Sunday, February 19, 2017

Join the "Femme Magnifique" Graphic Novel Anthology Kickstarter Campaign!

Never before has the volume of female voices come through so strongly in various forms of geek and pop culture than in recent times, where the rights of women are being questioned and debated upon. These discussions range from the Gamergate incident, the hacking and leaking of celebrities' nude photos, and the rise of "Cosplay Is Not Consent", to the success of the movie "Hidden Figures" which was based on the lives of three black female "computers" who worked at NASA.

Most of these voices from women have been delivered with courage in times of adversity and polarity, while some voices are made in derision against or in confusion as to what a female voice really means. There may be a high level of unfiltered noise and negativity in the feminist rhetoric, and yet, this is the opportunity to fight stereotypes about women and set the stage for more varied and uplifting female-centric stories to be told.

Former Executive Editor of DC's Vertigo imprint Shelly Bond takes up the challenge by creating a comic book project called "Femme Magnifique". She will be working closely together with Kristy and Brian Miller of HiFi Colour Design to publish the hardcover graphic novel anthology, which will consist of 30 short stories about kickass women who have been trailblazers in art, science, history and pop culture.

The list of over 50 writers and artists involved with "Femme Magnifique" is impressive. It includes many A-listers and notable contributors like:

- fan favourite and prolific writer Gail Simone ("Secret Six", "Birds of Prey", "Batgirl", "Red Sonja", "Clean Room")
- Eisner-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick ("Captain Marvel", "Pretty Deadly", "Bitch Planet") who will write a story about Hillary Clinton together with artist Elsa Charretier
- YA novelist & indie rocker Cecil Castellucci ("Boy Proof", "Shade the Changing Girl") with art by Philip Bond ("Time Flies") on a story about physicist and astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space
- Writer Robin Furth and artist Devaki Neogi will work on a story about American author Ursula K. Le Guin
- Michael and Laura Allred ("iZombie")
- French artist Marguerite Sauvage ("DC Comics Bombshells"), who just announced she will be working on a story about singer Kate Bush
- Bill Sienkiewicz ("Moon Knight", "Elektra: Assassin")
- Kieron Gillen ("Iron Man", "The Wicked + The Divine")
- Mike Carey ("Lucifer", "The Girl With All The Gifts")
- Tess Fowler ("Rat Queens")
- Jill Thompson ("Wonder Woman", "The Sandman")
- Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, who has announced that his subject will be Joan of Arc
- Leah Moore ("Albion")
- Ming Doyle ("Girl Over Paris")
- and our very own local Red Dot Island creator Sonny Liew ("Doctor Fate", "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye").

On social media, Sonny Liew shared that he will be telling the story about educator, councillor and war heroine named Elizabeth Choy. Elizabeth Choy, who died at the age of 95 in 2006, was a woman ahead of her time. Red Dot Diva can't wait to see how she will be depicted in Sonny Liew's segment.

Shelly Bond will be editing all the stories in "Femme Magnifique" which will feature lettering by Aditya Bidikar.

A Kickstarter for a goal sum of USD 40,000 had been launched last week to crowdsource funds for "Femme Magnifique". Readers can opt for various funding levels to support the project, and can choose either a digital version, hard copy version, or both, with various perks like postcards, enamel pins, badges and art prints available. As a contributor, your name will also be listed in the credits page.

A new "Femme Magnifique" story will be revealed each day, and those already mentioned are on the campaign page.

The number of stories in the book will increase to 50 if the stretch campaign goal of USD 65,000 is unlocked! To-date, nearly 67% of the funds have been raised.

Red Dot Diva thinks that this wonderful compilation that salutes women who rise against all odds will inspire the readers of this lifetime and for generations to come. "Femme Magnifique" will also work as a great tool for teachers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and good friends to show that the girls and women out there are not alone in their fight for equality and acceptance, and that it is OK to discover and to be who you want to be.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on 16 March 2017, so do pitch in and support if you want to see this "Femme Magnifique" come to reality!

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