Tag Archives: lgbt

The Queer Press Grant Moves to WonderCon

queer press grantPrism Comics are shaking things up a bit, and moving their Queer Press Grant award ceremony to WonderCon. The 2015 Annual Award Ceremony will take place at WonderCon Anaheim on the weekend of April 3-5, 2015.

In the past, the award has been presented in the fall, but this move will bring “more opportunities for the Queer Press Grant to help LGBTQ comics creators.”

The Queer Press Grant is a financial grant of $2000.00 that assists one LGBTQ comic book self publisher get their comic, web-comic, or graphic novel printed, and into the hands of readers. Since its inception in 2005, the Queer Press Grant  has been awarded to fourteen outstanding comics creators who have gone on to contribute greatly to the queer comics community.

Submissions for the 2015 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant will begin January 1, 2015 and end on March 10, 2015.   The recipient will be announced at one of Prism Comics’ panels at WonderCon. Which panel will be announced in the spring.

The grant is entirely funded by donations. You can do so here.

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Prism Comics announces winner of the 2014 Queer Press Grant

Calvin GimpelevichFor the last ten years the Alternative Press Expo (A.P.E.) has been the home where Prism Comics announced the recipient of the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant. Traditionally taking place after the annual Queer Cartoonists Panel, moderated by Justin Hall, this year’s Queer Press Grant winner was revealed as Calvin Gimpelevich, along with the artist Emiliano Quale, for their comic book series Wolfmen.

Wolfmen is a supernatural comic series exploring the life and community of Aiden, a transgender werewolf, as he medically transitions from female to male.

Prism Comics’ Queer Press Grant is awarded to assist comics creators in publishing comics with LGBT characters or themes. Entries are judged first and foremost by artistic merit, followed by concerns such as financial Wolfmenneed, proposal presentation, and the project’s contribution to the LGBT community. They are reviewed by the Prism Board, past recipients of the Grant, and Prism’s Advisory Board.

The Queer Press Grant is an all volunteer organization funded entirely by donations from comic book professionals and readers. Since its inception, the Queer Press Grant has been awarded to -

2005: Steve MacIsaac – Shiftlifter                          2010: Tana Ford – Duck
2006: Megan Gedris – YU+ME                                2010: Jon Macy – Fearful Hunter
2007: Justin Hall – True Travel Tales                     2011: Robert Kirby – Three
2007: Tommy Roddy – Pride High                          2012: Christine Smith – The Princess
2008: Pam Harrison – House of the Muses            2012: Blue Delliquanti – O Human Star
2009: Ed Luce – Wuvable Oaf                                 2013: Hazel Newlevant – If This Be Sin
2009: Eric Orner – Storybox

You can support and donate to the Queer Press Grant.

Submissions for the Queer Press Grant are Now Open

Queer_Press_Grant_QPG_Logo_mail_chimpPrism Comics, the leading non-profit organization supporting LGBT comics, graphic novels, comics creators and readers, has announced the opening of submissions for the 2014 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant, Prism’s annual grant to LGBT comics self-publishers.   The deadline for proposals is Monday, September 1, 2014. The Award is to be announced at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco October 4-5, 2014.

prism comicsPrism Comics offers an annual financial grant to help aspiring LGBT comics creators publish and promote their comics. The Queer Press Grant is funded by donations from readers, established creators with the desire to help those just starting out, and fans who want to see more LGBT stories get published.

Prism Comics will be exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con July 24-27, 2014 (Booth #144). In addition to promoting and raising funds for the Queer Press Grant, Prism Comics will be presenting panels and offering portfolio review by noted comics professionals for comics creators and those interested in submitting for the Queer Press Grant.   Please check the Prism website in early July for a list of comics creators who are scheduled to do portfolio review and appear at the Prism Comics booth.

Young Avengers, Glaad Outstanding Comic Book

This past Saturday saw the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. While Marvel‘s Young Avengers saw it’s latest run come to an end recently the comic was honored as an “Outstanding Comic Book” by the organization. The awards honor outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in various media. The comic’s final issue revealed the team had an almost all gay or bisexual roster.

Other nominees this year included Batwoman, The Fearless Defenders; Husbands and Life With Archie.

Hopefully we’ll see a return of Young Avengers soon to the Marvel U and it can keep up the diverse cast.

You can check out the full list of winners here.


Oni Press Stands Up for Marriage Equality

In an open letter posted to their Twitter account, comic publisher Oni Press “fired” their office and shipping supply company ULine over the issue of marriage equality. ULine’s CEO has been helping fund Family-PAC, an organization that describes itself as “pro-family, anti-tax political action committee in Illinois.”

