Brittney Griner's drama in a comic: basketball star's life told visually

  • by Laura Moreno
  • Tuesday January 24, 2023
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'Female Force: Brittney Griner;'<br>Brittney Griner
'Female Force: Brittney Griner;'
Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner's inspirational life story has now been immortalized in a new comic book published by TidalWave Comics.

"Female Force: Brittney Griner," the 22-page comic book, chronicles her meteoric rise to basketball stardom and legendary career, as well as her detention and dramatic release from prison in Russia. Written by Michael Frizell and illustrated by Martin Gimenez, it is part of the popular "Female Force" series. Reportedly, it was in production before her detention in Russia.

Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton, Queen Elizabeth II and others have been featured in the series.

"My initial approach was to explore her history to show her growth as an athlete and person," said Frizell. "I've found Brittney's story fascinating... I hope readers will walk away understanding the person behind the headlines."

Brittney Griner's phenomenal sports career was abruptly put on hold in February 2022 when she was found with less than one gram of hashish oil in her luggage in a Russian airport en route to the Ural region to play basketball professionally.

Convicted of "drug smuggling with criminal intent," she was sentenced to nine years in a forced labor colony. Her appeal was denied.

The US Government successfully negotiated Griner's release on December 8, 2022 in exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.

A page showing the basketball player's detention in 'Female Force: Brittney Griner'  

In 2016, Russia revived its reviled forced labor camps. The Stalin-era gulags previously imprisoned millions of people, many unjustly, until Nikita Khrushchev dismantled them in the 1950s. Despite its ideals, Communism operates de facto like "state capitalism," with the government keeping the profits.

After her release, Griner wrote on Instagram: "It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help."

At 6 foot 9 inches tall and wearing a size 17 men's shoe, Griner is one the most impressive women's basketball players in history. Since being named the #1 high school basketball player in the nation, she has earned many accolades as a star player.

And she is the only NCAA basketball player to ever score over 2,000 points and also block over 500 shots. Griner won a gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and another gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

After her release on Dec. 8, Brittney Griner entered reintegration treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas to give her the tools necessary to move ahead with her life in the U.S.

Griner announced that she intends "to play basketball for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say 'thank you' to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon."

She told ESPN, "Don't worry about what other people are going to say, because they're always going to say something, but if you're just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don't hide who you really are."

'Female Force: Brittney Griner' is available in print softcover $7.99, hardcover $19.99 and digital formats $2.99.

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