Previously On Comics: Freedom and Accessibility

Before we begin:

I don’t even need to write about it. Just…look at it. It’s beautiful.

Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé

Anyway, happy Monday! In celebration of that, here’s some great news from the beginning of last week: Cartoonist Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé has finally been allowed to leave Equatorial Guinea and go home. Ramón was imprisoned for six months on false charges, then cleared, but his documents were not returned to him at that point, so he has spent an additional three months continuing to be an effective prisoner, unable to leave the country. That has finally been rectified.

It’s been  a week for high-profile comic announcements as well. First, Netflix premiered a trailer for their first comic book, Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel’s The Magic Order. What’s bizarre is that they’re doing this through Image Comics, after having already bought Millarworld from good old Mark last year. Okay, sure.

The second “big” announcement this week was Amazon’s reveal that they’d be taking another shot at producing their own comics, through the Comixology platform they acquired four years ago. The program is inventively called “Comixology Originals” and offers a grand total of…four titles. Of those four, three are mini series and the last is a “60-page graphic novel,” or an oversized single issue, in layman’s terms. Amazon’s last attempt at this venture, titled Jet City Comics, flopped so hard I can’t even find a record of its demise.

Never one to be overlooked, Lion Forge announced a new imprint of its own last week, entitled Caracal. Caracal is targeted specifically at middle grade children, and is meant to produce content safe enough for school classrooms. I hope all of Lion Forge’s imprints are cat-themed.

In less entertaining and more…well, horrifying news, Bingo Love writer Tee Franklin had to quit a panel at Book Expo this past weekend after they failed to provide accommodations for her. Tee, who is disabled, was forced to confront the moderator in front of an audience about her inability to get up to the raised platform from which the panel was being conducted. This is not the first time this has happened to Franklin, and her outrage is more than justified, doubly so because the panel was titled Diversity in Graphic Novels. To have a panel discussing diversity fail to provide access to one of its speakers is unacceptable.

Finally, in truly bizarre news, this weekend marked the tenth anniversary of “Loss,” the infamous Ctrl-Alt-Del strip in which one of the main characters is revealed to have suffered a miscarriage. CAD creator Tim Buckley celebrated the anniversary in…well, honestly, I don’t know what sort of fashion this is meant to be in. It’s unsettling, and deeply so. “Loss” was a significant strip for Buckley; it marked an attempt at turning his two-dudes-in-front-of-a-couch gamer comic into something with more gravitas. The strip went viral, and has been riffed on hundreds of times, with internet denizens constructing the basic framework of the strip in varying levels of abstract.

Some quick hits for you:

  • Creators! Do you want to attend next year’s Emerald City Comic Con? Applications for Artist Alley are live, better get on it!
  • Artist MariNaomi is raising funds to support the Cartoonists of Color and Queer Cartoonists databases. Please consider donating to her; these resources are invaluable for marginalized communities.
  • If you’re an artist and a fan of the 90s Gargoyles cartoon, you might be interested in applying to be in this upcoming zine!
  • Creators on Twitter are trying to bring the Marvel Swimsuit Issue back! Author Leah Williams has collected the results in a Twitter Moment for you.
Nola Pfau

Nola Pfau

Nola is a bad influence. She can be found on twitter at @nolapfau, where she's usually making bad (really, absolutely terrible) jokes and occasionally sharing adorable pictures of her dog.