The organization has been campaigning against SB10, which legalizes same sex marriage in Illinois. The legislation has passed and the hatemongers PAC have vowed to continue to fight for “Christian values” and against marriage equality as it says on their site, much like the fight against abortion has continued even after the Supreme Court’s decision (their comparison).


Congrats to Oni for doing the right thing and speaking with their dollars. Hopefully comic fans will reword them by speaking with theirs and purchasing a few more of their comics.

Gay Manga Finds a New Home at Fantagraphics Books

Fantagraphics Books is thrilled to welcome the team behind The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame to the family. Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It is due out October 2014. This is the most recent entry in Fantagraphics’ queer comics lineup, which also features the anthology No Straight Lines, the graphic novels 7 Miles a Second and Bread & Wine, and manga by Moto Hagio and Shimura Takako.

The Massive anthology showcases Japan’s most talented and influential gay manga artists, including Gengoroh Tagame, Jiraiya, Seizoh Ebisubashi, Kazuhide Ichikawa, Gai Mizuki, Takeshi Matsu, Fumi Miyabi, and Kumada Poohsuke. In Massive, many of these artists’ works are featured in English for the first time; this collection offers an intimate, in-depth look at a criminally overlooked component of Japanese queer culture. In addition to comics and illustrations, Massive features photographs of the artists and their workspaces; cultural and historical context; and interviews with the creators about what it’s like to be a gay erotic artist in Japan.

Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins, and designed by Chip Kidd, this unprecedented survey of manga “made by gay men for gay men” is an essential addition to the queer comics canon; it will introduce the genre often referred to as “bara” (a misnomer for gay manga that has taken on new meanings online) to a new, international audience.

Massive was originally scheduled as a PictureBox Spring 2014 release until its publisher, Dan Nadel, announced that he is ceasing operations.


Prism Comics Announces Queer Press Grant Recipient

At the Alternative Press Expo, Prism Comics announced the recipient of the 2013 Queer Press Grant on October 13th during the Queer Cartoonists Panel moderated by Justin Hall.  This year’s recipient is Hazel Newlevant for her works Dance the Blues and If This Be Sin.  Prism Comics, which supports LGBT comics, creators and readers, established the Queer Press Grant in 2005 to encourage the publication of LGBT-themed comics.  It is now the only grant today given to independent comic book creators.

Jon Macy, Prism’s QPG Chairperson said in a statement:

There were so many really talented creators applying for the grant that it was very hard to not love them all. Hazel’s work really hit the magic balance between art, writing, and having something to say.

queer press grantHazel Newlevant’s entry, Dance the Blues, and If This Be Sin, are a collection of powerful short stories that take us into “the rich heritage of queer women expressing themselves through blues music”. In Dance the Blues, contestants at a dance competition ignore gender roles and switch partners with ease. If This Be Sin, includes the history of a female jazz pianist who finds success performing in men’s clothes, but faces crushing reprisals in public life.

Prism Comics’ Queer Press Grant is awarded to assist comics creators in publishing comics with LGBT characters or themes.  Entries are judged first and foremost by artistic merit, followed by concerns such as financial need, proposal presentation, and the project’s contribution to the LGBT community. They are reviewed by the Prism Board, past recipients of the Grant, and Prism’s Advisory Board.

GLAAD Selects Kevin Keller as Spirit Day Ambassador

Archie ComicsKevin Keller has been chosen to serve as a Spirit Day Ambassador for GLAAD‘s annual anti-bullying campaign. On October 17th, Archie Comics, along with many other participating corporations, national landmarks, celebrities and schools will “go purple” in a show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Kevin Keller was introduced in 2010 as the first gay character in Archie history, the same year that GLAAD initiated Spirit Day to spread awareness that LGBT youth don’t have to stand up to bullying alone. This year, the Kevin Keller ongoing series was awarded the GLAAD Media Awards for Most Outstanding Comic Book and Archie Comics is honored that Kevin will become the first ever fictional character to be selected as a Spirit Day Ambassador.

Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Shaquille O’Neal, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and George Takei, who appeared as a special guest star in the Kevin Keller comic book. For more information, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday


Dan DiDio Addresses “The Batwoman Issue” on Facebook & I Agree with Him

Today, the team behind Batwoman quit the book in a public blog post that caused the internet to meltdown. Though most blogs, and many commentators, focused on the creator’s wanting to “gay marry” two characters and DC Comic‘s nixing of the plan, it was greater editorial issues that caused the departure, not this one thing. JH Williams III and WH Blackman in a joint blog post clearly stated:

Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.

