Repellent borders

This is no way to treat a Canadian, or indeed almost anyone:

Gisele Lagace is a Canadian comic book artist for Archie, Dynamite IDW, a number of comic book publishers in the USA. She was planning to drive down to Chicago to attend this weekend’s C2E2 exhibition.

US officials had other ideas, says Lagace:

Welp, no C2E2 for me. Was refused entry at the border. They kept pressing about the comics I had and the sketches, and well, I had to be honest and said that I did get paid for commissions but before hand, but since they weren’t complete, it was considered work in the us. Comics wise, I had maybe $700 in value if I had sold everything. Honestly, it’s not a lot.

Was asked if I was the only one doing this as I looked surprised to be refused entry. I said no, many artists from around the world attend these to promote themselves. I don’t think they cared.

And things then proceeded to get worse:

… 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.

Guy wearing a jacket lined with C4? “Come right through, sir.”

During World Tour ’04, I approached to within a fraction of a block of the Canadian border. I decided I didn’t want to disturb them on a Sunday morning. Nowadays I am forced to assume that the Canadians would be fine with me — but my ostensible countrymen would give me a ration of shit upon my return.


  1. fillyjonk »

    21 April 2017 · 10:11 am

    I keep saying I need to arrange for a passport on the off chance I ever decide to go and see the little towns in Nova Scotia where some of my ancestors supposedly hail from – not to get into Canada, but to get back into here.

    I also vetoed the idea of going to a conference in Winnepeg a couple years ago because of the whole “are they gonna make a stink at the borders” thing, though the cost also definitely played a factor.

  2. McG »

    21 April 2017 · 10:20 am

    Entering Canada from Alaska in 1999 I was asked if I had any firearms. My prompt denial earned me a skeptical look from the officer but she waved me through anyway.

    At Sweetgrass re-entering the U.S. a week or so later I was asked where I was going, and “U.S. citizen?” When I replied yes the officer said, “Welcome back,” and waved me through.

    Of course, things surely changed just a couple of years later…

  3. fillyjonk »

    21 April 2017 · 10:24 am

    I tend to, being a pessimist, always anticipate I’ll be the one detained or harassed or asked for “papers” no one else is asked for.

    Chances are, at the border, they’d look at me, and go, “Anything to declare” and I’d hand over the receipts for the yarn and tea and French-language books I’d doubtless have bought, been asked to pay the duty, and then waved through.

  4. Jay »

    21 April 2017 · 11:08 am

    Years ago, while traveling internationally to provide training and customer support on our chemical analysis instrumentation, I was told by my company and people in our Canadian office most explicitly NOT to say anything about providing training, teaching, or other such words while entering Canada. I could say service, I could say repair, I could say research, anything other than teaching/training. Something about Canadian labor law triggers massive red tape when they hear those words.

  5. Roger Green »

    22 April 2017 · 5:22 am

    Yeah, there are a number of folks who won’t come to the US now, and that’s harmful for the US. (Sigh)

  6. ETat »

    22 April 2017 · 8:32 am

    Never had any trouble exiting or entering Canada -since my usual “purpose” is “vacation” ( at a rural spa, in Montreal or Mont Tremblant) or professional association event (in Toronto or Quebec-City).
    But years and years ago, when I still had a family, a member of it – then 5yo – brought ruin to the whole party…They were coming back to the US after a nice day spent across northern line, the car filled with souvenirs, jars of exotic preserves (like rabbit and ground cherries and presents for said family member, including a brightly-colored supersoaker). When asked “do you carry any weapons?” he volunteered with hasty answer in affirmative – after which the car was taken to pieces and they spent 6 unpleasant hours at the border.

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