Take a quick glance around SOMArts Cultural Center’s exhibition space on Father's Day weekend and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into one of Comic Con’s quieter afternoons -- visitors stroll around with gift bags full of comic book swag while artists and friends alike casually mingle over cellophane-covered prints and books.
A closer look and you’ll find more queer and minority representation on the comic book covers of one stand at SOMArts than all of Marvel and DC’s offerings combined. At one of the booths, an artist greets their guests with a kind smile and hands out a sticker with “the degenderettes" printed on, while an exhibition a few feet away celebrates large, queer men of color reimagined in the style of gay Japanese manga. Around the corner, there’s two all-gender bathrooms.
Queer Comics Expo is Comic Con at its most inclusive. This is Comic Con painted with all the colors of the Pride flag.
After getting pushed out of its old space on 655 Mission, the Cartoon Art Museum opened its third annual Queer Comics Expo (QCE) in collaboration with the Queer Cultural Center, which offered the event space as part of this year’s National Queer Arts Festival.
The expo began as a one day event in the Cartoon Art Museum’s gallery space and has since expanded into a full weekend after increased interest over the years, according to Cartoon Art Museum Executive Director Summerlea Kashar.