About this project
LAST HOURS IN THE CAMPAIGN! PLEDGE NOW!
NEW REWARDS - PRINT COPY OF ANNUAL ISSUE - AND THE KOLOB REWARD!!
And lo, it came to pass that STRIPLING WARRIOR, the comic book series about the world's first gay Mormon superheroes, did become a trade paperback collection.
Or at least it will with your help!
Back cover to trade collection revealed here!
Superheroes, homosexuality, and the Mormon Faith collide in this action-packed, entertaining, humorous and sex-positive comic book series.
Wait, is this just a silly gimmick?
Silly? Not in the slightest. Gimmick? Perhaps.
STRIPLING WARRIOR was created and written by me, Brian Andersen. I'm a gay Mormon and comic book geek who was lucky enough to find my amazing co-created, out artist James Neish, to help bring my vision to life.
You can enjoy an 8 PAGE PREVIEW of STRIPLING WARRIOR issues one, two and three here: www.sosuperduper.com
Both of us approached the comic book with the sincerest hope that the story might transcend its potentially gimmicky idea and become a heartfelt, genuine, grounded comic book that anyone can enjoy. (Well, as grounded as a superhero story can be of course. )
STRIPLING WARRIOR is proud to be a queer inclusive comic book series.
The book stars two same-sex married Mormons - a gay man named Samuel Shepard and his bisexual husband Jase, and a lesbian woman named Fe Fernandez and her trans wife Shonda - who are called by the Angel Abish to become the Hand of God on Earth.
Together they are tasked with finding and stopping those who spread chaos as members of the Cult of Cain. Yes, Cain - AKA the first killer in the Bible - who in modern times is both a cult leader and a corporate CEO.
STRIPLING WARRIOR unabashedly pulls directly from the beliefs, myths and characters from the Mormon faith and reshapes them into a story to empower members of the LGBT community.
While not an Anti-Mormon comic book, it is a pointed commentary on the Church's many anti-gay polices. In the world of STRIPLING WARRIOR homosexuality is a gift given to only the most worthy.
While also not being a pornographic series, STRIPLING WARRIOR is very much a sex positive comic book.
"History has shown that the best way to fight bigotry and intolerance is through art that shines a light on the beauty, diversity, intelligence, and strength of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people." - Entertainment Weekly, June 20, 2016
If you agree with the above statement then welcome! James and I hope you'll join us on this Kickstarter!
Let me just say that I love comic books. No, wait, I LOVE comic books - in bold and italics. Writing and creating comic books has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy. As a lonely, closeted gay kid comic books were my safe space, my friends, and my life blood when I felt like I had none.
As an adult, my devotion to comics has never waned, I have never stopped reading comic books in over thirty years. Well, except for my two year mission in Guatemala - but even then I paid for a subscription to my favorite titles so that I could dive right back in the moment I returned. Each and every Wednesday you'll find me picking up my weekly stash of books.
I created STRIPLING WARRIOR to bring more LGBT art and awareness into the cultural landscape via my favorite medium.
James and I are well aware that we won't change the world simply with our comic book series, but that doesn't mean we can't strive to make it a more colorful, entertaining and sexy place!
The first successful STRIPLING WARRIOR Kickstarter - which resulted in the creation of the first three issues of the story - brought with it a global response and oodles of press.
Below is just a small sample of the PR STRIPLING WARRIOR received:
Yassssssss! Tastefully nude paper dolls are here for your enjoyment!
Beyond the following three original paper dolls from the first campaign below:
This new Kickstarter Campaign offers these 5, yes FIVE, ALL NEW, ALL TASTEFULLY NUDE digital paper dolls as a reward:
All uncensored paper doll are available in PDF format for easy printing, saving, and for sitting upon your computer's desktop.
Wait, did somebody say magnets? Oh, no, they didn't? Well, never fear, because we actually do have a tastefully nude STRIPLING WARRIOR Sam Shepard Paper Doll Magnet Set available as a reward!
Behold it in all it's glory:
Samuel Shepard is the only available magnet as of now, but with each stretch goal achieved more magnets will be created! See below for stretch goal details.
The STRIPLING WARRIOR trade collection will not only include the three original issues released last year but also two - Yes TWO - all new stories!
The two new stories are 58 pages - yes fifty-eight! - of all new, all exciting material!
Both all new stories are also offered as single digital rewards for your pledge, or as a print reward in the trade paperback collection.
