Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Anyone who knows me knows I've had a lifelong passion for comics & graphic novels. As a child, they had an outsized influence on how I understood issues of social justice, discrimination, and moral imperatives. I know many people can relate; probably you as well, if you're reading this. For years, I'd wondered how I might add my voice to this wonderful medium, but the walls around the small sphere of comic publishers appeared impenetrable.
But new modes of production, distribution, marketing, and most importantly funding mean that I can finally make my dream come true! Just as I began discovering the incredible opportunities inside of DIY independent comic book creation, COVID-19 hit. As first, the old doubts creeped in. Now was not the time to launch a comic book, much less consider creating my own imprint. But after listening to Tyler James on the Comixlaunch Podcast, I had a change of heart.
Maybe now was the exact right time to launch Baby Barbarian. After much consideration, it really boiled down to the following three reasons.
1. A farewell to screens: As a parent trying to "homeschool" my seven-year-old, I know first-hand the parental struggle of COVID quarantine. It seems that all day we're expected to keep them glued to Zoom or Khan or some other screen-reliant educational program. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to spend some time with your child, bonding over a a new, fantastical world you've watched develop in real-time and perhaps even had some influence on? Own Goal Books pilot project, the tween graphic novel Baby Barbarian, was written specifically for nighty-night/lights-out time. As an educator, I've even concocted ways to sneak a little education in the story.... 2. Share the love: You may have heard that an alarming number of freelance artists and creatives have seen much of their income dry up since quarantine. Kickstarter, the platform that I will be using to launch Baby Barbarian, has also had its fair share of pain and has had to lay off a good chunk of its workforce. Partially because so many creatives put a stop to their plans, just like I did. If all goes according to plan, our Graphic Novel, Baby Barbarian will help float these creatives and the small printing, distribution, and shipping companies they rely on and which relies on them. 3. Community I'm an extrovert. Being stuck inside has taken a toll on me. I long for community and the feeling that I'm moving towards something positive with likeminded individuals. With your help, and participation, we can create a community of sorts. What about you? What is stopping you from forging forward with a lifelong dream? I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time, keep those nightlights on and those stories flowing. Our kids need us to be there with them.