UPDATED: ReedPOP is hosting C2E2 this week in Chicago but one creator scheduled to be there will not be attending. Gisele Lagace who has worked with Marvel, IDW, Dynamite, and Archie was stopped at the U.S. / Canadien border. U.S. officials searched her car, performed a body search, and fingerprinted Lagace, according to her Facebook post.
“We are looking into this issue now, but are extremely disappointed to hear that one of our artists has been denied access into this country. C2E2 is a celebration of the comic artist community and a place for different voices and perspectives to be seen and heard. When one of those voices is denied we all feel the impact,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Head of ReedPOP in a statement.
Archie Comics didn’t have a formal comment, but its publicist Alex Segura did offer his opinion.
“Unbelievable a great artist like Gisele Lagace was refused entry into our country for no logical reason. Shameful,” said Segura via Twitter.
Here is Lagace’s account of the incident:
Welp, no C2E2 for me. Was refused entry at the border. They kept pressing about the comics I had and the sketches, and well, I had to be honest and said that I did get paid for commissions but before hand, but since they weren’t complete, it was considered work in the us. Comics-wise, I had maybe $700 in value if I had sold everything. Honestly, it’s not a lot.
Was asked if I was the only one doing this as I looked surprised to be refused entry. I said no, many artists from around the world attend these to promote themselves. I don’t think they cared.
My car was searched and is a mess. And to top it off, I was body searched and fingerprinted too (they do that when you get refused entry apparently.) It was an awful experience.
Things then went worse when they searched me throughout and found 2 white pills in my wallet. There was no identification on them and I wasn’t sure what they were. Once I calmed down after being touched all over, I remembered they were generic acetaminophen from the dollar store that I carry around in case Marc gets a headache as it sometimes happen. I forgot they were even in there.
Anyway, I wasn’t turned around for the 2 acetaminophen, as they found those after I was refused entry for the comics in my car and the unfinished sketches but they kept us longer there until they were convinced they weren’t narcotics. I never took drugs in my life!
And to think we drove close to 2 days to get there. For nothing. (No, I didn’t get anything from that body search. Maybe Zii would think it’s a good deal.) Anyway… Driving back home.
Now that I’ve been refused entry in the US for this, it’s on file. Don’t expect to see me at a US con until I can figure out a way to get in and being absolutely certain this won’t happen.
At the time the article was published IDW had not return our request for comment. Stay tuned for more details.