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"Valor" is a comic anthology that pays homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales.
"Valor" is a comic anthology that pays homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales.
"Valor" is a comic anthology that pays homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales.
3,118 backers pledged $109,965 to help bring this project to life.

Valor and same-sex relationships

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Hi folks! This is an update that I never expected to write, but now that books have started to reach our backers, we are hearing feedback from them regarding the content of the book.

There is some concern that Valor has stories that feature same-sex couples. We have left this choice up to the discretion of the creators writing their stories, with the only rule we've required of them is that the content is young adult-friendly. 

Those who are familiar with our work are aware that Isa and I are adamantly pro-LGBTQ rights. However, we understand that people have varying beliefs regarding this matter and that supporting this book might go against those beliefs. As such, if you want to receive a refund for the book, please message me. We do ask that you try to do this before sending you your book. If you have received your book, you can return it to me.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks!

Sean O'Connor, Gabriel Morgan, and 19 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Rowan Fae on July 24, 2015

      I got the book a little while ago, and just haven't had a chance to start reading it yet, so I must say that this update has made me very excited about going home to read Valor. I'm a HUGE fan of non-straight representation in media, so this update made me really happy (mostly).
      I hope everything works out, and I also wouldn't mind purchasing an extra copy that someone doesn't want ... I have a little sister who could use this book as a present ...

    2. Alina Casales
      Superbacker
      on July 16, 2015

      It was just a surprise that 90% of the stories featured same-sex relationships. I agree that there needs to be more LGBTQ+ representation in YA fiction and comics. I just would have liked to know that going in.

    3. Tasha Turner
      Superbacker
      on July 3, 2015

      @Mouse deciding a child needs to be older doesn't make you hateful IMHO.

      I do think those of us holding strong opinions need to be careful how we word them no matter which side we are on.

      I was really excited to find out I could support the creators through Patreon by clicking on their profile, checking out their online webcomic, and on seeing a link to Patreon. It's a little thing but when I add it to reviewing the book on Amazon & Goodreads (need to do that), and share my love of it with others I've taken positive steps toward making the world the way I'd like it to be.

    4. Missing avatar

      Mouse on July 2, 2015

      I guess I'm one of the hateful people. The Grimm style format of some of the tales, and yes, the LGBT themes were factors in my decision to keep ahold of this until my niece is, say, 12 rather than 7. I had a small token from the last pride parade in my room. She asked me about it. I told her it was for the parade... My sister later used the "it's too complicated to explain yet" line. : / Soooo... I'm holding off on sharing until she's "old enough" to go seeking this info herself. ;P She already has her own laptop and iPad, I'm looking forward to her finding her own answers!
      I don't see anything wrong with them, and I love love LOVE the pdf version I've already read through. Feel kind of bummed I even had to go this way, though, especially since I'm not the first. I'm so sorry. :( The art and stories are lovely, really. I can't wait until she's old enough to get her copy!

    5. Missing avatar

      Laine Ratsep on July 2, 2015

      I've got mine in New Zealand! I haven't been able to look at it, because my teenage daughter has made off with it already, but I'm okay with that.
      And I'm *still* okay with it in light of this update, because I know she's wrestling with this very question and considers herself bi. Her father & I have always been straight supporters of the LBGT community.

    6. Missing avatar

      Megan on July 1, 2015

      I haven't received mine yet, but am thrilled to hear there is LGBTQ+ representation! Seriously, thank you. It's like a great big hug.

      I'd also like to offer to adopt some kickstarter orphans. I would be glad to pay for an orphaned book or a few to give to other kids in my life and local youth/LGBTQ+ resource centers.

    7. Kim Detro on June 30, 2015

      can we adopt the Kickstarter orphans? Mine has already shipped, but I'd be happy to pay for an orphaned book.

    8. Carrie on June 30, 2015

      For what it's worth, when I first opened up the PDF and was reading I was surprised and really, really pleased to find variety in relationships. I may have teared up a little bit.
      Anyway, if you do end up selling any of the (I'm sure very few) returned books please post something here, if I can afford it I'd love to send one to some of my cousins!

