This week’s Kickstarter is not only a really cool looking anthology, it is working towards a good cause as well. YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 is the third entry in this series of anti-bullying anthologies. We took a few minutes to talk with the Publisher of Greyhaven Comics, Andrew Goletz about this project.
Digital Nerdage: What is You Are Not Alone 3?
Andrew Goletz: YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 is the latest in a series of anti-bullying comic book anthologies that we publish. The goal was to do all age friendly stories aimed at younger readers who have to deal with issues like abuse, body image, depression, homophobia, racism, violence and other things that kids…that no one should ever have to deal with. Along with the stories (which all try to feature positive resolutions to the conflicts portrayed) we include information on where people can seek help for these issues.
DN: Can you please tell us about the creative team?
AG: In order to make a comic like this a reality, we depend on the dedicated individuals who write, draw, letter and edit these stories. YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 would not be possible without the following extremely talented folks whose work will be featured in the book:
Alexandra Tyler & Anna af Hallstrom
Atilla Kiss & Leah Marie Mena
Forrest Helvie & Chuck Bordell
George Bartlett & George Athanasiou
J.R. Loflin & James Ludden
Jason Huwer & Nick Francis
Jason Snyder & Scott Sackett
Lara Taficante Baston & Saint of Sinners
Mario Candaleria & Eric D. Bass
Matt Crehan & Federico Avella
Oscar Maltby & Jesse Simpson
with letters by Paul Salvi, Ken Reynolds and more…
and with covers by Justin Fischetto (main cover) and Daniel Suarez Perez (variant)
Editing & production of YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 is by Marc Lombardi
DN: Was there any specific event that was the inspiration behind the You Are Not Alone series of books?
AG: The tragedy at Sandy Hook had a profound effect on everyone. Originally we thought to honor the victims of the horrific event with a tribute book but were concerned it would come off as crass. But we all agreed we needed to do something different than the usual comics we were putting out. Creating an anti bullying project that would encompass many of the issues young people deal with every day from abuse to depression to violence was the direction we decided to go. Stories about tough issues but aimed at a teen audience and built around hope.
With several years of experience publishing comics we figured we’d be able to pull off a larger format book. The original book was going to be about 80 pages long but response was so strong and the stories so powerful that the book ballooned to nearly 200 pages. Crowdfunding enabled us to go above and beyond both in our page count and printed books and we were able to offer complimentary copies of the book to many schools and youth organizations that asked for the book.
DN: What is the reward, besides the book itself, that you were most excited to offer?
AG: We always try to offer cool rewards on top of just the book. Honestly, in my opinion the coolest reward is the $25 tier. You get a print copy of the book and your name in the thank you section so not only are you receiving a physical copy of an important work but you’re also immortalized as one of the people responsible for making it a reality. If you’re a comic fan who wants original art we have several long time artists offering sketches of the winner’s choice and if you’re an aspiring creator we even have some rewards where you can have a script or completed comic reviewed by published professionals.
DN: Anything else you would like to add?
AG: YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 is in the final stages of production and will go to print in August. Unlike a lot of crowdfund campaigns (including our own previous ones) you won’t be waiting a year for this to come out. Backers should have their books in hand in September or October at the very latest which is a pretty quick turnaround time, we think. The YOU ARE NOT ALONE series is not just a project that I am proud of but one that I think is extremely important and would like to see it continue for years to come until there is no need for these types of books.
Money’s tight for everyone and there are a lot of wonderful projects competing for attention. If you’re someone who believes what we’re doing with the YOU ARE NOT ALONE series but can’t afford a pledge, sharing the link with others and encouraging them to pledge is just as important and helpful.
In addition to this being a amazing collection of works from a wonderfully diverse group of creators, this project also tackles a number very real issues. I am glad to see comics being used for more than just entertainment especially with the range of issues that YOU ARE NOT ALONE 3 addresses. I truly hope that if at all possible you back this very worthy project! Check out their Kickstarter page here!