Previously on Comics: Activist Outcomes

Previously on Comics banner by Corissa Haury

Welcome to a new week and another turn on the comics news carousel.

Before we discuss the positive, we must pay our respects.

Comics lost another legend this week with the passing of Carlos Ezquerra, fresh on the heels of the death of Norm Breyfogle. The co-creator of, among others, Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, Ezquerra got his start in comics working in his home country of Spain before moving on to the British market. Ezquerra spent decades working at 2000 A.D. before his diagnosis with lung cancer in 2010. Following remission, he began working again just this year but passed away unexpectedly October 1st.

Dredd saying, "Who the hell's gonna mess with us?"

After podcaster and former Dark Horse editor Jay Edidin went public earlier this year about Dark Horse explicitly excluding coverage for transgender employees from its health insurance policy, the comics publisher issued statements indicating it was exploring reversing that decision. This week, Edidin tweeted he had received confirmation Dark Horse’s new policy went into effect on October 1st as promised back in June. The publisher’s insurance now covers transition-related and gender-affirming medical expenses.

In light of the Congressional testimony of Dr Christine Blasey Ford last week, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark created a t-shirt for sale. Its proceeds are designated for RAINN, and the design features an image of their Lazarus protagonist Forever Carlyle and the words “Believe her.” However, not all response to the move were positive. Some folks expressed discomfort at the use of a fictional female character created by men, in an industry where said characters are often assaulted by men in the pages of the comics men create, as a representative for real women who have suffered at (mostly) men’s hands.

The hearings, which have left many of us feeling like every nerve is a live wire, pushed Sweet/Vicious creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson to revive the series, this time in comic form.

“I was basically crying all day. I didn’t know what to do, so I started writing the comic. I was watching her testifying and him testifying, and in my brain, I was just listening to Ophelia and Jules talking about it.”

Black Mask Studios will publish the comic, which looks to take up where the canceled television show left off, with masked vigilantes Jules and Ophelia taking on not individuals but institutions. So far, the comic has artist Skylar Partridge on board for the Issue 1 cover, while artists Kiki Jenkins, Emily Pearson, and Maria Llovet have also contributed some artwork.

The continued separation of asylum seekers and their children at the United States border returned to the comics spotlight with the publication of Sasha Matthews’ “The Case of Ms. L v ICE.” Matthews’ short comic follows the landmark court case that resulted in Judge Dana Sabrow ordering the federal government to reunite all separated and detained children seeking asylum with their parents by late July. Although the majority of the detained children have been returned to their families, some 500 still remain in government custody.

FIYAH Literary Magazine is bouncing back from having its archive deleted from Goodreads in magnificent fashion. In 2019, the speculative fiction magazine will begin featuring sci-fi and fantasy comics by Black comics creators. They put out a call for submissions on October 1st, and accepted projects will be published in their magazine and on their website.

In brief news:

  • Michelle Wong will be drawing the new Legend of Korra comics, “Ruin of the Empire.”
  • Famed kids’ horror writer R.L. Stine is writing a graphic novel series titled Just Beyond!
  • Olivia Stephens, creator of the excellent web comic series Alone, was named a 2019 Literary Fellow for the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
  • Hannah Williams penned a touching reminder not to relegate Moomins creator Tove Jansson’s homosexuality to a footnote.
  • DC Comics is launching Brian M Bendis’s Wonder Comics imprint, bringing Young Justice, Wonder Twins, and other comics to life. Not a single woman is involved in the imprint that takes its name from one of the first female superheroes.
Laura Stump

Laura Stump

I'm a constantly sleep-deprived writer who mostly prefers the company of cats to people, although cats (curse their lack of opposable thumbs!) can’t fetch beer from the fridge the way people can.