Shooting for the Stars

Cover cropped copy

Blink’s Super-Keen Wonka Wonka Kochalka Kickstarter Campaign is approaching its FINAL WEEK and there’s still time for you to participate!

Yes, the initial goal has already been reached, and I am astounded by the support I’ve gotten from Blink readers thus far. Seriously, you guys are the greatest!  I’ve gotten a few question over the past few weeks and I want to address them while there’s still time.

First of all, THIS CAMPAIGN IS NOT A CHARITY. All the money that’s raised through this Kickstarter campaign will go towards funding my various Blink related expenses (the printing of books, posters, t-shirts & promotional materials as well as costs involved with putting on the Blink Gallery Show in March at the Wild Goose Creative). After the campaign ends on Jan 31, the total amount raised will be deposited into my bank account (minus the percentage that Kickstarter keeps for services rendered).

You can contribute any amount ($1 or more) to the campaign and there are lots of options for people who want to give more (and if you give more, you get more). The bottom line however is that I’m essentially asking people to pre-order the “Wonka Wonka Kochalka” book for $10 (which includes shipping*). The book is going to be over 60 pages and if you’ve enjoyed Blink so far, then this new stuff is sure to knock your socks off. 

Star Wars Blink KICK START B W Poster [preview]Now, one of the “premium” rewards is a painted color version of this Blink Star Wars homage poster. I’ve had this drawing around for a couple of years and figured I might as well put it to good use. So I contacted my friend Matthew Swift and asked him to make this drawing of mine look more like the original (with color). Matthew is a professional colorist—he works with DC and Marvel and a few other comic companies, so he knows his way around a color pallet. (Check out our last Blink collaboration here.) I’ve seen a snippet of the final and it’s gonna look SUPERB!! In fact, I am so pleased with what a good job Matthew’s doing, if I reach 200% of my goal, I’m going to add an oversized postcard version of the final painted poster to anyone who pre-orders the book

So, if you haven’t become a Blink backer yet, there’s still time! I’d love for you so to put your name on the 2-page Kickstarter “Thank You” spread that will appear in the book when its printed in March.

*Please add $5 if you live outside the U.S.

Fighting the Good Fight (with snowballs)

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts- such is the duty of the artist.”
-Robert Schumann

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Wednesday, January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  For the past few years, Lora Innes and Crystal Yates have organized the Comic Creators for Freedom project which helps raise funds to fight human trafficking.  You may not know it, but there are currently 27 million enslaved people worldwide- more than double the number of enslaved Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children every year are sold into slavery, most of it sexual. The US Department of Justice estimates 16,000 victims of human trafficking are brought into the United States every year. Unlike slavery in the past, what is happening today is happening in secret. It won’t end until awareness is raised, and people like you and me take a stand.

The Comic Creators for Freedom (CCFF) is a group of over 100 comic book creators who volunteered our artistic talents to raise money and awareness for this cause. Each creator contributed an original drawing of one of our own female characters, and Lora & Crystal then combined them into a single wallpaper image which is available for download when people donate to the cause.

The hope is that readers will be excited to participate in the donations drive (there's a PayPal button on th Comics Creators for Freedom site), and that the wallpaper will be used to generate interest in the project. The wallpaper features characters from all over the web, including Girls with Slingshots, Heart of A Colt, Dressed For Success, Next Year’s Girl, Earthsong Saga, Greg The Megabeaver’s Prehistoric Sideshow, Plus One, The Dreamer, and tons more (as you can plainly see)! 

There will be a Donations Drive that will last for two weeks, from Monday January 9th – 20th and everyone who donates gets a copy of the wallpaper. All proceeds will be split evenly between Love 146 and Gracehaven House- two organizations working on rehabilitation of victims and prevention of this crime.

To learn more about the CCFF visit www.comiccreatorsforfreedom. To learn more about the problem, visit http://love146.org/slavery. (Note: contains adult themes and actual accounts of sex slavery.)

OMG! 100% in less than 24 HRS!

100 Percent

Wow.

Seriously…wow.

I figured that the goal I had set for myself was a reasonable one ($1,500). And I believed that I had enough readers who enjoy Blink enough that the campaign would be a success… but—wow.  I never thought that I’d reach the goal so fast.

