How 'The BAYlies' Puts Focus on Underrepresented Cartoonists

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Courtesy of The BAYlies
The crowdfunded project spotlights 22 cartoonists of color and queer cartoonists from the Bay Area.

The future of the Northern Californian comics scene is on display in The BAYlies, a new anthology currently being funded on Kickstarter.

Featuring the work of 22 creators based in the Bay Area, the 30-plus page issue focuses attention on cartoonists of color and queer cartoonists in the area, as well as the wider Bay Area comics scene in general, with information on Bay Area comics history and a map of local comic stores. The issue, tentatively scheduled for January 2021, will be released in a limited edition of 2,500 copies.

“I’m excited about The BAYlies issue 1 because it shows what is possible when a local comics community bands together and creates the change they want in comics,” curator Lawrence Lindell told The Hollywood Reporter about the project.

“The unique thing about the anthology is that all proceeds from selling the magazine go to artists grants specifically for cartoonists of color and queer cartoonists based in the Bay Area. We have previously granted 11 cartoonists with $100 micro-grants and we are going to double the amount of grantees if/when the project is fully funded. It's amazing to see what the cartoonists involved have accomplished in comics, but it's even more fascinating and astonishing when you realize they are all based in the Bay Area, are organizers, educators, and community members as well as cartoonists!”

Cartoonists contribute to the project include Jaime Crespo, Tyler Cohen, Shoshanna Joseph, Trinidad Escobar, and Justin Hall; the issue also includes interviews with Bay Area cartooning figures Matt Silady and Anand Vedawala.

The Kickstarter project, which also offers funding levels where backers will receive additional art prints or zine bundles by various contributors, runs through Oct. 30. More information can be found here.