[PATREON EXCLUSIVE] Magik and Shadows: How Kate Pryde and Ilyana Rasputin Made Me a Better, Gayer, Comics Fan

Ilyana and Kate stand side by side

Our monthly Patron-exclusive essay series continues. You can read all of these incredible analyses for as little as a dollar a month on our Patreon.

Hi. My name is Zoe Tunnell, and I was an awful comics fan. To be clear, I don’t mean I liked awful comics. (I still do! They’re trash, but they’re my trash.) The type of awful I’m referring to is one probably all too familiar to a lot of you. When I was a teenager, and even into my twenties, I was The Comics Nerd. It was my all-consuming identity, and being the person who could answer any question about the latest Marvel Movie when asked at a party was my lot in life.

It turned me into a cruel, shitty little person who began to view comics as a series of Facts and Events to learn and catalog and lord over others, rather than just…stories I love and cherish. Thankfully, I’m better now. And as much as I’d like to credit that all to looking inward and personal growth, strangely enough, I can thank two comic book characters for getting my shit together—specifically, Kate Pryde and Ilyana Rasputin.

Read more about Zoe’s journey in this Patreon exclusive essay.

Zoe Tunnell

Zoe Tunnell

Zoe is a 29-year-old trans woman who has been reading far too many comics for most of her adult life and can't stop now.