That isn’t one issue, that’s many things leading up to this and causing a public, ugly meltdown.

Much of the internet’s backlash was directed at DC Comics’ Co-publisher Dan DiDio. Many seem to have focused on him, blaming him for recent issues with high-profile creator departures. Those creators often point to editors as to the cause of the creative issues at the company that lead to those departures.

While the comic publisher has been having issues dealing with the public when it comes to these public changes, DiDio took to Facebook directly addressing the issue in a way that not only defended the company well, but explains the company’s position.

Many took this announcement as a sign that DC does not support gay marriage or gay characters. But DiDio defended the company, as an example in this exchange from Facebook.


You could make an argument that Marvel has had more gay characters, and shown more progressive relationships, that publisher doesn’t have a gay character headlining a comic series or one for so long. While Kate Kane/Batwoman might be the highest profile gay character in the DC universe, the company has had a long history of inclusion of gay characters including Renee Montoya, a fan favorite character, who was also the Question in pre-52 continuity. Recently the company introduced a transgender character in the pages of Batgirl and that’s after their high-profile push of Alan Scott as the first gay Green Lantern. The company also shelved, after an online outcry, a Superman story that was to be written by Orson Scott Card who has voiced anti-gay sentiment in the past.

It’s not gays or gay marriage that seems to be the issue at DC Comics, but marriage in general. DiDio in another post on Facebook:

2013-09-05_2135There is the possibility that the planned marriage storyline for Batwoman just didn’t jive with DC’s long-term plans. The company in its New-52 reboot broke up Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane, not only ending their marriage, but ending their relationship. A reason given was the ability to explore other storylines and relationships with the characters by doing so. Superman/Clark is now dating Wonder Woman.

In the new-DCU it’s been five years or so, these are new heroes still settling into their roles. The engagement between Batwoman/Kate Kane and her love Maggie Sawyer has only been for a few issues. To have them marry so quickly just doesn’t make sense and also destroys the possibility of exploring their relationship as a couple while dating. As a whole, the engagement feels rushed to me. It’s not so rushed when you see the series as a continuation of the 2006 beginning, which Williams was a part of. But, all that came before the new-52 is no longer relevant (I think, it’s all so confusing really).

Here, I agree with DiDio. In this particular case it looks like the creative team was rushing things when it comes to the characters and moving things along. As an editor I would have stepped in too, in an attempt to stop it. When it comes to plot and story, I agree with DC.

The bigger issue is how this was handled by the DC Comics team internally as well as other previous changes. Were decisions and changes last-minute? Were decisions made only then to be changed? That, none of us know, we weren’t there, we didn’t have those conversations. Before people blow this situation up more, it seems the only thing DC is guilty of is poor communication.


SDCC 2013: Prism Comics Celebrates

Prism ComicsAt San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Prism Comics is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a full roster of panels, creator signings, anniversary reception, and superhero dance party, featuring the best creators working in comics today including Dan Parent, Phil Jimenez, Jane Espenson, Gail Simone, Paige Braddock, Justin Hall, among many others.  Comic-Con takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from Wednesday, July 17th through Sunday, June 21st.

Prism Comics President Ted Abenheim talks about the organization:

Prism Comics was founded in 2003 by a small group of fans to create a safe, welcoming community for LGBT comics fans and comics creators. LBGT characters, comics and creators were not in the mainstream then, but a decade has brought meaningful changes in both comics and peoples’ attitudes towards the LGBT community.  It’s exciting to see the numbers of LGBT and LGBT-friendly artists and writers creating terrific works representing the wide diversity of the LGBT experience today.  And it’s exciting to see how Prism Comics has grown in 10 years.  We look forward to celebrating how far we’ve come at Comic-Con and to what creators have in store for us in the future.

To kick off our 10th Anniversary Celebration, we’re debuting our new logo created by and donated to Prism by one of the most prominent and talented designers in comics today, Chip Kidd.  Many thanks to Chip!


Prism’s triple-sized booth #2144 –close to both DC, Sideshow and Marvel’s booths–will feature a full schedule of signings by your favorite LGBT artists and writers including Jane Espenson, Brad Bell and Sean Hemeon who will be signing their new “Husbands” graphic novel, Gail Simone (Batgirl) signing her new Red Sonja comic, Phil Jimenez doing portfolio review and signing his variant of Life With Archie #30, Yves Navant, Peter Saenz, Tara Madison Avery, Robert Bulanadi, Beth Dean, Ellen Forney, David Reddish and more.

