It’s an old concept, but it still holds true: If the market isn’t offering you what you want, go ahead and make it yourself.
Thankfully for us, Jazmin Truesdale took that idea to heart. A lifelong fan of comic books, 35-year-old Truesdale has used her business smarts and creative mind to devise an entire comic book universe — one where women save the day.
Her imprint, Aza Comics, tells the story of “The Keepers” in a thusly titled series, which showcases a dream-team of hardcore lady superheroes. Each member of the crew has her own special power and represents a realm of the universe that correspond to various cultures here on Earth.
Before venturing into the world of comics, Truesdale explored a number of different career paths before graduating college. She ended up receiving a degree in exercise science and business administration from the University of North Carolina, and she earned an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Despite her expertise in these areas, graduating during the Great Recession made it difficult for her to find work. Thankfully this time proved fruitful, as it was then that she discovered her love of storytelling. Not one to rest on her haunches, Truesdale got to work, learning different art techniques and using her academic background to develop her comic book series featuring a squad of righteous — and diverse — heroines.
“My friend circle is very diverse,” Truesdale told CNBC. “And I know if I want to see myself [in comics], they want to see themselves, too.”
“So I thought, why don’t I have a group of girls from different parts of the world, they come together, and they’re just kicking butt all day, every day, taking names and getting into shenanigans like women do,” she said.
Each character represents a different part of the Aza universe and has a unique superpower of her own. Check out this video from Truesdale’s Twitter feed that shows off the lineup:
What powers do my characters have? Let's find out 😍 https://t.co/wr8Jups6Jw#funday #weekend #mood pic.twitter.com/2BLMJLnEXK
— Jazmin Truesdale, Aza Comics (@JazminTruesdale) October 16, 2022
In addition to Aza comic books, Truesdale sells Aza apparel, accessories and even coffee mugs. She also gets fans involved by inviting them to remix songs for Aza’s Spotify channel, and by sharing the stories of real-life lady heroes.
Though the Aza series centers and celebrates women, Truesdale says she takes care not to exclude or denigrate men.
“I’m like, women are amazing,” Truesdale said. “I don’t need to man-bash … it’s not necessary … Because being alongside a powerful woman is not emasculating, it only makes you stronger.”
A mighty superheroine salute to that!