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This quirky black and white superhero comics anthology offers 8 different possible answers to the question "Who is The Silhouette?"
60 backers pledged $3,550 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,550

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Who is the Silhouette?

The Silhouette is the newest superhero in town.  She, he, they or it has been caught on camera saving people from a burning building--but who exactly are they?  What are their powers?  How did they become a hero?  What do they stand for?  We asked eight teams of creators to answer these questions with their takes on The Silhouette, and we were not disappointed.  

From Boy Problems, written by Adam V Massimiano and drawn by Cori Walters
From Boy Problems, written by Adam V Massimiano and drawn by Cori Walters

So, again, who is the Silhouette?

The Silhouette is a time-traveling witch.  Or a magical girl who's still learning to control her powers.  Or maybe they're a sentient insect in a robot suit.  She could be fighting anxiety while fighting the bad guys, he could be doing his best to balance his love life with his crime-fighting, or they could have the worst luck of anyone you've ever known.  Maybe she's been watching over the community for decades, quietly doing her work before being caught on camera, or maybe she's just fought her way back through a portal that had trapped her in an alternate dimension.  Maybe all of these things are true.

Whoever they are, they're a hero.

From A Silhouette of the Past by Abi Watson
From A Silhouette of the Past by Abi Watson

So then what is Who is the Silhouette?

This is the book!  The anthology collects all eight possibilities for the Silhouette's identity, as well as the opening story that kicked 'em all off!  

It includes:

A New Hero, written by Allison Bannister and Tom O'Brien, drawn by Willow Payne

Boy Problems, written by Adam V Massimiano and drawn by Cori Walters

A Silhouette of the Past, by Abi Watson

You Can't Outrun Your Shadows, written by Luz Bianca, drawn by Mary Anne Mackey and lettered by Julie Gravelle

Undershadow, by Brittany Thomas

In Seeming Strong, by Cindy Butor

The Six Feet of Justice! by Niina Eveliina Salmelin

Neighborhood Witch, by Ben K Evans

Shadow of Luck, written by JD Boucher, drawn by Odd Addams

From The Six Feet of Justice! by Niina Eveliina Salmelin
From The Six Feet of Justice! by Niina Eveliina Salmelin

What can I get?

You can get the book as a PDF or a paperback, signed or plain.  You can get a bundle of books for your shop, book club, classroom or gift-giving occasion.  You can bring editors Tom O'Brien and Allison Bannister into your or classroom or library through skype to lead a workshop or lecture.  

From Shadow of Luck, written by JD Boucher, drawn by Odd Addams
From Shadow of Luck, written by JD Boucher, drawn by Odd Addams

Where does the money go?

The initial goal pays for printing books and shipping rewards.  If we reach $4500, more books will get ordered, artists will make an additional $5/page and receive more comp copies, and most of the editor's out-of-pocket costs will be covered (the base payment for artists, advertising, ISBN, etc).  At $5,500, $6,250 and $7000 the page rate for artists will increase again.

We believe that cartoonists, writers, artists, and editors deserve to eat, and to be paid for their work.  Based on Iron Circus' trend, all of our stretch goals go toward increasing the page rates for our contributors and getting more books into the hands of our readers.

From In Seeming Strong, by Cindy Butor
From In Seeming Strong, by Cindy Butor

So I get who the Silhouette is, that awesome cartoonists were involved, the pledges and the costs, but I still want to know more about this project.  What was the inspiration for Who is the Silhouette?

Batman and fan artists.

Let me explain. Batman, as one of the oldest and most beloved superheroes of all time, has seen countless iterations and reimaginings. Sometimes he's gruff and gritty, sometimes he's played by Adam West, and sometimes he's a Lego, but he's always Batman.  

Our collection particularly took inspiration from Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader, the animated short Have I Got a Story for You in Gotham Knights, and Legends of the Dark Knight, an episode of Batman: The Animated series, all of which imagine different stories to account for Batman.  No one story has the whole truth and each segment offers a very different take on the character.

We love this dynamic of envisioning the same hero different ways, and decided we wanted to play with that concept with an unknown hero, open to imagination and interpretation.

Mixed in with that was our love of fan art and indie comics.  Our favorite superhero fan art reimagines characters to include more people of color, to put women front and center (and into real clothes instead of bikinis), to explore queer identities and backgrounds not often spotlighted on the superhero main stage.  These re-envisionings often take well-known characters and pull them out of the action and into the quiet moments in between, and gives lesser known characters the opportunity to shine.  Indie comics give creators freedom and flexibility in exploring different themes and ideas, and have provided space for new and powerful stories about superheroes.

The submissions we received were funny, sad, thoughtful and charming.  Although there is no perfect formula for diverse representation, we hope that the work collected here offers something different, something new, and something that reminds us all that anyone can become a hero.

From You Can't Outrun Your Shadows, written by Luz Bianca, drawn by Mary Anne Mackey and lettered by Julie Gravelle
From You Can't Outrun Your Shadows, written by Luz Bianca, drawn by Mary Anne Mackey and lettered by Julie Gravelle

 Video created by Tom O'Brien.  Images belong to their respective creative teams.  Music is "Exciting Trailer" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 

Risks and challenges

Allison and Tom previously kickstarted Allison's fantasy graphic novel Wit's End. There were a few hurdles that slowed them down during that first campaign, but ultimately they successfully printed and delivered the book. That experience has them prepared to knock this one out of the park!

90% of the comics are done, and as soon as the last edits get approved the book will be off to the printer!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Digital Hero

    A digital download of the anthology, and our eternal gratitude!

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? PDF
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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Paperback Cyborg

    A beautiful paperback copy of the book, and the PDF!

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? PDF
    • Who is the Silhouette? Paperback
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Paperback Super-Spy

    The paperback and PDF for the sharp-eyed collector. Your book will be signed and sketched in by editors Allison Bannister and Tom O'Brien.

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? PDF
    • Who is the Silhouette? Paperback
    • Signatures and Doodles from the Editors
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Paperback Mutant

    The paperback book signed and sketched in by editors Tom O'Brien and Allison Bannister, for the superhuman superfan!

    (This is the basic-shipping signed book tier--Paperback Super-Spy has a higher shipping cost for faster delivery!)

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? Paperback
    • Signatures and Doodles from the Editors
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Need more ammo!

    Stock up on books with this tier, which includes 10 paperback copies and a PDF download.

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? PDF
    • 10× Who is the Silhouette? Paperback
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Premium ammo

    You want ten books, but want to get them all signed by the editors? We can do that! Also comes with a PDF download.

    Includes:
    • Who is the Silhouette? PDF
    • 10× Who is the Silhouette? Paperback
    • 10× Signatures and Doodles from the Editors
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Classroom Heroics

    Bring the editorial team into your classroom, library, or workshop via skype! Allison and Tom will take an hour and talk about writing and drawing comics or about the process of editing this book! The presentation can be tailored to fit your curricular needs. Date and time TBD. Includes a PDF copy of Who is the Silhouette? for each student.

    Includes:
    • 50× Who is the Silhouette? PDF
    • Skype Classroom Visit
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Funding period

- (30 days)