Stonewall Riots Comic Book to be Released Before Pride Parade
MANHATTAN — The demonstrations that kick started the LGBT-rights movement and electrified Christopher Street 44 years ago this June will be memorialized in a new comic book.
"The Stonewall Riots" will tell the story of the 1969 protests at the Stonewall Inn and their significance to the gay-rights movements.
Writer Michael Troy, 40, said he hopes the 32-page documentary-style book will appeal to readers of all ages, but particularly youth.
"Stonewall should be recognized so we don't take for granted the strides we've taken as a community," the West Hollywood resident said Thursday. "The graphic-novel format might have a better chance of reaching a better audience than a book would."
Preview pages from the book that will be illustrated by Spanish artist David T. Cabrera show furious activists marching through Greenwich Village streets.
Six nights of protests by LGBT people demanding equal rights began on the morning of June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher St. The riots galvanized a national movement.
Darren G. Davis, president of publisher Bluewater Productions, which specializes in comics and books of LGBT interest, said he wanted to honor early gay activists through the book.
“When I recognized that Stonewall was quickly fading into an obscure footnote, I had an obligation to remind people that civil rights comes in all colors, shapes, genders, political views and social choices," he said in a statement.
An Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign for the book launched Wednesday. There was less than $200 raised as of Thursday evening toward a $9,000 goal.
But Troy said publication will continue regardless. In exchange for a contribution, donors can have comic books given to youth in their name, or can be drawn into the book.
Troy said he knew when he saw the Sean Penn movie "Milk" — on the work and 1978 assassination of gay San Franciscan official Harvey Milk — that he wanted to work on an historical book. To research how to write it, he scoured old news articles and interviewed people who lived through the riots.
"You need to know where you came from," Troy said.