Vancouver Comic Arts Festival apologizes for banning a Jewish artist from future festivals

Following the controversy where the festival banned Miriam Libicki, a “vast majority” of the board has resigned.

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival has issued an apology on social media after coming under scrutiny for an earlier statement about banning cartoonist Miriam Libicki, creator of the autobiographical comic Jobnik! and a contributor to the 2020 Eisner Award nominee But I Live, from attending future shows.

Libicki, a citizen of both the United States and Israel who currently lives in Canada, served in the Israeli military — which is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18*. Since then, Libicki has recounted her experiences in the military in her comic Jobnik! and also contributed to But I Live, a collection of nonfiction comics that draw from the experiences of Holocaust survivors.

Libicki has been a regular attendee of the festival since its inception in 2012, and at the 2022 show, she was met with protestors who “caused a scene” because of her prior military experience, according to a post from her husband, Mike Yoshioka. After missing the deadline for the 2023 show, he said she applied to return in 2024 but was rejected by the show’s organizers, which led to a meeting. According to Yoshioka, Libicki agreed not to display issues of Jobnik! or Toward A Hot Jew, a collection of graphic essays published by Fantagraphics in 2016. She would only feature But I Live.

“In recent years, I have been working closely with Holocaust survivors to tell their own stories,” Libicki told The Canadian Jewish News. “I consider this urgent and timely work. The award-winning anthology of Holocaust memoirs, But I Live, was the only graphic novel I was selling at VanCAF 2024.”

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Comics Lowdown: Police reopen 30-year-old case of murdered cartoonist

Also: Dave Gibbons talks about writing, Dyer and Dorkin discuss ‘Calla Cthulhu,’ and ‘Criminy’ finds a publisher.

Sketch of what the gunman who shot al-Ali might look like now
Cold Case Files: Thirty years after the murder of Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, London police have appealed to the public for any information they may have on the case. Ali was shot in the back of the neck on July 22, 1989, near the London office of the Kuwaiti publication Al-Qabas, and he died on August 29 of the same year. Police released descriptions of the two suspects and a sketch of what the shooter might look like today.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Police reopen 30-year-old case of murdered cartoonist”