Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction that focuses on positive and hopeful representations of queer folks throughout history and across the world. In 2015, we started that mission with Dates 1… and now we need your help to print Volume 2!
The second volume of Dates is going even bigger than the first, with 260+ pages of black and white comics, full color illustrations, and prose! All the art is finished and ready to go, but we still need your help to go to print and finish paying our creators!
Every queer person knows how hard it is to find ourselves in fiction, and how much harder it is to find fiction where our stories don’t end tragically. And of course, it’s particularly difficult to find happy queer characters in historical fiction. We wanted to work towards evening the score, and the result was Dates 1: a 176 page celebration of queer identities of all kinds, across the world and throughout history. We were thrilled by the reception to Dates 1, and we knew people still had more stories to tell, so we decided to do it all again. And just like last year, there are no tragic endings.
A few things have changed this year: all the stories are longer (up to 16 pages!) and all relate to one central theme: Progress. 35 amazing creators have come together to tell stories about personal, societal, and technological progress, creating a total of 218 pages of comics, 16 stunning color illustrations, and 2 short prose stories. Watch a young trans woman grow into herself in 19th century Bengal, or a young woman from the 1920s Dominican Republic study to become a doctor. Or, if you’re interested in a raucous good time, join two innkeepers as they stand their ground in Mesopotamia during Hammurabi’s reign. The final book will be more than 260 pages long, perfect bound, and gorgeous. The stories are all safe for work, too, so you can share the book with all but the youngest of readers. We’re in love with the work our contributors have done—help us share it with the world!
Zora Gilbert and Cat Parra are back, once again, to edit Dates 2! We’re thrilled to say that a number of our creators from the first volume have also returned:
- Ayanna Johnson (From Sweet Tea to BD)
- Cat Parra (Beyond 2), and introducing writer J.J. Barnes
- Dante Luiz (Tabula Idem)
- Effie Lee
- Erica Chan
- Grace Park (Vertoscope)
- Imas Esther (Bone Music, Carpel Pummel)
- Ingram (From Sweat Tea to BD)
- Isnri (Cassius), and introducing writer Yiyun Teo
- millionfish (Home Beings, Yellowcake)
- Pat Shand (Robyn Hood, Iron Man: Mutually Assured Destruction), and introducing artist Kate Kasenow (An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, All Saints Day)
And, of course, we’re just as excited about all our new faces:
- A D’Amico (Hidden Youth, Spitball 2)
- Ahmara Smith and Saf Davidson
- Ariel Vittori (Grimorio)
- Fanfi (Our Hearts Still Beat)
- Fyodor Pavlov (Queerotica, The Other Side) and Megan McFerren (Bespoke, Love of the Game)
- Gwen C. Katz (Among The Red Stars)
- Jessica Trevino And Claudia Astorino (Autostraddle)
- Kate Wellenstein and Juliana Pinho
- Kelly Fernandez (Awesome Possum)
- Marie-Anne Dt (Where is Home?, Alpha Romeo Tango)
- Michelle Gruppetta
- Nicole Fieger (Plants Are Friends, Buff Babes Zine 2)
- Noella Whitney (Broadside, Buff Babes Zine 2)
- Rel (Witchery, etc., School of World)
- Telênia Albuquerque (Amazonmachy, Princeless)
- Val Wise (Fat Mermaids Zine, Tabula Idem)
- Vivian Zhou
Dante Luiz and Rel’s comics, as well as Ariel Vittori’s illustrations,will be exclusive to the Kickstarter... so get those while you can!
The comics are complete and the book is on its way toward being put together, so the main goal of this Kickstarter is to print Dates 2 as a 6”x9”, 260+ page, perfect bound paperback book, complete with full color comic covers and illustrations and to pay our contributors!
We’ve already paid our creative teams an on-completion rate of $20/page, but we need to raise the money to increase that to a total of $50 per page.
In our funding goal of $22,000:
- $7,860 will go towards paying our contributors.
- $8,130 will go towards proofing and printing the books
- $2,910 will go towards shipping books to backers
- $300 will go towards paying for and shipping other backer rewards
- $2,200 will go towards Kickstarter fees
- $600 will be wiggle room
As we hit stretch goals, we’ll be able to print more books, give our creators better pay, and get you some nice bonuses as well!
$27,000: Spot UV and contributor pay increase - UNLOCKED!
We’ll add spot UV to the cover for some extra flare. Also, contributors/creative teams will be paid an additional $10/page (for a total of $60/page).
