Tag Archives: tee franklin

Bingo Love Gets a Jackpot Edition

This November you’ll get to experience Bingo Love again with the Bingo Love, Vol. 1: Jackpot Edition in trade paperback and hardcover from Image Comics. This new edition features two new stories previously only available to Kickstarter backers, Bingo Love: Secrets by Shawn Pryor and Paulina Ganucheau and Bingo Love: Honeymoon by Marguerite Bennett and Beverly Johnson. This edition will also feature three more short stories about Hazel and Mari… including a peek inside of Bingo Love, Vol. 2: Dear Diary.

Bingo Love, Vol. 1: Jackpot Edition will feature cover artwork by Paulina Ganucheau and will contain over 50 pages of bonus material, including stories from Marguerite Bennett and newcomer Beverly Johnson, Shawn Pryor and Paulina Ganucheau and Gail Simone, with illustrations from Sara Alfageeh and Ariela Kristantina. Plus a sneak peek of Bingo Love, Vol. 2: Dear Diary, with an afterword from Gabby Rivera.

Bingo Love is an original graphic novel created and written by Tee Franklin, with art by Jenn St-Onge, and colors by Joy San and follows the love story of two Queer, Black women and the love between them that spans decades.

When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.

Bingo Love explores the complications of coming out at an older age and how that decision affects their families’ lives.

Bingo Love, Vol. 1: Jackpot Edition (ISBN: 978-1534309838) will be available in comic book stores on Wednesday, November 7th and in bookstores on Tuesday, November 13th.

8 Awesome Things to Do At C2E2 2018

From April 6 to April 8, 2018, Chicago will be the center of the  pop culture universe thanks to the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), which is held annually at McCormick Place right on Lake Michigan. C2E2 boasts of wide range of guests, who have worked in different mediums, including legendary comics creators, like Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, and Brian Michael Bendis; actors from your favorite cult and sci-fi shows like Alan Tudyk and Charlie Cox, big time novelists like Chicago native Veronica Roth and R.L. Stine, and even podcasters like the creators of The Adventure Zone. There’s really something for everyone at this con.

Graphic Policy will be attending C2E2 on Saturday and Sunday, but here’s a completely subjective rundown of eight of the coolest guests, exclusives, panels , screenings, and of course, after parties that will be going on all three days at the temporary mecca of fandom.

Friday

8. Have an IPA Courtesy of Valiant Comics

Valiant Comics, who has the third largest superhero universe after DC and Marvel, has teamed up with Pipeworks Brewing Company to create a special limited edition beer that will be sold on site at C2E2 as well as Pipeworks’ bottle shop and a few other stores in Illinois and New York. Last year’s beer was connected to the relaunch of Valiant flagship title, X-O Manowar, but this year, it’s named after Livewire, a member of the superhero team Unity.  Going along with her name, Livewire has electricity-based powers, and so her beer: Livewire Raspberry IPA with Lime has a bit of tartness to go with its hoppy beer base.

I’m super into both sour beers and IPAs and look forward to relaxing with the Livewire Raspberry IPA after a long day of crowds and walking at C2E2. The drink pairs nicely with a copy of Shadowman #1, a relaunch of Valiant’s mystical themed superhero, which has an exclusive cover by its interior artist Stephen Segovia that is only available at the convention.

TravisandFriends

7. Enjoy An Evening with Podcast Royalty aka Travis and Friends

The McElroy Brothers (Travis, Justin, and Griffin) have established a veritable empire of podcasts since their advice show My Brother, My Brother, and Me premiered in 2010. Their shows include The Adventure Zone, a Dungeon and Dragons podcast featuring their father Clint, which is getting a graphic novel from First Second Books and Shmanners, an etiquette podcast co-hosted by Travis and his wife Teresa McElroy.

After the first day of C2E2, fans of these and other podcasts can kick back and relax at a special An Evening with Travis and Friends, which is basically the Avengers of current podcasts. The show features Travis McElroy, Teresa McElroy, and Symphony Sanders, who played librarian slaying and child soldier commanding Tamika Flynn on the uber popular Welcome to Nightvale. It should be fun time with plenty of surprises.

Saturday

BendisMillar

6. Remember the Ultimate Universe at the Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis Panel

So, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar have definitely done a lot more comics than Ultimate Marvel ones, but I find it slightly hilarious that the original co-writers of Ultimate Fantastic Four are going to be teaming up for a “one on one” panel at 11 AM on the Main Stage at C2E2.

Both veteran creators are at turning points in their careers with Bendis signing an exclusive deal with DC Comics to write Action Comics and Superman as well as his creator owned Jinxworld books, like Powers, and his own special imprint. In contrast, Millar has disavowed the Big Two and sold his comics company, Millarworld, to Netflix where they will make shows and films based on his work. (Fingers crossed for a Starlight movie.)

It will be interesting to see two former Marvel architects talk about their new gigs, and hopefully there will be some good banter about how most of Bendis’ writing is like a stage play and most of Millar’s is a screenplay… (Alias and Old Man Logan are classics though.)

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5. The #BlackComicsMonth Panel Comes to C2E2

When I went to New York Comic Con in 2015, the #BlackComicsMonth panel, hosted by Tee Franklin (Bingo Love) was one of the most inspirational parts of the con and was very hard to get into. What makes this panel so excellent is that Franklin chooses a range of comic book creators to speak from their own experience about important topics like diversity, living with a disability, mental health, and POC and LGBTQ representation.

For the first time ever, the #BlackComicsMonth: Inclusion in Comics Panel is headed to the Midwest and will be held at 3 PM in Room S405A. The panelists include Franklin, Mikki Kendall (Swords of Sorrow), Shawn Pryor (Cash and Carrie),  Matt Santori (Senior Editor of Comicosity), and in the past, there have been surprise guests like The Walking Dead actor and multimedia entrepreneur Chad Coleman. It should be an excellent discussion about real world issues and a nice break from the hyperbole and announcements of some of the other panels.

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4. Catch the World Premiere of Daphne & Velma

Let’s be real, Daphne and Velma were easily the most competent and best members of the Scooby Doo gang. They finally get their own live action film in Daphne & Velma, which is having its world premiere at C2E2 before it is released straight to DVD and BluRay on May 22.

The movie is set at a super high tech STEM magnet school called Ridge Valley High where Internet friends Daphne and Velma get to be friends in real life and solve their first zombie themed mystery. Sarah Jeffery (Descendants, upcoming Charmed reboot) plays Daphne, and Sarah Gilman (Kroll Show) plays Velma. The film is produced by Ashley and Jennifer Tisdale’s Blondie Girl company and looks super adorable.

