“Representation Beyond Characters: How Diversity Bleeds into Work” was moderated by NPR’s Daisy Rosario. The panelists spoke about the significance of going beyond a simple “palette swap” on a character: creating a character that feels authentic, especially when the characters’ world so closely resembles our own.
Three of the panelists (Alitha Martinez, Amy Chu and Edgardo Rodriguez), have worked on Darryll McDaniels’ comic DMC and spoke about the importance of creating a believable representation of 1980s New York, including people of all races and genders. They stressed the importance of creating characters who felt authentic to that world, and a world that would accurately represent the challenges and triumphs these characters would face.Valentine DeLandro spoke (exactly once) about his experience with Kelly Sue DeConnick on Image’s Bitch Planet, a title known for tackling both race and gender. Unlike the DMC crew creating authentic characters in a world readers recognize, they had to create a new world that would work against their characters.