New comic book explores Brittney Griner's story – ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix

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She’s a Phoenix Mercury star player, an Olympic gold medalist, and a former Russian prisoner.
Brittney Griner’s story is a layered one. Now, that story is put to paper in the form of a comic book.
TidalWave Comics announced the release of a new addition to its ‘Female Force’ series last week, this one centering on Griner.
“Female Force: Brittney Griner,” written by Michael Frizell, with art by Martin Gimenez, is a 22-page comic book.
Frizell said his team started working on the comic well before she got arrested in Russia. They thought she had an important story to tell: an LGBTQ+ woman of color who found a meteoric rise to fame in the WNBA through her talents.
“She pretty much made a splash for herself in Phoenix, and we thought, wow! This is interesting, and then we started to take a look at her back story, and the publisher, who identifies as LGBTQ said, ‘hey, let’s do this because, you know, she’s really open about who she is as a person,’” Frizell said. “During the research, I found out there’s a lot of struggle with her trying to find her identity. So, I thought, this is a great project.”
He said they listened to countless interviews and did research to keep the story as true to her voice as possible.
They could have never known what was to come.
When she was arrested and thrown into international headlines, they had to make the decision on whether to push forward with the project.
“I really don’t want the political quagmire that it’s become as part of that because I don’t think that’s a person’s identity. That just happens because of choices that they make,” Frizell said. “So, we leave it open-ended in a lot of ways. We want readers to know who she is and understand where she’s come from, and then judge for themselves.”
They also hoped some people could see themselves in her story, especially women, since they say comic books typically have fewer female readers.
It’s what got the ‘Female Force’ series started in the first place, which has since featured influential women such as Dolly Parton, Gloria Steinem, and Oprah.
Frizell said he hopes to do a sequel to Griner’s story where he can explore this next chapter in her life after Russia.
‘Female Force: Brittney Griner’ is now available in print and digital on Amazon.
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