Canadian artist Gisele Lagace has canceled a planned appearance this weekend at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo after being denied entry to the United States.
“Welp, no C2E2 for me. Was refused entry at the border,” Lagace wrote Thursday night on Facebook. “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.”
The artist revealed that her car and body were searched, and she was finger-printed, which is apparently part of the process when someone is refused entry at the border. “It was an awful experience,” she wrote, adding, “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.”
Her announcement was met with an outpouring of support from creators, including writer Charles Soule, a lawyer who specializes in immigration and corporate law.
Lagace isn’t the first artist to be turned away at the U.S. border. Craig Wilson was denied entry in 2012 for similar reasons on his way to Phoenix Comicon, and more recently several musical acts were turned away as they were headed to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.
The creator of such webcomics as “Cool Cat Studio,” “Ménage à 3” and “Peggy and Aggie,” Lagace’s credits also include “Archie,” “Archie Meets Ramones,” Dynamite Entertainment’s “Betty Boop” miniseries and IDW Publishing’s “Jem and the Holograms.”