How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?
THEODORE MANN, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for MANN FIRST, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program led by his son, THADDEUS.
The main person standing in the President’s way is X – once known as Kareem Jenkins – who has become a symbol of resistance against the Mann Administration. X’s one-man opposition has thwarted Mann’s efforts both public and private, drawing attention away from X’s teammates in THE PROJECT so they can save empowered blacks from government capture.
Thaddeus wants X dead by his own hands in order to destroy the spirits of empowered opposition and win the favor of his father’s support base. Taking down his perceived rival would finally allow him to step out of his father’s shadow and usher in a new era of the Mann dynasty – under his leadership.
BLACK could not have happened without all of our backers, and Kickstarter was essential. The experience was awesome, afforded us amazing opportunities, and taught us some valuable lessons. Our goal remains to tell entertaining stories from black perspectives that increase authentic representation in the comics industry.
Strides have been made and we're happy to see a burgeoning black renaissance in media. However, there’s still much to be done about having agency in the black narrative. That means challenging the structure and examining what upholds inequalities and holds humanity back from our ideals in comics – and in reality.
We saw how those opposed to BLACK reacted to the idea of black people authoring how we are portrayed in media, which is why we think WHITE is an important part of the overarching world we're building.
We’ve been lucky to build our world with full agency at Black Mask Studios, but to continue telling stories the way we want, we need to keep challenging ourselves, and publishing paradigms, by making these special variant editions of WHITE, and all six issues at once, exclusively available through this crowdfunding campaign. (If you are a retailer, you will be able to order standard-edition periodicals directly from Black Mask once rewards ship.)
That’s right – the ONLY way to get your hands on these copies of WHITE is through this Kickstarter.
During our previous campaign and over the course of making comics, we learned a lot – about what readers want, about what we want, and about how to get it to people. So, we decided on four very specific and very limited rewards for fans, collectors, bingers, and retailers.
That’s it! We felt very strongly about focusing solely on comics in formats unique to backers, readers’ preferences, and retailers’ needs. With your support, these will be very special editions. The only other people who will have a few copies are the creative contributors who helped make them.
Because the campaign for WHITE is all about providing fans with actual exclusives, we want to sweeten the rewards by offering additional Issue One periodical variants as we reach specific backer milestones. Each stretch goal will add a new cover to the mix and divide the number of covers, making issues rarer.
Some amazing artists – whose names you might recognize – Ashley A. Wood, Jamal Igle, Jeremy Love, ChrisCross, Sanford Greene, and the LEGENDARY Denys Cowan have each offered to do a bespoke cover for issue one. Each stretch goal will add a new cover to the mix and divide the number of covers, making books rarer. So please spread the word to back us and increase the rarity of your cover.
*Distribution of variant periodicals will be random. Backers will not be able to choose which cover they receive but variants will be split evenly among backers.
Now, we know we have some superfans who are going to want to get their hands on everything. Once all the variant covers are unlocked – we will offer two more rewards that include the original rewards.
Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, Sarah Litt, Derwin Roberson, and Dave Sharpe return to produce the graphic novel, WHITE – the second part of the trilogy that began with the critically acclaimed graphic novel, BLACK.
The original team of creators from BLACK are returning, along with our terrific toner, Derwin Roberson, letterer extraordinaire David Sharpe, and new to the team, Juan Castro!
Our production timeline is already underway to ensure that we get books out to backers with minimal hiccups. Your support will make certain that our team can concentrate on bringing you a jaw-dropping sequel to the comic that asked, “What if only black people had superpowers?”
Issue One variant of WHITE is estimated to be delivered to backers October 2019. The limited edition variant of the graphic novel and retailer bundles will ship to backers in February 2020.
A majority of the funds are for production, printing fees, shipping and fulfillment costs, plus taxes.
We’re super excited to welcome our fans back to the story, and welcome aboard new readers.
Risks and challenges
All of our returns go directly back into making more books that reflect an authentic black experience through comics. Our goal remains to foster agency in our narratives and increase the representation of black characters across the diaspora, and it’s only through your continued support that we are able to do so undeterred.
We learned a lot from our previous campaign, mainly that readers just want a book above all other rewards – so that is all we are focused on with this campaign. Feedback made it clear that a simplified Kickstarter with a limited run of exclusive editions would give backers rewards no one else will have.
Additionally, though a lot of planning went into our last campaign, we couldn’t anticipate the enthusiasm that would result in having two people mailing out not hundreds, but thousands, of books. To that end, we’ve revised calculations and thoroughly researched successful campaigns and Kickstarter-recommended fulfillment partners to ensure logistics are seamless.
This will also allow us to focus on making comics and engaging with our supporters. WHITE is already in production and we want to make sure our collaborators are compensated fairly for their dedication to the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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