Durham comic book author hopes to inspire young girls

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
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She's the creator of Aza Comics. A storyline with women superheroes as the focus.

Jazmin Truesdale sits quietly at the East Regional Durham Library. In front of her, a silver laptop with a Wonder Woman sticker on the front.

Though the room in silence, Truesdale's mind is working in a heroic fashion. She's the creator of Aza Comics. A storyline with women superheroes as the focus.

A whirlwind of powerful women united. The women in Truesdale's novels inspired by those she grew up with.

"The girls that I grew up with were south Asian girls, they were black girls there was Latinas... that was who I grew up around. I speak multiple languages because of the influence of my friends. So, when I was creating the characters I could have easily make a black superhero and just left it at that, but I was like 'well if I wanna see someone who looks like me, I'm sure they want to see someone who looks like them," Truesdale said. "That's why I made a whole team of girls from different parts of the world that work together and learn from each other culturally."

Truesdale is a native of the Bull City. She was a student of Southern High School. She herself is a heroine of sorts -- she has two undergraduate degrees: one from UNC-Chapel Hill in pre-medicine another from UNC Charlotte in finance. Truesdale says she also has an MBA.

Comics have always felt like home for the author. Truesdale says shes always had an interest in comics and sci-fi. Her dad took her to a comic book store at a young age, which prompted her love for Wonder Woman.

"I just fell in love with the genre, I fell in love with the character... so like my whole life, I have loved Wonder Woman," said Truesdale. "To me, comics and superheroes are the ultimate forms of empowerment and I just thought it was interesting that so few women were interested in this genre that can be so empowering."

It was then Truesdale talked to women learning why they weren't interested in the comic scene. Those conversations paying off -- the author says that 60 percent of her readers are women who had never show interest in comics before.

Her novels only show illustration when action is involved. Her goal is to teach young girls they can be whatever they want. "Hopefully with these, I can instill a sense of a limitless life experience for these girls or boys or whoever decides to pick up the book can have "

Her novels are available for purchase.