In conjunction with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), Oni Press is proud to announce its sponsorship of this year’s annual CBLDF Welcome Party & Art Auction on Thursday, July 20 from 8:00 pm to 12 midnight at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, CA.
The event (which takes place during the annual San Diego Comic Con) is CBLDF’s annual fundraising event which will also introduce Oni Press’ new “Fight Censorship, Read Comics!” Initiative and unveil several new pieces of artwork commissioned specifically for the new campaign from artists such as Tom Muller, Maia Kobabe, Matt Kindt, and Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon.
An SDCC badge is not required to attend the annual fundraising event, which is free for CBLDF members and the general public, with a suggested voluntary donation at the door.
Jeff Trexler, Interim Director of the CBLDF, said “Each day brings another reminder that we’re in the midst of a generational surge in challenges to comics nationwide, but thanks to the support of the entire comics community, we know we’re going to win. All of us here at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are grateful to Oni Press for its generous sponsorship of this year’s CLBDF Welcome Party and Art Auction – and for its unwavering commitment to protecting freedom of expression through the comic arts!”
Hunter Gorinson, Oni Press Publisher & President, echoed Trexler’s concerns and said “Yet again, the comics industry finds itself battling an incessant wave of censorship dedicated to stifling creativity, marginalizing creators, and diminishing the impact of comics and graphic novels with the power to change minds and lives. In 1954, in 1986, and again in our present moment, our medium has faced this same reckless compulsion many times – but now, more than ever, it’s vital that all corners of the global comics community come together to reject the impulse toward censorship that has risen up to target important works like Gender Queer and many dozens more. Thanks to the ardent support and unrelenting work of the CBLDF, we know it will not succeed.”
This year’s event will also bring back the popular San Diego Comic-Con Silent Art Auction, featuring comic art and other collectibles donated by a wide array of supporting contributors from the worlds of comics, video games, and entertainment.
Oni Press will be offering 50 signed copies of the previously mentioned Gender Queer: Deluxe Edition hardcover with a bookplate signature by creator Maia Kobabe with all funds benefiting the CBLDF.
High-quality, 11×17″ prints of Kobabe’s “Fight Censorship, Read Comics!” illustration will also be available at the Oni booth (#1829) at SDCC 2023 through the entire week with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the CBLDF.
The first 50 attendees at the CBLDF Welcome Party & Art Auction will receive a free “Secret Edition” variant cover of the latest issue of Oni’s science-fiction anthology, XINO #2, featuring artwork by Nick Cagnetti. As an added bonus, the first 200 attendees will receive a free “Fight Censorship, Read Comics!” two-piece button set.
Check out some of the artwork below, and if you can not attend the event in San Diego, be sure to visit the CBLDF website to learn more about membership and to browse a number of signed graphic novels and merchandise that goes toward the fight against censorship.