Afternoon Snack

We support Black lives, and so can you.

June 2, 2020 at 1:29 pm

Monday, July 6: We spent this “holiday” weekend contemplating filmmaker and activist Tourmaline’s freedom dreams, a powerful concept that allows us to envision the world we want to live in, even in the every day.

Freedom dreams are born when we face harsh conditions not with despair, but with the deep knowledge that these conditions will change— that a world filled with softness and beauty and care is not only possible, but inevitable.

This week, our hearts go out to Seattle, where on July 3rd, a driver drove directly into a crowd of protestors on the freeway, killing one person, and severely injuring another, who is still in the hospital. We highly recommend watched the statement from the lead organizers of the nightly march here, which contains information that hasn’t been widely reported, such as information an off-duty police officer who has multiple times driven her personal vehicle around and into protestors. Organizers are asking people who want to help to donate to the support funds for Summer Taylor, who died from the injuries they sustained in the vehicular assault, as well as Diaz Love, who is still in serious but stable condition. For more information on ongoing protests in Seattle, organizers highly recommend local journalists CONVERGE.


Tuesday, June 30: It’s the last day of Pride month, and we’re thinking a lot about Gem Nwanne’s Juneteenth op-ed for them.us: There Is No Queer Liberation Without Prison Abolition. As if to prove their point, police attacked protesters with pepper spray and batons at the Queer Liberation March in New York on Sunday, a mere handful of blocks from the Stonewall Inn. Organizers with #8toAbolition brought it all home in their op-ed Reforms Won’t Save Us. Abolishing the Police Will, framing the prison system as an unsuccessful “reform” of slavery. The judiciary system plays no small part in this, of course: a new investigation by Reuters shows that 9 out of 10 state and local judges who broke their oaths or the law—frequently by jailing Black people for minor fines—are reinstated to the bench.

In comics news, we spent our Friday enjoying the third edition of the Very Very Shopping Network, a virtual comic con that featured an amazing variety of Black and queer creators like Danny Lore, Kwanza Osajyefo, Ethan X. Parker, and more! It was a refreshing and much-needed change of pace from the dumpster-fire of abuse in comics and games that has been publicly unfolding on social media. Meanwhile, we’ve been closely following comics journalism from the Capital Hill Occupied Protest by Seattle local Tessa Hull. We were also excited to see an official announcement from Ten Speed Press that The Black Panther Party: A Graphic History by David Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson is coming out in January 2021. (Boy, next year really can’t come soon enough.)

And of course: this Saturday, July 4th marks the very worst American holiday. We encourage everyone to (as safely as possible) spend it protesting the living daylights out of America.


Monday, June 22: We know our community is very thoughtful and engaged, so many of you surely already know that this past Friday, June 19, was Juneteenth! The Texas Tribune has an excellent essay on Juneteenth in 2020, 40 years after Texas became the first state to officially declare Juneteenth a holiday. Click on the first Juneteenth link (hellajuneteenth.com) to find an amazing array of ways to continue the Juneteenth celebration with education and action—including Forth Worth, Texas hero Ms. Opal Lee’s petition to declare Juneteenth a national holiday.

Last week was a tough one for survivors of emotional and sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, and especially in comics. We want to call attention to the fact that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as gender and sexual minorities, are particularly vulnerable to abuse in industries that are both heavily dependent on professional connections (i.e. Who You Know) and historically (and presently) dominated by cis white men. If you have survived abuse of any kind, as a child or adult, and you want to talk anonymously with other survivors, check out a resource we recently learned about: Survivors Library, “an international group of survivors who collect and create resources by, for, and about survivors of trauma, abuse, and assault.” They’re hosting a chat for all survivors this Thursday, June 25 (note that the time zone, BST, is a UK time zone.) Follow their social media for more info on survivor support groups exclusive to Black survivors, survivors of color, sex workers, and more.

Ready for a little bit of joy? We deeply enjoyed this blog post by Tequia Burt, celebrating Juneteenth by planting traditional African American heirloom seeds. We were also really excited to hear about (and subscribe to!) Black Indie Comix Distro, a newly-launched distribution service for independent POC creators. Because we strongly believe beauty has an important role to play in resistance, we encourage you to check out this Indigenous bead artist who sells gorgeous anti-fascist crafts. And because we admire and support the Youth, check out this extremely cool AND sweet Skate For Justice fundraiser.


