PRISM COMICS PRESENTS AN ONLINE PANEL EXPLORING LGBTQ+ HISTORY IN COMICS
PRISM COMICS PRESENTS AN ONLINE PANEL EXPLORING LGBTQ+ HISTORY IN COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS
WITH BONUS VIDEOS OF EACH CREATOR READING FROM THEIR WORKS
Presented by Prism Comics as part of West Hollywood’s City’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival
Watch below in this Prism Comics article and at www.youtube.com/wehoarts
The final song lyrics of the musical Hamilton echo the question “Who Tells Your Story?” Now more than ever, many LGBTQ+ creators are choosing the comics medium to tell our queer history stories. What are the values of presenting queer history through comics and graphic novels? What are the challenges? How do creators find their LGBTQ+ history stories? How do they present LGBTQ+ characters and stories that are true and accurate to their times through the lens of today’s queer identities and perceptions? Join Prism Comics, moderator Justin Hall (No Straight Lines; Associate Professor of Comics, California College of The Arts) and panelists – A.C. Esguerra (Eighty Days; Bespoke; Takeoff); Melanie Gillman (Stage Dreams; As the Crow Flies; Steven Universe comics); Ajuan Mance (Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival; COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology; Gender Studies; Professor of English, Mills College); Eric Orner (SMAHTGUY The Life and Times of Barney Frank; The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green); Josh Trujillo (Washington’s Gay General; It’s Roy Cohn’s World and You’re Living in It; The United States of Captain America) – as they explore our queer past through comics. The panelists’ books span recent and revolutionary American history, the Old West, black history, the roots of the San Francisco gay movement and 1930s pre-war Europe. And the panel and reading videos will remain online for viewing after the premiere date.
These programs are presented with the support of a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division as part of the City’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. For more info please visit www.weho.org/pride or @wehoarts. Prism Comics would like to thank the City of West Hollywood for their kind support and all of our panelists.
JUSTIN HALL, Moderator (he/him) reading from Marching Towards Pride: Tool Box Bar, 1963; Written and Illustrated by Justin Hall; Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission for the Art on Market Street Poster Project
Justin Hall is the creator or co-creator of the comics True Travel Tales, Hard to Swallow, and Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers. He has work in the Houghton Mifflin Best American Comics, Best Erotic Comics, and the SF Weekly, among others. Hall created the Lambda Award-winning and Eisner-nominated No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, which he is currently producing as a feature-length documentary film, and has curated international museum shows of LGBTQ comics art. He is a Fulbright Scholar of Comics and Associate Professor of Comics at California College of the Arts.Website – justinhallawesomecomics.com
A.C. ESGUERRA (they/them) – reading from Eighty Days, Chapter 1; Written and Illustrated by A.C. Esguerra; Publisher: Archaia
A.C. Esguerra (a.k.a. blueludebar) is a Los Angeles-based comics artist and illustrator. Previous clients include BOOM! Studios, Gallery Nucleus and Northwest Press. They are a regular writing contributor for Baum-kuchen Studio. Their debut graphic novel, EIGHTY DAYS, is slated for publication by Archaia in Fall 2021. The novella version of the story won a Prism Comics Queer Press Grant in 2016.
Website – blueludebar.com
Twitter and Instagram @blueludebar
MELANIE GILLMAN (they/them) reading from Stage Dreams, Chapter 1; Written and Illustrated by Melanie Gillman; Publisher: Graphic Universe, Lerner Publishing Group
Melanie Gillman is a cartoonist who specializes in LGBTQ books for kids and teens. They are the creator of the webcomic and graphic novel As the Crow Flies, published in 2017 by Iron Circus Comics, and winner of the 2018 Stonewall Honor Award. Their newest book, Stage Dreams, was published by Lerner/Graphic Universe in 2019. They are also a senior lecturer in the Comics MFA Program at the California College of the Arts.
Website – melaniegillman.com
Twitter: @melgillman / Instagram: @mgillman
AJUAN MANCE (they/them) – reading The Ones Who Lit The Way and Ghosts of The Apollo; Written and Illustrated by Ajuan Mance; Self-published – ajuanmance.com
Ajuan Mance is a Professor of English at Mills College in Oakland, California and a lifelong artist and writer. Ajuan’s art and comics use humor and color to explore the complexities of race and gender. Their comics include Check All that Apply, a web-based comic strip; and Gender Studies a comic series that uses humor to explore their experiences as a genderqueer Black nerd. In 2022, Gender Studies will be released as a book-length collection from Rosarium Press. Ajuan’s work has appeared in a number of publications and media outlets, including The San Francisco Chronicle, The Women’s Review of Books, NewYorkTimes.com, Publisher:sWeekly.com, NewYorker.com, and others. Her comics have appeared in several anthologies, including Alphabet, We’re Still Here, Drawing Power, How to Wait, Menopause: A Comic Treatment, and COVID Chronicles.
Twitter and Instagram: @8_Rock
ERIC ORNER (he/him) – reading from SMAHTGUY: The Life and Times of Barney Frank, Chapter 5 – Kevin vs. Louise and Chapter 23 – Ugly Aughts; Written and Illustrated by Eric Orner; Publisher: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Co.
Eric Orner is a cartoonist and illustrator whose politically tinged, graphic fiction has appeared in publications including Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Comics, Buzzfeed, and The San Francisco Chronicle. His comic The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, about a gay man and his family of friends, is anthologized in 4 books from St. Martin’s Press and an omnibus titled The Completely Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green from Northwest Press. The comic was adapted as a feature film in 2005. Eric has worked alternatively in law/politics, and in animation / cartooning. In the ‘90s and ‘10s, he worked as a Capitol Hill staffer for Barney Frank and Maxine Waters. In the 2000s he switched careers to work as a storyboard artist at Walt Disney Television Animation and other animation studios. He also frequently illustrates the fiction of his brother, novelist Peter Orner. Eric’s new book SMAHTGUY, The Life and Times of LGBTQ Pioneer Barney Frank will be published in October, 2021 by Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Co.
Twitter and Instagram @ericsamorner
JOSH TRUJILLO (he/him) – reading It’s Roy Cohn’s World and You’re Living In It; Written by Josh Trujillo; illustrated by Levi Hastings; Published on thenib.com
Josh Trujillo is a writer, editor, and narrative designer based in Los Angeles. His work spans different genres and audiences, specializing in children’s fiction, queer history, and gaming. He has worked with Marvel, HBO, Google, Telltale Games, Zynga, and DC Comics writing stories for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Rick and Morty, Dream Daddy, and Adventure Time. Josh’s works include the colorful children’s book Lost Beast, Found Friend; Dodge City; the historical romance Declaration; and several game-themed anthologies: Love Machines; Death Saves: Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table; and Advanced Death Saves. Josh is a spokesperson for inclusiveness and diversity in popular media and, along with Christopher Cantwell and Jan Bazaldua, created the gay teen character Aaron Fischer for Marvel’s The United States of Captain America debuting in June, 2021.
Website – joshtrujillo.com
Twitter and Instagram @LostHisKeysMan