Local author’s new project brings inclusiveness to comic book world

Local author’s new project brings inclusiveness to comic book world

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — A Kansas City author is making her debut in the world of comic books and developing storylines that help bring inclusiveness and diversity to the genre.

Inside the comic book world, new authors are writing new chapters. LL McKinney is one such author and her project will be hitting the shelves this month.

“This is my first graphic novel, my first foray into the comic book world,” she said.

McKinney writes young adult novels from her home in the Kansas City area. She’s always been a fan of superheroes, but knows the comic book industry needs more representation when it comes to people of color.

“If you need to be told why it’s important, then I got nothing for you,” she said. “The rest of us are moving on.”

That’s why she’s partnered with artist Robyn Smith on a graphic novel reimagining the DC hero Nubia, Wonder Woman’s twin sister.

“I wanted her to be this warrior who could go toe-to-toe with the champion of Themyscira,” McKinney said.

Nubia has made appearances off and on since her debut in 1973, but she’s usually treated as a side character. McKinney’s book gives her depth.

“I just wanted to bring her forward as a character, which is something we’ve afforded all the other heroes,” McKinney said. “This was a chance to get to know Nubia as a person.”

<a href=”https://bookshop.org/books/nubia-real-one/9781401296407″ target=”_blank”>Her book is called Nubia: Real One. It explores issues of harassment and racism through the lens of a teen superhero</a>.

“When I was given the opportunity to do a superhero story I was like, ‘I’m going to give those kids this hero that is impacted by the things that impact their lives,’” McKinney said.

McKinney’s dialogue, alongside stunning artwork by Robyn Smith, also develops Nubia as a complete character — a teenager with a loving family and friends.

“There’s a lot of love and a lot of laughter,” McKinney said.

It’s a story she hopes will influence the next generation of readers and writers.

“These kids need to be protected and loved and given an opportunity to come into who they are without the dangers placed on them in this world, which are absolutely unnecessary,” McKinney said.

<a href=”https://bookshop.org/books/nubia-real-one/9781401296407″ target=”_blank”>Nubia: Real One goes on sale Feb. 23</a>.