BAYlies project to showcase LGBT and POC cartoonists

by Jim Provenzano

Trinidad Escobar and Maia Kobabe's comic panels
Trinidad Escobar and Maia Kobabe's comic panels  

A new comics anthology hopes to showcase the work of Bay Area People of Color and LGBTQ artists in a fundraiser for its first issue. Titled The BAYlies, the project will include both established and rising illustrators.

On the roster for The BAYlies are Jaime Crespo, Fred Noland, Justin Hall and newer artists Maia Kobabe, Trinidad Escobar, and newcomers such as Ivy Rose and Queenlioncomics. 22 artists in total will contribute.

"I chose cartoonists that make up the long legacy of Bay Area Comics," said producer and editor Lawrence Lindell in an email interview. "Jaime Crespo has been doing this for 40+ years. He was around for the '80s, '90s and early 2000s comic eras here in the Bay Area. Ajuan Mance's, Gender Studies comics are some of my favorite comics. Justin Hall, is a comics historian and an organizer of Queers and Comics."

Each contributor will have a full page to add to the first issue.

"Two cartoonists have graciously already completed the comics that will be in the magazine," said Lindell, "Maia Kobabe's Top Surgery: It's A Process, Trinidad Escobar's Talisman." The three cartoonists recently won an Ignatz award for their contributions to The Nibs' Be Gay Do Comics Anthology.

Themes and topics are open to the artists.


Self-portraits of several of The BAYlies contributors  

"I asked the cartoonists to write and talk about whatever they wish," said Lindell, "but I can almost guarantee that the themes will touch on race, gender, queer magic, horror and more. I intentionally kept the magazine theme-less, because I want to see what the creators do with free rage and autonomy over their work."

With the Kickstarter campaign begun last week, the project has raised more than $1000 of its $16,700 goal. The BAYlies Art Grant has already provided $100 grants to eleven Bay Area cartoonists to get the project underway.

Each participating cartoonist will receive $500 for a single comic page and an additional $500 to the cover artist. All cartoonists involved will not be required to contribute their page until the funds are secured.

The premiere issue will be 8.5x11, 30+ pages, with a print run of 2500 copies. Any funds made off of sales will go directly to The BAYlies Art Grant to fund additional queer cartoonists and cartoonists of color in The Bay Area.

"The magazine is more than just a collection of great cartoonists," said Lindell. "It's hopefully a reflection of the rich and diverse comics community here in the Bay Area."

The project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by October 30.

Read more about The BAYlies and donate at www.kickstarter.com/projects/thebayliescomics/the-baylies-issue-1
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