First up is the ALL NEW, ALL AWESOME, 50 page ANNUAL ISSUE featuring Sam, Fe and their respective spouses joining forces to battle the famed Book of Mormon hero Ammon and his pet Quetzalcoatl! The Annual Issue is filled with action, romance, and more! It wraps up the first three issues and introduces new, exciting themes for future potential stories.
Featuring incredible art by series co-creator James Neish and a bevy of to-be-announced artists, the STRIPLING WARRIOR Annual Issue will be amazing!
The comic is being worked on now and will available before the end of the year. Preview Pages Here!
The second ALL NEW, ALL ORIGINAL comic is the special SUPER SEXY, 8 page MINI ISSUE featuring Sam and Jase's early days in their relationship as they explore sex as out gay men. This Mini Issue is semi-biographical tale loosely (no pun intended) based on my first hand (no pun intended again) sexual awakening while being a devout Mormon attending Brigham Young University. (Mom, don't read this one!)
The STRIPLING WARRIOR Mini Issue is for mature readers only. It's a comic book for those who desire a story along with some titillation. The Mini Issue is as much an emotional exploration of accepting one's queerness as is it about the exposed flesh within its pages.
The STRIPLING WARRIOR Mini Issue is fully completed and ready to be delivered digitally now!
Feast your eyes on the first two pages of the Mini Issue below (these are the only pages we can show you without multiple censor bars):
The STRIPLING WARRIOR trade is honored to feature original artwork from some amazing queer artists.
TANA FORD - Amazing writer/creator/artist on creator owned comic series Duck and artist on Marvel Comics Silk. More on Tana's art here: http://tanaford.tumblr.com
HECTOR BARROS - Talented artist with a sensational portfolio of the geeky and the erotic, artist on indie queer comic series The Pride. Geek art here: http://snibbits.tumblr.com and erotic art here: http://malenagerie.tumblr.com. More on The Pride here: www.facebook.com/ThePrideComic
REY ARZENO - A fabulously creative artist with an eye for the viral geeky mash-up. More of Rey's art here: http://www.ragegearstudios.com
JOE PHILLIPS - Creator of the popular JoeBoys calendars, Joe has worked for both Marvel and DC Comics. More of Joe's work here: http://www.joeboys.com
DIEGO GOMEZ - Stunningly talented artist with a love of all things mutant and geeky. More of Diego's artwork here: http://designnurd.tumblr.com/
EVA CABRERA And CLAUDIA AGUIRRE - Sensational art team creating indie comics and mainstream work. Fresh off the critical hit comic Kim&Kim for Black Mask comics: https://www.facebook.com/BoudikaComics/?pnref=lhc
DAVID CANTERO: Fantastic artist and writer on the all ages series Little David and super sexy artist behind many Class Comics series. More on Little David here: http://www.davidcantero.com more on the latest Class Comics by David here. NSFW: http://www.classcomics.com/ccn/2016/07/the-brigayde-1-is-here/
More artists to be announced soon!
A $20,000 initial goal is a hefty amount of money to begin with. The total amount will be used to finish the creation of the artwork for the Annual Issue ($8k), the printing of the trade ($11k ), and the printing of the magnets ($1k)!
I am happy to announce that I will be donating 100 copies of the STRIPLING WARRIOR trade to libraries and LGBT centers. The more people exposed to positive stories with queer characters the better. I'm excited to donate the trade.
I'm also aiming to include STRIPLING WARRIOR in the Diamond Comics Catalogue. If Diamond picks up the trade it will make the book available to be ordered and sold in comic book stores everywhere.
Each $1000 over the initial $20k will used to create even more comics to be donated - each $1000 will give us additional 50 copies to donate - as well as unlock a new magnet set.
If we achieve the $21k stretch goal I will print the Jase magnet set!
- $22k will unlock the Abish magnet
- $23K the Fe magnet
- $24k the Shonda magnet
- $25k the Cain magnet
- $26k the Elder Boutell magnet
- $27k the Ammon magent
Anything over the $27k will go to printing more copies to donate and more of a chance to spread the word and bring more queer artwork across the world.
So why all the man-candy in the promo video? Why all the beefcake and shirtless goodness?
Is this just a silly ploy? Some desperate click-bait piece of propaganda to sell comics?
Maybe? Possibly? Probably?
In all honesty, I created this cheese-cake video with my tongue firmly in my cheek. My last two Kickstarter videos were just me and my all too earnest self droning on and on about my campaign. Boresville!
So, yeah, I figured if I had to do a video again I'd make it eye-popping and interesting. What could be more attention grabbing than male models pitching the idea of Gay Mormon Superheroes? How about male models pitching the campaign in their underwear?