Monday, June 15: This past week has continued to unfold in an extremely 2020 style, with many stomach-churning ups and downs. On Friday, June 12, the 4th anniversary of the Pulse massacre, Trump finalized a rule removing nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people’s healthcare and health insurance. Then, this morning, the world received news that the Supreme Court ruled that federal law protects LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination on the basis of sex. (You can read the full Bostock v. Clayton County, GA decision here, if that’s your thing.)

In grim news, we join the nation in mourning Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch (CW: gruesome details), whose families are demanding further investigation after their deaths were ruled suicides, despite extremely suspicious circumstances. We also mourn Oluwatoyin Samau (CW: violence, sexual assault), who was killed after speaking out about sexual assault.

Perhaps the brightest moment of the weekend was getting to see the 15,000-strong turnout at the Brooklyn Liberation rally for Black trans lives, including Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Layleen Polanco (CW: triggering details and video), Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and many others.


Where to give your money:

This carrd in support of #BlackLivesMatter contains an amazing roundup of different ways and places to donate money, from fundraisers for victims of police violence and their families, to organizations supporting local communities. Click through to their homepage for even more ways to help.

We would particularly like to highlight the fundraiser for Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed George Floyd’s murder, and who needs our care and protection.

In honor of Pride month, we would also like to point our POMEs to the following organizations taking donations to help Black trans people, as well as incarcerated LGBTQ+ people:

  • Emergency Release Fund, mutual aid getting LGBTQ+ and medically vulnerable individuals out of Rikers Island and ICE detention
  • Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, connecting the community of black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts
  • Black Trans Travel Fund, mutual-aid fund providing Black transgender women with the financial resources necessary for them to access their self-determined safest alternatives to travel
  • For the Gworls, raising money to assist with Black trans folks’ rent & affirmative surgeries
  • The Okra Project, combatting food insecurity in the Black Trans/GNC community

Bail funds are important not only for getting protestors out of jail right now, but also for getting everyone not convicted of crimes out of jail, especially while the country’s jails have become hotspots for COVID-19 infection. You can find your local bail fund at bit.ly/localbailfunds.

We’ve learned that Washington, D.C. doesn’t have cash bail, which was eliminated there in 1992, and that cash bail was also eliminated in New Jersey and Alaska in 2014. Donations to support protesters in Washington D.C. should go to Black Lives Matter D.C.

We also recommended reading this Vice piece by Aaron Cantú explaining other exploitative forms of pre-trial monitoring that have been replacing cash bail, and alternative models (also featuring comics by POME fave Steenz).

June 2, 2020, was International Whores’ Day, part of the sex worker movement for sex work decriminalization and police abolition. IWD NYC hosted a digital rally, which you can watch here. They have a beautiful zine, too. We’d like to encourage folks to donate to mutual aid for sex workers of color, who are deeply affected by police violence, can’t work during the crisis without high risk of infection, and also do not qualify for any forms of state aid.

During moments like these, national organizations tend to get an overwhelming flood of donations and attention. One way you can continue your support is to find your local organizers and donate your time and money on a regular basis. We found this document compiled by a CUNY Law student, Jalani Owens, extremely helpful for identifying organizers and mutual aid funds all over the country: look at what’s going on in your area, follow your local organizers on social media to stay updated, and commit time to help!

Of course, it’s always a good time to give your money directly to Black-owned small businesses, and this thread is a great place to start:


Divest and defund:

The first step to ending police violence is to reduce their numbers and their arms. Almost every city in America is facing budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 crisis: now is a better time than ever to demand cutting police department budgets and allocating funds to social services and the public good.

Are you unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the idea of ending policing? Start by reading this extremely accessible and helpful zine by MPD150, a Minneapolis organization dedicated to meaningful structural change in their city. They’ve been updating their resources page with tons of helpful links and printable materials to help us educate ourselves and our own communities.

In response to the Campaign Zero 8 Can’t Wait campaign, abolitionist feminists this weekend launched 8 to Abolition, a detailed but easily navigated website explaining eight major abolitionist strategies, complete with ready-to-share graphics for social media. Hop to it and spread the word!

Ready to act? Here’s a running list of cities where you can make your voice heard now and demand divestment and defunding. Don’t forget to keep the pressure UP during these long budget processes: pace yourself but don’t stop after just one call or email! We will keep adding more information as we can.

Are you in a union? Get your union involved and amplify your voice in support of Black lives!

