I was talking to my brother about women’s attitudes towards their bodies, especially regarding weight/fat, and when he said “most guys don’t notice/care about that kind of thing,” I tried to explain why it was a lot more complicated than that. I ended up telling this story.
Body image is something that’s so hard to talk about, and it’s hard to express body positivity without sounding cheesy, false, or overly simplistic. But I’m gonna try. This is only my own experience, and it didn’t magically cure me of all my body image issues - but it was a major turning point for me nonetheless.
A little while ago I made an announcement about the The Whole Story: Broken Telephone project I’ve been invite to work on. It’s a project put together by Ryan Estrada, who’s single-handedly brought together 18 different artists around an opportunity to create something pretty amazing. It’s basically 18 different stories each by a different creator. Each story also features a hero who is the villain of the previous story.
It’s taken Ryan 7 years to write and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Unfortunately, it’s has begun to look, for the first time, as if this project might not happen. As of writing this, the projects still needs $11,000 in pledges with only eleven days to go. At this rate it’s going to fall short of its kickstarter funding goal by a few thousand dollars. I’m REALLY hoping that doesn’t happen, so in an attempt to help the project reach its goal, I’m doing my part, as one of the creators, to spread the word. It’s hard to get the news out about a kickstarter (especially around this time of year) so I’d like to talk for a moment about what (to me) really makes this kickstarter worth contributing to.
Sure there’s great comics. Ryan is literally hemorrhaging comics. He loves giving them away and there is almost no way you’re going to get just the comics you ordered, should you contribute more than a couple bucks. Yes. The comics are really awesome. But for me, it’s about the creators.
I mentioned that there were 18 creators involved. Well, here they are:
You might be surprised by some of the names on that list. I certainly was to find at least two of my personal heroes there. But equally as exciting is the cast of up-and-comers and relative un-heard-ofs also included. While I may not have heard of some of these guys they are all shockingly powerful artists. And because of Ryan, many of them will (hopefully) be getting to complete their very first paid comic gig with Broken Telephone. Maybe you wondered why the funding goal seemed a little high for this project. Surely, we’ve all seen graphic novel projects KickStart for half what Ryan is asking. It’s because this isn’t just about getting a comic made. It’s about getting artists drawing. Ryan is a machine and could easily have put this entire book together himself. But instead, part of his vision was to have the story told in 18 different ways by 18 different talented people and ensuring that each of them was fairly compensated for their work. When he contacted each of us, he was very frank and upfront about this being a paid art job. In fact, the title of my invitation read “I want to hire you” (which did manage to get it dumped right into my spam folder, I might add). If you don’t know, this is something that talented young artists generally don’t see until they have become much more well established. The early years of trying to live off your art are comprised almost entirely of being taken advantage or “paying your dues”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been offered payment in the form of “Exposure” or simply found myself forced in to price renegotiations after the work was complete or simply stiffed for my work altogether.
So to have someone approach you with a real job that pays a real, competitive rate, which is offered to you up front, to create meaningful, quality art in COMICS is basically the holy grail, no matter how long you’ve been in the game. I feel I can confidently speak for all the artists involved when I say working on this project is somethings we really look forward to doing. Especially those of us without a whole lot else on our plates at the moment. It would be a real shame for any talented artist to miss out on an opportunity like this and just as big a shame for you to miss out on seeing what they can do. So why not give the Broken Telephone Kickstarter a first or even a second look and think about whether it’s something you’d like to contribute to. And, hey if you can’t afford to back the kickstarter you can still help IMMENSELY by spreading the word! You can link this post or reblog it or whatever! Or you can link the Kickstarter itself or my previous post on the project. Anything that gets people talking, because as much as this thing needs dollars, it also needs BUZZZZZZ! Thank you kindly for these moments of your time young people :)
“This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.
I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind.
Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.
It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.
Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.
Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.”—Douglas Adams (via revolverwife)
Laura knew that the Russian witches live in small huts mounted upon three giant hens’ legs, all yellow and scaly. The legs can go; when the witch desires to move her dwelling the legs stalk through the forest, clattering against trees, and printing long scars upon the snow.