This project's funding goal was not reached on July 31, 2011.
About this project
Ms. Pussyfooter is a fictional two volume graphic novel set in Post-Katrina, New Orleans. The story is modeled in the style of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns (and extending credit to Akira Kurosawa's samurai films). A “no-name stranger”, an American born Sri Lankan, strolls into a chaotic town and finds town herself caught up in the affairs of the city. After being wrongfully accused of vicious crimes, Mrs. Pussyfooter takes matters into her own hands. As a vigilante, she finds her own sense of justice in a city still recovering from post-apocalyptic forces of nature and the failures of man.
- Revofooter Style
The Revofooter Style is inspired by Fela Kuti's Afrobeat album covers. Fela used Afrobeat to revolutionize musical structure as well as the socio-political context for his native Nigeria. To capture the same kind of vibrancy and socio-political tensions felt in New Orleans, I found it fitting to use similar style, color, and composition to suggest a new wave of thought, one led by the musical roots shared.
At the heart of the graphic novel is the titular character, Ms. Pussyfooter, a beautiful, sexually liberated, and charismatic woman. As a female writer, I wanted her to be strong and sexy, so I created a protagonist that has confidence and control over her sexuality and its expression
We are using a wide range of illustrative techniques, such as photography, graphic design and old fashioned drawing, in creating our hybrid style. Creating Ms. Pussyfooter is a full-line production, requiring location, camera work, actors, and pre- and post- production, just like any film. Our process utilizes actual New Orleans locations and photographs from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Revofooter Team is tackling this ambitious digital project with the help of the iPhone, a few select apps, and Photoshop. Our innovative process has already gained the attention of the comic book/graphic novel community.
We first created a mini-comic, “Yellow Eyes” in the same substance-driven, visually dynamic style of Ms. Pussyfooter. It was published in an international comic e-zine Website. We are confident that, given the success of the mini-comic,Ms. Pussyfooter will have an interested audience and provide insight to the lives affected from Hurricane Katrina.
As the Revofooter team, we will be taking on this project after a successful collaboration on a mini-comic in the same substance-driven, visually dynamic style of Ms. Pussyfooter. Our mini-comic was published in an international comic e-zineand gained new-found attention from the comic book/graphic novel community. We are confident that, given the success of the mini-comic, Ms. Pussyfooter will have an interested audience and provide insight to the lives affected from Hurricane Katrina.
Many of the characters in this graphic novel are people of the city, and the situations that I’ve come across as a resident of New Orleans, pre- and post-Katrina. In writing about the city I witnessed after the storm, these diverse people and their eccentricities have made living here both a paradise and an absolute hell.
We are seeking funds to help pay our writers, actors, and illustrators for the completion of the first four issues of the series that will make up of our two-volume series. It will also go towards publishing and shipping costs.
We have some great incentives — including access to our completed issues online and in print, postcards, t-shirts screen printed with a comic page as a graphic, beautiful front covers printed on canvas using found wood from New Orleans, mix tapes of the music that inspired the graphic novel- Mardi Gras Indians, Afrobeat, and more.
We also ship OVERSEAS. Just shoot us an e-mail of which pledge you want and we can add the additional international shipping charge accordingly.
Thank you from the Revofooter team.
Examples of Rewards
This is a song done by local artist JJ Marshall and this song will be featured in the mix tape.
How on earth did you come up with this mashup of Afrobeat+Western+New Orleans+samurai? How does each element communicate what you're trying to communicate, do you think
I have always been a major fan of classic movies and my favorite director of all time is Akira Kurosawa. After Katrina, I underwent a lot of chaos and drama in my life. Most of them having to do with the external world, New Orleans, and the internal, my disenchantment with the social world. I saw Seven Samurai and felt so connected with the film and in particular, the main character. After watching samurai films, I found a logical connection in Western films, particularly Sergio Leone's who remade these films or borrowed cinematic techniques, themes, and character archetypes from Kurosawa. Examples of this are Leone's remakes of "Yojimbo" as "Fistful of Dollars" or "Seven Samurai" as "Magnificent Seven."
So, after being disillusioned from my time, post-Katrina, I wanted to find a source of inspiration that was positive. Music in New Orleans has always been part of my life; so has Afrobeat. New Orleans music has maintained a connection to African music through it's earliest roots in Congo Square to the Black Indians tradition, which carries on to present day. Throughout it's evolution, New Orleans music has always responded to its sociopolitical climate, providing a sense of community, voice, and identity for those marginalized in a chaotic place. Afrobeat was a movement coined by Fela Kuti, in which artists spoke out against violent tyranny and similar political climates to those found in New Orleans. Afrobeat music could be used, as Fela once described, as "The Weapon of the Future." The sounds and vibrations of Afrobeat and New Orleans jazz and funk have the same effect, uplifting me into a believable dimension, one in which I can believe that though racial, political, and social injustice issues are a hard hitting reality in this city, it can still be overcome.
