A new Kickstarter just launched this morning for THE BIG FEMINIST BUT a comics anthology of stories about women, men, attitudes and the humor and drama of those attitudes. Contributors include Jeffrey Brown, Gabrielle Bell, Lauren Weinstein, Josh Neufeld, Sarah Oleksyk, Corrine Mucha, and many more, including what may be the last published comic by the late, great Dylan Williams. The goal is $13,995, which will pay for printing and distribution and a page rate for contributors.
I’ve been lucky enough to read a preview copy, and I think this project deserves a lot of support—not just because it has a bunch of kick ass contributions. The stories inside—edited by Joan Reilly and Shannon O’Leary—aren’t just one-note lectures. Some stories are multi-layered essays as the contributors grapple with their own issues—accepting images of female power, potential spinsterhood, childlessness. Others are nuanced examinations of the power balance between women and men—or women and women. Some are just funny. Given the range of contributors, it’s no surprise that the contents are so strong, but such “theme” anthologies are often wildly uneven, and it’s a credit to editors O’Leary and Reilly that it’s such a strong, thoughtful work.
There are a couple of other reasons to support this books besides it being good comics.
1) Half of the $13,995 goal will go towards paying the contributors a fair page rate. That’s really important.
2) I’ve been part of Shannon and Joan’s journey to publish this book for three or four years. When they first started shopping it around to mainstream publishers, they got a very negative reaction to the use of the word “feminist.” In the intervening time, this word has come out of the faux “discarded ideology” doghouse it was pushed into by competing forces and become very important to the civil discourse, as basic rights that were won decades ago like contraception have, incredibly, come under attack.
So it’s time to be a feminist again. THE BIG FEMINIST BUT shows that there are as many ways to be one as there are cartoonists.
Shannon—who in the spirit of disclosure, it should be noted, is a regular Beat contributor—has given me permission to run a preview, including the story “My Horrible Heroines” by Shaenon K. Garrity, and pages by Andrice Arp and Jesse Reklaw, Corrinne Mucha, Sarah Oleksyk, and Dylan Williams. The Kickstarter has a ton of great rewards, including an animal portrait by Reilly, panties, signed books by people who aren’t in the anthology and more. So what are you waiting for?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.