Snikt

3. Party Hard at Geeks Out Snikt! Chicago

There are a lot of after parties to choose from at C2E2, but Snikt! Chicago is one of the best and not just because it’s Wolverine themed. Geeks Out is a super cool non-profit organization that founded FlameCon as the first LGBTQ comic book convention, and their goal is to foster LGBTQ awareness and representation at cons all across the country.

The party will be held at Mary’s Attic, the upstairs part of Hamburger Mary’s in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago starting at 9 PM. It will feature drag queens, gender clowns, circus arts, and of course, DJ Tony Breed to flood the dance floor. It’s a 21+ event, and cover is $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

Sunday

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2. Be Enlightened at the Women of Marvel Panel

Even though it has taken them until 2019’s Captain Marvel to get a solo female superhero film off the ground, Marvel Comics boasts a fantastic range of female superheroes from Storm to Angela, Kitty Pryde to Jessica Jones. (Okay, those are some of my personal favorites.) The Women of Marvel celebrates their female comics creators as well as the characters on the comics page.

This year’s Women of Marvel panelists, include producer Judy Stephens (Marvel Becoming), editor Christina Harrington (Astonishing X-Men), colorist Rachelle Rosenberg (Iceman), artist Jen Bartel (America), and writer/artist Katie Cook (Secret Wars: Secret Love.) It will be held at 1:30 PM in Room S404. My fingers are crossed for more details about Bartel’s upcoming Storm solo book that she is working on with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

1. Get All the Feels at the This Is Us  Q and A

I feel like everyone in my office and family watches the NBC hit series This Is Us except me. The show follows the lives of three siblings, who were born on the same day as their father, Jack Pearson (Played by Milo Ventimiglia). It is fairly ambitious for a network TV show and has storylines set in 1980s Pittsburgh as well as modern day. In 2017, Sterling K. Brown won an Emmy and Golden Globe for his performance as Randall Pearson, Jack’s adopted son.

Sadly, Brown won’t be at C2E2, but his co-stars Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley, who play Jack’s son Kevin are doing a panel at 1:30 PM on the Main Stage and can maybe tell everyone what was up with the whole Crockpot ordeal. These actors also have a history of appearing in superhero shows like Heroes and Smallville where Justin Hartley played Oliver Queen years before Arrow. Also, there better be at least one question about Ventimiglia’s rebellious bookworm character Jess from Gilmore Girls. #TeamJessForever

Bingo Love Heads Back to Print for a Third Time

Bingo Love—the original graphic novel created and written by Tee Franklin, with art by Jenn St-Onge, colors by Joy San, and cover art by Genevieve FT—is being rushed back to print yet again by Image Comics to keep up with the momentum of the breakout hit.

Since its release on Valentine’s Day, the LGBTQ romance has flown off shelves—garnering critical acclaim and viral attention across social media.

Bingo Love is a story about two Queer, Black women and the love between them that spans decades. It explores the complications of coming out at an older age and how that decision affects their families lives.

Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are two young, Black girls who meet at church bingo in 1963 and eventually fall in love…but in this time period, their love was not accepted. Hazel and Mari are broken up by their families’ “shame” and go on to marry and have families of their own. Almost 50 years later—in the fever pitch of church bingo—Mari and Hazel are reunited and rediscover the love they have for each other, even though they both are still married.

Bingo Love, 3rd printing (Diamond Code DEC170648, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0750-6) and will be available on Wednesday, April 25th.

Image Comics’ Image Expo 2018 Announcements

The Image Expo keynote address, given by Publisher Eric Stephenson, reflected upon soaring sales increases over the course of 2017 for Image Comics and revealed the following new creator-owned project announcements for 2018. Check out below for what you can expect to hit your comic store shelves in 2018 and beyond.

BLACKBIRD
by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel

Sam Humphries (NIghtwing, Green Lantern) and Jen Bartel team up to co-create BLACKBIRD a modern fantasy story best described as Harry Potter meets Riverdale. It follows a young woman named Nina who discovers a neon-lit world of magic masters in Los Angeles. Now they’ve kidnapped her sister, and Nina is the only one who can save her.

“BLACKBIRD is a labor of love, a coming of age story and beautiful people doing insane things with magic,” said Humphries.

The series launches from Image Comics in October 2018.

Rob Liefeld’S BLOODSTRIKE will feature story, art, and cover by Michel Fiffe

Michel Fiffe will write, draw, and color three exciting new issues of BLOODSTRIKE. The Fiffe issues will also feature two back-up stories by Chuck Forsman and Paul Maybury with pin-ups by Ed Piskor, Benjamin Marra, Andrew Maclean, and more!

In Michel Fiffe’s BLOODSTRIKE: BRUTALISTS, the creator of the indie hit COPRA shines a light on Image’s most extreme series and its groundbreaking carnage. Whether it’s the origin of our favorite undead strikeforce or solving the trail of mysteries that plague them, this mini-series picks up where the original title left off while introducing the concept to a new audience. Celebrate Bloodstrike’s take-no-prisoners legacy by looking forward as only the new wave of comic-auteurs can! Don’t “rub the blood”…drown in it.

CROWDED
by Christopher Sebela, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein & Triona Farrell

Sebela took to the stage and announced two new books today, one of which was CROWDED, which he’s co-created with Ted Brandt and Ro Stein—a cynical send-up of the app economy and online grudges.

“Josh and I have been working on this book for a few years now in secret,” said Sebela. “Just waiting for the chance to unleash it on readers and we’re kinda freaking out that this thing we’ve put so much time and sweat into is really real and really good.”

In CROWDED, a platform called Reapr allows anyone to crowdfund assassination attempts. The parody ignites when protagonist Charlie Ellison is forced to fend off a wave of hitmen with the help of a low-rate bodyguard.

The series launches in Summer 2018.

DEAD GUY FAN CLUB
by Annie Wu 

Annie Wu introduced fans to the forthcoming DEAD GUY FAN CLUB. In this new series, the founders of a rock star’s fan club reunite in adulthood to investigate the suspicious death of their hero and the involvement of an unhinged member of their old flock.

“I’m thrilled to be writing and illustrating a new series,” said Wu. “I can’t wait to share this weird little black comedy with everyone.”

The series launches from Image Comics in Fall 2018.

DEAD RABBIT
by Gerry Duggan & John McCrea

DEAD RABBIT is a new ongoing series from writer Gerry Duggan (Deadpool) and artist John McCrea (Hitman) team up with colorist Mike Spicer in a rackous series about MARTIN DOBBS, a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed former mercenary and gun-for-hire who’s forced out of retirement with predictably funny and violent results. With shades of UNFORGIVEN, THE EQUALIZER and ROBIN HOOD.

