Explorers’ Guide to DC’s Young Animal

Hey, I’m Can, and thanks for reading this infographic! 

I got into the DC Young Animal imprint around its release in 2016 – I’ve been a lifelong comics fan and comic creator, and around that time I’d been really active in the My Chemical Romance fandom online, which is how I’d heard of it. 

My main interaction with comics has been outside of mainstream superhero comics, mainly with webcomics, indie comics, and comics made outside America; it’s always been a medium rife with experimentation and fantastic ways of image-text storytelling! It’s also always been a space where I’ve managed to carve out an area of belonging: in the comics I read, I was more likely to find representation for queerness and other kinds of marginalized identities, more so than on TV or in professionally published novels. DCYA in particular has been such a fun space of representation, and even helped me forge long-lasting friendships through fandom! (hi GraveRavers! Where would our little art collective be without Doom Patrol, am I right?)

However, with my particular comics background, I know as much as anyone how intimidating it can be to get into reading mainstream comics. Sometimes series have weird numbering, sometimes it’s not clear whether two series are connected. “This superhero team has been running since the 60’s!” you say. “Am I supposed to read all of them?!” I hear ya, pal. 

With DC Young Animal, I knew a lot of people like me were introduced to it by Gerard Way (hi gang!) and because of this, a lot of first-time comics readers were getting into them as well, which was fantastic! But I also saw a lot of new questions popping up, that made me realise a lot of day-to-day comics lingo (like the terminology of “issues” and “volumes”) weren’t easily shared with newer readers, especially younger fans and international fans. 

With this in mind, I created the first version of this infographic in 2018, to try help bridge the knowledge gap and make DCYA (and comics publishing as a whole) feel more accessible to new readers! When Dan McMahon pitched this project this year, I offered to re-do the graphic with updated information (and an updating of my art skills). 

My hope is that, armed with information, more people can enjoy the medium that’s been a big part of my heart for my whole life! And that maybe new people will be gripped with the kind of fandom that made me draw so much Casey Brinke x Terry None fanart. 

Happy reading! 

  • Can

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