UPDATE! I've added some stretch goals!!
I’m Sam Orchard! I've been drawing since he was a little girl. I want to live in a world where all our differences, nuances, and complexities are celebrated.
As a comic artist I've been showcased in featured in national and international publications including Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, DUDE and Bitch Magazine.
Recently, my Gender and Sexuality 101 comic was also used in the Human Rights Commission resource Born Free and Equal.
I also draw an autobiographical webcomic called Rooster Tails, which explores my life, as a queer trans guy, with my partner Joe.
I want to raise money to print the first two issues of Family Portraits and do an American Tour so I can meet my readers (since most of you wonderful folks live in the US), visit comicons, and see my parents!
I love sharing stories about how awesome queer and trans people are. A lot of the time movies and tv shows tell us that not being straight or cis makes us sad or bad. But actually we are amazing.
I captured the stories of a group of different people across new Zealand, wrote short comics about them, and put them into a comic series called “Family Portraits”. And I really wanna share these stories around, because I’m super inspired by them, and I think we need more and more and more stories about our awesomeness.
What is Family Portraits?
Family Portraits is an inclusive comic book series of short stories about a range of different Queer and Trans people in New Zealand. Each story is told using a different comic style (taking influences from Calvin and Hobbes, Dharma Punks, Jack Kirby's classic comics, and heeeeaps of other places).
This series is a first-of-it’s-kind in New Zealand (as far as I’m aware), and it’s all about celebrating our lives, our diversity, and our selves!
Family Portraits will be printed in glorious high quality, full-colour. Each issue will be about 60 pages long, feature at least three stories, and be in a handy A5 size (so you can totally carry them around in your bag and share them with friends and family!)
The American Tour
Sharing stories is what I love to do most in the world. I’m really excited to finally venture over to the US and meet amazing people, have an adventure, and maybe even write a few more stories for upcoming Family Portraits issues.
There are a few important reasons why I’m choosing to go to the grand ol’ United States:
- Most of the people who read my comic live there!
- It’s waaay cheaper to print the books and send them to America, and post them out to people from there, than to send them to New Zealand and post them from here. (This is the sadness of living in such a tiiiiiiiny country, even if it is full of hobbits and elves).
- I wanna try and get along to some comicons like Rose City and A.P.E!
- My parents live over there, and it’ll be a nice chance to visit my ma and pa!
My plan (if the kickstarter succeeds) is to go from Mid-September to October. I’m pretty sure I’ll spend most of my time on the West Coast, but I’d really love to visit the East Coast, and central places as well. Here are the places I’m DEFINITELY gonna visit:
- Portland (OR): I love this place, and really wanna meet some of my comic heroes like Erika Moen and Dylan Meconis. Plus from September 20- 21 they are hosting the Rose City Comic Con.
- San Francisco (CA): San Fran is super queer, and I’m super queer, so I figure that we’ll go well together. Plus APE is happening on October 4-5!
- Denver (CO): This is where mum and dad live, and they said they will come visit me wherever I end up, but I’ll also have some time with them at their place too!
I don’t know much about American queer scene, so if you have suggestions of queer people/events/bookstores/places to visit feel free to send them through so I can work out a more detailed itinerary!
What’s in it for me?
I’d love to meet up with people from the queer/trans/awesome community, share stories, and get my comics out from cyber space to the ‘real’ world! Maybe we can share some stories, connect up, or meet up if I’m in your town :D
Otherwise, your donations can get you a whole host of awesome rewards!
Risks and challenges
Although I’m a hard-working fella, there’s only one of me, and if I get sick or die it could put my project on hold – in which case I would keep you all updated (from beyond the grave if necessary via my partner) on the status of the project and when you’ll expect to see results.
In terms of printing - I've done a bunch of research with other comics creators and I've decided to get the issues printed with Print Ninja. They've been connected to some pretty big kick-starters and crowd funding projects before, and they have good communication mechanisms in place - so if there are delays, they'll let me know, and I'll let you know!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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