WE'VE DONE IT.
You've done it.
We reached £8.5k with your help and with five days to go. Artist Gary Erskine, who drew the incredible portrait of Volume 2's Cat, was the hero who finally pushed us over the finish line. Thank you so much to everyone has supported us.
What comes next?
The Issue 5 script was sent to Suze Shore this morning, for her to start work on thumbnails and panel breakdowns. So we've already begun. We're aiming to finish Issue 5 over the Summer, to send out the digital copies in October and the print copies in November.
"Great characters, beautifully drawn. I wish there'd been a comic like this when I was a girl. " - Mary Talbot, Costa Award-winning co-creator of Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes and Sally Heathcote, Suffragette
"Fantastic. " - Lea Hernandez, co-creator with Gail Simone of Killer Princesses
"Cat’s a great heroine – she doesn't run around in high heels and latex, and she despises superheroes. Marshal Law would approve of her!" - Pat Mills, creator of 2000AD
"Catherine's one of the most relatable characters I've ever read. This comic has the potential to be hugely popular... the next Girl Genius." - Kyrax2, "The San Diego Batgirl", Comics Bulletin
"I'm excited by MSCSI and love its powerful images of women... I wish it every success." - Athena Finger, granddaughter of Batman creator Bill Finger
My So-Called Secret Identity launched in February 2013, after 18 months of development. The response was incredible -- we received enthusiastic reviews in the mainstream press, in academic journals and across comics blogs, but we also raised enough funding, through our own website, to support the production of the next three issues.
The story of Catherine Abigail Daniels, a normal (but incredibly intelligent) young woman in a city of superheroes, continued throughout 2013 and 2014, with the second, third and fourth episodes appearing online for free.
In Autumn 2013, we released a print edition of the story so far, in partnership with Geeked Magazine -- and in Spring 2014 we were invited by Stylist Magazine to contribute a bespoke section on women in comics, complete with an original, 2-page strip with art from rising star Rachael Smith.
Now, in the month when co-creators Will Brooker and Sarah Zaidan appear on a panel at the British Library's prestigious Comics Unmasked exhibition with Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis, we're launching this Kickstarter to finish the first volume of Cat's adventures.
We have two aims. Firstly, we simply want to produce Issue 5, the last instalment in the first volume of MSCSI, which shows you what happens to Cat after the cliffhanger at the end of Issue 4, and wraps up her story for now.
Second, we want to publish a complete, high quality, print edition of Issues 1-5. We've carefully worked out the various costs involved -- artwork, printing, distribution -- and we're asking for your help to cover them, and to offer fair payment to everyone involved, from the artists to the MSCSI intern. (Everyone, that is, apart from writer Will Brooker, who takes nothing from the project).
We're offering several different levels for different budgets. Though we really appreciate your support, we're not asking you to donate out of goodwill and charity, and hope for the best. We're offering a system of pre-orders, which you'll find on the rewards list. Order now, and we'll deliver the product to you as soon as it's ready.
If you only want to read the final episode, you can pick our 5 by 5 deal and receive that issue digitally, for the low price of £5, topped off with a stunning, iconic cover by Clay Rodery. Issue 5 will not be available online until 2015 at the earliest, so you'll have it well in advance of anyone else.
The print edition starts at £20, and will be sent out to you in the post as soon as it's published -- five issues, in full colour, with a gorgeous, exclusive cover by Ursula Dorada (preview below).
We're especially excited about the deluxe edition, available for pre-order at £40. You've seen the cover, by 2000AD artist Fay Dalton, at the top of this page -- a breathtaking painting of Cat and the gang -- but this edition also includes portraits and pin-ups of the MSCSI cast by a fabulous range of guest creators, including Lea Hernandez, Kate Charlesworth, Gary Erskine, Molly Ostertag, Paige Halsey Warren, Jennie Gyllblad, Bree Paulsen, Karen Rubin, Sally Jane Thompson, Laura Callaghan, and Sandra Salsbury. It's half comic book, half art book, and it's going to look glorious.
Check the video above, by MSCSI's Rebecca Hughes, for glimpses of what you'll get.
Investing more will get you listed as a sponsor both on the website and in the book itself -- and at the higher levels, we have some incredible, limited-edition rewards such as MSCSI nail art, stunning, signed prints by Suze Shore, Gary Erskine, Kate Charlesworth and Sally Thompson (work-in-progress previews above, below) and the exclusive Urbanite t-shirt, designed by Sarah Zaidan and not available anywhere else.
Top investment levels earn you personalised rewards such as original, signed artwork and the entire, signed script for Issue Six: but even for just £5, you'll be getting 22 colour pages of MSCSI, by Brooker, Shore and Zaidan, plus new team members Pati Cmak, Sally Jane Thompson, Jennie Gyllblad and Ursula Dorada.
And we've now added standalone rewards like the Cat book-bag (just like the one in Ursula Dorada's cover image), in case you want to donate without paying big bucks.
We believe in MSCSI. But if you don't believe us, listen to the critics.
"My So-Called Secret Identity features a superhero we all can rally around, an antidote to the brawny chauvinists and busty sex symbols of mainstream comics." - Ms. Magazine
"Smart... a great comic." - Brigid Alverson, Comic Book Resources
"The one we've been waiting for! It’s so good I want to weep." - Geeked Magazine
"I love it. Genuinely, hugely, madly." - Laura Sneddon, comics journalist for Independent on Sunday and New Statesman
"A comic that gives readers properly characterised, relatable superheroines whose brains are more important than their bodies... MSCSI is catering for a shamefully-overlooked but hungry audience of female fans." - Stylist Magazine
Risks and challenges
We've already produced issues 1-4 of MSCSI, including a print version of issues 1 and 2, before launching this Kickstarter. We're working from a very solid platform on a successful, widely-acclaimed project. The MSCSI team is made up of professional creators and this Kickstarter is managed by Professor Will Brooker, the editor of an international journal and author of several books. We have the experience, the expertise and the partners to fulfil all our pledges. Our extensive and committed team is in place, ready to produce issue 5, and we're working with Geeked Magazine to publish the print edition. At worst, our schedule may be stretched and you may receive your copies a little later than promised -- but we have this project in hand, and you can trust us with it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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