We’re going to start off this week with some good news for once. Remember a few weeks ago when we told you about our IndieGoGo campaign to fund WWAC’s move to a new web host? Well, the campaign was a roaring success, meeting 159% of our goal. Our sincerest thanks to everyone who contributed or helped spread the word!
This week also marked the launch of the Queer Comics Database, which catalogs over 130 titles (with more to come!), to help readers, librarians, and retailers find queer comics by genre, series type, tone, art style, type of representation, and more. You can also submit new titles to be added, so if you notice something missing, you can recommend it to the team.
Meanwhile, the Comics Studies Society announced their first annual prizes for comics scholarship. Brannon Costello of Louisiana State University was awarded the CSS Book Prize for Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin; the CSS Article Prize went to Benoît Crucifix of University of Liège & UC Louvain for “Cut-up and Redrawn: Charles Burns’s Swipe Files”; and Alex Smith of the University of Cincinnati won the Chute Award for Best Graduate Student Conference Presentation for “Breaking Panels: Gay Cartoonists’ Radical Revolt.” The CSS’s executive board opted not to award a fourth prize for public scholarship, but may do so next year.
Those weren’t the only awards given out this week, as Jake Thrasher of the University of Mississippi won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award for Editorial Cartooning.
— CRNI (@CRNetInt) May 22, 2018
Of course, this is comics we’re talking about, so not all of the news was good.
Following the dark news a couple of weeks ago that Comicsgate was targeting specific retailers, Magic Mirror Comics in Mill Creek, Washington, released a statement that they were “currently the target of a coordinated harassment campaign by anti-diversity ‘activists'” who were using “intimidation and misinformation . . . to push women and minorities out of the comics industry.”
But, the comics community isn’t taking the attacks by Comicsgate lying down. After vandalism believed to be connected to Comicsgate, the Edmonton comics community came together to help Variant Edition fix the damage.
Surprise: we have a wonderful, positive story to tell you.
Yesterday, our community surprised us with a cash mob, organized in secret. We were flooded with folks old and new, coming out to show support, drop off snacks and sign a beautiful, large card. #ComicsForEveryone pic.twitter.com/VZB96KncOi
— Variant Edition Comics + Graphic Novels (YEG) (@VariantEDmonton) May 20, 2018
It also wouldn’t be comics without at least one person making horrifying comments on twitter. This week, it was Nathan Gooden, Art Director at Vault Comics, who deleted his twitter account after suggesting men should “try harder” when women tell them they’re not interested. Shocking pretty much no one, Vault Comics did not release a statement about the incident.
hey comics people, here's a person and possibly even publisher to consider avoiding… if this art director / co-founder has issues like this around personal consent, imagine how great he's gonna be to work with on a professional level pic.twitter.com/ccXSpsOw19
— nick marino (@nickmarino) May 21, 2018
And, finally, FanX (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con) doxxed writer Shannon Hale after she criticized the convention for its failure to adopt a policy to adequately respond to sexual harassment allegations and its suggestion that sexual harassment had “became trendy with #metoo.”
This is what @fanxsaltlake does to a woman who publicly speaks up about harassment at their con: publishes her email without redacting her private email address (I did that on this screenshot) but deletes the parts of the email that makes them look bad pic.twitter.com/8m2dgwtm9P
— Shannon Hale (@haleshannon) May 21, 2018
While FanX released an apology of sorts to Hale, she told the Deseret News that she believed it to be part of a pattern of behavior after the convention previously released to the press the name of a woman who had complained of sexual harassment at FanX. Other creators who had planned to attend FanX agreed that the apology was not enough without real action to prevent future harassment, and are no longer planning to attend.
For months, authors have been asking for a better sexual harassment policy from @fanxsaltlake. What happened publicly today on twitter is an indication of how women have been treated privately by those running this con. https://t.co/lJeYb30dC9
— Ally Condie (@allycondie) May 21, 2018