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The latest, 96 page issue of Steve MacIsaac's SHIRTLIFTER, the first in four years, concludes his graphic novel "Unpacking".
The latest, 96 page issue of Steve MacIsaac's SHIRTLIFTER, the first in four years, concludes his graphic novel "Unpacking".
The latest, 96 page issue of Steve MacIsaac's SHIRTLIFTER, the first in four years, concludes his graphic novel "Unpacking".
178 backers pledged $11,472 to help bring this project to life.

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SHIRTLIFTER #5 - New Gay Comic from Steve MacIsaac

$11,472

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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.

Stretch Goals

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Steve MacIsaac blank Greeting Card w/envelope; image chosen by artist.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Ebook version of SHIRTLIFTER #5 + Greeting Card.

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    10 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Print edition of SHIRTLIFTER #5, signed by Steve and personalized to you + Greeting Card + Ebook

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    60 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Signed Archival Artist Print (8 x 11) - backer's choice of image + Print edition of SHIRTLIFTER #5, signed by Steve and personalized to you + Greeting Card + Ebook

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    35 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    New SHIRTLIFTER T-shirt (specify size please) + All previous rewards: archival print, signed #5, greeting card

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    3 x signed archival Artist Prints (8 x 11) + signed #5, ebook, greeting card

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "Unpacking" Limited Edition Box - SHIRTLIFTER #3-5 print editions, containing "Unpacking" Books 1-3, in a limited edition box (only 50 will ever be available) with signed and numbered bookplate and 5 prints. Also includes previous rewards - T-shirt, 8 x 11 print, ebook, greeting card.

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    Reward no longer available 35 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Signed Complete Works: SHIRTLIFTER 3-5 Limited Edition Box, both printings of SHIRTLIFTER 1 (which are very different), SHIRTLIFTER #2, which is out of print); the STICKY hardcover; an original "You Can Tell Us Anything" Silkscreen mini from 2001 (out of print); three limited minis reprinting uncollected stories from various anthologies: "Amanuensis", "ExCommunication" and "Vacant Lots"; a final mini containing a never before reprinted comic from 2002 called "Marketing". All signed and personalized.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Artist Proof - the complete first draft of #5, complete with notes scrawled in the margins. The end result is significantly different, so this look at the (at times very) rough draft gives insight into my process.

    + Previous Rewards - 13 x 19 & 8 x 11 Prints, T-shirt, #3-5 Limited Edition Box, ebook of #5 greeting card

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Original Portrait by Steve MacIsaac of you (or a person of your choosing); includes high resolution digital file and 13 x 19 original archival print signed by artist + all previous rewards: 13 x 19 & 8 x 11 Archival Prints, Limited Edition Box of SHIRTLIFTER #3-5, T-shirt + Ebook + Greeting Card

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    Reward no longer available 7 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A day with the artist. I will treat you to a meal, go with you to the gym, show you around Long Beach, talk with you about my drawing process or comics, and take photos for your 13 x 19 portrait. Also includes: Limited Edition Box of SHIRTLIFTER #3- 5, ebook version of #5, t-shirt, 8 x 11 print, greeting card

    Open to those living or planning to come to Southern California only.

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Funding period

- (28 days)