It's 2017--well after the "trans tipping point," or whatever--and yet to our knowledge, there hasn't been an anthology of comics written, drawn, and edited entirely by transgender creators.
We want to change that—and that’s why we’re asking for your help.
WE’RE STILL HERE, edited by Tara Avery and Jeanne Thornton, contains fifty-five stories by fifty-five different creators (or creative teams), all of us trans, and all of us telling stories that range from fiction to nonfiction, escapist fantasy to slice-of-life memoir and back again. Here you'll find all the hit trans content you crave: the weird stuff, the stuff that goes to uncomfortable places, the stuff that highlights little-known kinks and contradictions in the trans experience, and most importantly, the stories about trans people having a good, maybe sad time.
Big talk! But what does it mean in practice? Here's a sampling of the stories in We're Still Here:
- An evening discussing the terrors of Donald Trump at a Japanese bar for trans men
- A trans woman uses MDMA (with complex results)
- A trans woman visits her grandmother for Christmas (with complex results)
- Visual essay on sex work, trans masculinity, and testosterone
- A practical guide to using paganism to navigate workplace terror
- Trans women pilot giant robots with impeccable synch ratios
- Toxic masculinity haunts a friendship between a butch lesbian and trans man
- A devotional essay about angels beyond gender or understanding
- Two trans women named Sweetness and Lightning blow up a car, watch Akira, and live happily ever after
If none of these appeal to you, that's okay: we’ve assembled roughly 300 pages of stories from creators both emerging and established, all of them driven by effective narrative, gorgeous art, and sardonic whimsy. We intend this to be the gateway drug to trans comics: a gathering of creators that represents many of the divergent roads that trans comics in the twenty-first century might take.
We would like this anthology to be swiftly made obsolete by many, many others like it! But the first step is to get this one done, and for that, we need your help!
For sure! Here is some of what we've received:
You can also take a look at our printable ashcan edition for the project, downloadable as a PDF: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Byw-0B9WXlqjbGVSbmtoV3p2YlE (Beware, it's in grayscale; the finished book is full color!)
- Ryan Rose Aceae (https://gendervamp.itch.io/)
- DiAngele Augustus (http://www.theindigopath.com/)
- Tara Avery (http://www.cheatingatsolitaire.net/)
- Joris Bas Backer (http://www.basbasbacker.net/)
- Christianne Benedict (https://krelllabs.blogspot.com/)
- Kit Beukes (http://www.kitbeast.co.za/about.htm)
- Robin Billadeau (http://thewomanwhowasthursday.com/)
- Gillian Cameron (https://mythcongeniality.blogspot.com/)
- Naomi Carroll (https://twitter.com/naomijcarroll)
- Veronica Casson (http://saltandfog.com/)
- Jonathan Coventry (http://slothward.deviantart.com/)
- Dylan Edwards (http://studiondr.com)
- Kai Egener (http://kai-boom.com/index.php/comics/)
- Mia Rose Elbo (http://bmcomic.tumblr.com/)
- Nox Fox (https://tapas.io/noxfox)
- Pablo Caterina Gerbasi (https://twitter.com/gerbasipablo)
- Melanie Gillman (http://www.melaniegillman.com/)
- Noah Grigni (http://instagram.com/ngrigni)
- Arnar Heiðmar & Phineas (https://twitter.com/arnarthewriter, https://twitter.com/Tentacledeity)
- E Hetrick Jackson (http://eshiel.com/)
- Gwen James (http://faerie-light.tumblr.com/)
- Nicole Johnson (http://meadowhawk.net/)
- Marcy Bones Jones (https://twitter.com/bonecoke)
- Jae Zander Kitinoja (http://jaezander.wixsite.com/portfolio)
- Sophie Labelle (http://assignedmale.tumblr.com/)
- Levi LaBruzzy (https://www.depop.com/goatjaw)
- Sybil Lamb (http://lilybutterland.com/)
- Geeta Lewis (https://geetascomics.wordpress.com/)
- Kyri Lorenz (http://kyrianne.com/)
- Ajuan Mance (http://8-rock.com/)
- Annie Mok (http://heyanniemok.com/)
- Knave Murdock (https://parasomniacomics.blogspot.com/)
- Erin Nations (http://www.erinnations.com/)
- L Nichols (http://grindstone.bigcartel.com/)
- Ethan Parker (http://ethandrawsstuff.tumblr.com/)
- J Pawlik (http://jpawlik.com/)
- Bitmap Prager (http://www.ashenprincess.com/)
- Evelyn Ricky (https://vimeo.com/evelynricky)
- Ronnie Ritchie (https://www.rritchiearts.com/)
- Lily Ash Sakula (http://lashesofsakula.tumblr.com/)
- Sonya Saturday (http://sonyasaturday.com/)
- Hal Schrieve (https://www.etsy.com/shop/HalSchrieveArt)
- Morgan Sea (https://morgansea.wordpress.com/)
- Alexis Sergio & Tamra Bonvillain (http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/wish/list?title_no=71914, https://bonvillain.tumblr.com/)
- Christine Smith (http://www.theprincesscomic.com/)
- Althea Solis (http://www.altheajsolis.com/)
- Bishakh Som (http://www.bishakh.com/)
- Bis Thornton (http://www.bisthebox.com/)
- Jeanne Thornton (http://fictioncircus.com/Jeanne)
- Scout Tran-Caffee (http://villainette.com/)
- Margaret Trauth (http://egypt.urnash.com/)
- Renny Triangle (http://rennytriangle.tumblr.com/)
- Kameron White (https://spacejamkam.carbonmade.com/)
- Indigo Williamson (https://www.behance.net/indigowilliamson)
- Simon Williamson
We have several reasons for you!