“Gerry Duggan! John McCrea! The peaches and cream of comics—though I’m not sure who’s the peach…,” said McCrea. “Anyway, this comic has Gerry’s and my heart and soul poured into it, pick it up, you will love yourself forever for doing so…”

The series launches from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

DEATH OR GLORY
by Rick Remender & Bengal

Fan favorite Rick Remender (SEVEN TO ETERNITY, DEADLY CLASS) teams up with brilliant French superstar Bengal to bring fans a high speed convoy crime thriller rocketing across the American West that examines our dwindling freedoms and the price paid by those who fight for an untethered life on the open road.

Meet Glory, raised free in a convoy, off the grid, amid the last men and women truckers fighting automation to continue living the American mythology of the open road.

Now, in order to pay for her beloved, dying Father’s surgery, Glory has three days to pull off a four dangerous cross country heists with mob killers, crooked cops and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying.

“Rick and I have been preparing something for years now, it was a privilege to get to work with him, and an even greater one to take the time to develop something together,” Bengal. “I’m very proud to finally present what we’ve been cooking! I hope readers will enjoy this story as much as we loved doing those pages.”

The series launches from Image Comics in May 2018.

ECHOLANDS
by J.H. Williams & Haden Blackman

J.H. Williams (Sandman: Overture, Batwoman) and Haden Blackman (Elektra, Batwoman) team up with colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Todd Klein for an all-new mythic fiction genre mash-up series in ECHOLANDS, a tale where the last war on Earth starts with Hope’s sticky fingers…

“ECHOLANDS has been in development for years, bubbling in the background as we worked on other projects,” said Blackman. “But it’s a world and a cast of characters that has always drawn us back, and we’re so grateful to be able to finally get the book out into the world.”

On a world that has forgotten its own history, the key to excavating the past is in the hands of a young thief who must escape a vengeful wizard and his unstoppable golem.

The series will be coming soon from Image Comics.

FARMHAND
by Rob Guillory

Rob Guillory (CHEW) returns to both write and draw an all-new series in, FARMHAND.

FARMHAND follows Ezekiel Jenkins, a family man and new agrarian who returns to his family fields—but these nightmarish crops give a new meaning to ear of corn and fingerling potatoes.

“This is a story that’s been very near and dear to me for quite some time, and I’m absolutely thrilled to finally announce it,” said Guillory. “I can’t wait to introduce readers to the wonderful and horrific world of FARMHAND.”

FARMHAND launches from Image Comics in July 2018.

JOOK JOINT
by Tee Franklin & Maria Nguyen 

Fresh off the buzz for BINGO LOVE’s release on Valentine’s Day, Franklin took to the stage to announce a new project with Image Comics—JOOK JOINT—with Maria Nguyen.

JOOK JOINT is a 5-issue time-period horror miniseries about a brothel/jazz club exposing the social evils of racism, rape, domestic violence, and inequality.

Because of its subject matter, JOOK JOINT is set to launch in October 2018, in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Franklin and Nguyen will work with Image Comics on coordinating special charity variants to benefit Joyful Heart, a non-profit founded by Mariska Hargitay which places focus on healing, education and advocacy.

“As a domestic violence survivor, this is a story I’ve been working on for years. It’s been extremely cathartic and therapeutic. It was important for me to have an artist who understood what JOOK JOINT meant to me, before inviting them to embark on this journey with me,” said Franklin. “I appreciate that Image Comics has allowed me to tackle this subject matter, in addition to working with us on charity variants for Mariska Hargitay’s Healing Heart foundation. I now have an opportunity to use my talents to help survivors like myself. People have helped me when I was going through a rough time in my life and now I want to give back.”

THE LAST SIEGE
by Landry Q. Walker & Justin Greenwood

Bestselling creators Landry Q. Walker (DANGER CLUB, Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade) and Justin Greenwood (THE FUSE, Stumptown) team up for an all-new, ongoing medieval war story, inspired by the storytelling structure of classic Spaghetti Westerns.

“For years I have wanted to tell a medieval war story, one that pulls away from the fantasy elements the genre is so often saddled with,” said Walker. “Swords, castles, and rage, all in a world where life is cheap. No other frills or distractions. Seeing this book come to print is a moment I have looked forward to for a long, long time.”

Greenwood added: “Fast, gritty and full of action—I’d been looking for a book to really cut loose on and this project came along at the perfect time. I haven’t drawn this much dirt or blood in a long time and loving every minute of it.”

The series launches from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

LEVIATHAN
by John Layman, Nick Pitarra, & Mike Garland 

Eisner-award winning, New York Times bestselling writer John Layman (CHEW) is back, teaming up with New York Times bestselling artist Nick Pitarra (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS) and colorist extraordinaire Mike Garland in the all new, ongoing series—that’s Godzilla by way of black magic—in LEVIATHAN.

In LEVIATHAN, a group millennials try to do a black magic ritual for laughs and end up summoning a demonic giant monster determined to kill them all.

LEVIATHAN is coming this summer to Image Comics.

TODD MCFARLANE ANNOUNCES FIVE NEW PROJECTS

odd McFarlane, President of Image Comics and creator of SPAWN, took to the stage today to announce  five new comic projects. The timing of these come on the heels of his upcoming directorial debut for the new SPAWN feature film. The movie will be in production by late spring so these comics will hit shelf just as the SPAWN movie is getting wide publicity across multiple platforms.

To help retailers take advantage of the upcoming SPAWN news buzz he announced the five projects below:

1) MEDIEVAL SPAWN and WITCHBLADE crossover miniseries
This May release is a re-teaming of two of Image’s most popular original characters.
The new mini-series is written by Brian Holguin with art by Brian Haberlin with 32 full pages of story and art will also feature a special augmented reality cover for only $2.99.

Fan favorites Spawn and Witchblade together for the first time in two decades!

2) SPAWN KILLS EVERYONE 2 (mini-series)
Due to the wonderful success of the one-shot, Todd McFarlane is creating along with Will Robson a four part mini-series that has our childish Spawn giving birth to hundreds of smaller Spawn babies who take his “kill list” and try to help out their new father.

3) MISERY (new ongoing monthly series)
In the wake of the #MeToo scandals arises a teenage hero who is tired of being pushed around and abused by the actions of others. This new character, MISERY, will help out those innocent people who have been victimized by the evil that is spread across the entire planet.

Stories will go global as Misery tries to discover exactly how to control her powers and how to make others feel her…misery.

4) SPAWN (on-going monthly title)
Comic Industry’s longest running independent title continues its march towards its 300th issue as well as tying into the upcoming movie that McFarlane is writing and directing with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions.

The comic Spawn is setting the stage to flush out some of his biggest enemies that he has locked on earth. He will come face to face with the Clown, Overt-Kill and an all-new Violator.

5) SAM and TWITCH True Detectives (8 part mini-series)
Detective “Twitch” Williams will be the main focus in the new full length film about to go into production and he will be introduce to a whole new audience with his appearance in the SPAWN film.

