Diversity and representation are important considerations these days, even in comics. But it’s not just the big publishers that are trying to be more inclusive with different genders, races and orientations of characters. Independent and creator owned publications are jumping in, often with characters and storylines larger companies shy away from. One of those would be the turban-wearing, Elvis-loving, secret agent of Super Sikh.
Supreet Singh Manchanda and Eileen Alden wanted to created a hero for Sikh children to identify with. They also wanted it to be someone with no special powers – it had to be about education, training and skills. Two years ago they were finally ready and the kickstarter campaign for Super Sikh hit it’s $5,000 goal in 27 hours, ultimately raising $22,000 in one month. Illustrated by award-winning artist Amit Tayal, the first four issues of the comics are now available in print.
The first issue of the comic provides a good introduction to the character of Deep Singh, the organization he works for and his fight against the Taliban. Also shown are aspects of his culture that are simply part of his daily life – something that “western” readers may not be familiar with. When Deep is convinced to take a vacation, the only place he wants to go is Graceland and, considering the current environment with racial profiling and such, his vacation may be over before it begins.
If you’re looking for a comic that has a bit of adventure, makes a statement without preaching and provides some much needed ethnic diversity, along with some good writing and artwork, put on those blue suede shoes and give Super Sikh a try.