Local writer’s comic books promote inclusivity, empower LGBTQ readers – KIRO 7 News Seattle

Redmond, Wash. – For some, comic books are collector’s items. For others, they escape through reading.

But for Fernando Velez, they are a great way to provide empowerment and inclusion.

“Here, we’re celebrating humanity as it is,” Wells said. “Inclusive, diverse, full of color.”

For the past eight years, Velez and partner Waiyen Wong have been tirelessly building the Kraven universe and using their two franchises, “Class6” and “Loas of Kraven,” as forces for good — these superheroes. Create what they never grew up with.

“To send a message that anyone can be a hero, that we all matter, that we’re part of something bigger,” Wells said. “I decided to make ‘Class 6’, which is about a group of heroes who only identify as LGBTQ, but they have to forgive the humanity that we are treated with.

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He wants the world to know that these aren’t your ordinary comic books — a reminder he gave his team before the first publication.

Aliens and superheroes aside, basically every Crowe plot is based on dark reality, harsh but meaningful topics like rape, domestic violence and hate crimes.

“We decided to highlight issues that affect our community, to raise awareness of what we go through,” Wang explained. “So we don’t understand the topics we talk about.

Wells told KIRO 7’s Gwen Baumgardner that her family didn’t accept her coming out, so she left home — moving to the United States from Puerto Rico at just 17 years old.

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He then overcame homelessness, drug abuse and three suicide attempts before he found stability, love and a purpose.

“One day I decided I had to stand up for myself,” Wells said. “And that’s when I became powerful. I became in control of my life. So for those watching, you have to stand up for yourself. Fear not there is a great community that will help you.

The Kraven team is small but mighty. They have artists and creatives all over the world, but most of the writing, web design and shipping is done from the home office in Redmond.

Although they may not be able to save the world in the manner of Superman, Wells believes that the superheroes he creates have some real power.

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“I had one of my readers tell me that when he felt like committing suicide, it was a comic book that stopped him because if the character didn’t die, why would he quit,” Wells said. “To see that, to hear that, it was a confirmation of how important it is to be represented in comics.”

He says stories like these validate the work they do, as they compete with some of the bigger, more established publications.

“I don’t measure success by how much we’re making, but by how many people’s lives we can change,” Wells said.

Velez calls it a goal, not a job, where he fights to help the world one page at a time.



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