About this project
This is project is for the fifth issue of SHIRTLIFTER, a comic I have been self-publishing since 2006. SHIRTLIFTER is a labor of love, my space to draw comics that reflect the reality of being a gay man in the 21st century. This is the first new issue in four years, and contains the conclusion of "Unpacking", the graphic novel that I started in SHIRTLIFTER #3 (2008) and continued in 2011 (#4).
"Unpacking" is about Matt, a graphic designer living in Vancouver. Newly-single after the sudden dissolution of an eight-year relationship, Matt is living in a new apartment he can't seem to quite move into, and is wary of becoming involved with anyone ever again.
His commitment to remaining single is challenged when he begins spending time with Connor, an Australian-ex pat who identifies as straight and is married to a woman.
There has been a long gap between #4 and #5 for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted and ending that was satisfying while still being true to the characters and situation.
Second, this is not my full time job. I do every aspect of the work myself, including writing, drawing, inking, coloring, lettering, editing, and publishing. I want to do the best work that I am capable of. This takes time.
I am using Kickstarter to publish the books the way I want, at a price point that is reasonable for the reader. This is an expensive up-front proposition. Your help and support will allow me to continue publishing work that I think is very important, without compromise.
The Kickstarter amount that has been set is the minimum amount needed for an initial print run of SHIRTLIFTER #5. I will be wildly thrilled if this initial goal is met, and no more. If for any reason the campaign hits the following funding tiers, I will be able to do a couple extra things:
$6,000 - Improved paper stock on the printing of #5, stipend for Jon Macy and Erik Kostiuk Williams, the two artists who each contributed a short stories in between chapters of the book
$10,000 - Second printing for SHIRTLIFTER #2. Earlier this year I ran out of copies of this second issue, which was released in 2007. It is a 56 page collection of autobiographical short pieces. I was not planning to put it back in print, even though I am proud of it, because the economics just didn't make sense. But if for any reason the campaign doubles its goal, the extra will go towards making sure all five issues remain available and in print.
Thank you all for your time and your support.
Risks and challenges
I've been self -publishing comics for a while, so I'm pretty experienced dealing with printers. The comic is almost, but not-quite, finished as this Kickstarter was launched. Since it has been four years since my last book, I want to make sure that I am completely happy with everything before it goes to print. But I am close, and anticipating getting books back from the printer by mid-May, so backers should have their ebooks, signed copies and prints by the end of the month (international orders will take slightly longer); the official release date for Amazon buyers and stores will be June 30th. Portraits, t-shirts and the limited edition box will all be shipped in early June, before the official release date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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