Hey, everybody! A while back I mentioned the Graphic Textbook, a project being put together by the folks at Reading with Pictures, an organization dedicated to helping make and make available comics that improve literacy and showcase how useful our medium can be as a classroom tool.
The Graphic Textbook is a collection of comics related to the different subjects taught in school - math, science, English/language arts, social studies, history, art, etc. Unlike many classroom-related comics, this one is using top notch comics industry professionals, and also me. The talent aboard really is top notch: Janet Lee, Fred Van Lente, Katie Cook, Roger Langridge, etc. The stories are sure to be fun and engaging, and teachers will be provided with LOADS of support material in order make the book easy to integrate into their class planning.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my story is going to be called "The Black Brigade," and it's a Crogan Adventures story featuring Charles Crogan in 1777. He's going to be encountering loyalist soldier Colonel Tye, the leader of a 24-man commando unit made up of escaped slaves. I intend for it to be an action-packed, informative yarn, and I hope that you will help to bring it into existence.
Here are some of the character designs for the story:
Colonel Tye's physical appearance is based very loosely on one of my students, Brian Prince.
Captain James Galt-Brown is named for a professor I had in college who got me INCREDIBLY fired up about history, helping to put me squarely on the track I'm on today. I believe he teaches at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College now. Best history teacher I ever had, and I've had some good ones.
So! Here comes the part where I explain the goodies. There are three different options for different levels.
1. $125 Donation. An original page of comic art from "The Black Brigade," 11"x17." It's a ten-page story, and I'm making six of the pages available through here. I do not intend to sell the other pages, and least not any time soon. If you want to own a piece of art from this story, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO SO. There are only TWO of the six available pages remaining. If you want one, you'd better get it now! You also get copies of The Graphic Textbook in both print and digital formats.
2. $150 Donation. A one-hour video tutoring session with me. Here's what the site says about it: "A one-hour video tutoring session with award winning cartoonist and comics professor Chris Schweizer! Chris will personally go over your project and help you with writing, page layout, readability, character design, publishing logistics, and preparing a pitch for publishers." And I will! In addition to the comics work, I teach how to make comics at SCAD-Atlanta, and will gladly bring that teaching experience to your aid should you desire it. An hour is a long time. We can go over a lot. THERE IS ONLY ONE OF THESE AVAILABLE AS A REWARD. As much as I'd like to offer more, my schedule doesn't permit it. So! If you're inclined, give it a grab.
3. $70 Donation. I'll draw a portrait of YOU in Revolutionary War-era clothing/uniform inside your copy of THE GRAPHIC TEXTBOOK. Heck, if you want it on a piece of drawing paper NOT in the sketchbook, for framing, I'm sure we could work that out, too.
This is a worthwhile project. Everyone involved believes in it. Most if not all of the artists are donating a part of their pay back into the kickstarter... some are donating all of it! At the time I write this, the project is up past $50,000, which is amazing... but the goal is $65,000. If the goal isn't reached in seven days, NONE of the money goes through, and the project doesn't happen.
New readers are essential to comics. If kids don't become habitual readers, then eventually the customer base will dwindle to the point that folks like me won't be able to make comics for a living anymore. I'll still make 'em either way, but the number of books available to comic fans will certainly shrink. This project helps to get comics into the hands of kids and make new readers of them. Donating to the project - even just a little - will help to ensure the future of the medium that I suspect you love as much as I do. Every little bit helps. Go here to learn more about the project.