Here's one: by backing this project, you’re helping us spread the word that the title promises: we've been here in comics for a long time, and we're not going anywhere soon. In the mainstream comics world, one of us in an anthology can too easily stand in for all of us--assuming that there's an effort to include us at all. Our hope is that this book will showcase just how diverse the body of work trans creators are doing actually is (and that it'll make it easier for future books that propose alternate, maybe better takes on what's interesting in trans comics work to exist.)
Your pledges also help to forward the conversations between artists and their work that we need. I mean really, you guys: being trans can get lonely! And we mine some of those lonely experiences in our work, sometimes in isolation from the cis creators and friends who're working right beside us. This is why having trans friends, for a trans person, is vital. Being connected to the work of fellow creators who're hacking away at the same problems is no less vital: makes life better and proposes new possibilities and solutions all at once.
Let us get less high-minded, though! If you back this project, we can pay each of the creators involved in this book. This is not negligible! Additionally, for those emerging trans artists we feature here, you're helping to provide needed publication credits and credentials that make it easier to build careers in the editorial gatekeeper-rich comics world.
Additionally: once the book is successfully financed and we've made back our production and editorial costs, we intend to donate some of the proceeds from each copy of the book sold to Trans Assistance Project (https://www.transassistance.org/) and Sylvia Rivera Law Project (https://srlp.org/). By helping to finance this book, you make it easier for us to do that effectively.
We've got you covered! :D Most of the money we're raising will go to cover the costs of printing the book, and to pay the artists.
Our base page rate for finished art from contributors, at the present moment, is $25/page. At roughly 300 pages of artwork, that's going to be around $7,500 in artist payments. Obviously this is not nothing! (But it’s short of what we’d like to be able to pay--see the section on stretch goals below.)
Beyond that, the money will go to covering the costs of printing the book itself, as well as shipping copies of the book to contributors everywhere. Additionally, we’re raising money to pay some of the incidental costs of production (including ISBNs, printers’ proofs, and a book cover.)
Here’s a full breakdown:
- $7500: Artist fees
- $6000: Printing & drop shipping (~1000 copies, 6" x 9" and estimated 304 pages, full-color PB)
- $2000: Shipping + Miscellaneous fees
- $1500: Kickstarter + payment processing fees
We will have more information about this once we've launched--the first priority is to get to $17,000! But at present, the rough expectation is that stretch goals will happen roughly every $2,500 to $3,000 above the initial goal, and each stretch goal will result in the artists' pay rate being increased by about $5/page across the board. This means that most of the stretch goal money will, to the extent that it's possible, go directly to the artists. We'll have more information on this as soon as possible.
Risks and challenges
We began working on this anthology way back in summer of 2016. We spent most of that year and the early months of 2017 carefully assembling our list of contributors (both from solicitations and from an open call for submissions, to try to get as many creators as possible on board.) As we prepare this Kickstarter text, the bulk of the work on the anthology is underway, with several of the finished pieces already received and others in process, with delivery expected through July and August 2017 and a projected pub date of either very late 2017 or very early 2018.
Both editors have published professionally for some time, and it's a given--especially with fifty-six artists!--that delays will be inevitable! But we've built expected delays into our editorial and production timelines, and at present we’re on track to meet all of our deadlines for finishing the editorial and production work by early Fall 2017.
In terms of the risks of the Kickstarter itself: both the editors of We're Still Here have previously published successfully Kickstarted anthologies (ALPHABET from Stacked Deck Press and Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic from Instar Books.) Believe me that we are both *very, very aware* of the potential challenges involved with running a successful Kickstarter and fulfilling rewards to all backers! We’ve learned from our experiences, and we intend to keep a clear line of communication going with backers in order to ensure a smooth delivery of rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (43 days)