    9. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Foulkes on June 30, 2015

      Megan, I'd like to thank you for such a generous and thoughtful offer. I definitely won't be asking for a refund, but I really appreciate your understanding for those who do want one.

    10. Matthew Girard on June 30, 2015

      I'm even more excited about this book now! I am also happy to defray the costs of any refunds by buying additional books (presumably to be gifted by you to libraries and LGBT youth centers). PM message me and we can work out the details.

    11. Rain and Aidenn
      Superbacker
      on June 30, 2015

      Megan - like others here have posted, I'm happy to defray part of the costs of the refunds you are making ESPECIALLY since you'll be sending them to LGBT youth centers or the like. I'm saddened people who would back this story would want to limit exposure but I'm happy it will get them in the hands of people who can really appreciate the representation.

    12. Missing avatar

      aaron Churchill on June 30, 2015

      I just skimmed the comments and so far i can tell the bulk of the people writing on here are better than I (me?). So, i'll just say what the suck is wrong with people? Seriously. I was very upset after reading your update. The way it started i was sure i was reading another "kickstarter delay" hiccup update. Nope. Just an update about people that still can't accept other people. Anyway, before i make myself look bad by not being able as kind as the people on here, i would just like to offer to purchase a second book, one of the books returned, or one of the books that were given a refund before being sent (though i would prefer a returned book, just because) and figure out what to do next with it. My donate to a local library? Maybe a local school? A gift to a friend? Maybe let you keep it and figure out what do to with it. We can figure that out. However, if anyone is willing to join me in this, i think that would be cool. Please direct message me about price and figuring out what to do with this returned book i'm purchasing. No need to reply to this message on here, because you shouldn't have to lower yourself to my inability to be more accepting of those less accepting. ;/ again, seriously people, what the suck?

    13. Missing avatar

      Brenda C on June 30, 2015

      @safyrejet
      Just chiming in to say your response was very eloquent.

      It baffles me that multiple people backed this project knowing so little about the authors/artists that the content came as a surprise to them. Like...did they just back it without knowing ANYTHING about most of the artists/authors involved!?

      That said, I want to commend Meg on her classy response. But it makes me sad that so many commenters here don't seem to understand that not everyone who disagrees with them on politics is a monster and that some people still have a low comfort level when it comes to LGBT content in stories.

    14. Katharina Gerlach (Autorin / author) on June 30, 2015

      @Megan That's no problem for me at all. I just thought I'd let you know, but I didn't read all the updates since I'm extremely busy at the moment. So since you know, consider my comment void. :D

    15. Chloe on June 30, 2015

      Yay for love in any form! :)

    16. Dani Kice
      Superbacker
      on June 30, 2015

      I'm even more excited for the book since getting this update :D

    17. Missing avatar

      Tom Brazeau
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      I find it kind of sad that people would be shocked and/or upset at finding same-sex couples in some of the stories, and more so that anyone would decide that the entire anthology because of it. You're going way above and beyond in offering refunds, but I do like your plans for the returned books. I, for one, fully support you in this. As they say, love is love.

    18. Jillianne Brown on June 29, 2015

      I received my book last week. Opened it and began reading on the train. I'm straight and prefer stories where the girl gets the guy, but I was in no way surprised or shocked by the contents. I had assumed the content would but much like the finished book and like others am surprised that people were not aware of the preferences of the submitting authors. I'm sorry people have taken up your offer of a refund.

    19. Saodhar
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      Now that's strange. Were people backing the project with zero info on the participants? I was here for the stories and art, without any concerns for the LGBTQ topics - but even I was aware of same-sex relations possibility. I just don't mind it. But people, who are sensitive on this topic - where were their eyes and thought during the whole campaign? Let them suffer then and don't give any refunds. Because not using your your brain is the ultimate crime - and those people have comitted it twice.

