Jazmin Truesdale is the CEO of Aza Entertainment Comics, which featured 10 amazing sheroes of different ethnic backgrounds many of whom were inspired by famous people and historical figures from around the world.
“I wanted to create a superhero universe where there were no limitations on how great a woman could be.”
What inspired you to make Aza Comics?
I’m a lover of superheroes and I was particularly disappointing in the direction of female superheroes. I wanted more variety, more women of color, and more powerfully empowered women. A universe with no limitations of how great a women could be…I really wanted to know what that would look like.
What makes you a super hero?
I live life on my terms and I’m unapologetic about it. That’s the common thread of all my heroes. If I had listened to everyone else telling me what to do with my life, Aza Comics would not exist.
Why should boys/men be encouraged to read your comics?
Well, there’s no male-bashing in Aza. Feminism includes men and my universe shows how they fit into the discussion of equality. My storylines show how men and women working together is actually better for everyone…no egos involved.
What is Jazmin fitness?
I’m a certified personal trainer and I was getting a lot of people asking me about my secrets to staying in shape so I decided to create a fitness company. I essentially teach people how to use food to help them loose weight, develop healthier hair and skin, etc.
Comics genre is make believe, how can your comics make a reader a believer?
I say that I write the truest fiction. I modeled the Aza universe after the real world in which we live. The heroes are merely symbols to inspire hope. Hope for anything a woman wishes to achieve. Hope that we understand each other a little better.
When you’re emotionally invested in a character and you see them suffering from something that is common in their culture/community, it makes you more empathetic and aware.
What is the story behind you and the illustrator (Remero Colston) of your comics collaborating?
My goodness! I was ready to give up on Aza until I discovered Remero. He’s like my artistic twin. I held private auditions for an illustrator for Aza and I had a lot of top people in the industry sending me their work but everyone struggled with Kala. No one seemed to be able to illustrate a ‘Black’ woman with ‘Black’ features. They had no grasp of what we look like. They were essentially illustrating white women with brown skin.
I saw Remero’s Janet Jackson illustration on Instagram and me being a super Janet fan I thought, “If he can draw Janet, a woman with very distinct features, than he can do Kala.” Remero sent me a Kala sketch within an hour and it was spot on!
I trust him implicitly. I give him a lot of creative freedom because I like his ideas and the way he thinks so our finished work is truly a collaboration of both of our ideas.
‘The Keepers: Origins’ and ‘Can you keep a secret?’ Are you available for in person book reads and signing?
I’m always available for things like that. Right now I’m doing a lot of comic cons, but I’m often invited to schools and book festivals for kids…it’s a lot of fun. I’ll do anything for kids.
Will you be at Comic Con 2018 San Diego?
As of now, I don’t have any plans but any time I’m invited to a comic con I try to make myself available. So, if they invite me then I’ll surely go.
Will you ever make action figures of your characters for purchase?
Absolutely! I’m always growing the Aza merchandise line. My little sister was begging me for Aza dolls for a year and that prompted me to start reaching out to manufacturers. My sister couldn’t wait, though, so my stepmother actually made her dolls of each of The Keepers, by hand! My stepmother actually writes the children’s’ comics for Aza.
What do you want women to celebrate about you and your comics for Women’s month?
I want women to celebrate being women! Aza Comics is about the endless possibilities of what a woman can do and achieve. My heroes face challenges but that doesn’t stop them from going after what they want. As women, they support each other and revel in each others strengths. They know that they can achieve more together.
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