By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Photos courtesy of Kraven Comics
A couple of years ago, Peach introduced readers to the fantasy universe of Class6: a group of LGBTQ+ superheroes united by the ancient Queen Izaar who fight for the survival of the human race. Not surprisingly, lots have happened since last we checked in with creator and mastermind, Fernando Velez, and true to any successful comics series, it’s on an epic scale.
Class6 has fiercely LGBTQ+ superheroes with superpowers linked to their identity. Do you see being member of the LGBTQ+ community as a superpower?
More than a superpower, I believe being a member of the LGBTQ+ community makes us all heroes. We experience many obstacles and challenges that others don’t experience in life. These events test the core of our strength. We fight for what we believe even against all odds, and we fight together. When I first started to write about LGBTQ+ heroes, the hard part was to choose the first six heroes because when I looked around, I found myself surrounded by real heroes in our community, activists that day-by-day continue to create change for generations to come. We are more powerful than we think of ourselves, and I hope with my characters and stories, I can bring out the best hero within all of us.
Before we dive into all the developments of Class6 (and beyond!), can you give us a little background about the series for those who don’t yet know you?
The story revolves around our main hero Queen Izaar who our human ancestors created to safeguard humanity. Queen Izaar and her ex-partner, Lucifer (now a villain), were gifted with the knowledge and responsibility that if humans vanished, they could give birth to humanity once again on a new planet, Earth. But there is one problem with that; our ancestors also left her with an ancient enemy that will not stop until humanity completely vanishes. The heroes initially fight for LGBTQ+ rights, but as they join Queen Izaar, they discover a more significant conflict. Each hero plays an essential role in the fate of humanity. They must put aside their resentment against the way society has treated them for being LGBTQ+ and come together because the last fight is the one for the survival of the human race.
Your amazing superheroes have introduced readers to so many facets of the LGBTQ+community: gay, lesbian, trans, non-binary, etc. Tell us about some of your favorite heroes.
No doubts Queen Izaar (drag hero) and Neveah (transgender hero) are among my two favorites. Queen Izaar, not only because of the leading role she plays in the series, but also because she is our creator and a drag queen, which is so powerful. Her character was inspired by Sister Roma, one of the orders of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This charity has helped thousands of people throughout their 40+ years. I believe drag queens are true heroes of our community that deserve to be celebrated. Over 50 years ago, they started a movement with the trans community, inspiring me to create my other favorite, Neveah. Our transgender hero, at an early age, was thrown out onto the street by her biological parents for being transgender. As homeless, she often found herself facing constant attacks that would cause her to try to commit suicide which many, including myself, can relate to. Still, she rises to become a superhero, to send a message that no matter what you have been through, where you are in life, you have what it takes to become a hero.
The Class6 comics series tackles some pretty epic issues about human survival at the hands of the LGBTQ+ heroes. Do you use contemporary world issues to build the story arc?
Yes, I do. Since I was a little kid, I used my imagination to alter my reality, where I, as a gay little kid, mattered in a world that needed me. I am consistently inspired and motivated by current events not only to create awareness of what many of us experience in different parts of the world for being LGBTQ+ but also to infuse these issues into a plot of a world that includes political and social justice and addressing religion more scientifically. I invite the readers to explore another version of the origins of life in the Universe in a way that we LGBTQ+ individuals play an essential role, not only in the future and survival of our human race but also in the past and history of life as a whole.
Can you tell us a little about the latest episode of Class6 called Nightmares?
Well, Nightmares was quite the nightmare to produce! No kidding! With each episode, I try to focus on one of the characters and their backstory. In this particular episode, we learn more about Kian, our bisexual bear hero. Through his nightmare, I take the readers into the Universe of origin of our human ancestors who lived among their sister race, the reptilians. When they discovered that their Universe was contracting to vanish, a group of human woman scientists (LOAS) developed a technology that would allow them to send ten different missions each to other young universes. The last mission landed here in our Universe, and with that last mission, was a preserved fetus called Kian, which within his DNA sequences were stored the most advanced database and technology ever seen before in our universe.
On the subject of significant world issues: your other project, Loas, is a comics series about a powerful female-led African tribe fighting colonization. What was the inspiration?
I am from Puerto Rico, a mix between African, Spanish, and Indigenous Tainos. I wanted to create a series that would celebrate my ancestors. To tell a powerful story about a race like no other, led by woman warriors that are spiritual, free, and superior to the English Colonists who will bring their entire kingdom to war just to defeat them. The colonists are unaware this “tribe” was descendants of incredibly intellectual women who brought humans and reptilians to this Universe. I also want to remind people about the worst crime committed, which continued to affect the generations that followed, slavery.
Your imagination seems to have no bounds. What other projects are you working on?
We will soon launch an LGBTQ+ children’s book, Welcome, about two pugs and their two loving moms. This is a book created by a fan of Kraven Comics, Sergio Giovani. We take pride in publishing his book under the label of Kraven Comics.
Also, as an original work, we are preparing to discuss with the Sisters of Perpetual of Indulgence about producing a non-profit comic book series “The Sisters,” which will be part of the Kraven Universe. All profits will be for their charity of The Sisters to continue their extraordinary work in our community.
I am also working on a comic book series similar to the style of the movie Madagascar. This series, “Pride,” is about the two gay penguins that steal an egg at a zoo. The story line will be a comedy with lots of laughs and lots of tears. We are also planning on developing a small short series, “Baby Class6,” which will be a south park style parody of our heroes.
By year-end, we are confident we will have a TV animated deal with a major Hollywood studio and with me directing.
Tell us how we can get our hands on all these gorgeous publications!
You can access the Kraven Comics series and all episodes digitally at no cost at www.kravencomics.com, where you can also purchase hard copies of all our books and cool merchandise.