The Strange Wit Kickstarter is live!

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Meet Jane Bowles: incredible author, inspiring woman, tortured mind.

Jane may have been marginalized by the cultural canon, but her contemporaries considered her “one of the finest modern writers” (John Ashberry), “the most important writer of prose fiction” (Tennessee Williams), and further, a “genius imp, [a] laughing, hilarious, tortured elf” (Truman Capote). Jane drank more than she wrote, worried more than she worked, and had more epically disastrous love affairs than completed books. By almost any measure, Jane led a fascinating life filled with literary giants and great adventure and I want to bring her story to life.

“Although unknown to the general public, the Bowleses were famous among those who were famous.” – Gore Vidal

“My only complaint against Mrs. Bowles is that she publishes so infrequently. One would prefer larger quantities of her strange wit, thorny insight. Certainly she is one of the really original pure stylists.” – Truman Capote

jane character promo_col_smThis Kickstarter is going to help fund the creation and publication of chapter one of an original graphic novel written by me, Katy Rex, about Jane’s life. This book will be published as a standalone issue and follow Jane’s life from childhood up until a freak accident on a horse that led her to be diagnosed with tuberculosis of the knee. It includes art from Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust, Neverboy) on the main biography, and June Vigants on the short story, in full color with a stunning and evocative palette from Kelly Fitzpatrick (Sensation Comics). EditorKirsten Thompson contributes a unique perspective on history and feminism. It will also include Jane’s short story, A Stick Of Green Candy, about the nature of love and childhood innocence and the death of imagination. An inset medical diagram art piece from artist Kate Lacour will detail the intricacies of joint tuberculosis. This campaign will allow the project to continue and build into a full length book, and will be an opportunity for backers to get the exclusive rewards that will not be available once the book is fully produced. This single extra thick issue, coming in at a full 28 printed pages, will also feature an essay from Lauren Spohrer, editor of the online magazine Two Serious Ladies, which publishes original poetry and prose from women around the world.

This original graphic novel will follow Jane Bowles’ life in ten chapters. In each chapter, there is an adaptation of one of her short stories, and each short story is adapted by a different artist. The artistic team adapting short stories includes art from Dom Sole, Betsy Peterschmidt(Boys with Wings), Ines Estrada (Ojitos Borrosos, Lapsos), June Vigants (Chainmail Bikini, Tales of the Night Watchman), Joshua Hixson (The Rebel Gun), Anne MaxsonBeatrice Penco Sechi (Lady Doll), Ryan Kelly (Lucifer, Local), Adam Gorham (Zero, Kill Shakespeare), and Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot, Pawn Shop), with a Kickstarter-exclusive cover by Marguerite Sauvage (Thor, Ninjak, The Wicked + The Divine). In order to tie together her life and stories, colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick (Sensation Comics) is creating a unifying palette and letterer/designer Taylor Esposito (Ghost Glyph Studios) will be facilitating the flow of the work.
jane character sheet_col_smVery few accounts of Jane’s life exist in the realm of public consumption. Some things are broadly and culturally agreed upon: She had many sexual relationships with women, she wrote sparsely and strangely but with genius and style, and when she met her husband, she said to a friend, “He is my enemy.” But the cultural mythos about Mrs. Bowles does very little to capture the very real and very unique person behind her strange persona.

Chapter one is completely scripted and the art is nearly complete. Help us get it printed, and YOU (yes, you!) can be eligible for a number of exciting rewards, including:

• Digital and physical copies before they’re available anywhere else

• Set of 10 Postcards limited edition/numbered

• An exclusive limited edition (numbered) print of Marguerite Sauvage’s portrait of Jane

• Thank-you letter, handwritten

• Thank-you letter, handwritten while drunk

• A mini-comic written & (poorly) drawn by Katy: cocktail recipes of the artistic elite

• Options for original art from the creative team, including pages from the book and full color commissions

One of the cool things about working with a creative team of this scale is that we are able to collect work from each one of the short story artists in a unique set of 10 postcards. Each postcard comes from a place where Jane lived and worked at the time of the chapter in which that artist’s short story is featured.

Since the chapter is nearly done, rewards will be printed and shipped within a few months after the campaign ends. The money made in this Kickstarter, first and foremost, will be going toward fair page rates for the excellent and high-quality work from this diverse and unique creative team. With the full length graphic novel coming in at around 240 pages, it’s not a small budget, and starting to fund it through Kickstarter brings it one step closer to being a reality. While this campaign primarily funds the production and printing of chapter one, if we surpass our goal we will be able to use the additional money to speed up the production of the final book.

This book is fun to read, beautiful to look at, and covers a crucial topic in the marginalized history of LGBT artists. Thank you for considering pledging!

Click here to go to the Kickstarter page.

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