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What Is Of Overall Benefit

What Is Of Overall Benefit published on 6 Comments on What Is Of Overall Benefit

I was watching an episode of King of Dramas a few months back. In the show, the protagonist, Anthony Kim, is driven to produce a historical drama in order to revitalize his career. Of course, he has a rival who does everything he can to make sure Anthony fails. Fortunately for Anthony, he has a few friends on his side who save the day when he needs it.

In one such scene, Anthony’s supervisor (in a way), Nam Woo-Hyung, intervenes just as the broadcasting station’s committee wants to cancel Anthony’s show. Woo-Hyung says that although the project might not make a lot of money, its message is important to the people who will see the program. He says profit is not always important; sometimes, it’s about the morale you can raise or a few peoples’ lives you can affect.

I was talking to someone recently about Transhuman Resources and told them very bluntly: if you’re a self-published author, your book is not about making money. If you fundraise enough, you can consider a specific cut of it to be like an advance. The rest needs to go into printing and promotion. You will not live comfortably on what you make, and need to sustain yourself by other means.

If you do later on? Jackpot, congratulations. But don’t expect to make it the way authors did in the past. That ship has sailed for the writing field, and we’ll be lucky if the days of healthy advances ever return.

With 29 days left to fund Transhuman, we probably won’t reach our goal.

When I allocate new projects to schedule, I don’t set a large budget because I always expect to make my money later on down the line. We can try to get at least half of our goal fulfilled, but that’s still barely enough for printing costs.

Wood, Transhuman‘s author, and I were also worried because of some fuss over the EU’s new VAT laws, which threatened to restrict business owners from the United Kingdom in how they sell digital products to people from other countries. Long story short–it’s Amazon’s fault it happened and it’s screwed over everyone else. In order to sell the book digitally, it’s now a safer bet to either partner with Amazon or a third party who is already registered with a VAT of their own.

This is starting to sound like a cancellation notice, isn’t it? It’s not.

Have you seen the news lately? Black people don’t exactly feel welcome in this country right now. And to be perfectly honest, it’s not like the red carpet was ever rolled out for us in the first place. I have tried time and again to explain what Transhuman, Odyssey, and other books featuring minorities does to black people who see them, but sometimes this doesn’t come across if the person I’m explaining this to isn’t a minority. I see that black reader’s eyes light up when they see how beautiful the book is and who the main character is. They’re happy and relieved. Can you blame them? It’s like America has taken our collective self-esteem and tossed it into a trash can.

This doesn’t even begin to cover the effect Transhuman‘s very planning has done for transgender and female users on social media. Although we’ve been met with hesitation, we have a lot of support and people happy Wood and I are bringing UNIS (Transhuman‘s heroine) into existence. Because of how many people love her already, and are ready to open their arms to her, this book must be created no matter what.

So. If the fundraiser fails, if we have to scrape together funds for printing, that’s what we’ll do. If I have to be paid later for my work, that’s fine. It might take a little longer to finish the graphic novel if it comes to that, but I believe Transhuman is absolutely necessary and needed.

UNIS does what she wants, when she wants, how she wants. She’s already a hero. We just have to provide the physical paper for her to exist on. I’m more than happy to do my part to make this a reality.

You can preorder your copy of Transhuman Resources here.

-kmg

  • OSM

    I’m thoroughly unconvinced that the average black dude’s self-esteem is dependent on seeing black fictional characters in indie comic books. Your line about their eyes lighting up sounds particularly patronising. And how the hell can people already “love” UNIS if you haven’t even put out the product featuring her? This irrational attachment to identity doesn’t make any sense to me.

    I was interested in the comic because it was cyberpunk and apparently had a trans protagonist, which is different. What’s put me off it isn’t the trans aspect, it’s all the identity politics I’m seeing from you and Wood. It’s just so cliché.

    • 1. Well, my constituents in the black comics community do hold the same sentiment as me. We get it. It might sound patronizing to you, but it’s community pride to us.
      2. The comic’s feature issue is available on this very website. Go back to the home page to see details.
      3. If identity politics are present in this book, then they must be present in all of my books. They must also be present in my paintings and my actions away from the drawing board. Guilty as charged, I suppose.

      • OSM

        I know black dudes who’d disagree with you. I see no reason why you should be authorised to speak for all black comic book fans. Your politics are, in my experience, thankfully niche. I just wanted to provide a counter-argument and to let you know why I wasn’t going to support this project, no ill will intended.

        • Boo-hoo, you’re upset I’m creating comics that have a side effect of people being happy for representation in comics. I don’t care what you personally support since your arguments are hateful. We’re happy with being grassroots and the people who DO get what we’re doing: https://twitter.com/kgpaints/status/544870179306737664

          • OSM

            Well I suppose it’s nice to be described as “articulate”. What I see in those twitter responses is a lot of irrational anger and groupthink, where contrary ideas are merely attacked instead of analysed. This is exactly the kind of behaviour that makes me not want to support these identity politics projects.

          • Whatever floats your boat, loser.

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