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European Comics Journal #02

 Seven weeks ago we launched the European Comics Journal at the LSCC and we   are now ready to give a few hints about the second issue, due for release this June/July. We have decided to look at comics from a very particular angle in this second issue, proving that comics are indeed a universal means, open to both subjects and readers of all types. In issue one we talked about crime, mystery, alien abductions and high fantasy. In the second issue we will look at diversity, homosexuality and LGBT themes in European comic books, and how various authors have covered the topic in their works.

In recent years, openly gay characters have made their appearance in a variety of comics, and they are no longer a taboo to be found only in underground and niche comics. Although Europe, compared to the United States, has been more open to the subject, most publishers had a conservative profile and avoided openly gay characters in their titles. There have been a few exceptions, mostly in France where the American cartoonists Drake and Starr choose to publish so that they can avoid the reach of USA censorship. In Italy, Luca Enoch used gay characters in his comics and was often open about the sexuality of his female protagonists whilst we also have German Ralf Koning, and 2000AD in Great Britain published Devlin Waugh by Sean Smith and Sean Phillips. And that is only a few of those we will cover. 

I have to admit that the recent buzz about the Indiana bill, emblematic of the discriminatory feeling still dominant across the world, forcing many gay people to move to less oppressive areas, has motivated the decision to dedicate the second issue of European Comics Journal to the topic. I believe as a publisher that comics should open the minds of their readers, helping to show the world and society as it is, with diversity in all of its glory. There are authors that do it with humour, others who do it with drama - you cannot stop someone’s creativity from following its own path and that is exactly why we need to bring light to freedom of expression in comics. 

Diego Comics Publishing doesn’t have a billionaire proprietor or advertising income, we rely on our sales at conventions and online. It's readers like you that make possible for us to produce more awesome titles. Please support our Kickstarter, if you can.

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