KICKSTARTER FOR RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING
AMBER LOVE 30-OCT-2014 With only a couple days to go in the Kickstarter, I wanted to share another link about the core subject of the story Carolyn and I have in this project. Bitch Magazine addresses the issue about underage kids sharing sexually charged photos. Their article shows that it’s a topic which is widespreading throughout media coverage including The Atlantic.
AMBER LOVE 16-OCT-2014 I wanted to quickly post an update about RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING for a couple of reasons. The first, THANK YOU for all the help in sharing the links and sponsoring the campaign. The second, because news has hit today that relates to the story Carolyn Belefski and I have in the RISE anthology: The subject of child pornography is not necessarily equated with bullying but the story I wrote is. It’s based on real accounts I’ve heard on the news where people have shared photos of young girls either in consensual sexual acts or sexual assault. The whole revenge porn industry applies to teens too. Today, when the news traveled all over the world that best selling author John Grisham claimed 60-year-old men who never physically touched a child don’t belong in jail for looking at pictures of children, that sent my feeds into a furious storm about his rich white man privilege and his complete lack of understanding that even teens are children. I was once a teenage girl and just like most others, I thought I knew what was best for me and that I was capable of making my own decisions. That level of maturity can be compared on a individual case basis but, now, in my 40s and looking back, I know with absolute certainty that I was still a child at 16. I wanted to model back then when I was under 18 and I mean adult nude modeling on motorcycles and in Playboy because I had a body that was desired and commercially appealing between the decades of popular waifdom. I never did it because we didn’t have that kind of freedom with technology in the 1980s. So today, when I hear stories of kids sharing their photos and then being unable to control the distribution, I feel the hurt and trauma they must be going through when it comes back to haunt them. This is why I wrote the story for RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING.
AMBER LOVE 06-OCT-2014 October is such a busy time of year. It’s filled with fundraisers for every charity out there not to mention New York Comic Con and a million seasonal things to do. It feels October should be renamed Awaretober. There’s the most outspoken of the causes, breast cancer; there’s also domestic violence which is why we host Superhero Weekend this month; and there’s the more recent bullying awareness month. I didn’t even realize bullying had an awareness month when Carolyn Belefski and I submitted a pitch for a comic anthology addressing this issue, now titled: RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING.
I think RISE has been in the works going on its second year. I know it’s been quite a while. For my part, I wrote a short script and sent it in to Adam Pruett to see if the editorial staff would approve it for their premise. I asked one of my talented friends, Carolyn Belefski, if she had any time and interest to work on this. The trick being I wouldn’t be able to pay her and no one is getting paid for the book. It’s for charity. While Kickstarter doesn’t allow fundraisers, it allows you to raise the money for printing costs which is what the team is doing. They have developed a relationship with NORTHWEST PRESS to publish the books and distribute them to a few outreach programs that tackle the issue of bullying. The goal for this Kickstarter campaign to be able to print enough copies of RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING so that they can be given out for free to the organizations that value the messages we’re sharing with our stories.
I was impressed when Adam announced that Northwest Press was interested in our project. I knew of them as an LGBTQ-friendly publisher. I had backed Zan Christensen’s Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight. The RISE anthology is not specific to the LGBTQ community but since that is a population still often harassed and oppressed, it’s a fine fit to have any bullying story under their brand. The story Carolyn and I are doing is actually not a gay social issue theme but it’s quite timely. It’s about a the consequences of teens who feel they are mature enough to take nude selfies and the damage it does to one girl and her loved ones. I don’t have any sample art yet to share but Carolyn is working hard on the project already.
Here’s the RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING mission:
A comics series dealing with bullying, to be distributed free by organizations such as GLAAD, Stand for the Silent, and Prism Comics.
RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING evolved from the original comic anthology book to the new plan which is to have at least two issues but hopefully more as long as there is content and financial support. I don’t know if our story will be in the first or second issue but the list of creators involved that I’ve seen so far on current Kickstarter project shows that no matter which one we’re in, it’ll be an honor to be in their company. Some of the credits include: Erica Schultz, Marc Andreyko, Marc Guggenheim, Dawn Griffin, Sina Grace and Chris Roberson. I’ve had the pleasure of being published with some of the creators before in the Shakespeare Shaken anthology but other creators, I honestly can’t believe I’m going to published next to. It’s remarkable and I’m so proud of our little story for making the cut.
Please support this Kickstarter either by donating or sharing the link as much as you can. It’s only $10 to get the digital copies of the first two issues of RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING. For $125 you can get a script review by the editors which is an opportunity you don’t want to pass up if you’re a comics writer.
Carolyn Belefski and her regular partner Joe Carabeo will be in the small press are of New York Comic Con. I’ll be attending as press so I’m not stationed anywhere this year that you can easily find me.