END OF LINE. (NOT ACTUALLY, THOUGH)
Our campaign ended today, at a total of $6,802 raised by 112 backers. First off: That's fucking incredible. The backers for this campaign have been intensely generous in showing their support for Crossed Wires and for cool comics about queer kid cyber-adventures in general. The promotion for the campaign has been nonstop, too, with a ton of rad people pitching in at all hours on social media to constantly promote XW when I was busy with my day job or drawing the next update or sundry other pointless activities. Saying things like "this wouldn't have been possible without you" feels totally redundant on a site like Kickstarter where the whole point is making things possible through large, passionate groups of people, but still: Thank you so much! I seriously, honestly couldn't have done it without you.
Let's not mince words. The past 24 hours have been shitty for the QUILTBAG crowd. (And POCs. And women. And disabled people and immigrants and like every single person who isn't a straight, white cis male.) I use Twitter a lot, and for the past night and day nearly everyone I know on there has been expressing their grief, confusion, anger and fear. The worst thing to come out of this election isn't that we elected a hollow, two-faced right wing lunatic, even though that's absolutely true. It isn't that he picked a dude for VP who thinks queers should literally be electroshocked into being straight, even though that's fucking atrocious. It isn't that the Democratic Party collapsed in on itself in its attempt to pit their most moderate candidate against a radical twit, even though it totally did.
It's that we have to live with the effects on a personal level. I know that, statistically, sure, not everyone who voted for Trump was a racist or a misogynist. But suddenly, those in this country who are sexist and racist are finding that they don't have to hide their feelings anymore. They don't have to play the role of the embattled, marginalized victim any longer, and they're going to celebrate by finally saying and doing all the wretched things they've dreamed of without worrying about the consequences. A couple of friends of mine got chased out of a restaurant today for looking queer and not being Trump supporters. Backward changes in policy suck but can be survivable and, eventually, even reversed; a dark, hateful national id freed of its last few chains is significantly more difficult to live with. It's the kind of demon you can't put back in a box so easily.
But I'm preaching to the choir here. You bought a book about trans kids having internet swordfights, of course you're terrified. So here's the good news.
They can't fucking stop us.
They can hurt us. They can annul our marriages. They can take away our healthcare. They can put all the crooked cops and bigots and hate group members between us and the respect we deserve, but they can't fucking kill what we've accomplished, or what we will accomplish. Together we are a family of thousands, stretching across the country and beyond, a glimmering network of stars that no greasy imbecile can extinguish. I know you're afraid out there, but you have to believe me: you're not alone. We'll stand with you no matter where your dreams take you, no matter who stands in your way.
Even though we actually got the grim cyberpunk future we always vaguely feared, I'm going to keep making stories about people like me, and I hope you'll keep reading them and maybe making your own. If there's one thing this campaign and its surrounding context taught me, it's that if life imitates art, then we should make art that leads us to a stronger, more beautiful future for everyone.
I'll put more notes up about fulfillment in a few days. Take care of yourself and stay safe out there. I love you. -IJ