Last November, Neil Gaiman sat down and had a long chat with author Junot Díaz, one of his final appearances before he takes 2016 off to be just a writer and a father to his new baby with wife Amanda Palmer. This interview kicks off with a great rundown of the history of Sandman, which is well worth watching whether you’re familiar with the comics series or not. If you prefer to just get right to Neil, you can jump to about the 6:30 mark, where the video moves to the interview venue. This is a longish interview — nearly an hour and a half — so be sure to carve out a bit of time to watch.
Imagine growing up without any cultural icons or heroes who look like you? Or, even worse, imagine that everyone held up in the media who does look like you is being identified for having committed a crime. What would that do to your sense of self? How would it shape your goals for the future? And how do you think those stereotypes can be corrected?
In this TED Talk geared toward teens (but applicable to all), comic book editor Sana Amanat talks about growing up Muslim in the United States in the wake of the first attack on the World Trade Center, how her experiences affected her, and where she sought refuge. Her talk is interesting on multiple levels, but above all it serves to highlight the importance of having diverse characters in published works and also diversity behind the scenes.