Prism’s Booth Partners will also appear throughout the convention including Alex Woolfson (Artifice, The Young Protectors), Jeff Krell (Jayson), Skuttlebutt Inc. (Shounen Fight), Bent-Con with Sean-Z (Myth), Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf) and Northwest Press with Charles “Zan” Christensen (editor of Anything That Loves and contributor to The Lavender Menace), Jon Macy (Teleny And Camille, Fearful Hunter), Dylan “NDR” Edwards (Transposes, Politically Inqueerect), Justin Hall (Glamazonia: The Uncanny Super-Tranny, Editor of No Straight Lines) and Jeff Thomas (ponandzi.com).

Check prismcomics.org for the latest schedule of appearances.


Prism is the only organization in the comics industry which offers an annual financial grant to aspiring creators to help them publish their work – THE PRISM COMICS QUEER PRESS GRANT.   Prism has announced the beginning of the submission cycle for this year’s Queer Press Grant.  For those applying to the Grant–and for creators interested in having professionals review their work–Prism is offering PORTFOLIO REVIEW from comic book professionals including Phil Jimenez (X-Men, Wonder Woman, Fairest) on Saturday, July 20, 2-4 pm; Bob Schreck (Batman, Legendary Comics) also on July 20, 3pm; Justin Hall (Glamazonia, No Straight Lines) and others to be announced.  Check the prismcomics.org for the latest schedule.  People interested in applying for The Queer Press Grant are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the submissions guidelines before they attend Comic-Con at prismcomics.org/grant.php.


Prism is proud to present five panels plus the “Gays in Comics” Fan Mixer and Silent Auction.  The descriptions are shown below:

Bizarre? Queer? Perfect: Taming the Wild Webcomics Frontier, Thursday, July 18, 2013, 5:00pm-6:00pm, Room 28DE.  The world is rapidly changing to take advantage of the “always-on” Internet from desk to pocket and so are comics. Webcomics offer instantaneous connections between artists and audiences –usually at low or no costs and without editorial interference. The number of webcomics have grown dramatically over the years. Are webcomics serving the same purpose underground “comix” did? How can ambitious creators leverage LGBTQ and other niches without getting pigeonholed in it? Join Prism Comics and moderator Nina Kester (Tapastic) for a trip to the wild frontier of webcomics with panelists Alex Woolfson (Artifice), Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads), Beth Dean (Loose in San Francisco), Dylan Edwards (Politically Inqueerect), and Shaenon K. Garrity (Narbonic/Skin Horse).

Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight, Thursday, July 18, 2013, 6:00pm-7:00pm, Room 28DE.  In the last 20 years, lesbian and gay people have made great strides toward better representation in pop culture. The road for people who are bisexual, who have fluid sexuality and gender, or who otherwise fall outside of “gay” and “straight” has been much rockier. (Ironically, they are often met with the strongest mistrust and resistance from gay people!) The new comics anthology Anything That Loves assembles 30 creators to delve into the complex world of non-binary sexuality and hopes to expose some myths, offer some new insights, and bring together a often-splintered LGBT community in a new way. Join moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen and contributors to this anthology for a discussion of the origins of the project, why it’s important, and the challenges of being a bisexual storyteller. How can bisexual creators resist pressure from both straight and gay communities to put them in categories that don’t truly fit? And how can creators effectively reach out to queer potential readers in a way that doesn’t alienate straight ones? Find out the answers to these questions and many more!  With Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me), Lena H. Chandhok (Pony Tale), Josh Trujillo (The Provider), Kevin Boze (The Virgin Project), Randall Kirby (BOP! Comics) and Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads).

A Look at Kevin Keller, Friday, July 19, 2013, 2:00pm-3:00pm, Room 28DE.  Archie Comics and writer/artist Dan Parent introduced Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the Archie universe, in Veronica #202 in fall of 2010.  Kevin Keller’s first appearance proved so popular that the issue sold out, prompting Archie Comics to issue a reprint for the first time in its history.  Kevin’s stories as a teenager and as an adult in Life With Archie have made history in other ways by bringing LGBTQ issues and diversity to whole new audiences and winning the prestigious GLAAD Media Award in 2013.  Join Kevin Keller writer/artist, Dan Parent, Mike Pellerito (President, Archie Comics), Nina Kester, Jeff Krell (Jayson Comics) and moderator, Ted Abenheim (President, Prism Comics), as they discuss the creation of Kevin Keller and his impact on comics and fans.

