Tee Franklin: "Happily Ever Afters Aren't Just for Straight People"

Comic book writer Tee Franklin raised over $50,000 to create Bingo Love, a Queer Black graphic novella that follows a romance from 1963 through 2030. Here, Tee shares what inspired the project — and few things to inspire you, too.

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What inspired you to create Bingo Love?
In the comics industry, there aren’t many characters of color that are leads, let alone older Queer Black women. As a Queer Black disabled woman, I needed to fill that void in comics, even if it meant doing it myself — and apparently the public wanted the same thing.

What should people know about Bingo Love?
“Happily ever afters” aren’t just for straight people. I want youth to understand that a Bingo Love “ever after” is obtainable.

What can you tell us about Inclusive Press?
Inclusive Press aims to publish two to three inclusive comics by marginalized creators each year. There are so many marginalized comics creators out there who have vital stories that need to be told.

Three comics creators you should know

Greg Pak is a Big Two (Marvel, DC) comics writer, but he’s also self-published via Kickstarter. I’m actually using his Kickstarter tip book to handle my Bingo Love journey. He’s inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and make things happen.

Iron Spike is a force to be reckoned with — a badass, kick-ass comics creator and owner of the infamous Iron Circus Comics. Spike truly inspired me to not only create Bingo Love, but to be a comics publisher.

Shawn R. Pryor is a hard worker, extremely intelligent, and the books he puts out — like Cash & Carrie and his sports comic, FORCE — are a pure delight.

Three recommended resources

I created Black Comics Month to promote and acknowledge Black comics creators for their contributions to the industry.

If you’re looking to continue to diversify your comics reading, check out the Cartoonists of Color database.

I’m a geek and I love listening to podcasts. One of my faves is Nerds of Prey, created and hosted by women of color.

Now, take a peek inside Bingo Love:

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This piece originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. 

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