Posted on: March 21st, 2012 Womanthology: Watch and Learn
During the record-breaking funding of the Kickstarter project, Womanthology produced a large amount of criticism. Why do we need a collection of stories from women? Why is this a thing? Let me tell you, I supported the project right away. And now, after reading the anthology, I can tell you-we did need it. Let’s table the debate on women in comics right now, okay? Anytime, you want to discuss it, I’d be happy to do so. I want to talk about another reason why this project was so important to comics: Womanthology showed us all the power of an idea.
Take just a moment and wrap your mind around how this all went down. It started with a tweet. One tweet. Just a ‘Hey, there should be a collection of stories done entirely by women.’ That eventually turned into
“Female Creators-Would you be interested in being a part of an anthology made by all females, possibly-published, w/profits for a cause?”
And the viral nature of social media just took off. So many female creators came out to offer up their talents. Writers, artists, editors, administrators; anyone that could pitch in came out in full force. We’re talking big name creators alongside the never-been-published.
And even though the contributors were passionate, they all kept their expectations low. Maybe they’d generate enough funding through Kickstarter to publish enough of these books so that the creators would all get a copy. It blew up. They became one of the top funded Kickstarter comic projects in the history of the site. Great, right? Then IDW got on board with the publishing and distribution. Awesome. And now it’s riding that energy into becoming an ongoing series? Amazing.
I’m sure at this point you can tell that I love comics. All comics. I love the big two publishers. I love the fringe companies. I love creator-owned properties. I love photocopied and stapled books on the small table in the corner of the local comic shop. I love web comics. We all may enjoy comics for the obvious reasons: stories, art, script. But do you give much thought to the industry? Riddled with problems, though it may be, the comic book industry is so accessible.
No, it isn’t likely that your story is going to be picked up by DC or Marvel. But it doesn’t have to be! That’s what’s so romantic about the whole thing. You will always have an audience. And your audience always has the potential to grow-*especially* with the technology we have at our disposal. Even if all you have is a twitter account and a friend at Kinko’s, you can be a comic creator. I could be reading your creation.
So you sit and complain about the unfair nature of the business. Nobody wants your stories. Nobody wants to read a story that doesn’t have a Bat-logo on it. Nobody takes you seriously. I’m here to say, that’s bullshit.
This is an industry of artists: both of the visual and the written word. There are always people that want to see your work. There are always people that want to collaborate with you. The challenge is finding the perfect fit. Womanthology is a beautiful success story. Womanthology: Heroic is a fantastic collection. I really do love it. I cannot wait to read the Womanthology: Space ongoing. But it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that there are so many more ideas out there just waiting for me to find them-no matter who the storytellers are.
Don’t get discouraged. Just get the word out. The world of comics is a remarkably intimate world.