Will A Lesbian Wedding Move The Needle? Tana Ford On Silk And Duck Amuck At C2E2

Tana Ford, courtesy of Greg Baldino
Tana Ford, courtesy of Greg Baldino

Bleeding Cool had eyes and ears at C2E2, and reporter Greg Baldino roamed the floors today, and has landed us this interview.

Check it out!

It's day three of C2E2 and my brain feels like a piñata in a hurricane so let's jump right in with Silk artist Tana Ford!

Greg: (after restarting the interview when a queue of fans suddenly appeared) Let's get going before more people come up to give you money in exchange for your art.

Tana: Yes!

Greg: And how crazy is it that this is our lives?

Tana: It's so awesome, it is "dream come true" kind of stuff.

Greg: A lot of our readers will probably know you as the artist on Marvel's Silk, but can you tell us about your creator-owned book, Duck?

Tana: It's an award-winning lesbian comic book series that everyone should pick up! It's about a group of lesbians in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I Kickstarted the third volume, Duck: Third Time is the Charm, where they descend on a very queer space  for Memorial Day weekend, which is something that lesbians who live in New England do. And I successfully Kickstarted it, and a week after it ended I was offered Silk. So here I am, a year and a half later, and I still haven't delivered the book! (Laughs) Now that Silk has wrapped I'm back on the book. I just got a colorist, Jordie Bellaire's assistant Rebecca (I don't know her last name because we just met!) I think it's gonna be a creative match made in heaven.

Greg: Now, for your fans who know you from Duck, what can you tell us about Silk?

Tana: Here's some exciting news for mainstream comics, especially with all this swirling hubbub about diversity and whether or not we should still have it: In my Marvel comic, which is a female solo title, we have a woman of color as the lead, her two best friends are out lesbians in a biracial, happy, healthy relationship–where neither of them gets murdered. And in the final pages of Silk–SPOILER–they get married! I get to show a close up of a lesbian kiss, at a lesbian wedding, with two awesome amazing women on page. So this is like dream come true stuff.

Greg: You know, I hope we get to a place where lesbian characters not getting killed stops being a selling point for media.

Tana: Me too, me too! Hopefully this moves the needle a little bit. Ah, the trope of killing the best friend to move forward the straight hero's storyline is over. Guys, if you're listening to this, stop telling those stories.

Greg: How did your style of working changed when you moved from doing Duck, where you were the only creator, to Silk, where not only are you working with a writer, but also a colorist and a letterer.

Tana: It took some getting used to, and also at first I thought I was only going to be a fill-in artist, but I wanted to do a sort of homage to Stacey Lee's art–and if you don't know her she's fantastic–and she has a very animated very dynamic style. And it's happy the way that my gritty detailed art is never going to be. So there's a bit of tension in the first couple issues of Silk because I hadn't found my own voice, I hadn't found my superhero voice. By the end of the series, it belongs to me, and I feel like I've really owned the way that I make superhero comics. So there is a big transformation, and looking at the issues back to back, and almost panel to panel, you can see the progression that I've made to land on my own style.

Greg: Finally, because I'm secretly working to turn Bleeding Cool into a food blog, what's your meal of choice when you've finished a major project? Do you go for a fancy restaurant, comfort food at home…?

Tana: I immediately go–and this shows my Irish roots–to the whisky bottle! My signature cocktail is the Tan-hattan, which is like a traditional manhattan but with black bing cherry juice to sweeten it up. And with that, I like a nice sushi. So that's my meal of choice for celebration.

Greg Baldino has a headache the size of Ego the Living Planet, so he's going to celebrate another great C2E2 with some ibuprofen and La Croix. Tana Ford's work can be found here….

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About Joe Glass

Joe Glass has been contributing to Bleeding Cool for about four years. He's been a roaming reporter at shows like SDCC and NYCC, and also has a keen LGBTQ focus, with his occasional LGBTQ focus articles, Tales from the Four Color Closet. He is also now Bleeding Cool's Senior Mutant Correspondent thanks to his obsession with Marvel's merry mutants. Joe is also a comics creator, writer of LGBTQ superhero team series, The Pride, the first issue of which was one of the Top 25 ComiXology Submit Titles of 2014. He is also a co-writer on Stiffs, a horror comedy series set in South Wales about call centre workers who hunt the undead by night. One happens to be a monkey. Just because.
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