Jeepers.

Thanks everyone! You guys are the awesomesauciest!

START the year by giving BLINK a KICK!

Hello!

I hope your Holidays were Happy & Merry. Have you made your resolutions for the New Year? I have. I resolve to keep making new Blink books--lots more than I have in the past. And I also resolve to get more people reading them (and buying them).

I've been doing a pretty good job on the former by giving myself clear and managable goals every week and over the past few months I've managed to stay on schedule. I have every intention of keeping up the pace through the new year (and many years to come!).  

As for latter, one way that I am going to accomplish that is by running a Kickstarter Campaign to help boost the sales (and the awareness) of the first chapter (Wonka Wonka Kochalka) of the second graphic novel of Blink (So It Goes).  

If you've never heard of or participated in a Kickstarter Campaign, here's the deal: Kickstarter is a website that helps artistic types raise the funds needed in order to make their creative projects realities. There are all kinds of creative projects that they offer fundraising for-- Art,  Comics,  Dance,  Design,  Fashion,  Film & Video,  Food,  Games,  Music,  Photography,  Publishing,  Technology  and  Theater.  All the projects have clear objectives and the fundraing is "All or Nothing." People pledge money--however much they want--and receive rewards (payments are credit card based and processed through Amazon).  If the project isn't fully funded by the deadline, then no one is charged anything (and no one gets anything). 

My objective is raising funds ($1,500) to help pay for the printing of Wonka Wonka Kochalka and to offset the costs involved in putting on a Blink comic art show at the Wild Goose Creative gallery space.  I've got all sorts of various pledge amounts (from as little as $1 all the way up to $150) and lots of cool rewards. Even if you don't want to pledge any money (I know some people are wary of spending money online), you can help by sharing the project on Facebook, Twitter (or your social network of choice).  The campaign ends on January 31. 

 

Comics For A Cause

Earlier this month, I noticed a post somewhere about Lora Innes putting together a charity fundraising event—Comic Creators for Freedom—to raise awareness about Human Trafficking with funds going to two organizations—LOVE 146,  and GRACEHAVEN (Gracehaven is located in Central Ohio, where I live and where I set the stories of Blink). 

Lora writes on the CCFF website:

Human Trafficking is personal to me.

I mentored a young 14 year-old middle school student in the Columbus (Ohio) City School district. One morning on her way to school, two men pulled up to her bus stop, jumped out with a gun  and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t get in the car. In the backseat she saw two other teenage girls, with duct tape over their mouths. She told me that at that moment she’d rather die on the sidewalk then be kidnapped and raped, so she took off running. The man with the gun began counting down “3… 2… 1…” as if to shoot her, but neighbors came out when they heard the commotion and the men drove off. She gave extensive information to the police, but so far as I know, they were never caught and the girls in the backseat never rescued.

This is happening all over America and the World. Human Trafficking is essentially a modern term for an old problem–slavery. There are actually more people enslaved today than there were during the historic Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade we hear so much about.

Most of it is children, and most of it is sexual slavery–forced prostitution, and the girls are usually runaways who are taken advantage of or are kidnaped intentionally for this purpose. After an intense weekend of being raped by paying customers (one testimony from a survivor I heard was 30 men in less than as many hours), a girl is broken, and a pimp has power over her to do what he wants. She is sold to the highest bidder and her life is no longer her own, and never, ever the same.

So far Comic Creators for Freedom has raised $15,000! Imagine what we can do this year.

We donate 100% of what we raise to charity. The money is split evenly the between global organization Love 146and Gracehaven, a safe house being built for girls coming out of sexual slavery here in the U.S. It is only the FOURTH such house in the entire United States. So I think what they are trying to do is very important. Read more about both organizations below.

I think all girls deserve the right to grow up healthy and free! And luckily, so do a lot of my friends.

-Lora Innes (The Dreamer)

Lora has organized CCFF with the help of Crystal Yates over the past two years and I’m glad to be one of the over 100 artists participating this year to help raise awareness about this sad situation and raise funds to help these kids. January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day here in the U.S. The CCFF fund drive will run from Monday, January 9th through Friday, January 20th. This year’s theme is “Epic Snowball Fight” and I present to you my entry into the fray:

ink_blink [2011]