Celebrating Ten Years of Prism Comics, Saturday, July 20, 2013, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Room 28DE.  In 2003, a new champion appeared on the comics scene, determined to make the industry a better place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics creators and readers.  The nonprofit Prism Comics was founded by a small group of comics fans to provide a network for LGBTQ comics professionals and fans through their website, events and convention appearances.  Prism Comics has grown and now supports the next generation of creators through The Prism Comics Queer Press Grant.  And diversity in the comics industry has grown as well.  Where once LGBTQ comics and characters were marginalized, now they are frequently stepping into the spotlight.  Where once there were few resources for LGBTQ fandom and creators, now there is a whole new crop of organizations devoted to them.  Join moderator Justin Hall (No Straight Lines, Glamazonia, Prism Advisory Board Member) and panelists Ted Abenheim (President, Prism Comics), Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Prism Board Member), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World, Prism Advisory Board Member), Charles “Zan” Christensen (co-founder, Prism Comics, Northwest Press), Roger Klorese (Prism Board Member), Jon Macy (Teleny and Camille, Prism Queer Press Grant Chairperson), and Andy Mangels (co-founder, Prism Comics) for a look back at where Prism Comics started, a celebration of how far we’ve come and a peek into the future of where the queer comics scene might be headed.

Gays in Comics XXVI – We’re Here, We’re Queer… Now What?  Saturday, July 20, 2013, 5:30pm-7:00pm, Room 6A

Whether it’s the high-flying world of capes, spandex, and gravity-defying breasts or wondrously down-to-earth slice-of-life, the LGBTQ presence in comics has evolved beyond inclusion and visibility.  How do we push the boundaries of the medium where LGBTQ characters and stories have become more visible and mainstream?  Join moderators Roger Klorese (Prism Comics Board) and Paige Braddock (Jane’s World) as they explore the next level of authentic LGBTQ story-telling with panelists Jane Espenson (Husbands, Buffy, Once Upon A Time), Sina Grace (Li’l Depressed Boy; Not My Bag), Eisner nominee Justin Hall (No Straight Lines), Shannon Walters (Kaboom), Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley), and Shena Wolf (Unclick; Universal Press Syndicate).

Gays in Comics XXVI Mixer and Auction, Saturday, July 20, 2013, 7:00pm-8:00pm, Room 6A

After the “Gays in Comics” panel, stick around for the Fan Mixer and Silent Auction with prizes, one-of-a-kind comics items!


Prism Comics 10th Anniversary Reception – Friday, July 19, 2013, 8:00-10:00pm
Alexander Salazar Fine Arts featuring the Art of Joe Phillips

Alexander Salazar Fine Arts will be hosting a Wine Reception to celebrate Prism Comics 10th Anniversary.  The Gallery will be presenting a show featuring the fabulous art of Joe Phillips (joephillips.com).   Come casual and mingle with other LGBT and LGBT-friendly art and comics lovers.  Meet artist, Joe Phillips, and see his great new artwork.  The Gallery is within easy walking distance of the San Diego Convention Center at 7th and Broadway.

Alexander Salazar Fine Art is located at 640 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 531-8996, alexandersalazarfineart.com, whiteboxcontemporary.com.

Heroes vs. Villains Superhero Dance Party!  Friday, July 19, 2013, 10:00pm-2:00am
Rich’s Nightclub

Geek Knight Events and Rich’s Present the 9th Annual Heroes Vs. Villains Unofficial After Party.  Cosplay/Costume Contest.  DJ Marcel will be spinning, EDM, Superhero themes, Video game themes, and K-POP and J-POP in the Back Bar!  DJ Will Z will be spinning Urban Hits in the Front Bar!  Free Body Painting.  IggyAzalea (Hit Single”WORK”) CD Giveaway! COME EARLY!  Last year, Heroes Vs. Villains was so popular, they had to stop letting people in!  Rich’s Nightclub is located at 1051 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103, www.richssandiego.com.

Heroes Vs. Villains is only one of the many LGBT GEEK WEEK events presented by Geek Knight Events for the week of Comic-Con.   Check prismcomics.org for details on all the events.

San Diego Comic-Con International takes place at the San Diego Convention Center, located at 111 W. Harbor Drive.  For more information about Comic-Con, go to comic-con.org.  For the latest information on everything Prism at Comic-Con, keep tuned to prismcomics.org.

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