Written by: Chelsea Alexandra
Representation is and may always be an important issue in the entertainment industry.
Comic book writer and creator Devyn Nicole has personally made it her goal to do what she can to address the imbalance. The success of her new comic book, Zara: The Beginning, proves that there is a need for more superheroes of color, now more than ever.
The success of her new comic book, Zara: The Beginning, proves that there is a need for more superheroes of color, now more than ever. BGN sat down with the young entrepreneur to see how her initial vision of Zara came to life.
Who is Zara, and how did your vision of her come to life?
Zara is a super cool, newly developed superheroine that I created to help bring a positive image to young individuals. I’ve always been big on the power of the mind, and I knew and wanted other people to realize that whatever you believe, it can come into fruition. In the same fashion, I’ve also been very interested in film and creating stories. So when I started producing Zara, I realized it was a great way to implement both.
Do you feel a sense of pressure from yourself to succeed by creating something visionary?
Yes, I definitely do! Not only am I pressured to show the world that succeeding is possible, but I also have to have faith in myself and constantly prove to myself that I am enough. I’m the type of person that asks a lot of questions. One of the most common questions that I ask myself is, “Why can’t I have the life that I’ve always dreamed of?” Even if that’s success, or personal relationships. I feel that whatever I work towards and truly have the desire for — I can have it!
With Halle Bailey being cast as the Disney princess Ariel and Zendaya playing the iconic role of MJ in Spiderman: Homecoming, Hollywood is making a conscious effort to understand and make roles more diverse. But, is it enough?
The fact that you are asking “Is it enough?” proves that it isn’t. I love the progress, but we have to make this the new normal. When children grow up, they shouldn’t have to tweet asking for characters to look like them. We should be able to turn on our TVs or phones and see people of color in not only powerful roles, but positive roles. Also, we, as people of color, or people who aren’t being represented in the media, have to start writing and creating our own narrative. Casting a person of color just to shut us up or because we have buying power shouldn’t be a reason. It’s our culture. We have to continue to write our own stories, which we are in fact slowly accomplishing — and doing it fearlessly, I might add.
What are some projects that you are currently working on? What difference/impact/footprint do you wish to leave on the world?
This is only the beginning. We’re focused on continuing to develop Zara’s story as well as more characters to come, getting ready for the big screen, and pitching to networks. I also believe in giving back to the community. I’m in the process of creating a non-profit, but in the meantime, I have my Everyone Can Be a Hero Tour: an initiative dedicated towards teaching students about the importance of self-affirmation and unleashing your own superpowers. It’s important for people to not only see a dope character but also know they have their own power within.
What is your definition of being the ultimate Black Girl Nerd?
Being the ultimate Black Girl Nerd to me means being fearless and creating super cool stories that people once thought I [could never do]; going against the grain with loving and writing comic books; and, even though it might be seen as unusual or ridiculous, going for what your heart truly desires.
To learn more about Devyn and Zara, please visit www.heroicicon.com. To get more updates, please follow @Zaraheroic and @Devynicole_ on Instagram and Twitter.