All eight issues have already been completed and will be released close to the film’s announcement and trailers. Much like THE WALKING DEAD, new viewers will be drawn to the stories and characters they will be seeing on the big screen and also a potential new TV series.

NETFLIX’S MILLARWORLD TITLES LAUNCH WITH THE MAGIC ORDER

Comics titan Mark Millar (KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, KICK-ASS, HIT-GIRL, JUPITER’S LEGACY) announced that Netflix’s forthcoming Millarworld titles will be published by Image Comics, beginning with his first new project, THE MAGIC ORDER. THE MAGIC ORDER will feature art by Olivier Coipel (Amazing Spider-Man, Thor) and is planned as a six-issue miniseries.

We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster, and The Magic Order is the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the Mob in THE MAGIC ORDER as five families of magicians—sworn to protect our world for generations—must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day, they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first.

The series will launch from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

OBLIVION SONG
by Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici

Image Comics partner Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA) took to the stage to show off the OBLIVION SONG #1 trailer for a sneak peek at what’s in store for fans on Wednesday, March 7th when the new series hits stores.

PROXIMA CENTAURI
by Farel Dalrymple 

Farel Dalrymple returns with an all-new, six-issue miniseries full of psychedelic-science-fantasy-action drama in PROXIMA CENTAURI.

PROXIMA CENTAURI follows the teenage adventurer Sherwood Presley Breadcoat, “The Scientist” Duke Herzog, Dr. EXT the Time Traveller, M. Parasol, Shakey the Space Wizard, and Dhog Dahog. Sherwood is looking for escape from the spectral dimensional space zone and a way back to earth and his brother.

The miniseries will launch in June 2018.

THE RED HOOK, Vol 1: NEW BROOKLYN
by Dean Haspiel 

Emmy and Ringo Award winner Dean Haspiel brings THE RED HOOK to print for the first time.

The Red Hook is a super-thief who is bequeathed the Omni-Fist of altruism and is transformed into a superhero against his will or he will die a year after a sentient Brooklyn’s heart is broken and physically secedes from America to form New Brooklyn.

The graphic novel will hit stores in June 2018.

SHANGHAI RED
by Christopher Sebela & Joshua Hixon

Christopher Sebela and Joshua Hixson team up for a turn of the century revenge thriller SHANGHAI READ, a story that stretches from the deck of a boat outside Shanghai to the bleak streets (and the secret tunnels beneath them) of Portland, Oregon. A violent journey of vengeance, identity and family.

“Josh and I have been working on this book for a few years now in secret, just waiting for the chance to unleash it on readers and we’re kinda freaking out that this thing we’ve put so much time and sweat into is really real and really good,” said Sebela.

The series launches from Image Comics in June 2018.

SON OF HITLER OGN
by Anthony Del Col & Jeff McComsey

Acclaimed writer ANTHONY DEL COL (Assassin’s Creed, Kill Shakespeare), New York Times bestselling cartoonist JEFF McCOMSEY (FUBAR), and newcomer GEOFF MOORE come together for an action-packed, original graphic novel, SON OF HITLER.

The never-before-told story of Adolf Hitler’s secret child and how this son was the key to ending World War II is now revealed in this audacious graphic novel based upon one of history’s most intriguing rumors.

“Like any top secret mission, SON OF HITLER involved meticulous planning, maps, secret meetings and the twisting of arms,” said Del Col. “So now that our mission has finally been revealed we can get around to the execution of it. And by execution, I mean the planned execution of Adolf Hitler.”

In 1943 Nazi-occupied France a rogue British S.O.E. agent recruits a young baker’s assistant for a dangerous mission by sharing with him a revelation no one would ever want to hear: he is the biological son of Adolf Hitler.

The original graphic novel will hit stores in May 2018.

UNNATURAL
by Mirka Andolfo 

Mirka Andolfo brings hit Italian comic title, Contro Natura, to Image Comics in an English translated fantasy erotica title, UNNATURAL.

Leslie is a simple pig girl, she loves sushi and she is trapped in a job that she hates. She lives with Trish, her best friend. In her world, which is full of anthropomorphic creatures, the government interferes in the personal lives of its citizens, up to the point of allowing only relationships between individuals of the same race. The transgressors are punished. They are accused of being… unnatural! Leslie dreams of something different for herself. But these dreams are becoming dangerous, especially because they feature a mysterious wolf. And, when she wakes up, she thinks that she is being watched…

The series will launch in July 2018.

THE WEATHERMAN
by Jody LeHeup & Nathan Fox

Writer Jody LeHeup (SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER), Eisner Award-nominated artist Nathan Fox (DMZ, HAUNT, Dark Reign: Zodiac), and Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart (Hellboy, RUMBLE) merge to form an unstoppable sci-fi tour de force with THE WEATHERMAN!

Local weatherman and fun-loving amnesiac Nathan Bright was just a normal guy living the good life on terraformed Mars. But the past Nathan didn’t know he had comes back to murder him when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth.

Confused, terrified, and ill-prepared for life as the galaxy’s most wanted man, Nathan’s fate lies in the hands of Amanda Cross, the disavowed government agent assigned to his case. Together the unlikely duo will have to rely on each other as they battle their way through the solar system in search of the truth buried in Nathan’s lost memory…and the key to stopping the real enemy from carrying out a second extinction-level attack.

“Series artist Nathan Fox’s work on THE WEATHERMAN will hit you like a bolt of lightning,” said LeHeup. “Vicious and vital, it’s high energy for even higher stakes. There simply aren’t comics more beautiful than this.”

Fox added: “Before I even finished Jody’s first script  I knew I had to tell this story. THE WEATHERMAN is one of the most inspired, relevant, and human stories I’ve ever had the privilege of contributing to and I absolutely cannot wait for people to read it.”

A full-throttle, widescreen, science fiction epic about the damage we do in the name of justice and what it truly means to be redeemed…

The series will launch in June 2018.

WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?
by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss

The critically-acclaimed, breakout creative team behind 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK, Tyler Boss & Matthew Rosenberg come to Image Comics for an new series, WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?

“I’m really excited to be making my Image Comics debut with a book that is very personal to me,” said Rosenberg. “And I’m thrilled to do it with Tyler, who I can barely tolerate as a person, but is a brilliant artist and collaborator. Together we’re working to make a book that we hope will impact people the same way so many of our favorite comics have impacted us over the years.”

WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE? tells the story of a gang of young punks getting lost in the wasteland of America. After their youngest member disappears their quest to find her may put them in a fight to survive against the most deadly terrain, the most dangerous gangs, and maybe even each other. Or maybe not. Either way they’re going to find out how the world ended.

