Comics Lowdown: ‘Bingo Love’ creator offers advice on creating diverse comics

Plus news and updates on Jules Feiffer, MegaCon’s ‘Love is Love’ auction, Sophie Labelle and more.

Tee Franklin knows something that seems to eluded all of the Marvel honchos: How to make money on a comic by and about people of color. Franklin’s Bingo Love Comic, the story of a long-simmering romance between two black women, blasted past its Kickstarter goal of $20,000 in just five days and ended up with over $57,000 worth of pledges. This all happened just a few weeks after Marvel vice president David Gabriel told ICv2 “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity …They didn’t want female characters. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.” Although he backpedaled a bit, Gabriel’s comments raised a ruckus, but Franklin has some advice for him and the rest of the Marvel team: Draw inspiration from the women around you, hire people of color for your creative teams and advertise in channels that actually reach your prospective audience.

Local Heroes

Cartoonist and Shelter Island resident Jules Feiffer talks about his new musical “The Man in the Ceiling,” his graphic novels, and why he moved to Shelter Island from East Hampton.

Interviews and Profiles

The founders of Resist, Francoise Mouly and her daughter Nadja Spiegelman, announced this week that the political comics anthology will have a second issue, due out on July 4 and celebrating the First Amendment. Spiegelman says they were nervous about putting out a second call for submissions, fearing that the movement’s initial energy had petered out, but that proved not to be the case: “We got even more submissions for this second issue than for the first,” she says. “It feels like an invigorating new moment for the feminism of my generation — one where women can be, for the first time, both angry and funny.”

Transgender creator Sophie Labelle talks about the flood of hate mail and threats she got last week, which took down her website and forced her to cancel a planned book signing in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Comic Shops

John Dolmayan, the drummer for System of a Down, has cracked the secret of making money selling comics: He tracks down rare comics and sells them at a profit, and he’s so good at it that he was making $60,000 a year by the time he was 25. He took a pay cut to join System of a Down, but he also took the opportunity to seek out comics in the various cities the band traveled to. Now he has opened his own store, Torpedo Comics, in Las Vegas, where a visitor with a store escort can view some of the more expensive offerings.

Reviews and Commentary

Academic Shannon Watkins decries the increasing popularity of graphic novels in college literature programs, saying they “often are used to further a political agenda,” and “don’t possess the same merit as traditional literature,” adding, “Given students’ limited time in college, it is pressing that they be presented with more intellectually demanding readings.”

Writing for PopMatters, Jack Fisher reviews the first issue of the new Generation X series by Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna, noting the comic “works as a successful orientation for an incoming freshman class.”


MegaCon is holding an online auction of original artwork to support the Love Is Love campaign; the items up for bidding include a George Perez Wonder Woman, hand-colored by Laura Martin.

Wonder Woman by George Perez and Laura MartinWonder Woman by George Perez and Laura Martin
Wonder Woman by George Perez and Laura Martin

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