PROFESSIONAL AWESOME. DO NOT ATTEMPT.
Way back in May, comic book creator Renae De Liz tweeted and asked if anyone in the infosphere would be willing to take part in an all-volunteer, all-female comic book anthology for charity. I didn't actually see this tweet, but Geektress Francene did, and urged me to sign up.
"My stuff is more cartoony than comic booky," I said. "I bet she's not looking for people like me. She's a comic book artist. A real one," I said.
"I suck," I didn't say.
"Well, it was recommended to Kate or Die. And she has a lot of things she posts like yours. Besides, you rock, so there."
Well, I do love Kate or Die. And I don't actually think I'm as good as she is, but I was flattered that Francene thought I was neat. So I replied to Renae and said I'd be available. Apparently, I was one of the lucky few who responded quickly enough on that first day, because I think maybe two days went by and Renae had to shut down everyone else who was volunteering and put them on a secondary creators list.
And here we are two months later, and Womanthology hasn't even been written yet, and we're already hella popular. There have been articles where you'd expect -- at Newsarama and Comic Book Resources -- but for some reason the Washington Post, Forbes, and Wired were also interested in the project. Ten days ago, a Kickstarter was started to help raise the cash needed just to print the books. (IDW publishing has agreed to help distribute, but we still have to pay for it ourselves.) Within 24 hours, we'd reached our $25,000 goal. If that wasn't stunning enough, in ten days, we've more than doubled our goal. (All the extra will go towards expanding our print run and starting a second anthology!)
So, needless to say, all the flurry of excitement and attention surrounding the Kickstarter almost distracted me from what we were actually doing, which is creating comics. The theme for Womanthology is "heroic." Female writers and artists of all ages from all walks of life were paired up to produce four page stories encompassing that theme. Lots of the women participating partnered up early on via the Womanthology message boards. I was getting kind of freaked out, because I know I have a very specific style, and if I was paired up involuntarily with a writer who was looking for something way different, I was going to die.
Then the opposite happened, and I was asked to pick a writer from a list of available writers. Some didn't include a story pitch in their bio, which made me panic for a while. Then, towards the bottom, I spied Kayla Banks, whose bio led me to believe instead of wanting to produce a serious story about getting your first period or struggling as a rape survivor (seriously, some of the ideas pitched had me running for the hills -- I am not a "let's all talk earnestly about our anorexia" kind of girl. I like fart jokes,) she'd be interested in a cartoonist, and a comedy.
Kayla Banks is a nerd by day and a nerd by night. She attends Plymouth State University, where she studies Communications and Creative Writing. She has two gerbils that are her children, and an over fondness for throwing knives, monsters, dresses, rollerblading and suspenders. She can most often be found beating her keyboard to death (or, as she calls it, typing with FORCE.) reading a comic book or throwing things at people.
It was only after we got creatively hitched that I noticed our initials are KBBK, which is very ABBA-like and awesome. So I designed the logo you see above, which involves feathers and glitter and MAGIC! I think it's an accurate representation of our creative process. (The doves represent our insecurity, pooping all over everything... presumably.)
Some of the ideas Kayla put out there were stories about kids with useless superpowers, like a kid who can only make marshmallow furniture. As a lover of marshmallow, I supported this idea. However, we've gone with something that is a little more "everyday hero," and I can't wait to start drawing it. The first draft is being sent out to our editor, Suzannah Rowntree from Archie Comics. Hopefully I can start drawing soon, because I don't think my heart can take this much excitement.
After the initial print run, all the money made from the project would be donated to the Global Giving Foundation, which helps several small charities benefit from our profits. So even if you can't pre-order a copy at the Kickstarter, you can purchase one in December (the projected release date) for $50, and support a lot of great non-profit organizations at once. The book will be 300+ pages, 9x12, and hardcover. So, it's worth the cash. I mean, I'm worth $45 alone, right?
(Oh, and also, some ladies name Devin Grayson and Gail Simone are participating, too. I bet you seven dollars neither of them came up with the marshmallow furniture idea, though.)