Boom! Studios Aims For More Diversity With 'Push Comics Forward' Campaign

Lumberjanes - H 2015
<p>Lumberjanes - H 2015</p>   |   Noelle Stevenson/Boom! Studios
"If you believe comics are great just the way they are, this isn't for you"

In 2015, Boom! Studios wants to push comics forward — and push #comicsforward, as well. The hashtag has been coined to promote a new campaign the publisher describes as “a movement to actively shape what the comics industry SHOULD look like in 10 years.”

In a statement available on the newly-launched Push Comics Forward site and in this month's Previews catalog from Diamond Comic Distributors, company founder Ross Richie explains the thinking behind the campaign. “The medium of comics has never been more on the forefront of driving pop culture,” he writes, “and as fans of this art form, we have a rare opportunity to take that interest to the next level and embrace an entire generation of potential fans who don’t read comics right now.”

At the heart of the campaign is an issue that received a lot of attention inside both comic book fandom and the comic book industry in 2014: diversity, and the lack thereof, in comic books. While 2014 saw an increase in series that focused on leads that weren’t the traditional straight white men — with Boom!’s Lumberjanes leading the charge — things like Marvel’s controversial Spider-Woman cover and studies of comic-reading demographics made it clear that there’s still some ways to go — an aim that Push Comics Forward intends to help with.

Although Richie’s statement promotes new and upcoming Boom! releases — girl gang comic Curb Stomp and geopolitical horror series Burning Fields, amongst other projects — he notes that “this movement isn’t just about Boom!, it’s about all of us,” pledging that the publisher will promote the campaign in the press, through social media and at comic conventions throughout the year.

“If you believe comics are great just the way they are, this isn’t for you,” he admits. “If you think superheroes are the only kinds of stories worth telling in comics, this isn’t for you. But if you want to see everyone reading comics—your aunt, your co-workers, your niece, your boyfriend, that kid down the street—let’s Push #ComicsForward in 2015.”

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