A countryside chef and a former athlete chasing his coaching dream try to cope with their now-long-distance relationship in a city too crowded for their giant dog.
Oai (left, he/they) and Buu (middle, he/him) were former athletes in the sport Dua Roi, or Puppet Racing. They started out as rivals on opposing teams, but they fell in love, and raced almost exclusively as a duo toward the end of their careers. When Oai inherited his family’s cafe, they decided to retire and move to the countryside with Oai’s family dog Obelisk.
Years later, a principal who loved their work invited them to her urban academy to coach a brand new Dua Roi team. Buu wanted to get back into the sport, but Oai can't give up the cafe and Obelisk. They mutually agreed that Buu would move to the city by himself, while Oai stayed in the countryside, and they would adjust into a long-distance relationship. Though distance makes the heart grow fonder, they each struggle to cope with this new leap of faith.
Boyfriends & Their Giant Dog is a graphic novel (140-160 pages estimated) about Oai and Obelisk’s first trip to visit Buu in the city. The book is currently only planned for digital release.
One of my goals with all of my work is making them financially accessible. When released, the book will be launched both as a free weekly webcomic, as well as a fully paid graphic novel!
I grew up in an environment where my very existence seemed as surreal as it was unwelcomed. My work today tends to be portraying hopeful and optimistic worlds in which folks like you and me could thrive. My first graphic novel It Will Be Hard was an attempt at seeing my gray-asexuality and my body type represented on the page. Boyfriends is an attempt to see myself being allowed to grow old, to change, to adapt to those changes. And, by some measure of a miracle, to have a dog!
The book's full plot is outlined, and sample pages show the style I'm aiming for (both may be subject to change over the development of the book). Your support with this Kickstarter will allow me to work on this book mostly full time for a year and a half. I will also be doing freelance and creating other projects on the side, but if this campaign succeeds, most of my focus will be on bringing this book to life!
Boyfriends is set in a Vietnam-inspired world combined with western fantasy genre conventions. In addition to imbuing this book with the many sights I grew up with, I am also focusing on the food that I loved in my childhood. Oai is a chef, and his love is expressed through cooking with and for his life partner. I am really looking forward to drawing Oai and Buu in the kitchen together!
The magic that exists in the world is a form of telekinesis folks can use to control objects at limited range. Magic-based puppetry requires a different application of telekinesis in which the puppeteer imbues their magical tether to the puppet’s physical form, so that the puppeteers may feel and control the material construction of the puppet like it is an extension of their own body.
The fantasy sport Dua Roi is inspired by Vietnam’s traditional water puppetry and platformer video games. We will get to visit Buu in his home turf and see him coach a brand new generation of Dua Roi athletes!
$15 AUD: One digital Boyfriends & Their Giant Dog graphic novel! Delivered as a PDF via itch.io.
$20 AUD: Take a look behind-the-scenes of Boyfriends! Including early versions, unfinished pages, scrapped scripts!
$30 AUD: Get your name credited in the Special Thanks section at the end of the book!
Hien Pham (pronounced h-ee-uh-n fam) is a queer digital artist specializing in gentle and optimistic comics. He grew up in Vietnam on war stories before moving and finding a home in Australia.
Hien’s work revolves around respite, around caring and loving and being loved and cared for. He explores his own experiences with body image, gray-asexuality, and mental health through introspective journal comics and award-nominated interactive fiction such as I’m Shirtless In This One.
His debut graphic novel It Will Be Hard was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2017 and won an Australian Game Developer Award in 2018. His first published short story Minefield for the Gothic Tales of Haunted Love anthology was shortlisted for a Ledger Award in 2019. Hien is also a frequent volunteer and contributing organizer to Perth Games Festival and Perth Comic Arts Festival.
His upcoming works include a short story in Smut Peddler Presents: Silver Edition slated for 2019, and his second graphic novel Boyfriends & Their Giant Dog is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter.
Risks and challenges
I've learned quite a few things running my first Kickstarter for my first book It Will Be Hard, and I've tried to address those in the making of this campaign.
IWBH's scope exploded after over-funding (which was completely my fault) and the completion date became a huge uncertainty. For this one, I have drafted a full outline of what the full story will look like instead of having it up-in-the-air. I've worked with the story quite a while now, and I know confidently what I want to make. I have a specific range of page counts in mind that will work with the funds I'm asking for, and I have given myself more time than I think I'll need just to be safe.
IWBH's development got stretched out way beyond its release due to multiple stretch goals that weren't planned properly. For Boyfriends, I am not doing any stretch goals or any extra materials I am excited to make but unsure if I could delivery properly. In terms of working with backers, I will be reaching out to them much earlier than I did with IWBH for materials I require from them (names for the credits, for example).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)