To sum that up, I wanted to use a Western genre format to describe my sense of being a strolling stranger in a corrupt town and also come in riding on a wave of funk.
In the fall, we created a mini-comic titled "Yellow Eyes." It was made in the same style, technique, and vision as MS PUSSYFOOTER. The story is actually an excerpt from some short stories I've written in the past. Once we posted it on the internet, we got quite an international response. An Italian I-phone blog featured us for an article for and a Colombian International Comic E-zine (http://www.comicroad.net/)
I see you do a lot of on-site photography and even have actors involved in the creation of this comic. Can you tell us more about the process and how it all pieces together?
Our graphic novel process is a modified version of a simple film production. I write a script, break it down to shots, the illustrator creates a storyboard, and we break down each shot involving cast, location, wardrobe, and materials.
We chose to use the I-phone and on-site digital photography for it's portability and accessibility. We found that by using the I-phone, we were able to capture an organic process starting with the actors . During the process, the actors feel more comfortable acting or posing infront of a cell phone camera. The I-phone has become so common in social settings that it feels less intrusive to people when I've asked if they could be part of my production.
For example, we had a scene to shoot at a bar, one that actually involved a fight to break out. I was nervous at first about even being able to get so many people involved. But when we kindly asked the owner/ bartender and his customers to be participate in it, the overall response was positive. We had the most amazing time shooting the scene because people felt comfortable in their own setting and was allowed to express themselves freely infront of a camera. Because it was such a stress free environment, I could get instant feedback from actors.
After the pictures are taken, I send the them directly to the illustrator and he sends it through I-phone photoediting applications. Then we get together at local coffee shops and work on the process together, constantly editing and having open communication for ever panel, layout, and design. As a team, we work synergistically, having this technology allows us the flexibility to constantly edit and revise our work. To me because of the portability of the technology, it is a fun process because it is so organic.
I come from a unique background. I studied to be an Ecologist, spent a lot of time overseas being a researcher for Neuroscience and Environmental Science. By diploma and resume, it seems that I have a dichotomy of interests. One of natural science and one of the arts. It has always frustrated me that they are on opposite sides of the spectrum career wise. But I've always pushed to see my life melding the two together. I think my source of inspiration lies within this quote by Einstein "All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."
How long has everyone on your team lived in New Orleans? What do you hope to communicate about post-Katrina New Orleans through Ms. Pussyfooter's character?
I have lived in New Orleans, off and on for a total of 6 years. James has been born and raised as a New Orleanian. Both of us come from a unique ethnic background. I am Taiwanese and James is Nicaraguan. In this city, we are a very underrepresented minority. To me Post-Katrina media has been very Black and White, figuratively and literally. I wanted to make the main character Sri Lankan because I think that we, as a minority group, witnessed Katrina, but our side of the story was never told. We were able to see racism at a different angle than what was presented in the media.
I also wanted to show that New Orleans is a very real city with real people. I find that the media has painted us as a tourist spot and a place to get trashed. People get scared when they hear about our murder rates and are turned off by how dysfunctional it can be. But after living here, leaving it, and finding myself returning to it, I have come to realize that I am forever in love with this city. Almost in a love-hate relationship. I can't say that about a lot of other places.
How did you get the brilliant idea of bringing this project to Kickstarter? What other projects have you found on Kickstarter that excite you (if any)?
On facebook, I had seen a film made by friends about marching bands in New Orleans. I saw that it was funded by kickstarter and I quickly familiarized myself with the site. I thought it was a great business model for artists who want to be able to do their work. I also think that because the artists can ask for their own price, they get the flexibility to create their work in the way they want. To me kickstarter is the perfect solution for creating a comic that is so different from mainstream media.
I think this work can be inspiring to people who enjoy film, photography, and comics. The finished project is a combination of classic cinema storytelling in comic book format. It's like watching film on paper. I want to prove that you can make beautiful and professional work but not have to sacrifice your vision because there's no budget.
With my story, I also want to bring a greater understanding to the social and political issues that we as New Orleanians and even citizens of the United States still need to confront. I only write what I know, even though some characters are fictional and hyperbolic. Most of these situations are things that I have lived through and stories that I have witnessed and heard. They are not that far from the truth. I want to use this medium to transport readers to a time and place when the post-apocalypse felt very real in a city that I thought I had lost forever.
- (30 days)