    20. Vidya
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      I am both sorry you've had to deal with this and impressed on how you've dealt with it. Technically, I don't think you have to offer refunds, but we're in the middle of a very contentious time, and the fact that you're willing to respect both sides and their wishes is representative of your personal business ethic, and goes above-and-beyond what a lot of places would do.

      I can't remember if I knew there were same-sex relationships in the book. Personally, I think that makes it even more interesting (I have the e-book saved on my iPad, but haven't really had time to sit and read. I'm still very much looking forward to it). There are some friends of mine who probably wouldn't agree. I don't think that makes them bad people, or evil, or need to be demonized, even if it does make me a little sad that they would close themselves off that way.

      That said, I'd also be happy to buy another copy, or contribute to a sequel or something. This is something we need more of in the world, to spread the idea that there isn't one type of "normal." Thanks for being wonderful people.

    21. Lolala on June 29, 2015

      I'm trying to remember them all, but I know of two same-sex couples, and they're actually two of my favorites in the story (With the Goldilocks variation being another one). One makes more sense with that character as a female, at least within the text, and the other is one of my favorite fairytales, and has become my favorite version.

      While part of me originally had a knee-jerk reaction to what they had to say, rereading what you wrote and seeing your plan on what to do in the comments, I can calmly say you are good people.

    22. Missing avatar

      NightWind on June 29, 2015

      Come on, folks! Please do not pour hatred on people with narrower tastes and sensibilities.
      I do not go out of my way to read stories with LGwhatever relationships but I am not bothered by a tasteful depiction or description of any kind of relationship -- unless I have the feeling that it has been inserted in order to have one in the story.
      @Megan, Isa: Thank you for your mature response!

      ... and I very much am looking forward to my copy of Valor.

    23. Natasha Weaver on June 29, 2015

      You are in no way obligated to offer refunds because some whiny homophobes don't like what they bought. I realise you guys need to please your customers for future business, but I'll be disappointed if you don't take a firm stance on this since you say you are pro-LGBT. Please support the customers who support love in all forms and who have supported your beautiful work. I'm LGBT and if I'd had a book like Valor when I was young it would've meant the world to me to see people like me represented in the kind of stories I loved. I specifically bought this book because it does have same-sex relationships included!

      I received my book yesterday and I can't wait to open it up tonight!

    24. Randy Navarro on June 29, 2015

      Hey, I will happily donate to help absorb the cost of any refunds. Love is love.

    25. Pixie Blossom on June 29, 2015

      Regardless of what I think of those complaining, I don't think you should have to offer refunds on the grounds of "I didn't like the book I bought". As others have pointed out, if they bought a book at a bookstore and discovered it had content that they did not enjoy, the bookstore wouldn't take it back on those same grounds.
      You are realy going above and beyond your required measures by allowing these homophobic individuals to return the books.

    26. safyrejet on June 29, 2015

      I wanted to say thank you to the project creators for approaching this with a reasonable and non-judgmental response, announcing the content concern that some have brought up and offering refunds.

      I knew reading the update title that there was bound to a lot of misunderstanding, mislabeling, or even outright hatred towards those who hold a different opinion. Coming to read the comments here I find I was right. *sigh*

      You know, I don't agree with the beliefs and opinions of my Catholic friends (one example, just one of many I could use), but that doesn't make me "Catholic-phobic", bigoted, or mean that I'm disregarding any of their "rights". It just means that I have a different world-view and belief system. That's OK. I also don't seek out books to read and purchase that reflect Catholic beliefs and values. That's OK too.

      Yeah, we've had the e-book to read for a while, but I think many of us were waiting to get the physical copy to preserve the surprise and thrill of flipping through the pages vs. scrolling through a pdf file. Personally I'm not going to ask for a refund, but if I had known the book would have same-sex relations before-hand I probably wouldn't have backed the KS in the first place. I don't think homosexuality is alright, but I'm able to deal with those things in this world I don't think are right. And contrary to what seems to be popular belief, fear (phobia), delicacy, or hate are not part of the equation for me.

