Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment will be releasing nine variant covers for Pride Month throughout the month of June by LGBTQI+ creators that will benefit the Transgender Law Center. Pride Month sounds like it will be jam-packed this year with numerous comic book companies celebrating comic book characters and creators from the LGBTQI+ community, from DC's Pride-themed variants and anthology alongside the Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 one-shot. Image and Skybound are also donating proceeds from the variants to the largest national trans-led organization, as well as encouraging readers to support the transgender community.
This is not the creator-owned publisher's first time partnering up to support charities through their comics. For May 2021, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Image and Skybound teamed up to create covers, including a special Walking Dead variant, to raise money for the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED). The CCED strives to unite the Chinatown community by keeping up their cultural integrity, cleaning up the environment, and much more. For June 2021, Image and Skybound turn their attention to Pride Month and the Transgender Law Center, which is trying to create a safer world for people of any gender identity.
In the official Image Comics press release, a complete list of the variant covers coming out throughout June along with their release dates and cover artist was announced, though only one variant cover's artwork has been revealed. For the first four weeks in June, there will be new variants coming out every week. On June 2, 2021, there will be two Pride-themed variants: Cover M of Fire Power #12 by Kira Okamoto and Cover D of The Walking Dead Deluxe #16 by Tillie Walden. On June 9, 2021, there will be three Pride-themed variants: Cover B for Birthright #50 by Binglin Hu, Cover C of The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 by Ed Luce, and Cover B of Oblivion Song #31 by Em Allen.
On June 16, 2021, there will be three more Pride-themed variants: Cover B of Stillwater #8 by Gabrielle Kari, Cover E of Ultramega #4 by Kris Anka, and Cover E of The Walking Dead Deluxe #17 by Marty G. There will be one final Pride-themed variant released on June 23, Cover B of Manifest Destiny #44 by a yet-to-be-announced artist.
Sean Mackiewicz, the Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Skybound Entertainment, had this to say: “The trans community has seen an unprecedented attack on their rights in recent years, and Skybound has decided to launch this program to raise money to support this important fight for equality.” He concluded with: “We support the Transgender Law Center’s mission to ensure all transgender and gender-nonconforming people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression."
It is nice to see that instead of just putting a small rainbow flag on the cover, saying it's a Pride-themed variant, and calling it a day, these covers will actually be coming from people within the LGBTQI+ community as well as supporting the community by way of providing the Transgender Law Center with donations. The press release also promises that Skybound will not just be restricting these charitable initiatives to just during Pride Month but for the entire year. So, celebrate Pride Month with one or more of the variant covers offered by Image/Skybound to support the Transgender Law Center.
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