Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The true biography of the historical figure, writer, alcoholic, lesbian, and world traveler: Jane Sydney Auer Bowles.
The true biography of the historical figure, writer, alcoholic, lesbian, and world traveler: Jane Sydney Auer Bowles.
The true biography of the historical figure, writer, alcoholic, lesbian, and world traveler: Jane Sydney Auer Bowles.
Created by
403 backers pledged $14,740 to help bring this project to life.

About

Strange Wit, an original graphic novel about Jane Bowles project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Strange Wit, an original graphic novel about Jane Bowles

$14,740

403

Meet Jane Bowles: incredible author, inspiring woman, tortured mind.

Jane may have been marginalized by the cultural canon, but her contemporaries considered her “one of the finest modern writers” (John Ashberry), “the most important writer of prose fiction” (Tennessee Williams), and further, a “genius imp, [a] laughing, hilarious, tortured elf” (Truman Capote). Jane drank more than she wrote, worried more than she worked, and had more epically disastrous love affairs than completed books. By almost any measure, Jane led a fascinating life filled with literary giants and great adventure and I want to bring her story to life.

Sketches of Jane at various ages by Tyler Jenkins
Sketches of Jane at various ages by Tyler Jenkins

“Although unknown to the general public, the Bowleses were famous among those who were famous.” – Gore Vidal 

“My only complaint against Mrs. Bowles is that she publishes so infrequently. One would prefer larger quantities of her strange wit, thorny insight. Certainly she is one of the really original pure stylists.” – Truman Capote 

This Kickstarter is going to help fund the creation and publication of chapter one of an original graphic novel written by me, Katy Rex, about Jane’s life. This book will be published as a standalone issue and follow Jane’s life from childhood up until a freak accident on a horse that led her to be diagnosed with tuberculosis of the knee. It includes art from Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust, Neverboy) on the main biography, and June Vigants on the short story, in full color with a stunning and evocative palette from Kelly Fitzpatrick (Sensation Comics). Editor Kirsten Thompson contributes a unique perspective on history and feminism. It will also include Jane’s short story, A Stick Of Green Candy, about the nature of love and childhood innocence and the death of imagination. An inset medical diagram art piece from artist Kate Lacour will detail the intricacies of joint tuberculosis. This campaign will allow the project to continue and build into a full length book, and will be an opportunity for backers to get the exclusive rewards that will not be available once the book is fully produced. This single extra thick issue, coming in at a full 28 printed pages, will also feature an essay from Lauren Spohrer, editor of the online magazine Two Serious Ladies, which publishes original poetry and prose from women around the world.

tuberculosis of the knee as rendered by artist Kate Lacour
tuberculosis of the knee as rendered by artist Kate Lacour

This original graphic novel will follow Jane Bowles' life in ten chapters. In each chapter, there is an adaptation of one of her short stories, and each short story is adapted by a different artist. The artistic team adapting short stories includes art from Dom Sole, Betsy Peterschmidt (Boys with Wings), Ines Estrada (Ojitos Borrosos, Lapsos), June Vigants (Chainmail Bikini, Tales of the Night Watchman), Joshua Hixson (The Rebel Gun), Anne Maxson, Beatrice Penco Sechi (Lady Doll), Ryan Kelly (Lucifer, Local), Adam Gorham (Zero, Kill Shakespeare), and Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot, Pawn Shop), with a Kickstarter-exclusive cover by Marguerite Sauvage (Thor, Ninjak, The Wicked + The Divine). In order to tie together her life and stories, colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick (Sensation Comics) is creating a unifying palette and letterer/designer Taylor Esposito (Ghost Glyph Studios) will be facilitating the flow of the work.

backer reward: Strange Wit flask, art not final
backer reward: Strange Wit flask, art not final

Very few accounts of Jane’s life exist in the realm of public consumption. Some things are broadly and culturally agreed upon: She had many sexual relationships with women, she wrote sparsely and strangely but with genius and style, and when she met her husband, she said to a friend, “He is my enemy.” But the cultural mythos about Mrs. Bowles does very little to capture the very real and very unique person behind her strange persona.

Chapter one is completely scripted and the art is nearly complete. Help us get it printed, and YOU (yes, you!) can be eligible for a number of exciting rewards, including: 

• Digital and physical copies before they’re available anywhere else 

• Set of 10 Postcards limited edition/numbered 

• An exclusive limited edition (numbered) print of Marguerite Sauvage’s portrait of Jane 

• Thank-you letter, handwritten 

• Thank-you letter, handwritten while drunk 

• A mini-comic written & (poorly) drawn by Katy: cocktail recipes of the artistic elite 

• Options for original art from the creative team, including pages from the book and full color commissions

One of the cool things about working with a creative team of this scale is that we are able to collect work from each one of the short story artists in a unique set of 10 postcards. Each postcard comes from a place where Jane lived and worked at the time of the chapter in which that artist's short story is featured.

Title page by artist Tyler Jenkins
Title page by artist Tyler Jenkins

Since the chapter is nearly done, rewards will be printed and shipped within a few months after the campaign ends. The money made in this Kickstarter, first and foremost, will be going toward fair page rates for the excellent and high-quality work from this diverse and unique creative team. With the full length graphic novel coming in at around 240 pages, it's not a small budget, and starting to fund it through Kickstarter brings it one step closer to being a reality. While this campaign primarily funds the production and printing of chapter one, if we surpass our goal we will be able to use the additional money to speed up the production of the final book.