    27. Missing avatar

      Cathy on June 29, 2015

      I'm sorry you guys have to deal with this distasteful business & I think you're being very accommodating accepting returns. At least these wonderful stories will be given to those who can appreciate them & that's what's important.

    28. Tasha Turner
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      It's strange but for some reason I had expected some of the stories to contain same-sex relationships.

      If you could use help with the cost of donating the books let us know if we can send you money and how. I'm all in favor of getting books into hands of those who can't afford them.

    29. Missing avatar

      Jeannie Hisson on June 29, 2015

      While I am disappointed that people are asking for a refund, I appreciate that you are planning to give any unwanted books to those who can benefit from them the most. Seriously, I could hug you right now. Please let us know if you need help covering the cost of the books.

      As for me, I just about squealed with delight when I got my email yesterday saying that my book is on its way to me. I haven't read the ebook yet, since I wanted to wait for the physical book before diving in. I have two kids, ages 10 and 8. I'm hoping that I will be able to share at least some of the stories with them, and I'm very happy that the book depicts varied relationships. I think we can all stand to spend some time with people (real or fictional) who are different than us.

    30. Megan Lavey-Heaton 4-time creator on June 29, 2015

      @Stephen: We have processed a couple of refunds, but considering the bulk of the books are starting to go out, we decided to take this move to make sure all the cards are on the table.

    31. Kaerien
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      While I do not yet have my book the fact that not all the relationships are strictly hetero just makes the book even better to me. Cannot wait to receive mine!

    32. Amber
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      I liked the same sex relationships, myself. It made it more interesting to me to read. :)

    33. Professor Stephen Candy
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      Actually, reading the other comments here made me think. Isn't this just "I bought a book and, although I liked the cover and the blurb, I don't like the story, can I have my money back?"
      Don't think many book shops offer refunds on these grounds. Stand firm!

      Plus it's a Kickstarter! Backers didn't buy the book, they merely contributed toward the cost of realising it, with a benefit/reward of a copy of the final product. Which they don't have to read/keep/whatever if they then aren't pleased with it.

      (Also, have you had lots of people clamouring for refunds, or are you just worried after a few reactionary emails? Bearing in mind they've had months to read the eBook version too? Either way, sorry you're even having to deal with any of this.)

    34. Missing avatar

      hep1013
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      Oh, for goodness' sake. Put me down as someone willing to buy a returned copy if need be, and I thank you both for having inclusive content in the first place.

    35. Missing avatar

      Clémentine R on June 29, 2015

      The more I think about it, the more I find that refund disappointing. Should I return my book, once bought and read, to the bookstore because I didn't like the content ? How is the thought of a same-sex relationship, not to mention a fairy-tale one, so unbearable people should get rid of it ? Should it deserve a trigger warning now, along with rape and murder maybe ? Could I ask for a refund too because there were heterosexual relationship in Valor, and I didn't like it ?
      I'm being harassed in the street because people "don't like" seeing me and girlfriend holding hands. If you allow them to get rid of LGBT fictional characters, why should they behave differently with real-life people?
      (That sounded harsher than planned, but I'm actually quite upset. Good luck still for the next shipping, and the upcoming cons !)

    36. Ashley Ballew on June 29, 2015

      I'm with the other commenters, just sorry you have to deal with homophobic people. Sounds like if a lot of people want returns, you might want to let the rest of us know how we can help financially with the rehoming project.

    37. Maggie Hedrick on June 29, 2015

      @Monica: I know if I had bought this as a high schooler my parents probably would have confiscated it due to their beliefs, and I probably only would have gotten the ebook for the kickstarter instead of the printed book too. it's a totally valid thing and other people have different experiences; it doesn't just have to be all about hate. People should be able to be safe, as well :)

    38. Missing avatar

      Mark on June 29, 2015

      Awfully nice of you to offer refunds for some of the backers. o.o As for me, I don't mind- can't wait to receive the book!

