One of the best and most favorite things about my relationship with COMICVINE is that I get to use what little fame I've acquired over the years to bring some oft-needed attention to some sometimes overlooked projects. (As you know, there are a LOT of them out there! Turns out the world and even the Internets is a big place!)
Usually it is a Kickstarter or an overlooked artist or writer... and once and a while it is "just" one of those awesome heartfelt, genuine projects that is unique to the individual creators -- sort of how Joss Whedon found his voice on Buffy, Jeff Smith on Bone.
Now, I'm not comparing Christian Beranek and Kelci Crawford to Joss and Jeff (not yet, any way) but I will tell you that VALIDATION is one of those rare projects where you feel the writer and artist talking directly to you... from their heart right into yours.
VALIDATION is a webcomic about the adventures of a beautiful young transgender woman who is trying to find her way in the world. Maybe harder than being transgender in and of itself, Ally has to deal with something that's even a little more difficult: she's a nerd. A full fledged gaming, comic reading cosplaying nerd.
(Admittedly, I might be projecting the beautiful part! She may be drawn as plain or pleasant, but I just love her character, her spunk, her determination, humor and honesty. I love that there is a comic that has transgender lead that kind of feels inconsequential to the adventures she finds herself on. We've all been there -- and that's what makes Ally's adventures so universal.)
Christian Beranek has been a great friend over the years. Whether I was marveling at her marketing expertise at comic conventions across the country, hanging on her notes when she was my editor at Disney, or just all the late night gChats we have about all things comics. (As the cliche goes, she has forgotten more about comics than most us have ever learned!)
I've never seen Kelci Crawford's art before, but I love how much expression and mood and storytelling she's able to cram into every three panels at a time. There have only been 22 pages of Validation posted so far and I feel like I already know Ally like a little sister -- and that is in large part because Kelci just makes the world so real around her. (I can't wait to see Kelci's work another twenty pages from now and another twenty after that. I'm telling you, she's only going to get more awesome as time goes on!)
VALIDATIONCOMICS "only" has 145 likes on their Facebook page. I'm sure as more and more people read the book and spread the word, people are going to realize there is a very new and different and yet also very much the same teen "hero" in the world!
Scott Lobdell writes comic books and loves all comic book fans he's met across the globe -- yes, even the ones that hate him!