Every Day: An Anti-Gun Violence Comics Anthology has entered its final week of fundraising on Kickstarter. This anthology from Comicker Press was conceived in response to the news that 2017 had the highest rate of gun violence in the United States since the CDC began tracking that data in 1979, meaning that in our country, 96 people a day are shot and killed.
The over-150 page anthology has sought $19,395 over a 14-day campaign to cover the printing and shipping of the books, with any resulting proceeds being donated to The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and The Community Justice Reform Coalition.
Creators whose work is featured in the collection include Scott Snyder, Kelly Thompson, David Lafuente, Phil Hester, Ariela Kristantina, Jamal Igle, Devin Grayson, Joe Keatinge, Doselle Young, Marguerite Sauvage, Ron Marz, Stuart Moore, Shannon Wheeler, Steven Grant, Roger Langridge, Matt Miner, Ray Fawkes, CW Cooke, Alex de Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, Kelly Williams, and Emma Beeby. The book is edited by Brendan Wright.
While a 14-day fundraising campaign is unusual, Comicker Press head Sean E. Williams said that the timing of the campaign is meant to stress the immediacy of it.
“We’re trying to maximize the urgency of the campaign, which frankly reflects the urgency of the issue,” Williams told me. “The faster we can turn around these books, the faster their benefit can be seen — with hopefully some lives saved in the process.’
Wright said that the book was originally to address mass shootings in the U.S., but subsequent research revealed that projects with that focus already existed and as horrible as the mass shootings are, the escalating gun violence of daily life was not as often addressed.
“The book was reimagined as a response to the broader issue of gun control in the U.S.,” Wright said. “In the wake of a mass shooting, reports sometimes note that such tragedies are the most visible symptom of the problem though not actually the largest cause of gun deaths, so I had heard that. But until we began to research, I didn’t realize just how large the daily number is. We also got feedback from creators we reached out to, which led to community justice reform becoming part of the mix.”
Wright pointed out to me that as part of this wider view of the problem, the book covers domestic violence and suicide, two of the largest circumstances leading to gun deaths, as well as accidental shootings, community violence, and police brutality.
Wright said that they tried to tap creators to take part based on a desired diversity of views on the subject, with some people hearing about the project and asking to take part. He then developed a topic list and a limited approval policy that made sure there was little overlap in what creators addressed in their work.
“It was important, in pitching the project to people, that we got stories that had different senses of scale,” he told me. “I specifically reached out to a few cartoonists I think are very funny, because I believe satire has a role in advocacy. We didn’t want to only get stories about one type of gun violence but we also didn’t want to dictate to people what they should create.”
The campaign ends on April 16 and is still seeking backers to meet the goal. Backers are offered PDF and softcover versions of the book, with Add-On rewards featuring Comicker Press’ back catalog of graphic novels. They also offer retailer packages with wholesale prices.