Hi! Not everyone is interested in my rl projects, but if you are and you were wondering about the turnout of the grant program I enrolled in, read on.
My co-writer and I have won over $4,000 in grant funding to make the graphic novel, pictured above, happen. We published a preview issue online about two weeks ago, and are now moving on to marketing it and stuff. I have a radio interview tomorrow and am getting a mention in a women’s magazine after that.
I’m grateful this is happening, especially grateful my art is finally taking me somewhere (literally–I’m going to comic conventions! I’m so happy). For a long time, I was very shy about my work and was reluctant to even hang a painting on a wall in a public venue. Now I have people tracking me down to interview me. Yes, I’m enjoying this while it lasts.
Some notes about this graphic novel/fiction project:
- It’s not just a comic book. We are following up this book with three novels, published in successive years. If we get a publisher, great. If we don’t, forget it. We want to share it and publish great stories. No one is stopping us from doing that.
- It’s about gender and sexuality. Moreso, the changing landscape of sexuality in America. Several characters are gay, some you don’t realize until much later. Some never admit it. Some are out of the closet. Some couldn’t be gay to save their life. I interviewed a gamut of men and women who are gay in order to depict various aspects of homosexuality, because I want to distance this story from the stereotypical gay character. Most important were members of the trans community–changing gender and identity is an integral part of the initial self-hate and self-denial many gay people across the board endure.
- We’ve been fighting censorship already. I’ve been asked everything from including extensive scenery of Detroit (yeah right lol I’m not your personal brochure for tourism), toning down the language, to making the two main characters of this novel the typical one-white-guy-and-one-black-guy-pairing. If you’re a black person, you know how insulting that is. People are cast a certain race in my work either randomly, or for a very specific reason. To make a token character for the sake of inclusion is to cheapen one’s work, and set the goal of true equality back a few steps for everyone.
- Some people are going to think we hate women with this publication, while others are going to think we hate men. The true answer is neither. Second Life has been very good at giving me a glimpse into how people react and speculate on a creator’s personality, so I’m looking forward to the occasional inane comments I’ll be getting in the future. (haha)
It’s all worth it though, because in the end this’ll be a pretty fun experience.
If you’d like to read the preview comic, you can check it out here until the end of July. The full graphic novel is published in October.
If you have questions about how to self-publish, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have! I have to admit I’m not taking the typical road with this, and each graphic novel’s sales life is a unique thing, so you can never really predict the audience’s reaction based on someone else’s performance and profits. However, if you IM me, I’ll pass you some links that might help out.
Really I just want SL artists who have maybe dreamed of doing the same to get out there and try. The grid won’t be around forever, so even if you don’t quit the game (seriously, do you see me quitting?), you can try to publish irl on the side. Just give it a shot. You never know what can happen!