Inclusive Press has launched a Kickstarter for a new graphic novella, Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge and Joy San – and it’s managed to scare up over $14,000 in three days. Their Kelly Sue DeConnick Skype reward was whipped up and so they have added one by Gail Simone.
An encounter in a church bingo hall in 1963 begins the lifelong romance between Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray, two thirteen year old girls who, in no time, become the best of friends. As their relationship grows, they discover their deep love for one another, but the timing couldn’t be worse. Two girls in love are bound to be star-crossed in 1963, and their families forbid them from seeing each other again. Not only do the young women have to endure the pain of separation, but they’re also both married off to men they don’t love. They seem destined to live apart, permanently cut off from one another, but fate — and bingo — have another plan for them.
Fifty years later, Hazel and Mari once again see each other across a bingo hall, and all their feelings come flooding back. What can be in store for these two women, now in their 60s, both of them wives, mothers, and grandmothers? Do they accept that life has passed them by — or will they find their way back to each other after decades apart?
Tee Franklin calls it “Black Mirror’s ‘San Junipero’ meets Moonlight. We want to tell the story of women who are gay, Black, and in love — and who learn to live without apology. We also want to show that love and passion are present at every age — and just as intense for women in their sixties as for teenagers.”
Bingo Love will be an 88-page, full-color graphic novella. Kickstarter stretch goals include bonus stories by Marguerite Bennett and Jules Rivera, as well as D.J. Kirkland. Rewards included a Skype session with Kelly Sue DeConnick and now includes them with Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, and Steve Orlando; portfolio reviews with Top Cow’s Bryan Edward Hill; and script reviews with Bingo Love’s editor Erica Schultz, Al Ewing, and Shawn Pryor.