Boss added: “The story and world Matthew and myself have built is dense and (hopefully) exciting. I’ve never felt more creatively charged and I’ve been putting that energy into every page. I hope that old man Rosenberg can keep up.”

It launches in November 2018.

Review: Bingo Love

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If you read my reviews regularly, you might notice that I have a certain preference for the type of comics I read. Usually, my choices are dark stories involving serious themes ranging from trauma to war. Because of these preferences, I mostly read horror, dark fantasy, or crime dramas. Despite this preference, I have explored other genres, such as slice-of-life with Slang Pictorial. There is one genre that I have rarely explored, romance. The only one I’ve read so far is Stejpan Sejic’s wonderful lesbian BDSM romcom Sunstone. I think the lack of recognition for romance’s legitimacy are bad misconceptions, mostly societal. Literary elites tend to look down on romance as frivolous and poorly written. But why? Any genre can be either good or bad based on the story’s quality. Romance is a chance to explore love and bonding in ways other genres can’t when it’s simply a subplot to the larger narrative. Also, what’s wrong with reading something that makes you happy? Why not escape into a fictional story about two people finding true love, adoring each other, and having a fantastic adventure of joy?

Which brings us to today’s review of Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jen St. Onge, Joy Sann, Cardinal Rae, and Gisele Lagace. I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first black queer romance, but I’m happy to say it turned out to be a beautiful, albeit short, reading experience.

Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are a queer couple that first met when they were teenagers during the 1960s. They fell in love but were separated by bigoted family members, then forced into unhappy marriages with men. Over 50 years later, they reunite at a bingo tournament, the same kind of tournament they first met in. They realize this is fate bringing them back together, but first they must come out to their families and deal with the fallout. Only true love can guide them to eternal happiness.

If you love the description of the story, buckle up! You’re going to love it even more after I’m done talking about it.

IMG_3390.jpg

The cover by Gisele Lagace is not as flashy as other comic covers I have seen, but it succeeds in a task way more important, which is advertising the contents of the story. We have three images of the couple, Mari and Hazel, together in different stages of their lives: teens, old age, and advanced old age. We see them together, embracing, looking at each other like they’re the whole world. Bingo balls fall all around, the title of the book in the upper left-hand corner. We know by looking at this cover that this is a romantic story spanning different stages of two women’s lives. We know somehow bingo is going to play into this. Most importantly, the positive feelings the cover inspires attracts the reader to the title. It’s perfect.

 

The first thing to grab my attention was the interior art. Jenn St. Onge’s character designs are diverse with unique hairstyles, body types, and facial structures. Readers might notice a good number of characters with similarities, but that’s largely because of the fact the majority are family members. Actually, it’s refreshing to have an artist know that family members are going to look similar to each other, particularly how children are a combination of their parents with features from both even if they resemble one parent more than the other. I love that people in Bingo Love have wrinkles, stretch marks, folds of fat and muscle, sagging breasts from age and breastfeeding, and other such tiny details. It adds a level of, if not realism, relatability to a style that’s otherwise cartoony.

Joy San’s coloring is fleshes out the art. She not only gives characters their unique skin tones, she renders the entire comic with an unnatural brightness. This is not a negative criticism but a compliment because this type of coloring heightens the emotions of the book to surreal, dream-like qualities. It’s like escaping into a fantasy realm of intense love. This is no more apparent than in splash pages. Many of them are used during the most intense moments of romance, such as here:

IMG_3391.jpg

The coloring and character expressions are both fantastic and relatable, capturing the intense joy one feels when in these moments. It truly feels like a fairy tale come true. This includes scenes of family spending time with each other, grandparents hugging their grandchildren, siblings socializing with each other and their in-laws. My favorite is this splash page of a dinner table:

If I weren’t a vegetarian, I would’ve immediately cooked up this exact meal after looking at the image.

All this said, I found that the most romantic moments were quieter scenes, gradual multi-panel sequences showing the build up to an embrace or kiss. The reason is that the quietness allows emotion to linger, to slowly, like a wave, grow with each splash. This is much more intense than the payoff. It operates on the polar opposite, yet same line, that marks great horror.

The mastermind behind the story is Tee Franklin who delivers a story that is both relatable and unique. She starts off by establishing the two main characters so well. Hazel Johnson is plus-sized and shy, but also very passionate about the people she cares about. Mari McCray is more extroverted, a Californian tomboy that loves new experiences and very upfront about her feelings. We see their relationship in three parts: Youth, Old Age, and Advanced Old Age. The most recognizable is Youth. It starts off with the recognizable trope of Meet Cute, in which a future couple meets for the first time. The setting is a bingo tournament both girls accompany their grandmothers to, hence how bingo plays such a significant role in the story. Next time the girls meet, it’s in school, and after what can be considered an unofficial first date, they become friends throughout middle and high school.

 

Watching Hazel and Mari’s teen romance uses many tropes and story beats from romance that I have taken for granted over the years. There is the aforementioned meet cute moment, the first date, walking each other home from school, the first kiss, etc. I hadn’t realized how enjoyable these tropes are, the good feelings that they give you. If we must justify them on a more intellectual level, they dramatize the core of positive human bonding: meeting people, talking to them publicly or privately, and understanding them through a combination of small talk and personal anecdote. The result is an organic relationship that develops through mutual adoration. The mark of true love is being able to listen to your partner with the same attention about a new favorite album as you would a serious revelation of personal issues.

IMG_3392.jpg

Old Age does the reunion trope seen sometimes when a couple has been distant for a number of years. It’s fresh here because it is Hazel and Mari as senior citizens and not 20-30 somethings like most of the time. Along with reconnecting, they also deal with the fact they are both married women with families. Intense emotions and buried tensions surface as Hazel and Mari navigate to their eventual happy ending. Then there is Advanced Old Age in which the couple must face the reality of mortality (No spoilers). It was a truly engaging reading experience. Advanced Old Age comes after the conflict of Old Age is resolved. Hazel, Mari, and their families have adjusted to their new lives. This is the “honeymoon”, the moment the couple gets to be together and go on fantastic journeys. They get to live out their dreams once the shackles are broken. Their love is powerful even at the end. Oh, and of course, bingo is how they reunite. Bingo doesn’t serve much else than a setting for the two distinct romantic catalysts (love at first sight and reunion), but it works. Also, it legitimizes an activity often looked down upon, much like romance stories.

What made reading Bingo Love also enriching is that it is told from fresh perspectives, specifically black and queer. I can’t remember the last time since I read August Wilson where black people were allowed to interact with each other as actual humans, in churches and at home, sitting around and talking. They are allowed the same complexity and emotional range often reserved for slice-of-life stories populated solely by white people. And Bingo Love is slice-of-life as much as it is romance. It’s not just the love of romantic couples but that of families with all the baggage it comes with.

