joi ong


Early next year, Image Comics is planning to publish BINGO LOVE, an original graphic novel created and written by Tee Franklin, with art by Jenn St-Onge and colors by Joy San.

The book tracks the relationship of two queer black women through the decades. Initially meeting as youths in the early 1960s, Hazel and Mari are eventually separated by authorities with priorities that supersede their own. Years later, and with families of their own, the two chance meeting again … and discover their affection for one another is as humbling as ever.

In BINGO LOVE Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray are two young, Black girls who meet at church bingo in 1963 and eventually fall in love…but in this time period, their love was not accepted. Hazel and Mari are broken up by their families’ “shame” and go on to marry and have families of their own. Almost fifty years later—in the fever pitch of church bingo—Mari and Hazel are reunited and rediscover the love they have for each other, even though they both are still married.

Franklin is a black, queer, disabled woman who won the 2017 Queer Press Grant for BINGO LOVE and has raised almost USD $60k for this graphic novel project via Kickstarter.

BINGO LOVE is scheduled for release Valentine’s Day 2018.

Hazel and Mari from BINGO LOVE, written by Tee Franklin, drawn by Jenn St. Onge, colored by Joy San, and lettered by Cardinal Rae.

BINGO LOVE follows Hazel and Mari, women who, as Franklin puts it best: ‘are gay, Black, and in love — and who learn to live without apology.’

This is really an amazing project, and I was so pleased I could contribute the above artwork as a reward incentive for the BINGO LOVE kickstarter.

Please go check it out!


“Black queer love between two women often goes underrepresented in any medium.

Writer Tee Franklin wants to help change this with her forthcoming comic “Bingo Love.” It follows the fictional story of Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray, beginning from the time they fall in love as teenagers in 1963.

Their parents find out and forbid them from seeing each other again. The women lead separate lives, marrying men whom neither of them love. Hazel and Mari reunite at a bingo hall and old feelings surface. They divorce their husbands and live out their truth as a married couple, a light in which audiences rarely see elderly black women. Their love story extends all the way to 2030. […]

With her Kickstarter campaign, Franklin wants to raise at least $19,999 to pay for her small, diverse creative team ― artist Jenn St-Onge, colorist Joy San, letterer Cardinal Rae and editor Erica Schultz ― printing and shipping. The writer said the response to her novella has been overwhelmingly positive. Her campaign has already raised more than $16,500 in only five days.

Franklin said she’s aiming to have the comic distributed before the end of the year. She said she hopes the novella shows readers that love is love, no matter what it looks like.”