About this project
Adventuring Princesses, International
If we raise $3,400 = Expozine in Montreal!
If we raise $4,00 = LONDON ZINE FEST!
Bringing my story to the homeland of my favorite fantasy would BLOW MY MIND.
Sick of traditional gender roles ruining your fairytale princess fun?
That's how I felt when I first set out to make a “fractured fairytale” of Sleeping Beauty, my favorite princess story. What started as an idea for a single zine grew into what, I believe, will become my life's work- Adventuring Princesses. With each edition that I release in zine format and on my website, I grow my readership, but now I need financial backing to publish and promote the first volume of the story in earnest.
Adventuring Princesses relates the stories of Princess Dara of Robles and Princess Alva of the Dark Crescent and their destinies to save the kingdom from magical tyranny. Yes, Adventuring Princesses gives agency to its female characters in hopes to provide more positive female role models while still enjoying the genres of fairytale and epic literature. The compilation “Adventuring Princesses Volume 0” will chronicle the princesses' individual childhoods up to the day they meet and begin their adventures. This publication will differ from the individual zine releases because of larger format, additional illustrations and hand-drawn drop caps in order to emulate a Renaissance manuscript style.
All the money that I raise through Kickstarter will be used towards printing costs for "Adventuring Princesses Volume 0", the rewards listed at right (additional zines, paper doll book, prints of original artwork) as well as the distribution and promotion of Adventuring Princesses, Volume 0 and its merchandise through mail and direct sales at zine, craft and small press festivals.
But, here are some sneaky peeks of the rewards you can purchase with your donation:
5x6" prints or a full color zine from my gallery show, Adventuring Princesses in Living Color:
PAPER DOLL ADVENTURE!! You'll be able to cut out the princesses and take them through their adventures via few of the "illuminations" that will be featured in Volume 0:
There are many more illuminations and images but those will just have to stay secret until the book is published!
Why Am I Making This?
I grew up with Disney but also Hans Christen Andersson, the Brothers Grimm, Frank L Baum, and the Arthurian legend. Fantasy and epic myths rarely feature dynamic, actualized female characters. Even female protagonists are valued more for their beauty, grace, and innocence than their intelligence or strength and are often accompanied by a group of male protectors. If a female character is known for strength, power and intelligence, she is a villain and most likely, a sexy villain. Otherwise, female characters are not given agency in fairytale- they are objects of desire, emotional foils and/or vehicles to express male prowess (please see Anita Sarkeesian's Women in Tropes for detailed examples http://www.feministfrequency.com/).
As an educator of young children and adolescents, a feminist and cisgendered woman, I am uniquely tuned to these tropes in all-ages media and how they affect society's view of femininity and women's role at large. I hope to subvert these expectations of female protagonists that society has internalized by providing an alternative through my characters of Princess Dara and Princess Alva.
Beyond this obvious protest, my story acts as an allegory for the historical past where women's importance in society, as healers, in the market and in community politics was erased through narratives much like how pagan narratives were co-opted and corrupted in favor of Christian doctrine during Roman times. Adventuring Princesses utilizes fantasy to provide a response where women can reclaim their power in society.
However, this is not a simple “women are good”and “men are evil” - this type of storytelling establishes the kind of stereotypes I am attempting to overthrow. Men are allies in my story; men are friends, fathers, brothers and are as dynamic as the women upon which I choose to focus.
A Note on the Illustrations
The discussion above not only influences my storytelling but also how I choose to represent my characters in my illustrations. Our present culture has become more and more visually based due to the advent of television, computers and all the other screens with which we fill our lives. I know that to fight negative stereotypes about women in literature, I must fight with words and images.
By limiting my illustrations to black, white and striped panels, I offer the reader the chance to introduce their own color schemes. While my characters have rough 'ethnic” identities based, in part, on real and historical cultures, I hope that my readers attribute any race to the characters that they read, and I encourage them to color the booklets to more accurately represent their own world view.
Discreet facial features are simplistic in order to allow the reader to interface with the character and project themselves into the action and emotion. Additionally, I hope to limit opportunities where the varying beauty/ugliness of a character may cause unrealistic judgment of that character's personality and role in the storyline, especially in the case of ugly relating to evil and beauty to goodness.
The two biggest expenses of this Kickstarter are the printing and shipping of the book and the subsequent vending at zine and small press festivals to further promote and distribute the book across the country. Bring Adventuring Princesses to your city!
Take a look at my distribution of time to see the deal you are getting (in hours):
Overall, I see Adventuring Princesses as a platform for the reader's imagination and for social dialogue and change- one that, I hope, you will enjoy and support.
special thanks to Julie Mallis for making my video! visit her artwork at juliemallis.com
Risks and challenges
My biggest challenge has always been time. This spring will be my final semester before receiving a Certificate in Early Education through the National Association of Educators of Young Children (NAEYC). Despite the restrictions I have had after returning to school, I have been able to complete the Adventuring Princesses backstory, attend zine and craft fairs, and produce events to promote my artwork with great success. I feel confident that I can, personally, weather the storm of potential setbacks in the printing and distributing my book.
Additionally, I grew up in a family of printers. I know the difficulties and problems that can arise during printing a book such as mine. Thankfully, I have the support of my family (ergo printing experts) and my publisher, a personal friend and industry professional to help me understand the problems that may arise and how to respond.
The other larger challenge is adequately promoting my book and attending festivals outside of Pittsburgh. I am seeking funding through fellowships and grants to continue my work beyond this Kickstarter. It is my goal to attend at least 3 zine and small press festivals outside of the Pittsburgh area whether I receive additional funding or not. Coordinating my time and schedule in order to attend these festivals will be no small feat, but let's be honest, I'm excited for an adventure and have friends across the country who can host me while I visit for the vending opportunity.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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