Faith has inspired legions of comic fans, and her new comic will play an instrumental part in helping spread breast cancer awareness and how to detect it early.
The Keep A Breast Foundation previously joined up with Valiant to make Faith their comics ambassador. Now they've both united with the Vans Warped Tour (presented by Journeys) to create an exclusive new comic that pits Faith "Zephyr" Herbert against a not so easily beaten foe, presenting Breast Cancer and its prevention in a relatable way.
The new issue is written by Justine Prado (Finding Molly) with art by Clayton Henry (Archer & Armstrong) and Kate Niemczyk (Faith, Mockingbird). Fans can get their copy of the Faith Warped Tour/Keep A Breast Special Edition #1 starting on June 16th in Seattle, WA, as well as future tour dates. If you can't make the show, you can always grab the issue on comiXology, the Valiant iOS app, and the Keep A Breast Foundation website.
ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to Keep A Breast Foundation CEO Shaney Jo Darden about the new project, and how it not only raises awareness but also breaks down how to spot the signs early. Faith has done quite a bit in furthering that cause.
"Teaming up with a force like Faith is so rad, especially with such a growing female readership in comics today. I think comics inspire people to stick up for themselves and others, to be their own advocate, and that's exactly what we do. Being your own health advocate can really empower you and knowledge gives you that power. Faith helps us celebrate our bodies through the power of different mediums, channels, and alter egos, showing how comics and art can put a spotlight on real issues, start important conversations, and empower us to be our own superheroes."
Faith has a lot going for her, but one of her best assets is just how human she is, something that makes her well suited for this role.
"Faith is such a do-gooder, and we love everything about her outlook on life and her impact on the comic community. The first thing we heard about Faith was how unique she is and different from other superheroes, which is often what we hear about Keep A Breast in the breast cancer community. Her internal struggles, bravery, and optimism are so human, and those relatable characteristics make her the perfect ambassador for KAB."
As seen in the issue, the "check your selfie" campaign can help spot symptoms and lumps early, and the process is made even simpler with the help of an app.
It's been readily embraced so far stateside, but it's already been able to gain some surprising reach abroad.
"I was most surprised to learn that the app is being used in 167 different countries around the world in places like India, Romania, and Nigeria. It really opened my eyes to see that with support and partners around the word we can get this app to more women and our phones can be primary tools that can really help save lives."
Word of mouth has helped immensely. "It made me really happy to hear from friends that they love this app and they tell all their friends about it," said Darden. "It's like girl talk ya know,? All us girls are always talking about our periods, boobs, sex, and boys… so this is one of those things. If you have a good tip or a life hack you want to tell your squad all about it, this really helped the app get shared in a very organic and viral way."
There is a hope that some troubling stigmas also get put in the spotlight with Faith's help.
"In a world of impossible #bodygoals, Valiant Comics and the Keep A Breast Foundation are exploring the empowerment of body positivity through art. We really want to dispel the notion that there is shame associated with talking about your breasts, building a positive relationship with your breasts, or loving your boobies! Our breasts are a part of us, and at any age women should be able to love themselves and have conversations about breast health without feeling ashamed or sexualized. Many people think that if there is no history of breast cancer in their family that it can not happen to them, and this is simply not true. We work to break this misconception and educate women that most breast cancers are related to their toxic environmental exposures."
Valiant and Keep A Breast have enjoyed working together thus far, but Valiant's work with the Warped Tour presented a whole new opportunity, one that no one wanted to pass up.
"We were so excited when Valiant told us they were doing the artwork for this summer's Vans Warped Tour! We've been on that tour for over 15 years and to have a familiar venue to build on this partnership is such a great opportunity for us and the young people we see out there every summer. We really wanted to give Faith a history with Keep A Breast, but in an organic way, so Valiant creating a special story for Faith and KAB seemed like the perfect way to do that."
The issue hits Faith close to home, and watching her struggle with being powerless is something million's can identify with. Still, that doesn't mean she isn't heroic.
"We LOVE that Faith is helping her friend Klara through her cancer journey, but we especially love that Faith is a hero in this issue because she was there for Klara as a caregiver. Faith realizes that she can't beat cancer for her friend, but she can be there for her and also be there for herself by scheduling a monthly self-check."
The story is pure Faith, with plenty of humor and heart. Not only that, but it highlights an overall message of taking your health into your own hands, and can be a wonderful discussion starter for families and friends.
"Yes! And we so enjoy Faith's charm and humor" said Darden. "I think the one message we want people to take away is that you really can be your own health advocate. Early detection is key, and if you do your monthly self-check you will be in tune with your breasts and if someday there is a lump, you can catch it early. But like you said, even just a conversation sparks the awareness and sharing that with other women in your life can be life saving."
You can find a full preview of the issue in the gallery, and you can pick up the official Fatih Warped Tour/Keep A Breast Special Edition #1 at the following stops. You can also grab the issue on ComiXology and on the Valiant iOS app. You can find out more about the Keep A Breast Foundation here.
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