This Comic Book About A Black Lesbian Romance — And Bingo — Is A Love Story For The Ages

If there can be an Ellie and Carl from Disney’s "Up," there can be a Hazel and Mari in "Bingo Love."

A first-of-its-kind novella is coming and is being showered with an overwhelming response of support before it even hits shelves: Bingo Love, which follows two Black lesbian women, Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray, and their love story from 1963 through 2030.

This 80-page story is a big win for representation — featuring two Black female protagonists, and touching on themes of elderly love and same-sex love — and that's exactly what writer Tee Franklin set out to accomplish. Franklin, who kept her own sexuality a secret for so long, drew on her own story as inspiration for Bingo Love.



"I know that there are black women and men who have had to hide their sexuality due to the time era and I know that there are some that are still hiding it," Franklin told The Huffington Post. "Hiding your sexual orientation for decades and not truly being happy inside is what I wanted to touch on with this story."

Hazel and Mari first meet as teenagers and form a tight relationship. After their parents forbid them from ever seeing each other again, the women end up marrying men neither of them love and going about their lives. Then, when they're older, the two meet again in a bingo hall and sparks fly once more. Hazel and Mari end up divorcing their husbands and get together.

"It's rare in the comic industry to have two black women leads, especially written by a disabled, queer black woman," Franklin added. "Now to have these protagonists queer and older? This will never happen in the comics industry unless someone does it on their own."

To get Bingo Love out into the world, Franklin started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $19,999 for herself and the creative team — artist Jenn St-Onge, colorist Joy San, letterer Cardinal Rae, and editor Erica Schultz — needed to make it happen. It only took five days to fully fund the project. Now, with a week left, there are more than 1,400 backers who have pledged nearly $44,000, and the numbers are still growing.

"Love has no boundaries and it lasts forever. If there can be an Ellie and Carl from Disney's Up, there can be a Hazel and Mari in Bingo Love," Franklin said. "The only superpowers Hazel and Mari have is the confidence to leave their past lives in their 60s and spend the rest of them together living their life to the fullest."

Franklin tells Newsarama the story, beyond definitely having a star-crossed Romeo & Juliet vibe, is a mix between Black Mirror's standout "San Junipero" episode and the Academy Award-winning Moonlight — as if we needed anything else to convince us to check this out. 

Bingo Love is expected to be out by the end of the year.

(H/T: Huffington Post)



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