$33,000: Extra print (and more contributor pay!)
We’ll print A D’Amico’s gorgeous Valentine’s Day illustration as a 6”x9” postcard and add it to all tiers $30 and above! Also, contributors/creative teams will be paid an additional $20/page (for a total of $70/page).
$37,000: DATES 1 REPRINT!
That’s right! If we hit $37,000, we’ll be able to reprint Dates 1 in all its original glory! If we hit this goal, we’ll be adding extra reward tiers that include Volume 1—so if you want to get your hands on this out of print original, back now!
$41,000+: Contributor pay increases!
At $41,000 and for every $5,000 we raise above it, contributors will be paid an additional $10/page (on top of previous increases)!
THE WALLPAPER! Thank you for your support! You get access to Erica Chan’s gorgeous cover art as a high-definition wallpaper.
$10: WRITTEN LANGUAGE
THE PDF! You get the full, DRM-free PDF of Dates 2, and your name in our acknowledgements pages!
THE BONUS COLLECTION! You get the PDF, your name on our acknowledgements page, and the bonus collection ––a Kickstarter exclusive bundle featuring comics by Rel and Dante Luiz, illustrations by Ariel Vittori, and the high-res wallpaper!
THE DIGITAL PACKAGE! You get the PDF, the bonus collection, your name on the acknowledgements page, and the full, DRM-free PDF of Dates 1!
$25: PRINTING PRESS
THE BOOK! You get the PDF, your name on our acknowledgements page, and a real, physical copy of Dates 2! UPDATE 3/24: Any backers at this level and above who also back Fresh Romance 2 at any physical book level will receive a FREE EXCLUSIVE PRINT!
BOOK & BONUS! You get the PDF, your name on our acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, and the bonus collection! UPDATE 3/25: We unlocked our second stretch goal! That means that all backers at this level and above will also get a FREE 6"x9" PRINT of A D'Amico's lovely Valentines Day illustration!
$35: PISTON ENGINE
BOOK & DIGITAL PACKAGE! You get your name on our acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, and the full digital package!
THE TWIN PACKAGE! You get your name on the acknowledgements page, two paperback copies of Dates 2, and the full digital package!
THE ENAMEL PIN! You get your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, the full digital package, and a 1.5 inch diameter enamel pin designed by Zora Gilbert!
If you back at this tier or any other that includes the enamel pin you are also eligible to get this print by Dates 1 and 2 artist Effie Lee! We offered this print as a reward for the Dates 1 Kickstarter campaign and we have a small number left over, so if you want it here's what you can do:
- If you want just the print, instead of the pin, message us on Kickstarter! We’ll make a note to swap them out.
- If you want the print and the pin, add $10 to your pledge and message us on Kickstarter. Again, we’ll make a note to add the print on!
$60: ELECTRIC LIGHT
THE RETAILER LEVEL! 5 copies of of Dates 2 at wholesale value. This tier is for retailers and libraries only!
$100: GAS AUTOMOBILE
WRITING COMMISSIONS! You get your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, the full digital package, the enamel pin, and Gwen C. Katz will write a 2000-word short about a historical topic of your choosing (note: Gwen reserves the right to negotiate topics she deems inappropriate). Click through the image to read a sample of her writing!
$100: MOTORIZED AIRCRAFT
PORTRAIT COMMISSIONS! You get your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, the full digital package, the enamel pin, and one of the amazing artists below will draw your character or favorite historical figure in period-appropriate finery of your choice!
$200: SPACE TRAVEL
ORIGINAL PAGES! You get your name on the acknowledgements page, a paperback copy of Dates 2, the full digital package, the enamel pin, and a page of original art from one of the amazing comics below:
See more previews (and process work) at our blog!
We couldn’t have done this or Dates 1 without our amazing friends and communities. Special thanks goes out to:
- Estelle Tian, for our amazing video (two years running!)
- Kirsten Spira, for unending legal advice
- C. Spike Trotman, for pioneering the artist’s bonus system (adapted in this campaign)
- Lewis Gilbert
- Erica Chan
- The entire Pittsburgh crew, for providing unwavering and enthusiastic support (and helping us ship 700 books in a weekend last year!)
"Thatched Villagers" by Kevin MacLeod
Risks and challenges
All the comics are finished, we have our printers lined up for books and backer rewards, and all that’s left to do is put the book together and go to print! Our only risks are delays during printing and fulfillment, but we've done this before and know exactly what to expect.
If any delays do occur, rest assured that we'll make sure to notify backers as soon as we can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)