In an uncanny landscape, perched on the edge of a deep ravine, thirteen girls reside in a crooked orphanage. The girls must keep their white dresses clean, do their chores, avoid fraternizing with boys, and, most importantly, stay out of the ravine: It's rumored to be haunted by a witch.
The girls keep disappearing, though: In August, it was Justine Maiden; in September, Delphina. Finally, in October, when Marianne Maiden goes missing, her best friend Ellie—against all sound advice—sneaks into the ravine to find her, releasing a force so old, so wild, and so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything she knows.
Inspired by the music of Tori Amos, Bucket Siler’s Pigtail Girls draws on Greek and Irish mythology to invite us into a chilling and exquisitely rendered world, one where the questions raised—about resistance and submission, conformity and revolution—have no easy answers.
Thirteen stunning illustrations by Santa Fe, NM artist Lindsay Payton accompany the story, bringing a grotesquely playful visual dimension to Siler’s already vivid fantasy. What emerges from their collaboration is a uniquely dark, feminist fairy tale that balances horror, whimsy, and violence.
Bucket Siler and Lindsay Payton met through a mutual friend in 2016. They immediately fell in love with each other’s work.
“When I work with others on a project, it’s really important to me that we have a kind of mutual appreciation society,” Siler explains. “I’m totally in love with Lindsay’s work, and she was one of the first big fans of Pigtail Girls. I had her drawings by my desk as I revised the story, which inspired me to go in new directions and molded some of the characters and settings. Whenever I was feeling discouraged,” she says, “I’d just scroll through Lindsay’s Instagram feed and get re-inspired by all her incredible work. It’s so vivid—it really transports you.”
“As soon as I read her story, I knew I had to work on this project,” Payton adds. “I think people are really going to love it.”
is the author of six zines and the founder of Santa Fe Zine Fest in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her story "P.S. While You Were Sleeping" recently won second place in Storm Cellar's Force Majeure Flash Contest.
When Bucket’s not writing or sleeping, she likes to wander around the desert, drink tea, give unusually long hugs to her friends, and make off-kilter jokes with a straight face. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has lived in New Mexico since 2006.
has always found refuge from everyday life in stories. The raconteurs that made up her childhood influenced an eventual need to express her own stories, and she grew to be an avid fiction writer and later an artist. Folklore and mythology have always been a particular fascination, as well as classic monsters, cryptozoology, and urban legends.
Payton uses thrifted or borrowed frames to encase her drawings that became eerie negative space scenes straight out of lore; comprised of ink, acrylic, watercolor, and pastels. Today, she continues her narrative illustrations featuring children lost in the woods, local urban legends, hidden creatures, and ancient fears. Making life less mundane by bringing light to the darkest tales of old so they are never forgotten.
Follow her story on Instagram @pinseyrose
Anyone who pledges more than $10 will get a copy of Pigtail Girls, whether digital, print, special edition, or all three!
While we decided not to go the route of traditional publishing for this particular project (it's nearly impossible to get a short story picked up by a publisher), we have high hopes for the future, both as individual artists and as a collaborative team.
Bucket is already a published fiction writer, and has a growing list of fellowships and honors for her writing.
Lindsay's career as an artist has been taking off in a big way lately, too. In addition to selling out at her solo art shows in Santa Fe, her work has been picked up by several galleries around town.
We hope that the success of this project will help us get the attention of a major publisher, who would be interested in seeing Pigtail Girls expanded into a novel-length work.
As a thank you for your support in creating Pigtail Girls, we have all kinds of rewards to offer our backers.
- Digital copies of Pigtail Girls
- Print copies of Pigtail Girls
- Your name in the acknowledgments
- Autographed copies
- Limited-edition Pigtail Girls with a silk-screened cover
- High-quality prints or originals of Lindsay's work
In addition to regular print copies of the zine and digital versions, we'll be making a special, limited-edition version of the zine with a silk-screened cover on high-quality cardstock. You'll also have the chance to get your name printed in the acknowledgments, and get high-quality prints or originals of Lindsay's drawings.
Take a look at all the reward packages we're offering, and please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!
We're excited to have your support and to include you in our project!
The cover illustration for Pigtail Girls and all 12 interior illustrations are complete, and the story is being buffed and polished to a shine.
In mid-August, Pigtail Girls will enter its final stages of editing with a professional line and copyeditor who will help Bucket make sure that every sentence and paragraph is crisp and lovely. After that, the story will see yet another editor, who will proofread the manuscript one last time, weeding out spelling or grammar errors that went undetected before.
By mid-September, we will begin designing the interior (placing the illustrations and text) and cover and getting it ready to send off to the printers.
The zine will go to print in October, and will be ready to ship off to backers by November.
We’re raising $2,000 to bring this zine into the world. About $1,500 will go toward the costs of creating, designing, formatting, and printing the zine. The other $500 will go toward creating extra backer rewards such as prints of Lindsay’s work; promotional costs; the costs of creating the Kickstarter project (such as videography); and Kickstarter/processing fees (which come to about 8% of the total raised).
In the event that we raise more than our goal, the additional funds will go toward printing more copies of the zine and covering other costs that weren’t included in our barebones Kickstarter budget, including graphic design, editing, photography, and promotion.
Thank you! We can't wait to share our project with you!
Risks and challenges
Bucket has been making zines for over 10 years, so she’s got everything down to a pretty solid system.
However, unanticipated delays do sometimes arise. We’ve accounted for the most common of these in our timeline, and even if something extra crazy happened, it’s unlikely that it would push the delivery date back by more than a few weeks or months.
At this point, Bucket has pretty much seen it all, so barring natural disaster or hospitalization, you can expect the project to come to fruition.
...and no matter what happens (whether small setbacks or unexpected successes,) we will keep you well informed every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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