Hi all! I write and illustrate What's Normal Anyway?, a comic about being trans male. Through this comic, I aim to add a bit of silliness to the often heavyhearted discourse on the trans experience, and to the world in general. I graduated this year from the Columbia University School of Social Work, completing a Master's in social enterprise. Now I'm off to make queer stories and art more accessible to all, starting by publishing this comic book.
About the Comic
How would you define normal? Is it when you wear shoes on your feet at the mall or eat toast for breakfast? Is it when you’re female and feel like a woman? What happens when you go somewhere else and they don’t even have shoes or toast, or when you’re in a group of people who are female and don’t feel at all like women?
What’s Normal Anyway? is a comic that discusses the trans male experience through the story of Mel, who takes the big risk of being himself and transitioning from female to male. This comic aims to add another voice representing a part of the wide spectrum of human diversity. And be funny about it too.
Here are some comments that readers have sent:
"I'm writing to tell you how much I love your comic What's Normal Anyway? - I read it in almost one sitting which means I feel full of awesome and have exactly 0 coursework done. THANKS. But seriously, it is so refreshing to read what you have to say, you make me feel so much more normal - wait, not in a creepy 'I'm totally less crazy than that guy' way but in a 'YES, other transguys find some of this stuff hilarious and ridiculous, too!'
"Though I’m not trans, I *REALLY* appreciate you publishing this. It’s nice to be able to read/see from the perspective of a trans person. It helps me understand concept(s)/thought(s)/feeling(s) that are pretty foreign to me. Keep up the good work, Mister! P.S. Hope NYC is treating you well!"
"This comic has bring a lot of smiles to me.. Living in a traditional fmily..i can’t come out, i can’t be too obvious of my gender prference.i felt depressed ..but your comic brought my smile and kept my sanity… Thank u so much..pls keep on going.. Love, from Malaysia."
And here are some links to interviews about the comic:
Let's Get It Published!
This project is all about turning a quality comic into a book that offers a story allowing others to laugh and feel and less alone. Readers have used this comic in professional presentations and in academic works. They have used it to better understand their loved ones and to help their loves ones understand them. Making What's Normal Anyway? a book will bring the comic even further and let it be more useful to people around the world.
To date, WNA has welcomed over 180,000 site visits from 157 countries. Three-hundred copies of the mini comic have sold in stores and at conferences all over the country, and that was while I hardly had time to focus on marketing and distribution, being neck-deep in my grad program. WNA now has a strong fan base, open distribution channels, and my full attention, making this moment the perfect time to launch the book. This September's Small Press Expo in Washington DC is where it will happen.
Okay, here's the fun part...
Thanks to all you amazing backers, this project has been successfully funded and is still going strong! Therefore, extra rewards are in order for reaching stretch goals. Here's what I put together based on polling you supporters and your lovely suggestions:
$5,000 - Prequel comic! You get to learn a bit more backstory of the WNA cast. Episodes will update at WhatsNormalAnyway.net.
$6,000 - Backers will get a fancy picture of Dr. Skateboard! Those from the $25 level and up will get the print mailed to them and those under the $25 level will get an exclusive, high-quality digital image that would look great printed.
$7,000 - I will create a digital step-by-step photo guide of my comic-making process and send it to all backers. It's kinda like getting a secret recipe!
Thank you so much for your love and support so far!
Risks and challenges
I am quite familiar with risks and challenges of putting out creative assets on time, as I have been diligently updating WhatsNormalAnyway.net with a new comic every Monday for nearly three years. On a few occasions when I have not been able to create a full strip, I kept readers informed about what was going on, and offered other drawings and glimpses into my life so that no one was left hanging. Following through regardless of setbacks is one of the highest priorities I have as a comics creator. I will push forward and keep supporters updated no matter what challenges appear. Thank you so much to those who take this leap with me!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)