Serial entrepreneur Jazmin Truesdale said she loves the influence Janet Jackson and Diana Ross on BlackGirlMagic, and how inspirational they are.
With the increasing demand for equal representation of women, current times have seen popular notions such as Captian Marvel rise with an added layer of pride and empowerment. Women superheroes are being brought out of the shadows.
While the mainstream comics have been thriving along this path, Aza Comics appears to be the sole superhero brand centered around women.
CEO and serial entrepreneur, Jazmin Truesdale, is seeing how her superhero brand is gaining popularity by giving women of color a voice. “I just asked women what they wanted to see,” Truesdale told Black News.
Jazmin Truesdale is a comic book aficionado who launched Aza—a branding/comics/design company. Aza Comics has two titles, The Keepers and Aza Minis—a child-friendly comic.
“I wanted to create superheroes that truly empowered women of color. Even the format of Aza’s books cater to the way women read.”
The format that Truesdale is talking about is 'Novel-comics', a classification coined by herself. this format takes the traditional novel and adds the elements of comic book format to produce the next level of reading experience.
As the rise of female superheroes continues, Aza Comics stands out with its unique roster of multicultural characters and fan-favorite leading Black superheroine, Kala.
“I was told by publishers that Kala wasn’t marketable but now she is Aza’s most popular character…go figure,” Truesdale told Black News.
“I wanted to showcase all these incredibly different women working together as a unit and kicking butt,” says Truesdale. “The best way to inspire is by example and Aza’s characters were inspired by real women of color who did incredible things.
The real people Jazmin is referring to include music legends Janet Jackson and Diana Ross. “They are the epitome of Black Girl Magic,” Jazmin says proudly. “Of course, they would be the biggest influences on a universe of powerful women. It’s a no-brainer.”
There is more to these fighting females than one would expect from conventional superheroes. Truesdale tries to bring in the element of reality in the challenges they face.
While they can absolutely destroy bad guys and super-villains, these girls also focus on the issues happening with women in various cultures. Problems such as sexual assault are also looked at through this world and their characters.
“I want my characters to be a symbol of inspiration for women. I want women to be encouraged to speak up and speak out about important issues and have the courage to fight their own battles.”
In a strong, yet humble tone, Truesdale paints the picture of a society where the media is filled with complex images of brown people, reaffirming their humanity and a sense of pride in their diverse cultures. Thanks to her imagination, an entire literary universe of empowerment now exists where the superheroes are nonwhite women.
As the company gears up for a slew of releases this year, Aza Comics is not slowing down as it continues to provide representation and empowerment. “I’m just giving people more of what they want,” says Jazmin.
“My company will be expanding its mentoring program, Dare To Be Legendary, to encourage youth into entrepreneurship and the arts. I’ll be diving deeper into The Keepers book series for teens and adults. There will be more books for the kids series and even releases for our LGBT fans. Lots of action and lots of heart with a little bit for everyone.”