[Image above: Heathen cover by Natasha Alterici]
1. To read: Vault announces “UNBANNED” initiative for Pride Month
June is Pride Month, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve visited any corporation’s website or social media account this week to see that they’ve updated their logo with a rainbow flag. Some companies are doing more than that, though, including three comics-related ones that I wanted to draw attention to today.
First is Vault Comics, who today announced UNBANNED — “a Pride month initiative to give away free queer books to everyone, everywhere.” If you’ve followed the news over the last few months, you know that there’s a very orchestrated campaign going on right now against books with LGBTQ+ themes (among others) as politicians attempt to win points with constituents. Vault is not only making some of their titles by LGBTQ+ creators available for free on their web store all month, but also shared a very heartfelt message with LGBTQ+ readers in doing so. I try to keep these Three Things posts “press release free” and just share things I’ve discovered organically, but hey, what are rules made for if not to be broken? Here’s the press email they sent out today in full:
Banning books is nothing new to the world of comics and literature, but in recent months we’ve seen an unprecedented uptick in new bans across the country. These bans have targeted many queer books and creators. And while politicians and extremist groups may be working hard to erase LGBTQIA+ voices, we at Vault Comics continue to maintain that this space, our space, has always and will always be safe — but more than safe, it will be loud, proud, and unapologetic.
For anyone in an area where bans are being enacted, we see you. You are not forgotten, and you are not alone. Queerness is powerful. It is human. We will celebrate and be celebrated together.
So, for the next five weeks, we at Vault are giving away a different LGBTQIA+ themed title, by LGBTQIA+ creators, on our digital store for free. Use the code: “UNBANNED” on the digital version of these books in our webstore to receive them with no strings attached, and check back each Monday for a new title you can add to your library:
June 27th: Queen of Bad Dreams & Hollow Heart
PRIDE is as much of a protest as it is a celebration, an opportunity to shout and laugh and chant together. To assert that we will never be silenced, we refuse to be erased, we reject your bans, we’re not going anywhere, and our stories don’t just matter for a month, they matter forever and always, backward through history and forward into the future.
Queer stories shape the world.
We’ll never stop telling them.
— Vault Comics
– Damian Wassel, CEO & Publisher
– Adrian Wassel, Editor-In-Chief
– Nathan Gooden, SeniorArtist
– David Dissanayake, V.P. of Sales & Marketing
– Syndee Barwick, Director – Sales & Marketing, Book Trade
– Daniel Crary, Communications Director
– Alex Scola, Social Media + Digital Advertising
– Ian Baldessari, Production Manager
– Tim Daniel, Art Director, Branding & Design
– Sonja Synak, Art Director / Wonderbound
2. To support: Humble Bundle offers up to 58 graphic novels to support The Trevor Project
If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can get up to 58 digital graphic novels for $25 from the latest Humble Bundle, with proceeds going to The Trevor Project, an organization that offers crisis services to LGBTQ+ youth.
The Bundle offers a wide range of comics “exploring the LGBTQ experience,” from Wynd and the Lumberjanes to Wuvable Oaf and Stone Fruit. There’s science fiction, slice-of-life, award winners and a whole bunch of Archie.
3. To watch: DC video featuring creators revealing how they discovered DC
Finally, let’s hear from some LGBTQ+ creators on some of their earliest contacts with comics. DC put together this fun and entertaining video where several folks, including Greg Lockard, Danny Lore and Nicole Maines share how they discovered DC. Check it out: