have it written on a post-it over my computer. I look at it every single day. It was said by a poet named Rumi and it goes, ‘Do not be satisfied with stories, that which has come before. Unfold your own myth.’ And that is our challenge. Every single one of us, no matter the categories we have inherited. We must unfold our own myth. And it won’t be easy. We’re constantly navigating, rearranging, reinventing others’ expectation of ourselves everyday. But every word we write in the narrative of our own lives, we come closer to uncovering what’s beneath our own masks, maybe even embracing that true misfit, that true crazy one within. Oh, it’ll be a fight, that’s for sure, but that battle for your soul, for your authentic self. It’s worth it, isn’t it? It’s bold, it’s brave. In fact, I would say it’s heroic. So now, it’s your turn: tell me your story.”
Myths, Misfits, & Masks by Sana Amanat at TedxTeen (x)
The lecture is fantastic.
So, a little story.
At the company where I’m doing my internship, I’ve taken to drawing superheroes every day on the whiteboard of my cubicle. My co-intern, who sits right across from me, thought it was a fun idea, but never seemed to particularly care about the characters themselves.
Until I drew Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel. Suddenly she started asking me all about who she was, what her powers were, what her story was… I told her I’d bring in some comics about her so she could check it out. This photo is of her reading Ms. Marvel #4 (the only issue I had on me at the time), which she told me was the very first comic book she’d ever held in her hands before. And she really enjoyed it!
She asked me about other heroes, so I told her about Miles Morales/Spider-Man and she sounded really interested in him too. She explicitly told me, “I really like seeing a lot of more diverse, ethnic characters.”
In the weeks since, she’s asked me for more heroes and more comics. I’ve given her all the Ms. Marvel and Ultimate Spider-Man and Blue Beetle comics I could gather, and now she’s always asking me for more details on the characters I draw every morning. Sometimes I turn around and see her googling superheroes at her desk to read more about them.
Let me remind you: this is someone who had zero interest in superheroes, and zero desire to learn more about them—and now she is eagerly reading and seeking out new material. All because of characters like Kamala Khan and Miles Morales.
I’ve got about five weeks left of work here. Let’s see how many more comics I can get her interested in during that time!