Information overload is real, and we’re not immune! Here are some helpful tips for carrying the momentum of the past weeks of organizing into long-term learning and action:


Protest resources and support:

The quickest and easiest graphic we’ve found to share about what to wear, bring, and NOT bring to protests.

Comrade Teen Vogue has come through with a very helpful guide on how to safely and ethically film police misconduct, which we highly encourage anyone who is spending time on the ground to read! It’s important to be prepared ahead of time, because it’s hard to think straight in the moment where filming the police might be needed. You may also like this handy decision tree PDF for what to do after you’ve recorded the police, shared by Witness.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to protect each other’s information and identities at protests. Law enforcement has used this information in the past, and has been given even further latitude to do so, according to leaked DEA documents obtained by Buzzfeed News. Learn surveillance self-defense to keep your data safe.

Ingenious tip if you fear your phone may be confiscated:

The National Lawyers Guild does amazing work, including tons of protest support. You can download their Know Your Rights guides in 5 different languages. When you’re writing emergency contacts on your arm, include the National Lawyers Guild jail support number in your area.

If you are attending and/or organizing a protest, keep your communications secure. (And if you can, leave your phone at home while you are out at the protest.)

Do NOT share protest photos that show people’s faces, and learn to scrub metadata from them, too:

This Twitter thread is a must-read for people who may not be able to protest, but want to support protestors.

This free, downloadable PDF teaches some basic skills and tactics to anyone who is interested in volunteering as a street medic.


Taking care of your community:

We liked this handy graphic listing some alternatives to calling the police in Austin and Travis county:

View this post on Instagram

UPDATE–I'm getting too many comments on this and just want to say this once: I am not a spokesperson for this movement, I do not know everything, and I'm not an expert on this issue. I simply compiled a list. This is for people who want to strive for a future with a reduced or no police presence. If you are not one of those people, this list is not for you. If you have an emergency situation where you think police should be called, at this current time that is an option and you are more than welcome to do that. I'm not forcing anyone to only ever use this list, nor is that my recommendation. This list covers a small but important set of issues where police are often called yet are unnecessary, and they don't always help. Again, no one is saying you cannot at this point in time call the cops, so if you want to, go ahead, I don't need your comments telling me you will. Quit asking me if you can call the cops, I'm not in charge of your life. Also, any hate speech from ANYONE will be deleted, regardless of which "side" you are on. Okay, thanks y'all, be safe, be kind, original captions below. . compiled a lil list of resources for Austinites to use instead of calling the cops, because if we want to #defundthepolice, we gotta lean on other services as well as build connections in our community. thanks to @mpd_150 for their list, which I more or less copied. . link to a one-page version in my bio . Spanish version also available!

A post shared by victorio marasigan (@victoriomarasigan) on

Everyone needs to eat, and most folks want to do so as ethically as possible. To that end, please check out the “Ultimate List of Black-owned Farms and Food Gardens” by the United Black Library. Special shoutout to our Dallas-area Texans: y’all have two to choose from!

Geek Girl Strong is a wellness community run by Robyn Warren, a physical and health educator in New York, who is keeping folks all over the place connected with their bodies and each other through her Patreon and newly-launched Discord channel. In addition to helping us stay limber and rested at conventions, her new podcast, Healthy Geek Academy, has kept our spirits up during the ongoing health crisis. As huge fans of public health and Robyn, we highly recommend you listen to her latest episode, subscribe to the podcast, and support both her work and your own wellness by adding her to your Patreon budget.

Melanin & Mental Health, an organization “connecting clients to therapists who understand Black & Latinx experiences” has a great list of Black therapists to follow and amplify, as well as tips for finding anti-racist therapists.

Yousra Elbagir, a Sudanese-British journalist, has offered to help Black journalists in the US with trauma-aware reporting and coping strategies.

Cosplayer Maki Roll shared reminders for white and non-Black people to be helpful instead of draining when checking in with Black friends.

For NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America, Lorgia García-Peña writes on the intertwined struggles of Black liberation and immigrant rights, and strategies for dismantling anti-Blackness within Latinidad.


Support Black comics creators and publishers:

This falls under the “taking care of your community” realm for us. Black creators are undeniably massively undervalued in the comics industry.

Let’s not ever forget our Black peers when it’s time to make beautiful art! The #drawingwhileblack hashtag and directory, organized by illustrator Abelle Hayford, are excellent places to find talented Black artists.

