One of my very favourite graphic novel artists, Ross Campbell, revealed last month that she is transgender, and has been transitioning for the the past year, and is now Sophie/Sophia Campbell.
Shown above are the antagonists in the new graphic novel that she’s illustrated; “Jem and the Holograms”.
Campbell has always been known for positive portrayals of different body types without making a big deal about it; her characters are diverse in gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and body type. Kind of like real life. She also explores the emotional lives of her characters to an unusual degree.
My first introduction to Campbell was “Shadoweyes”, about a young teen girl of colour, Scout Montana, who lives in a dystopian future. Scout comes in contact with some nasty industrial goo and, as generally happens in these encounters, she develops superpowers and a new physical form. Over the course of the series, her friends become her sidekicks and form a vigilante group protecting the neighbourhood.
But Scout remains an adolescent, with all the emotional upset; she desperately misses her mother, and falls in love with her friend Noah, who already has a girlfriend, and Scout’s best friend Sparkle falls in love with her.
Campbell was also the artist behind the reboot of the series “Glory”. Here’s Rob Liefeld’s version from the original series;
Compare with Campbell’s versions;
Glory is the child of a goddess and a demon, and her body changes size and shape, depending on the threat level, and her mood; sad Glory become thin and wispy, enraged Glory becomes Hulk sized.
Campbell has also written and illustrated other graphic novels, such as “Wet Moon”, which explores the lives a group of goth friends at university.
Her website is currently being updated and is unavailable, but here are links to her tumblr and deviantart sites;