Without giving away too much, Hazel’s family find out about her relationship with Mari. They take it hard, especially Hazel’s husband James. He yells at her, they fight, and years of tension gets worse. I give Tee Franklin credit in that no one comes off as truly a bad guy. Everyone has their reasons for the way they’re reacting to the situation. Although some of it is confusing, such as with James. He gets portrayed as a loving husband and provider, but Hazel is uninterested in sex except for the times they have a child. Later it is revealed that James only ever had sex with Hazel when he wanted children. That means James was the one in the wrong all this time, but at the beginning the refusal of sex seemed more like Hazel not wanting to it because she didn’t love him, not that she was made to only when he wanted children. We do learn that James had a secret that fueled his need to find validation in having children. I won’t give away what it is, but it’s not that hard to figure out. There is a separate story online that tells his side of the story. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m eager to.

As I analyzed this conflict, I slowly realized the real culprit: a two-headed hydra of homophobia and patriarchy. The earliest hint is an occurrence that seems to happen often, a homophobe that is a hypocrite. They will go on about how much homosexuality is a sin while having their own misconduct that’s worse. It’s just a small part though. The larger societal context is not only how homophobia keeps Hazel and Mari from being happy together, but how it forces them into restrictive woman roles. They must be married to men, they must have children, must sacrifice their happiness for that of their families. Hazel becomes a housewife, even though she dreams of being a fashion designer. Mari becomes a lawyer, but many of the burdens typically dump on women remain. There is a sublime tie between queerphobia and misogyny, one that I do not believe I am knowledgeable enough to go into detail. The fact Bingo Love is able to tackle this issue while still remaining a positive story is a great feat.

I almost forgot, but there are scenes of Hazel participating in serious mental self care, something not often represented except going to support groups or therapy. There is a therapy scene, but it is very meaningful in affirming Hazel’s love for Mari. After that, there is a scene where Hazel helps one of her grandchildren braid their hair, and it brings her so much joy she is able to relax again after a fit of anxiety. It is referred to as self care, demonstrating how it comes in many forms.

My only gripe with the story is that it is so short. I wasn’t expecting Anna Karenina. This is young adult fiction after all. Brevity is key. But I do wish there were multiple volumes of the story. There were so many angles I wanted to see expanded upon. And while I have praised the characterizations of Hazel, Mari, and James, every other character is extremely minor. I wished there as much to Hazel’s children explored as much as her. We do not even get to know the names of Mari’s children or meet her husband. I wish there was more to her side of the story. Take note I bring this criticism up because of how I wanted more after reading. I could have read this title for the next 20 years and never been bored once!

The only other criticisms I have are 1) sometimes the coloring wasn’t done all the way, leaving empty spaces of white. 2) The otherwise effective narration and inner monologue captions by Cardinal Rae were confusing to tell apart at times. Although the former is all capitalized, the caption boxes are both colored yellow. It’s easy to mistake the two.

Bingo Love is a treasure of diversity, love, and joy. It brings fresh, underrepresented faces to romance and comics as a whole. Despite how short it is, one will find themselves lost in the lives of the characters, in the nuances of their personalities and journeys. With the poppy, dreamy art, the fantasy is complete. I urge everyone to pick up a copy of Bingo Love. Support these creators so they can make more comics, whatever it is they do next. Support black voices, queer voices, and love. Most of all, enjoy yourselves. This story will make you happy. We can all use happiness and love in our lives. Whatever helps people get through the day, make someone realize their worth as a person. No matter your ethnicity, gender, sexuality, physical presence/ability, mental health, etc., we all deserve love. Bingo Love affirms that right.

Bingo Love is out on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018 via Image Comics.

Story: Tee Franklin Art: Jenn St. Onge Colors: Joy San
Letters: Cardinal Rae 
Cover: Gisele Lagace
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

(Note: My copy is a pre-order version from before the book’s deal with Image Comics).

Nick Pitarra & Tee Franklin Head to Image Expo 2018

Nick Pitarra and Tee Franklin will both be attending Image Expo in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, February 21st. Expo attendees will be the first to learn of Pitarra’s, Franklin’s, and the rest of the industry-shaking line-up of new projects from Image Comics.

Bestselling artist Nick Pitarra is known for his hyper-detailed artwork and collaboration with Jonathan Hickman on previous critically-acclaimed series The Manhattan Projects and the miniseries The Red Wing. Pitarra will be making a new series announcement at Image Expo.

Franklin is a Black, Queer, disabled woman, known in the comics industry as a vocal person of color and advocate for the LGBTQ and disabled community. She is credited for starting the popular hashtag: #BlackComicsMonth which aims to make comic book fans more aware of talented Black comic creators, and their diverse comic book characters and superheroes that already exist in the industry. Hot off the break-out success of Bingo Love, Franklin will be making an announcement about another forthcoming series in the works for 2018.

Previously announced creators confirmed to Image Expo 2018 include Robert Kirkman and Rick Remender.

Image Expo is an exclusive opportunity for fans to get early exposure to the Image Comics’ most jaw-dropping announcements, a first look at creative process, and learn insider details about this top talent. Image Expo 2018 is a unique all-day experience for fans to have unprecedented access to the writers and artists behind their favorite comic books at exclusive autograph sessions and comic-focused programming. The event is open to all fans, comics retailers, librarians, and media.

Tickets to the event are now available for sale. Image Comics is offering General Admission tickets available for $25, Premium Admission tickets available for $100.

A General Admission Ticket will grant one (1) person entry to Image Expo and includes a program guide book and access to EXPO programming.

A Premium Admission Ticket will grant one (1) entry to Image Expo and includes admission to Expo programming, program guide book, an Image Comics branded canvas tote bag, boxed lunch (valued at approximately $17), three (3) exclusive Image Expo variants, an Image Comics branded 25th anniversary commemorative pint glass, an Image Comics branded 25th anniversary commemorative enamel lapel pin, and access to priority seating.

The official Image Expo After Party which will be held from 7-10 p.m, location and further details to be announced. No ticket necessary, swing by and mingle with other members of the comics community, fans, industry professionals, and creators at this fun get-together.

Seating at Image Expo is limited. Admission for retailers and members of the media is complimentary (passes are limited).

Advance Review: Bingo Love

IMG_3389.jpg

If you read my reviews regularly, you might notice that I have a certain preference for the type of comics I read. Usually, my choices are dark stories involving serious themes ranging from trauma to war. Because of these preferences, I mostly read horror, dark fantasy, or crime dramas. Despite this preference, I have explored other genres, such as slice-of-life with Slang Pictorial. There is one genre that I have rarely explored, romance. The only one I’ve read so far is Stejpan Sejic’s wonderful lesbian BDSM romcom Sunstone. I think the lack of recognition for romance’s legitimacy are bad misconceptions, mostly societal. Literary elites tend to look down on romance as frivolous and poorly written. But why? Any genre can be either good or bad based on the story’s quality. Romance is a chance to explore love and bonding in ways other genres can’t when it’s simply a subplot to the larger narrative. Also, what’s wrong with reading something that makes you happy? Why not escape into a fictional story about two people finding true love, adoring each other, and having a fantastic adventure of joy?