    39. Missing avatar

      Kathryn on June 29, 2015

      This is a major part of why I like the anthology. I loved the ebook version of it. It's the kind of book I want to have on my shelf for my kids, particularly if I have a daughter. I came from a family and a background that just didn't talk about homosexuality, but I started reading Anne McCaffery at an early age, and she has has gay relationships all over the place in her books. Consequently, when I grew up, I was at first baffled that homophobia was a thing at all. It just wasn't a concept I learned as a kid. I want to be able to read to my children books that show romantic relationships of all types and present them as NBD, because that's how the world should be. I want my children to know that no matter what their sexual orientation is, or that of their friends - love is love, bravery is bravery, and everyone deserves a fairytale.

    40. Missing avatar

      Matthew Ellison on June 29, 2015

      I admit this could be a problem at customs if backers live in a country where depicting homosexuality is illegal, or if they live in an abusive household that rejects queer literature. But if they just disagree with the idea that all humans ARE human and deserve basic human rights, then regardless of what "beliefs" they dress this disagreement up with, I wouldn't feel any obligation to accommodate them. Of course, I understand if you want to avoid potential lawsuits, difficulties with Kickstarter, and other conflicts that would result from refusing to refund the money.
      I'm sorry that you've had to deal with this -- from nominally feminist people, no less.

    41. Monica Perazzo on June 29, 2015

      I'm actually disappointed that you give validity to homophobes. It is not a belief. Same-sex relationships are part of life, it is not a life-style choice or a belief. It's like saying you will refund people that do not believe in left-handed people! I love all the queer content and yes, it is extremely important to have as much of it as possible out there so that some of it can help young ones struggling with often very hurtful homophobia.

    42. Professor Stephen Candy
      Superbacker
      on June 29, 2015

      This is an issue? Gosh! I hadn't even thought anything of it, other than what great stories they were.
      Well done for a sensible update, and count me in for any "rehoming" project!

    43. Megan Lavey-Heaton 4-time creator on June 29, 2015

      @Katharina: Unfortunately, it's in every copy. I talked about it in the Kickstarter update that went out June 4. We had sent a page back to the artist for corrections at the very last second, and the error happened then. Because we had already approved the art and I was looking for a text fix, I had the black plate turned off and didn't see it myself.

      The artist has sent me a corrected page, and it's already in place for a second print run. I'm sorry about that!

    44. Sara Crow on June 29, 2015

      Because god forbid people expose themselves to people who live in ways other than they do.

      I commend you folks for handling this respectfully, but it steams the heck out of me that you'd even have to field crap like this.

    45. Missing avatar

      ElfGrove on June 29, 2015

      Ah, I just saw that you have plans regarding returned books. Nice to know!

      Thank you for including more than just heterosexual representation in Valor. I'm happy to support that.

    46. Missing avatar

      ElfGrove on June 29, 2015

      *raises eyebrow* I might buy a returned book or two off you if need be. They'll make lovely christmas presents.

    47. Katharina Gerlach (Autorin / author) on June 29, 2015

      I'm quite happy with the content. However, on page 138 there's a number printed over some pictures, and it evidently isn't part of the story. Is that only in my copy? If not and if you plan on a second print run, you might want to delete it.

    48. amber cartier-page on June 29, 2015

      I would also be up to buy a book or two

    49. amber cartier-page on June 29, 2015

      I would like to thank you for including same sex couples in the book, when i was a child i would have done anything for a book like this. my Younger sister (12) and i (20) read a story before bed ever night. Even thought our family has been okay with me being gay, she has been worried that it wouldn't be okay if she was bi cause then we both would be. one of the stories gave her the courage to tell me how she had been feeling and our father. she is much happier now. thank you

    50. Missing avatar

      happypeep on June 29, 2015

      Here's hoping your complaints are very few, or that complainers will see positive depictions and learn that LGBTQ featured content is NOT the realm of adults only. I'm looking even further forward to receiving my copy now that I heard how inclusive this book is.