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SuperHxro Project: Behind the Scenes

So... What the Heck is This?

Our latest Brand Ambassadors are finally here… and they have serious power: Superpowers! 


This project comes from a team of graphic designers, copywriters, illustrators, designers, marketers, and consultants – which makes us sound like a huge crowd; many of us wear multiple hats. With this team we developed five characters: we built out their stories, their passions, and what they want to share with the world.


Author Bio:

Madeline Dintino (they/them) is a queer, enby, and transgender individual who specializes in thinking, creating, and designing for radical inclusivity. They are a queer theorist with a focus on fashion design, and they believe that with the liberation of the most marginalized among us, we all are set free. 

Madeline runs a zine publication called LooseChange under their brand, the Flower Punks Collective (@flower.punks). 

Author Bio:

Madeline Dintino (they/them) is a queer, enby, and transgender individual who specializes in thinking, creating, and designing for radical inclusivity. They are a queer theorist with a focus on fashion design, and they believe that with the liberation of the most marginalized among us, we all are set free. 

Madeline runs a zine publication called LooseChange under their brand, the Flower Punks Collective (@flower.punks). 

So... What the Heck is This?

Our latest Brand Ambassadors are finally here… and they have serious power: Superpowers! 


This project comes from a team of graphic designers, copywriters, illustrators, designers, marketers, and consultants – which makes us sound like a huge crowd; many of us wear multiple hats. With this team we developed five characters: we built out their stories, their passions, and what they want to share with the world.


The Superhxroes' Purpose

The purpose of this project is in alignment with our mission at Play Out: 


“Our mission is to positively impact queer visibility and represent queer celebration… We are queer, lesbian, gay, trans, and non-binary-owned. We represent those words with care and with an openness to continue to evolve and serve our community and beyond.” 


For us, Play Out is already a safe space to work in. We have a workplace that prioritizes inclusion on all fronts, and there is no weird tension when you ask someone to use different pronouns or a different name. We wear what we want, express ourselves fully, and are very lucky to all have our personal missions aligned with the brands. 

The Process

The Beginning

This project started by a simple brainstorm in one of Play Out’s creative meetings. We were tossing around the question: “how can we creatively promote the new collection?” among the ideas that day were trading cards, zines, comic books, and social media comics. A few of us volunteered to follow up on the idea, and as soon as we started brainstorming, this project became about much more than just promotion. It became about connection, community, and Play Out’s unique ability to spread resources and education to support our community. After months of working on this project (on top of all of our other Play Out responsibilities) we have come out the other side with a full team of developed characters ready to take on the world!


Building Identities

Who are they? What do they care about? What is their outlook on life? What is their superpower? This was the foundational work of this project, and we deduced who these characters would be by asking the question: what does our community need from us? What can we offer? We started building from there. 


Building Identities

Who are they? What do they care about? What is their outlook on life? What is their superpower? This was the foundational work of this project, and we deduced who these characters would be by asking the question: what does our community need from us? What can we offer? We started building from there. 


Character Design 

Next, we set out to establish the visual and artistic direction for their embodiments. (Yes, one is a puppy. We know what the people want.) What is the physical manifestation of each of these superpowers? For us, these humanoid-type avatars are their superpowers, and these ethereal beings are here to spread love and empowerment. 


Character Design 

Next, we set out to establish the visual and artistic direction for their embodiments. (Yes, one is a puppy. We know what the people want.) What is the physical manifestation of each of these superpowers? For us, these humanoid-type avatars are their superpowers, and these ethereal beings are here to spread love and empowerment. 


Research and Consultation

Our team is committed to providing resources to every part of the community, and that is something we take very seriously. This is why we have had multiple consultations which led to connection, education, and perspectives that never would have had without starting this project. 


Scenario Concept Generation

The scenarios we came up with are made to represent queerness in its multiplicity and to represent the ideal queer utopia we are striving for. A future where it’s not considered radical to eliminate the “men’s” and “women’s” sections from fashion, where “affirmation parties” are the norm for friend groups, and where little enby chihuahuas are always there to protect us from bigots. 


Copywriting

The writers on our team are having fun getting to learn each character’s voice and how they navigate their world and their relationships. The more we write each character, the more we honestly want to be friends with them!


Illustration

This one is a doozy! Our illustrator (who created the character designs using all of our collective ideas) is in charge of taking the scenarios and concepts we put together and creating the comics of each one. The process is fascinating, and just like each step of the process, it is a labor of love. 


Adding comic-Book-ness

This final step was a surprising challenge since the text and graphical elements are so integral to the comic-book-ness of it all. It was fun getting to delve into what makes comic books so comic-bookish! 


Compile the Webcomic

Lastly, we are giving this story a place to live. Stay tuned to see where you can read the full and ongoing adventures of the Play Out Superhxroes! 


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