Which brings us to today’s review of Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jen St. Onge, Joy Sann, Cardinal Rae, and Gisele Lagace. I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first black queer romance, but I’m happy to say it turned out to be a beautiful, albeit short, reading experience.

Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are a queer couple that first met when they were teenagers during the 1960s. They fell in love but were separated by bigoted family members, then forced into unhappy marriages with men. Over 50 years later, they reunite at a bingo tournament, the same kind of tournament they first met in. They realize this is fate bringing them back together, but first they must come out to their families and deal with the fallout. Only true love can guide them to eternal happiness.

If you love the description of the story, buckle up! You’re going to love it even more after I’m done talking about it.

IMG_3390.jpg

The cover by Gisele Lagace is not as flashy as other comic covers I have seen, but it succeeds in a task way more important, which is advertising the contents of the story. We have three images of the couple, Mari and Hazel, together in different stages of their lives: teens, old age, and advanced old age. We see them together, embracing, looking at each other like they’re the whole world. Bingo balls fall all around, the title of the book in the upper left-hand corner. We know by looking at this cover that this is a romantic story spanning different stages of two women’s lives. We know somehow bingo is going to play into this. Most importantly, the positive feelings the cover inspires attracts the reader to the title. It’s perfect.

The first thing to grab my attention was the interior art. Jenn St. Onge’s character designs are diverse with unique hairstyles, body types, and facial structures. Readers might notice a good number of characters with similarities, but that’s largely because of the fact the majority are family members. Actually, it’s refreshing to have an artist know that family members are going to look similar to each other, particularly how children are a combination of their parents with features from both even if they resemble one parent more than the other. I love that people in Bingo Love have wrinkles, stretch marks, folds of fat and muscle, sagging breasts from age and breastfeeding, and other such tiny details. It adds a level of, if not realism, relatability to a style that’s otherwise cartoony.

Joy San’s coloring is fleshes out the art. She not only gives characters their unique skin tones, she renders the entire comic with an unnatural brightness. This is not a negative criticism but a compliment because this type of coloring heightens the emotions of the book to surreal, dream-like qualities. It’s like escaping into a fantasy realm of intense love. This is no more apparent than in splash pages. Many of them are used during the most intense moments of romance, such as here:

IMG_3391.jpg

The coloring and character expressions are both fantastic and relatable, capturing the intense joy one feels when in these moments. It truly feels like a fairy tale come true. This includes scenes of family spending time with each other, grandparents hugging their grandchildren, siblings socializing with each other and their in-laws. My favorite is this splash page of a dinner table:

If I weren’t a vegetarian, I would’ve immediately cooked up this exact meal after looking at the image.

All this said, I found that the most romantic moments were quieter scenes, gradual multi-panel sequences showing the build up to an embrace or kiss. The reason is that the quietness allows emotion to linger, to slowly, like a wave, grow with each splash. This is much more intense than the payoff. It operates on the polar opposite, yet same line, that marks great horror.

The mastermind behind the story is Tee Franklin who delivers a story that is both relatable and unique. She starts off by establishing the two main characters so well. Hazel Johnson is plus-sized and shy, but also very passionate about the people she cares about. Mari McCray is more extroverted, a Californian tomboy that loves new experiences and very upfront about her feelings. We see their relationship in three parts: Youth, Old Age, and Advanced Old Age. The most recognizable is Youth. It starts off with the recognizable trope of Meet Cute, in which a future couple meets for the first time. The setting is a bingo tournament both girls accompany their grandmothers to, hence how bingo plays such a significant role in the story. Next time the girls meet, it’s in school, and after what can be considered an unofficial first date, they become friends throughout middle and high school.

Watching Hazel and Mari’s teen romance uses many tropes and story beats from romance that I have taken for granted over the years. There is the aforementioned meet cute moment, the first date, walking each other home from school, the first kiss, etc. I hadn’t realized how enjoyable these tropes are, the good feelings that they give you. If we must justify them on a more intellectual level, they dramatize the core of positive human bonding: meeting people, talking to them publicly or privately, and understanding them through a combination of small talk and personal anecdote. The result is an organic relationship that develops through mutual adoration. The mark of true love is being able to listen to your partner with the same attention about a new favorite album as you would a serious revelation of personal issues.

IMG_3392.jpg

Old Age does the reunion trope seen sometimes when a couple has been distant for a number of years. It’s fresh here because it is Hazel and Mari as senior citizens and not 20-30 somethings like most of the time. Along with reconnecting, they also deal with the fact they are both married women with families. Intense emotions and buried tensions surface as Hazel and Mari navigate to their eventual happy ending. Then there is Advanced Old Age in which the couple must face the reality of mortality (No spoilers). It was a truly engaging reading experience. Advanced Old Age comes after the conflict of Old Age is resolved. Hazel, Mari, and their families have adjusted to their new lives. This is the “honeymoon”, the moment the couple gets to be together and go on fantastic journeys. They get to live out their dreams once the shackles are broken. Their love is powerful even at the end. Oh, and of course, bingo is how they reunite. Bingo doesn’t serve much else than a setting for the two distinct romantic catalysts (love at first sight and reunion), but it works. Also, it legitimizes an activity often looked down upon, much like romance stories.

What made reading Bingo Love also enriching is that it is told from fresh perspectives, specifically black and queer. I can’t remember the last time since I read August Wilson where black people were allowed to interact with each other as actual humans, in churches and at home, sitting around and talking. They are allowed the same complexity and emotional range often reserved for slice-of-life stories populated solely by white people. And Bingo Love is slice-of-life as much as it is romance. It’s not just the love of romantic couples but that of families with all the baggage it comes with.

Without giving away too much, Hazel’s family find out about her relationship with Mari. They take it hard, especially Hazel’s husband James. He yells at her, they fight, and years of tension gets worse. I give Tee Franklin credit in that no one comes off as truly a bad guy. Everyone has their reasons for the way they’re reacting to the situation. Although some of it is confusing, such as with James. He gets portrayed as a loving husband and provider, but Hazel is uninterested in sex except for the times they have a child. Later it is revealed that James only ever had sex with Hazel when he wanted children. That means James was the one in the wrong all this time, but at the beginning the refusal of sex seemed more like Hazel not wanting to it because she didn’t love him, not that she was made to only when he wanted children. We do learn that James had a secret that fueled his need to find validation in having children. I won’t give away what it is, but it’s not that hard to figure out. There is a separate story online that tells his side of the story. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m eager to.

