Arledge Comics, a Native and queer-owned business, became a 2021 recipient of “Queer to Stay”, funding provided by the Human Rights Campaign and Showtime to support small LGBTQ businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses owned by LGBTQ people, BIPOC and women were highlighted, Arledge Comics being one of them – the only publisher named a recipient of the initiative.
“My biggest heartbreak from the Covid pandemic will always be the projects we had to cut or turn down because we just didn’t have the resources to make those books happen… Pre-pandemic, we were aggressively expanding. This funding will allow us to re-expand where we were forced to cut back. This means new projects, debuting brand-new graphic novels, and paying queer content creators to do what they love,” Jordaan Arledge, the owner of Arledge Comics, explained how the funding will benefit their company.
“It is crucial to preserve affirming, welcoming spaces and services for LGBTQ+ people. This initiative celebrates and supports the community by identifying and donating to multiple marginalized LGBTQ+ owned, and serving, small businesses around the country,” said Nicole Cozier, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “We have been living through a public health crisis for far longer than we ever could have imagined, without a clear end in sight, which has only compounded the financial inequities small LGBTQ+ businesses face. We are thrilled to work with SHOWTIME once again to ensure that LGBTQ+ patrons, employees and business owners continue to occupy spaces freely, openly and as their authentic selves.”
Arledge Comics was chosen by Queer to Stay based on how they support marginalized comic and graphic novel creators.
“Keeping Arledge Comics open means providing accessible opportunities to content creators all over the globe. Whether that accessibility means living somewhere with affordable housing – as opposed to moving to Southern California or Portland for an editing job – or setting your own schedule, we’ve always strived to make publishing more accessible for creators.”
BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creators from all over the globe have the opportunity to create and publish stories with Arledge Comics. Arledge Comics takes risks that larger publishers won’t, making it even more urgent to ensure that small LGBTQ- run businesses, such as Jordaan Arledge’s, stay afloat.
Arledge Comics is a comics publisher based out of Port Orchard, Washington. Founded in 2016 by Chickasaw siblings, Arledge Comics started as a hobby and became the home of the critically acclaimed ALEX PRIEST. Since its inception, Arledge Comics has grown to include a number of anthologies, – including TRIAL RUN, MY KINGDOM FOR A PANEL, and STRANGE WATERS – and creator owned comics (like CREAM MAID and NO GOING BACK). Native founded, queer owned and operated: our mission is to create inclusive comics for the whole family to enjoy.