About this project
New $55,000 Stretch Goal: every DVD and digital download of She Makes Comics becomes a Special Edition!!
We still have 11 hours left, so why not try to make what we are creating together even better?! If we hit $55,000: we will be able to make every DVD and digital download of She Makes Comics a Special Edition!! This means we will jam pack the disc with over 150 minutes of extras, including audio commentary, extended interviews (containing stories that were great, but didn't quite fit in the final film), and two short intro-to-making-comics featurettes (one for writers and one for artists). These will feature some of the biggest writers and artists in comics today giving practical advice on how to get started making your own comics! Thanks everyone for coming on this journey so far and lets keep spreading the word so in these final hours we have more funds to make She Makes Comics bigger and better!!!
$50,000 stretch goal Unlocked: a 10-15 minute minidoc about Jackie Ormes, the first female African-American cartoonist
Jackie is a pioneer and we'd love to tell her story in a more extended format than is possible in the main film. Now that we've reached 50,000 we can!! Thanks so much everyone for your support!! Get more info on this now unlocked goal here.
It's an exciting time to be in comic books, whether as a reader or as a creator. The market is flooded with diverse voices, artwork, and stories, with creators having more power and prestige than ever before. New readers are rolling into comic shops every day thanks to TV and movie adaptations, comic tie-ins, and good old word of mouth.
In celebration of this modern era of comics, Respect! Films and Sequart (Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods, Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, The Image Revolution) are proud to announce their next documentary film: She Makes Comics, a celebration of women in comics as creators, fans, and everything in between.
But we can only do it with your help.
From the early days of the medium to the present, women have had an important and sometimes overlooked hand in the creation of comics. Alternative and underground comics, graphic novels, and webcomics have been particularly fruitful areas for female creators. And more women than ever are involved in iconic mainstream comics franchises.
While women have made significant strides in the medium over the past several decades, it's still not easy to be a woman in comics. Female readers fight to be recognized as legitimate fans in an insular and sometimes sexist community. In mainstream comics, there remains an unequal balance of women in creative and business roles, and some publishers have been criticized for misogynistic portrayals of women in their titles. The pessimistic question is often asked: is there a place for women in comics?
In spite of these issues, our project intends to emphasize the valuable contributions women have made since the Golden Age of comics. They may not be as recognizable as Will Eisner or Stan Lee, but we hope to make some of comics' most prolific women into household names by showcasing their talents and contributions.
We're currently in the production phase of the documentary, having begun shooting late last year. Our current tasks include loads of research as well as shooting interviews with women and men who have made comic book history. Here’s a look at some of the contributors we’ve spoken to so far:
The documentary will mostly be an oral history told by the key figures themselves. It will feature interviews with significant female creators and executives from the major eras of comics history. The women who changed comics will be telling their stories in their own words. We will also feature insightful commentary from observers both inside and outside of the comics industry: experts, scholars, writers, artists, actors, filmmakers.
The beauty of documentary filmmaking is that a story quite different from your original expectations can unfold during the process. Although we have a good idea of how we will structure and cover the film's discussions of history, we're excited to see what is revealed during our journey. However, we can't complete this film without your help!
Films are expensive, especially when they're as comprehensive as this documentary. We keep our crew small, but making this movie still takes a lot of resources. In order to complete the film, we will need to:
- Travel to 10 different cities
- Interview 35 more people
- Spend more than 800 hours editing
While we don't have actors to pay and sets to build, we do have film equipment and personnel costs. We also need to travel to subjects' locations and to cons around the country. There are post-production costs we need to cover in order to put the film together and polish it off so we can package and send it to you.
We can't do this alone. We want to give this story the scope and power that it deserves, and with your support, we know we can.
Marisa Stotter (Director / Producer) is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. A recent graduate of Wesleyan University, she has worked on several short films and is now producing her first full-length feature. She Makes Comics is a passion project borne out of her love of comics and a desire to see greater representation of women in the medium.
Patrick Meaney (Producer) is a filmmaker and co-founder of Respect! Films, a production company that has produced several documentaries about the world of comics in partnership with Sequart Literacy & Research Organization. His previous films include Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods, Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, and most recently The Image Revolution. His films have played at film festivals and comic conventions around the world, including the Napa Valley Film Festival, Helsinki International Film Festival, Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, Belfast Film Festival, as well as San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con.
Jordan Rennert (Director of Photography / Producer) is co-founder of Respect! Films with Patrick Meaney and serves as director of photography on the company’s projects. He has worked on Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods, Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, and most recently The Image Revolution.
Julian Darius (Executive Producer) is the founder of Sequart Research and Literacy Organization, a pioneering non-profit devoted to the analytical study of comics as a legitimate art form. He has overseen the editing of a dozen books and executive produced four feature films through Sequart.
Mike Phillips (Executive Producer) is the Editor-in-Chief of Sequart Research and Literacy Organization. He has overseen the editing of a dozen books and executive produced four feature films through Sequart.
Karen Green (Co-Producer / Creative Consultant) is the Ancient and Medieval History and Religion Librarian at Columbia University. She also oversees the growing comics archive at Columbia.
We have a wide variety of rewards to help us say thank you to our backers! Here are few of our special items:
If your reward includes items from the Sequart library of books and movies, you will be selecting from the following list:
- the documentary Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods
- the documentary Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts
- the documentary The Image Revolution
- the documentary Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont's X-Men
- the book Grant Morrison: The Early Years
- the book Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen
- the book Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes
- the book Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen
- the book Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison's The Invisibles
- the book Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen
- the book Gotham City 14 Miles: 14 Essays on Why the 1960s Batman TV Series Matters
- the book Curing the Postmodern Blues: Reading Grant Morrison and Chris Weston's The Filth in the 21st Century
- the book The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil
- the book The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made: Understanding Jack Kirby's 2001: A Space Odyssey
- the book Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews
- the book Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide
- the book Voyage in the Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization
- the book Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan
All digital downloads and physical media from the Sequart library will be shipped within 2 weeks of the campaign ending.
NEW! All reward tiers of $10 and above will receive a digital download of the film's San Diego Comic-Con highlight reel, which we'll send to you in August 2014.
Please note: for international backers, a flat fee of $15 will be applied to cover shipping costs.
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is a risky venture by nature. It requires a great deal of money upfront without the guarantee of a return, let alone a profit. We aim to minimize the risks in a few ways.
We did a great deal of planning during our pre-production phase to ensure that there are no weak links in the chain. Every aspect of production is budgeted and accounted for so that we know exactly what we need to shoot and how to shoot it. We have backups in place so that no one obstacle prevents us from finishing the film. We’ve also created a “grid” of potential interviewees and subjects we hope to cover; every day we are investigating new ideas and opportunities so that our film is comprehensive and representative of the various roles women play in the comics community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
So far, we've conducted only a handful of interviews compared to how many we plan to complete over the next few months. Due to a limited budget early on in production, we had to restrict our reach to people we could easily travel to.
With your support, we'll be able to travel to more cities and conventions and talk to many more women (and men) for the film - upwards of 60 in all!
Yes! We do plan to have closed captions in English.
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