As I analyzed this conflict, I slowly realized the real culprit: a two-headed hydra of homophobia and patriarchy. The earliest hint is an occurrence that seems to happen often, a homophobe that is a hypocrite. They will go on about how much homosexuality is a sin while having their own misconduct that’s worse. It’s just a small part though. The larger societal context is not only how homophobia keeps Hazel and Mari from being happy together, but how it forces them into restrictive woman roles. They must be married to men, they must have children, must sacrifice their happiness for that of their families. Hazel becomes a housewife, even though she dreams of being a fashion designer. Mari becomes a lawyer, but many of the burdens typically dump on women remain. There is a sublime tie between queerphobia and misogyny, one that I do not believe I am knowledgeable enough to go into detail. The fact Bingo Love is able to tackle this issue while still remaining a positive story is a great feat.

I almost forgot, but there are scenes of Hazel participating in serious mental self care, something not often represented except going to support groups or therapy. There is a therapy scene, but it is very meaningful in affirming Hazel’s love for Mari. After that, there is a scene where Hazel helps one of her grandchildren braid their hair, and it brings her so much joy she is able to relax again after a fit of anxiety. It is referred to as self care, demonstrating how it comes in many forms.

My only gripe with the story is that it is so short. I wasn’t expecting Anna Karenina. This is young adult fiction after all. Brevity is key. But I do wish there were multiple volumes of the story. There were so many angles I wanted to see expanded upon. And while I have praised the characterizations of Hazel, Mari, and James, every other character is extremely minor. I wished there as much to Hazel’s children explored as much as her. We do not even get to know the names of Mari’s children or meet her husband. I wish there was more to her side of the story. Take note I bring this criticism up because of how I wanted more after reading. I could have read this title for the next 20 years and never been bored once!

The only other criticisms I have are 1) sometimes the coloring wasn’t done all the way, leaving empty spaces of white. 2) The otherwise effective narration and inner monologue captions by Cardinal Rae were confusing to tell apart at times. Although the former is all capitalized, the caption boxes are both colored yellow. It’s easy to mistake the two.

Bingo Love is a treasure of diversity, love, and joy. It brings fresh, underrepresented faces to romance and comics as a whole. Despite how short it is, one will find themselves lost in the lives of the characters, in the nuances of their personalities and journeys. With the poppy, dreamy art, the fantasy is complete. I urge everyone to pick up a copy of Bingo Love. Support these creators so they can make more comics, whatever it is they do next. Support black voices, queer voices, and love. Most of all, enjoy yourselves. This story will make you happy. We can all use happiness and love in our lives. Whatever helps people get through the day, make someone realize their worth as a person. No matter your ethnicity, gender, sexuality, physical presence/ability, mental health, etc., we all deserve love. Bingo Love affirms that right.

Bingo Love is out on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018 via Image Comics.

Story: Tee Franklin Art: Jenn St. Onge Colors: Joy San
Letters: Cardinal Rae 
Cover: Gisele Lagace
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

(Note: My copy is a pre-order version from before the book’s deal with Image Comics).

Femme Magnifique Gets a New Print Through IDW’s Black Crown

Femme Magnifique, the wildly successful Kickstarter comic book anthology, is headed back to print for a beautiful softcover edition this September. It is a celebration of 50 iconic women who shattered glass ceilings and changed the course of history in the process.

Told by over 100 of the most talented creators in comics from around the world, Femme Magnifique features 3-page short stories about women from the world of music, art, politics, and science. Explored from a personal angle, the subjects of these mini-biopics include Kate BushOctavia ButlerRumiko TakahashiAda LovelaceMisty CopelandMargaret SangerMichelle ObamaUrsula K. Le GuinSally RideHarriet Tubman and more!

Femme Magnifique was conceived and co-curated by Shelly Bond and Kristy Miller & Brian Miller of Hi-Fi Colour Design. It features contributions from such comic book luminaries as Cecil Castellucci, Marguerite BennettBill SienkiewiczJen BartelMike CareyKelly Sue DeConnickTini HowardElsa CharretierTess FowlerRafael AlbuquerqueTee FranklinGilbert HernandezMing DoyleMatt WagnerJim RuggGail SimoneMags VisaggioMarguerite SauvageGerard WayPhilip BondHope NicholsonSanford GreeneSonny LiewJen HickmanMark BuckinghamPeter GrossTyler CrookDan Parent, and Kieron Gillen, among many others.

Maxing out at nearly $100,000 raised for the Kickstarter edition, earning over 240% of its initial goal, Femme Magnifique found its audience swiftly. Now, those who missed out on the first go-round can add this collection to their library packed with new bonus material including a foreword, behind-the-scenes process pages, and more.

The new paperback edition of Femme Magnifique will become available on September 4, 2018 and can now be pre-ordered using ISBN: 978-1684053209

Bingo Love Gets a 2nd Printing Before First Hits the Shelf

Bingo Love—the original graphic novel created and written by Tee Franklin, with art by Jenn St-Onge, colors by Joy San, and cover art by Genevieve FT—is being rushed back to print by Image Comics to keep up with overwhelming support from fans and retailers.

Bingo Love is a story about two Queer, Black women and the love between them that spans decades. It explores the complications of coming out at an older age and how that decision affects their families’ lives.

Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are two young, Black girls who meet at church bingo in 1963 and eventually fall in love…but in this time period, their love was not accepted. Hazel and Mari are broken up by their families’ “shame” and go on to marry and have families of their own. Almost 50 years later—in the fever pitch of church bingo—Mari and Hazel are reunited and rediscover the love they have for each other, even though they both are still married.

Bingo Love, 2nd printing (Diamond Code DEC170648, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0750-6) and will be available on Wednesday, March 14th. Bingo Love‘s first printing will be available February 14th.

New York Comic Con 2017: Image Comics to Publish Original Graphic Novel, Bingo Love

Image Comics has announced they will publish Bingo Love, an original graphic novel created and written by Tee Franklin, with art by Jenn St-Onge, and colors by Joy San.

Bingo Love is about two Queer, Black women and the love between them that spans decades. Their story also explores the complications of coming out at an older age, and how that decision affects their families lives. Bingo Love will hit stores just in time for Valentine’s Day, February 2018.

Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are two young, Black girls who meet at church bingo in 1963 and eventually fall in love…but in this time period, their love was not accepted. Hazel and Mari are broken up by their families’ “shame” and go on to marry and have families of their own. Almost fifty years later—in the fever pitch of church bingo—Mari and Hazel are reunited and rediscover the love they have for each other, even though they both are still married.

Franklin won the 2017 Queer Press Grant for Bingo Love and has raised almost $60k for this graphic novella via Kickstarter.

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