Sample page from A Quarreling Pair artist Joshua Hixson
Sample page from A Quarreling Pair artist Joshua Hixson

This book is fun to read, beautiful to look at, and covers a crucial topic in the marginalized history of LGBT artists. Thank you for considering pledging!

UPDATE: After our awesome Comicosity interview, we decided it was probably a good idea to clarify some of our financial goals.

This Kickstarter is to print Chapter One of the book, and also to fund the artists' costs for the rest of the book. All backers WILL be getting a discount code for the finished graphic novel, but since that is still in the tentative future and being worked out logistically, it's not being formally included in this project. We know that $12,000 is steep for a single issue, and we're happy that so many of you are being so understanding about the rest of the creative team's needs, even though their work isn't being included in this issue. To make up for that, we're trying to pack as much unique and exclusive content into this mega-issue, including an essay and some concept sketches that will never make it into the final book and will only be available here on Kickstarter.

Risks and challenges

The main obstacles this book faces are the size of the creative team and the legality of printing a book based on licensed intellectual property. Katy has been working with the estate and has conditional permission to use Jane's works and adapt them for this new media, and she is also managing and working with the creative team with constant communication and transparency.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name in the "thanks" section of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    A digital copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    79 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A poorly-done drawing of you from writer Katy Rex + a digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    A limited, signed, and numbered copy of the script for chapter one by Katy Rex + a digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A digital copy + a print copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    46 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Handwritten thank you letter from Katy Rex written on an official Strange Wit poscard + digital copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)
    NOTE: this reward does not include a print copy of chapter one)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    Handwritten thank you letter from Katy Rex WRITTEN WHILE DRUNK on an official Strange Wit poscard + digital copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)
    NOTE: this reward does not include a print copy of chapter one)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A poorly drawn mini-comic by Katy Rex and minicomic expert Joe Mochove (Dirt Worst) featuring the signature drink recipes of the Beat era literati + a digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 19 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Strange Wit logo flask, available first on Kickstarter, + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    SKETCH CARD BONUS
    A sketch card chosen AT RANDOM from one of our talented artists + A digital copy + a print copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Set of 10 postcards + digital copy of chapter one (Postcard set is from each of the contributing artists and features various locations that Jane Bowles lived. Art from: Adam Gorham, Anne Maxson, Beatrice Penco Sechi, Betsy Peterschmidt, Ines Estrada, Joshua Hixson, June Vigants, Ryan Kelly, Sean Von Gorman, and Soo Lee!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Handwritten thank you letter from Katy Rex written on an official Strange Wit poscard + print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Handwritten thank you letter from Katy Rex WRITTEN WHILE DRUNK written on an official Strange Wit poscard + print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Set of 10 postcards + print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one (Postcard set is from each of the contributing artists and features various locations that Jane Bowles live. Art from: Adam Gorham, Anne Maxson, Beatrice Penco Sechi, Betsy Peterschmidt, Ines Estrada, Joshua Hixson, June Vigants, Ryan Kelly, Sean Von Gorman, and Soo Lee!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    CUSTOM STRANGE WIT FLASK + print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Print copy of chapter one WITH SIGNED BOOK PLATE AND SIGNATURES FROM: Katy Rex, Tyler Jenkins, June Vigants, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Kate Lacour + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Exclusive 11 X 17 print of the Marguerite Sauvage cover + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    RETAILER INCENTIVE
    10 print copies of chapter one for your store
    (yes, we will check that you are a retailer, sorry everyone else!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    ORIGINAL COMMISSIONS BY JUNE VIGANTS! 8x10 ink wash commission +print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    4" x 6" watercolor commission from biography artist TYLER JENKINS

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    COLOR COMMISSION FROM SEAN VON GORMAN + print copy of chapter one + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 original page from The Iron Table (from chapter four) by artist SEAN VON GORMAN + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 original page from A Guatemalan Idyll (from chapter ten) by artist INES ESTRADA + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  24. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 original page from A Quarreling Pair (from chapter two) by artist JOSHUA HIXSON + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    RETAILER INCENTIVE
    20 print copies of chapter one for your store
    (yes, we will check that you are a retailer, sorry everyone else!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  26. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 original page from Andrew (from chapter five) by artist ADAM GORHAM + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  27. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    1 original page from Chapter One by artist TYLER JENKINS + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  28. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Limited edition, signed and numbered, hand-pressed folio with 25 pages of concept and sketch art from the whole team of artists. Each page is signed by its creator, folio will include roughs, unlettered pages, and unpublished pinups from Tyler Jenkins et al.
    + A digital copy + a print copy of chapter one (available on Kickstarter one month before it will be available to consumers and retailers)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  29. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Watercolor commission of the single subject of your choice by artist MARGUERITE SAUVAGE + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  30. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    10' x 6' (304cm x 183cm) original spray and stencil dinosaur skeleton art piece by Katy Rex, dinosaur species of your choice + digital copy of chapter one

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)