As I was writing and coming up with the treatment for this video I realized another powerful element can into play.
No doubt more than a few individuals may take issue with the men being underwear clad in my promo video. Their reasons will be varied. And that is perfectly fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
But ultimately, what it comes down to it, for many of these people, is shame. Shame towards sex, shame that gay sex is up front and center in my comic books.
Shame is a dangerous feeling. Shame is a taught trait used to control us. Shame causes people to end their lives. Shame (and fear) morph into hatred, and hatred leads to horrible attacks on others.
Our queer community is constantly under attack because we buck the "norm" and dare to live our true, authentic lives, despite what is told to us over the pulpit and by our political leaders.
I grew up in an era when being gay was the worst possible thing a young boy could be. I was told I was broken. That I was sick. That homosexuality was a defect, a curse. That my gayness was the worst possible sin next to murder. I'd been called insulting, derogatory names my entire life, both in person, via the media, by my political leaders. And most hurtfully still by my faith.
As a youth it was rare for me to see any homosexuals depicted in the media. The few times any gay person made it on screen, or in a comic book, they were only alluded to being queer. That or they were the villain, the sassy best friend, the sexless joke, anything other than equal to their straight counterparts.
Today, my own church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, has labeled my family and I apostates. The Mormon Leaders have decreed my innocent daughter is no longer welcome simply because she has two dads.
Rhetoric like this is damning. It is one reason finally embracing my true self, accepting my inherent, ingrained queerness, was a struggle I nearly didn't survive.
Yet once I was able to grapple with and shake off my shame, as I finally began to date and explore my homosexuality at twenty-sex years old, I was shocked to learn that shame was also deeply rooted within my queer community.
There still is so much shame in the gay community: bottom shame, slut shame, body shame, femme shame. It's a hold over from our culture that we, as a group, need to free ourselves from.
STRIPLING WARRIOR stands as my response to this cultural, communal and religious shame meant to keep us subjugated and fearful. To drench us in shame.
I reject this notion. My story is my sincerest effort to show my Mormon faith, my fellow members in my LGBT community and the world over that there is no shame in gay sex - as long as it's consensual.
I've grown tired of the neutered queer in our media. We pop up more and more in comic books but are limited to being allowed to show the fullness of our lives. I can count on one hand the mainstream comic book that has given a superhero homosexual a romantic/sex life. This must change.
Homosexual sex and our queer relationships are as valid and worthy as any opposite-sex couple's.
Sex is a glorious and beautiful part of the human experience and I am happy to be able to positively spotlight it in the art I create. While STRIPLING WARRIOR is not a story about solely about sex, sexuality is featured as part of the lives of my characters.
"But wait," you might ask. "If this is a queer inclusive comic where are the ladies in the video? If body shamming is an issue as you say it is then why did you only feature young, taunt, handsome men? Where are all the full-figured, curvy, older, average looking people?"
People like me, you mean? A forty-plus year old hairy bear with basic looks?
Well, comic books are a fantasy. Superheroes are about power, about the fantasy of power and perfection. They're all about the impossibly beautiful, gorgeously built characters. In keeping with this idea I sought to include these fantasy-like people in my video. As much as I love me a sexy full figured man - and boy do I - I felt a more "traditional" model was in order.
Also, no ladies were included simply because the female form has always been exploited and objectified in comic books (and in the media). I wanted to shift this objectification to the male form, turn it on it ear - as they say - and let the men be the eye-candy for a change.
They say sex sells, right? I thought why not test this theory?
Brian Andersen is a life-long comic book reader, a convert to the Mormon Church, a returned Missionary, a husband to a fellow Mormon, a father to an amazingly perfect two-and-a-half-year-old little girl, and aspiring comic book creator. STRIPLING WARRIOR is his sixth self-published work. Sixth? Yeah, he hasn't learned his lesson yet. More on Andersen's other titles here: www.sosuperduper.com
James Neish is a comic book illustrator living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He creates a weekly webcomic called ZooFiles (www.zoofiles.ca) and draws comics daily to live.
So, yeah, none of this is possible without Y-to-the-O-to-the-U. Your support. Your hard earned dollar. Your vocalness about the project. You, you, you. So THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Risks and challenges
Minimal risks and challenges. The Annual Issue is being worked on now, the cover is complete. All the paper dolls are done and ready! The magnets are in hand and ready to be shipped. The sexy mini story is completed and ready to be read and loved!
This is my third Kickstarter and I'm ready and willing to kick ass on it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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