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Black Josei Press is excited to announce the upcoming release of the inaugural Gladiolus Magazine! The magazine was funded by The Ellies Award Creator Grant that founder Jamila Rowser (Wash Day Diaries) received from Oolite Arts and The Miami Foundation. Gladiolus Magazine has 138 black-and-white pages that feature 23 comics, essays, short stories, interviews, and guides by 38 amazing creatives of color from marginalized genders and sexualities. 

The magazine has content that ranges from Jackie Ormes cut-out paper dolls to guides for josei comics and horror films, to comics about sex, horror, romance, gaming, mental health, essays about burnout in the comic industry, and so much more. 

Gladiolus Magazine features creators and interviewees such as Stephanie Williams, Sloane Leong, Vita Ayala, Robyn Smith, Steenz, Jamila Rowser, Deb Aoki, Shannon Wright, and Whit Taylor, to name a few.

Why “Gladiolus”?

(Image from Foxee Designs)

The gladiolus flower, aka the sword lily, is native to South Africa, tropical Africa, Asia, and Mediterranean Europe. This flower was chosen to represent the Black Josei Press logo (created by Foxee Design) combined with a nib pen representing the “sword”. Our pen, whether for illustration or prose, is the way we fight and tell our stories in a world that tries to stifle them. We feel strongly that all stories are important; not just the stories of struggle and oppression, but about joy, silliness, love, autobio, mundane, and much more.

What to expect in the magazine

The content will fall under four broad categories: Comics, Community, Culture, and Care. Some of these examples will naturally overlap. We’re embodying a “for us, by us” mindset in Gladiolus, as we do with all Black Josei Press projects. Centering, and writing for us and our communities directly. Although others are welcome to engage with our work, we create free from the white gaze and cishet-male gaze. 

The stellar lineup of creators that'll be in the inaugural magazine!

Editor-in-Chief: Jamila Rowser
Project Manager: Jemar Souza
Proofreader: Victoria Johnson
Cover Artist: Sarula Bao


Sneak peek at some comics in progress

Rin Ascher

Lauren Franklin + Jamila Rowser