Over the last few weeks there’s been some concern that Italian cartoonist Zerocalcare wouldn’t get his Visa in time for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Zerocalcare – the pen name of Michele Rech – is one of Italy’s best selling and acclaimed cartoonists, with more than 1 million copies of his work in print. His Kobane Calling – published here by Lion Forge – is an autobiographical tale of his trip to Syria to work with the Kurdish rebels.
However, that trip to Syria, his involvement fighting the Islamic State, and the ongoing political nature of his work seem to have raised questions when Zerocalcare went in to apply for his visa to come to the US for Comic-Con, as shown in this comic. It may be in Italian but the clear, lively cartooning makes it pretty clear what is going on.
Over the weekend stories circulated that Zerocalcare had been denied his Visa, however, I spoke with his publisher in Italy, Bao, and was told that it wasn’t denied, but rather coming very slowly. And today was the last possible day for it to be granted in time for him to come to SDCC.
And in a last minute feel good win for freedom of expression, the visa was granted!
A little something to feel happy about.
Zerocalcare will be singing at the Lion Forge Booth at the following times:
Thursday – 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
(The Beat is own by Syndicated Comics, a sister company of Lion Forge.)