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My Friday Comic-Con Report: The Future of LGBT Comics is Good
by David Stanley, posted July 23rd, 2011
[Print-ready Version]

It was an awesome Friday at Comic-Con! I finally got to meet Desmond Miller2, who was the first recipient of Prism’s Queer Press Grant. Her talent was very clear to me, from the first time I saw Megan’s submission YU+ME. It was so fresh, so heartfelt and so skilled, that I knew she was here to last. And to date, she has not only produced six (!) volumes of YU+ME (with #6 premiering at the CON) plus I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space, but started her own company, Desmond Miller3, which not only publishes her work but others, as well, including: Simply Sarah by Sarah Skye, These Dreams Keep Me Going These Days: A Bellen Collection by Box Brown, Khaos Komix by Tab Kimpton, and the debuting Material Girl by Mike Schmidt. She works on conjunction with Rachel Dukes’ company, Poseur Ink.

Anyhow, Megan’s super-great. If you can, come down and meet her on Saturday and Sunday!

Last year, Desmond Miller told me about his Robinson Crusoe project and this year, he had it in his hands! It’s called Robinson Crusoe in the 6th Dimension, published by Desmond’s company, Slumberland Press. He’s got a lot of exciting projects going including Hansel and Gretel: Agents of the Coven, Dangerous Knots & Unknown Knives plus a new short film called Souls of Splendor, described as a “comedic short about being gay, geek and creatively lost in San Francisco.

Then JD arrived! Desmond Miller4 is Prism’s Secretary and is a brilliant writer—novels such as Punk Like Me , Punk and Zen , Red Light , American Goth, and X , and has contributed to the collections Outsiders (Triskellion) and Yuri Monogatari 6. If that weren’t enough, she’s a hot rock star with her band, Charm Alarm, and she’s come to Comic-Con to debut her new prose/graphics fusion called CORE which is so cool for me to see, since I got a preview of it only in digital form. She is going to moderate a Prism panel on Saturday, Bent Comix: The Next Wave of Gay Cartooning with Dave Davenport, Desmond Miller0, Steve MacIsaac, Desmond Miller1, Jody Wheeler and Desmond Miller5. Plus she will be at the Prism booth #2144 throughout the rest of the Con.

Iceman Blue also did a session at the booth, but was so inundated with fans and was sketching throughout that he barely even looked up.

I got Brian Andersen and Phil Jimenez together, but my iPhone pic won’t exactly win awards. Well, close your eyes and imagine it's in focus.

Last but not least, Kevin Keller showed up, too! Actually, this is the print created for and donated to Prism by Dan Parent. You’ll be able to buy it at the Prism Mixer & Silent Auction on Saturday, July 23rd, from 7-8pm, Room 6A.

I then hightailed it to our third Prism panel for the Con, titled “Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics & Graphic Novels”, moderated by Justin Hall (Glamazonia: The Uncanny Super-Tranny, Prism Comics Talent Chair), who knows this topic inside and out. He was joined by panelists Brian Andersen (Friend of Dorothy), Charles “Zan” Christensen (Northwest Press), Jacquelene Cohen (Fantagraphics), Shannon O’Leary (comics editor and journalist), Bob Schreck (Legendary Pictures), and Tony Valenzuela (Lambda Literary Foundation). It was a fantastically informative and interesting panel and I came away from it thinking, “The future of queer comics is good”, hence the title of my article. I’ll go into more depth later, but for now, the basic gist is that it’s always been hard to get queer content published, but things are changing slowly, and the waning of traditional outlets for queer content (i.e. gay bookstores), has given rise by necessity of self-publishers and do-it-yourselfers who are developing a whole new way to get their work out there (something the majors have been very slow to learn). In fact, Tony Valenzuela says that the submissions to Lambda last year were up 20 percent from the previous year. This rise is attributable to the DIY movement.

And I only have one sorta decent pic, with Bob glaring my way.

Then there’s this one—sorry!

I’ll leave you with my floor-roaming pics. My favorite is this one. Again, not really in focus, but so great. This little boy wearing a “DC Universe Online” cape and was on his dad’s shoulders. They came upon these flying shark things, sort of like remote controlled planes. As one of them approached him, he slapped it down! It was hilarious and adorable. Anyone up for gay-bies now? Anyone? Anyone?

Then I came upon the Avenger’s display, which is basically the façade of the Avengers HQ. There was Cap and some others onstage, but then I noticed Batman in the audience, checking out the competition. Hilarious! Or sly?

I’ll leave you with…Dr. Manhattan, I presume?


David Stanley is Prism's PR Chair and Editor, Queer Eye On Comics.

Prism Comics promotes the works of the LGBT community in comics. It does not implicitly endorse any other material or products associated with those works. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s).


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