Kickstarter Spotlight: Campaigners – a Graphic Novel

Campaigners_KS_Promo_page10_image1by Brendan Hykes

The year is 2076. The economy is in the toilet. Civil rights are floundering. Americans couldn’t be happier or more patriotic. Why? Because every four years, Presidential candidates engage in a no-holds-barred fight (usually to the death). It’s like the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the Fourth of July all wrapped up in one, and then they get to go vote for the winner.

Only not everyone loves this system. Meet Kydra Franks, a high school student who turns eighteen on Election Day, who comes from a poor, single-parent family, who watches her transgender best friend get bullied at school on a regular basis. When Kyd publicly lashes out against the country, against the government and especially against the debates, video of her rant goes viral and sparks national outrage.

Bianca Faye, the aforementioned transgender best friend, sees all this public outrage and, as someone who spends a huge amount of time online, sees an opportunity to help her friend and boost her own social profile at the same time. She starts to build a youth movement around Kyd, and doesn’t quite notice when the movement starts to get out of hand.

Campaigners is, amongst other things, an attempt to look at the concept of social justice from both ends. It’s about politics and violence, it’s about coming-of-age and standing-your-ground.

Campaigners is written by myself, Brendan Hykes, and drawn by Chilean artist MJ Barros. It started out a few years ago as a simple idea, Presidential candidates fighting to the death for the Presidency. I half-heartedly started developing the story until I came upon the character of Kydra, and realized it was her story, not the candidates. And once I started developing Bee as transgender, and realized it was as much her story as Kyd’s, I was hooked in.

When I came across MJ’s art I knew immediately I wanted to work with her, and she seemed a good fit for Campaigners. I was blown away by her concept art, and I knew I’d made the right choice.

Now we just need to get the thing made. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay MJ, pay for lettering and production, and pay for printing.

Please check out Campaigners on Kickstarter and consider backing.


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