CONNECTIONS: MORIAH HUMMER

CONNECTIONS: MORIAH HUMMER

MORIAH HUMMER

Associate Manager of Customer Service at Otterbox
Self-Published Artist

by Beth Etter

For Moriah Hummer (B.A., ‘12), a talk with a career counselor and an exploration into Web design and other visually focused majors led her away from vocal performance into studio drawing, and specifically, to comics. “I fell in love with the medium. It’s a great way to tell a story, and a lot of the stories comment on issues of the day,” she says.

She followed that interest throughout her career at CSU, and has spent the last four years pursuing comics as a semiprofessional endeavor.

This passion has integrated itself with another of Hummer’s interests: roller derby.

Moriah Hummer

As an individual, self-published artist, Hummer does the whole process herself – story, penciling, inking, coloring, and dialogue. “The drawbacks (to not having a publisher) are that you have to sacrifice whatever free time you have to do the work. The positives are that I have 100 percent creative control.”

Hummer has created and published a comic series called Flat Track Furies, the story of a roller derby team. “I wanted to do a comic where all the main characters are women and didn’t focus around a love interest. Instead, I wanted to focus on different women who learn how to work together, and help them find common ground and learn important lessons in life.”

“I gained an incredible amount of confidence by doing roller derby, and I thought, ‘If I can do this, I can do other things.’”

Some of the lessons are about embracing your differences and not living within society’s confines. Hummer is also taking a stance against comic tradition by focusing on female characters of all sizes and ethnicities.

“Only recently have DC and Marvel become more diverse. It’s been an exclusive industry that focuses on white males,” she says. “We’re moving in the direction of more diverse characters, but there has been some vicious backlash online and at comic cons.”

That backlash spurs Hummer to keep going.

“The comments that creators receive for doing a comic about women is why we need to keep producing this,” she says. “The extreme reactions [to diverse characters] is why I feel so determined. I think I can make a difference.”

Her determination to make a difference translates to appearances at comic cons – comic book conventions – where she meets and greets fans. “As a comics artist, I’m developing a relationship with fans. I want them to leave my table feeling good about the experience and that they learned something.”    

It’s the same approach she uses in her day job as associate manager of customer service at OtterBox. “We’re creating a relationship with our customers in six minutes, and when we get off the phone, we want them to feel comfortable, confident, and positive about the experience,” she says.

Regardless of the medium – on the comics page, in person, or on the phone – Hummer is focused on one thing: “If I can make a difference with one person, I’m going to.” 

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