• Services for Lashawn Colvin will be Friday, 2 p.m., at the Alabama Heritage Cemetery
  • She is the creator of the “Beautiful Soldiers” comic book series.

Its trademark and brainchild is “Beautiful Soldiers,” but the words “beautiful soul” capture the life and mission of Montgomery artist, writer, and comics editor Lashawn Colvin.

Services for Colvin, who died Monday at age 37, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Alabama Heritage Cemetery. Memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.AlabamaHeritageFH.com. A cause of death has not been released.

Originally from Fort Hood, Texas, Colvin was part of a military family. She had lived in Montgomery since kindergarten. At a young age, she had traveled the world with her parents Timothy and Denita, and siblings. She graduated from Jefferson Davis High School and pursued graduate studies in comic art and writing. In addition to creating and editing comics for Short Fuse Media Group’s RedBand line, she hosted a podcast and owned the Comics & Geeks comics and games store in Montgomery for a time.

Friends and fans took to social media on Tuesday to mourn his passing:

“Beautiful person and a beautiful heart… We will miss you,” wrote Geoffrey Gwin.

Calvin Simmons said Colvin was one of the best and most talented people he had met.

“Rest in peace, my beautiful,” wrote Jorel Lonesome. “I am saddened and we miss you. You are an inspiration to many independent creators and the aspiring creators of tomorrow.”

Kendra Hale said the world is suddenly darker and described Colvin as a whirlwind and a force that shone upon the world.

“Stunned by the loss,” wrote Ken Vaughan. “A creative voice and such a powerful defender.”

A remembrance of life balloon release honoring Colvin will take place Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery.

Colvin through the eyes of a journalist and friend

I will never forget the first time we spoke. It was 2017 and Montgomery was about to host a new Gump City Con comic book convention. I was looking for local artists who might be there when I came across her name and contacted her. Luckily she answered, we talked, stayed in touch, and continued to run in the same circles for the next five years.

In 2018, Colvin went from attendee to special guest with her own booth at Gump City Con.

Lashawn Colvin at his Comics & Geeks comic book store and game pub in Montgomery, Alabama on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

“I’ve always had a strong belief in women’s empowerment, girl power, and sisterhood,” Colvin told the Advertiser in 2020. That year, she made national headlines as a black woman opening her own comic book shop down south on Perry Hill Road. in Montgomery. Opening it before Halloween wasn’t easy, especially dealing with the passing of his mother in April.

“I know the struggles of trying to be seen,” Colvin told the Advertiser in 2020. “It’s very important for my store to represent the community, where we try to help each other get exposure.”

On top of everything going on in 2020 (including the pandemic), Colvin has taken on a special project with Montevallo-based alternative rock band Pink for President, who perform frequently in Montgomery. She illustrated the group in a stage performance scene with her “Beautiful Soldiers” characters for their song “Win or Lose”. Colvin said it was the theme song for “Beautiful Soldiers”.

Fast forward two more years, and Colvin’s life had taken some major turns.

When we spoke to This Year in July, Colvin said she had made the difficult decision to close her comic book store. The location she had taken was too big an investment to get a much sought after smoothie bar addition, and she was looking for a new location to make it happen.

On the comics side, life was truly thriving for Colvin. She had recently landed a publishing deal for “Beautiful Soldiers” with Scout Comics. In addition to being a comic book writer, artist and editor, she worked with dozens of independent creators. She also served on the board of directors for this year’s Urban Nerd Con, a one-of-a-kind convention in Montgomery that focused on black characters, creators, actors and more. Colvin was proud to speak at the convention during a panel on women in comics.

“My experience has been good in comics,” Colvin told the announcer in June. “Everyone supported me and wanted me to succeed.”

Early art for Colvin

Montgomery comics artist, writer, and publisher Lashawn Colvin died Monday, October 3, 2022.

Surprisingly, it was Colvin’s writing side that first blossomed when she was little.

She told the announcer that as a child, when she wasn’t watching anime like ‘Sailor Moon’ — or live-action TV shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ — she filled boxes. shoes with his. “Power Rangers” handwritten stories.

“As far as I can remember, even as a kid, I loved cartoons, comics, and drawing,” Colvin said in 2017. “My favorite comic is actually a manga, and it was made into an anime at the time, called ‘Sailor Moon.’ I’m a huge ‘Sailor Moon’ fan.”

Back in sixth or seventh grade, one day she was watching one of her episodes of “Sailor Moon” on tape, and just had the urge to draw a scene from that show.

“I took a piece of notebook paper and a blue pen. I paused the VCR, sat down in front of my bed and started drawing exactly what I saw on TV” , Colvin said. “There you go, that’s how I found out I could draw.”

Colvin’s Legacy from “Beautiful Soldiers”

Beautiful Soldiers artwork by Lashawn Colvin.

Five years ago, Colvin was still laying the groundwork for her “Beautiful Soldiers” series, which she wrote and drew. This is the story of four teenage girls, descendants of an elementary race.

“They’re hybrids. They’re half human, half elemental,” Colvin said. “They each genetically control their own element – earth, air, fire and water. Besides trying to save the earth, juggling the boys, getting to high school, they’re basically trying to find the fifth element before the wicked can access it. . The fifth element is supposed to be very powerful. Like at the level of the power of God.”

The design of the new Beautiful Soldiers character, Nina, is based on Lashawn Colvin's mother.

After securing a publishing deal for it, she spoke this year about an evolution of her fan-inspired “Beautiful Soldiers.” Its four-person hero team expanded to five to give it even more diversity, though it once had white, Asian-American, Native American, and black members. Terra, his black hero, was not considered “black enough” by some “Blerds” (black nerds).

“She’s a lighter-skinned woman,” Colvin said of Terra. “She doesn’t have the usual Afro-centric kinky, curly hair… For some people, she just wasn’t black enough. I used to tell people all the time that black came in different shades. That’s the beauty of colored people. There’s a multitude of shades.

Colvin decided to add a fifth hero to the group, instead of changing Terra’s design. The look of Nina, her new character, is based on Colvin’s late mother.

“Nina is a dark-skinned black woman with frizzy, curly hair,” Colvin said.

Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel can be reached at [email protected].