DeeDee and I are good friends who share a love of reading, writing and music. About three years ago, we started a writing club to help motivate us when we realized we weren't making time to write on our own.
A few months later, DeeDee (a librarian by day) was browsing through a collection of graphic novels, and found "The Tale of One Bad Rat" by Bryan Talbot. This award winning comic confronts the difficult subject of child sexual abuse. We thought it was wonderful how Talbot used the graphic novel format, conventions of fantasy, and his obvious love of children's author Beatrix Potter, to make his story more attractive to young audiences.
A couple of months later, Deedee was looking for a young adult graphic novel that dealt with themes of alcohol and was unable to find anything in that format. So...we decided to write a comic ourselves!
We think that Brandy fills a unique need in the field of young adult comics. It will also appeal to many adults who enjoy graphic novels. Readers of all ages can appreciate the way Brandy uses the tools at her disposal as a young adult (her imagination and the strength she finds in her relationships) to cope with the tough stuff life throws at her. Many of us will also relate to the challenges she faces as a child growing up in a family dealing with addiction. Given the challenging themes of the book, we believe Brandy also has the potential to be used by teachers in the classroom and discussed by book clubs.
We brought our initial draft to Terry Jordan, the writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Public Library (2011/12). To our pleasant surprise, he really loved what we had put together. It was great to hear that we were on the right track. So we continued to edit, edit, edit.
Then life intervened and we had to put down the project for about a year. We picked it up again and brought it to the 2012-2013 writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Public Library, Joan Thomas. She also loved the script and said that it was "Fresh, playful, ensures that a story on a serious theme does not become didactic." We were re-invigorated by her comments and we decided to approach Scott B. Henderson. We had both read the 7 Generations series of comics, which was written by David Alexander Robertson and illustrated by Scott, and we thought they were amazing. Scott agreed to draw us some sample pages, and we fell in love with the illustrations of Brandy and her friends.
A couple of months ago we started our last round of editing (as they say, most writing is actually editing!). Now we feel like Brandy is done. Our next step is to complete the illustrations and share the story with all of you!
Join us as we bring Brandy and her world to life!
Risks and challenges
It will take us a number of months to complete the illustrations for Brandy. Although we have some details for each panel, Scott still has to draw out thumbnail sketches for us to review and then pencil each page for us to check-over before inking. This process will take anywhere from 4-6 months depending on other projects that Scott will be working on at the same time.
When the illustrations for Brandy near completion, our next task will be to shop Brandy around to a variety of publishers that publish in the graphic novel format. We have been keeping a list of publishers that we think would be interested in the project and we will be writing a pitch, in order of favorites, to each one. If you know of any that you like, let us know!
We know that it may be difficult to get published, but we plan to persevere and consider all options available to get the project in interested readers' hands. And when it is published....Woo Hooo Party at Deedee's place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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