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Comic Creator Gisele Lagace Denied Entry into the US for C2E2

It was only a matter of time before this happened, but comic artist Gisele Lagace was denied entry into the United States to attend this weekend’s C2E2 which is taking place in Chicago. Lagace was to table there and have a signing for IDW on Saturday and Sunday.

As Lagace wrote on Facebook:

Welp, no C2E2 for me. Was refused entry at the border. They kept pressing about the comics I had and the sketches, and well, I had to be honest and said that I did get paid for commissions but before hand, but since they weren’t complete, it was considered work in the us. Comics wise, I had maybe $700 in value if I had sold everything. Honestly, it’s not a lot.

Was asked if I was the only one doing this as I looked surprised to be refused entry. I said no, many artists from around the world attend these to promote themselves. I don’t think they cared.

My car was searched and is a mess. And to top it off, I was body searched and finger printed too (they do that when you get refused entry apparently.) It was an awful experience.

Things then went worse when they searched me throughout and found 2 white pills in my wallet. There was no identification on them and I wasn’t sure what they were. Once I calmed down after being touched all over, I remembered they were generic acetaminophen from the dollar store that I carry around in case Marc gets a headache as it sometimes happen. I forgot they were even in there.

Anyway, I wasn’t turned around for the 2 acetaminophen, as they found those after I was refused entry for the comics in my car and the unfinished sketches but they kept us longer there until they were convinced they weren’t narcotics. I never took drugs in my life!

And to think we drove close to 2 days to get there. For nothing. (No, I didn’t get anything from that body search. Maybe Zii would think it’s a good deal.) Anyway… Driving back home.

Now that I’ve been refused entry in the US for this, it’s on file. Don’t expect to see me at a US con until I can figure out a way to get in and being absolutely certain this won’t happen.

Legace has done work for Marvel, Archie, IDW, and Dynamite, as well as numerous webcomics. The logic for denial of entry sounds similar as to what Italian band Soviet Soviet experienced when attempting to travel to SXSW, the question over what counts as “paid work.”

Expect fewer guests who live outside the US from attending shows until this is cleared up and it should be said, those who are attending from outside the US to be careful about accepting paid commissions while attending conventions.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America…

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  • This is crazy.

  • Something similar happened to a Middle East-born, European historian of the Nazi Holocaust who was coming to the US a couple of months ago to give the keynote speech at an academic conference. He was refused entry because he was being paid for his speech. Does somebody in the current administration think that these people are taking work away from Americans by accepting such honoraria and commissions? Clearly they don’t understand how the arts and humanities work at all.