Canadian Artist Gisele Lagace Prevented From Entering the United States on Her Way to C2E2

Canadian comic artist Gisele Lagace (best known for her work on Jem and the Holograms) was originally scheduled to appear at C2E2 in Chicago this last weekend, but sadly that didn’t happen. When she arrived at the US/Canadian border last week, Lagace was refused entry into the country.

In a post on Facebook, Lagace detailed her experience. When she arrived at the border, agents wouldn’t believe that she wasn’t there to work. She did admit that she had some commissions with her she was still in progress on (valuing about $700), but wasn’t planning on completing any transactions in the US. This was apparently enough to keep her out of the states, and the experience that followed sounds incredibly humiliating:

My car was searched and is a mess. And to top it off, I was body searched and finger printed too (they do that when you get refused entry apparently.) It was an awful experience.

Things then went worse when they searched me throughout and found 2 white pills in my wallet. There was no identification on them and I wasn’t sure what they were. Once I calmed down after being touched all over, I remembered they were generic acetaminophen from the dollar store that I carry around in case Marc gets a headache as it sometimes happen. I forgot they were even in there.

Anyway, I wasn’t turned around for the 2 acetaminophen, as they found those after I was refused entry for the comics in my car and the unfinished sketches but they kept us longer there until they were convinced they weren’t narcotics. I never took drugs in my life!

Lagace also has now stated that until she can be guaranteed that this sort of thing won’t happen again, she won’t be attending any conventions in the United States.

Honestly, this sounds exactly like the sort of thing that Australian-based comic writer Tom Taylor was afraid of when he detailed why he won’t do American cons anymore. The fact that this is our current reality is infuriating.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

One thought on “Canadian Artist Gisele Lagace Prevented From Entering the United States on Her Way to C2E2

  • April 26, 2017 at 5:24 am

    I dont know the exact situation regarding her appearance at C2E2, but in fairness, if she was getting compensation for appearing at C2E2, she was arguably going there for work. While work visas are a pain to get, the convention should have worked to get a visa situation worked out. If this is the case, the situation at the border is awful, but the agents were just doing their job. If they just turned her away because she had WIP art, however, that’s just BS.


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