Aforementioned Steenz’s daily comic strip, Heart of the City, is a gem we love coming back to. If you haven’t started reading yet, start at the beginning of Steenz’s tenure here.

If you want even more short comic strips, Lawrence Lindell founded The Baylies, a collective of Bay Area cartoonists.

Bianca Xunise is another of our favorite cartoonists, who has recently made a bunch of her comics available as instant downloads on Gumroad.

The Black Mage by D.J. Kirkland and Daniel Barnes is a comic we love that feels especially relevant in a post-JKR world. (We’d like to gently suggest using IndieBound to find your copy at your nearest indie bookstore, or buying direct from the publisher.)

Black Josei Press is donating 100% of their profits through Juneteenth (6/19) to National Bail Out and J-FLAG, an organization advocating for LGBT rights in Jamaica. Their work is absolutely gorgeous, and a treat any time of year, but especially now.

Black kawaii cartoonist Shauna also has a pay-what-you-want 8-page comic, “How to Be a Magical Girl,” with funds supporting Black justice organizations. We love this swoon-worthy combo of shōjo aesthetic with JUSTICE.

One of our perennially favorite ways to support comics creators and prose writers we love is to request that our local libraries buy books that we would like to use and see in circulation! Libraries can and will often purchase books or license audiobooks and comics in larger quantities than a single person can usually buy. It’s free books for you and your community, more earnings for creators!

Here are the links to request titles from the libraries in our home cities:

Independent publishers are particularly important to support in this way (we have a little experience in this area). We especially love Iron Circus Comics, who pioneered the Kickstarter funding model that so many indie publishers, ourselves included, rely on to print and distribute comics. Power & Magic Press*, an Afro-Latinx owned publisher, is also very dear to our hearts and proudly displayed in our home collections.

*Disclosure: Ashley has a comic in their upcoming Mañana anthology!

Adorned by Chi, a longtime POME fave making Black kawaii apparel and manga, has a great list of Black creators in apparel and comics making extremely cute stuff.

The threads below contain a ton of amazing comics by Black creators on self-publishing platform Webtoon Canvas that we’re excited to explore.

Sharing information responsibly and mindfully:

Be critical and wait to share information until you know it’s vetted: this Buzzfeed running list of hoaxes related to #BlackLivesMatter will help you identify some hoaxes you may have already seen, and also help you learn what to look out for.

This Twitter thread has some very helpful tips for making images and social media posts accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.

This would not be an Afternoon Snack in 2020 without some topical Animal Crossing content, therefore:


Editor’s note: We’ve moved our original intro to this resource post (from June 2, 2020), to make room for more timely information each week near the top.

From the editorial staff at POME:

It can be tough to know exactly what to say in turbulent times, but we want to start with this: we unequivocally support and wish to be in solidarity with everyone who is currently rising up to declare, once again, that our government’s past and present assault on Black lives is unacceptable.

We recognize that POMEmag, run by a small group of white people, with a small and niche platform, is not the leading voice that our audience needs to hear, by far. But we also feel that we cannot let silence make us complicit in a violent system that must be dismantled. This week’s Afternoon Snack will be devoted to resources for people who want to take individual and collective action to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, protestors, and all of our loved ones who will continue to live under oppression until we collectively succeed in ending it. We will continue updating this post as needed, and will also be using our social media channels to amplify Black and dissenting voices.

While many white-led small businesses are making the pledge to mute for a week, we, the editorial staff at POMEmag, all feel that that’s likely not enough time for us to feel prepared to go back to “business as usual.” It feels wrong and self-indulgent to share light-hearted content while the police are openly brutalizing people in the streets. We will spend this week away from pome-mag.com working out how we can create the warm, welcoming, fun-loving community we ourselves craved when we started POME, while not turning a blind eye or staying silent in the face of profound injustice. We’ll keep you updated if it seems like we might need a little more time. 

For our POMEpress backers and readers: we are still on track to fulfill Going Steady Kickstarter rewards in July, but if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know. 

For all our POMEs, please feel free to send resources our way, so that we can boost them in our community.

Keep learning, keep fighting, and above all, take care of each other. 

Love and solidarity,

Carolynn Calabrese

Ashley Gallagher

Jenny Mott

Rachel Weiss

Pomegranate Magazine

POMEmag is the internet’s premier pastel, macabre feminist dork publication. Or at least, a very pastel, macabre feminist dork publication that is leaning into that identity pretty hard.