PR Blog

Sept 30

The FINAL stretch…

Hello Everyone!

 We have one stretch goal:
To make Ad Astra Comix our full-time business.

Every extra dollar above our goal of $8000 helps us do the work that we’re already doing: social media, marketing, graphic design, web design, workshops, tabling at book fairs and conferences, creating comics, and creating a better framework for developing political comics as a genre. We also work with a wide variety of comics creators to produce, publish, and promote comics as a medium for political engagement.

The more we can find financial support, the more time we can spend making our own comics like our new Talk is Cheap a political comic set at Trent University about the Canadian election.

Talk is Cheap, Episode #4; click to see the rest!
Talk is Cheap, Episode #4; click to see the rest!

 It is our mission to make this business grow in a sustainable way. This means finding more people to work with, building infrastructure, and developing more original comics alongside producing the work of others.

In addition to publishing, we also retail comics and promote critical analysis of comics as a vehicle for social change.
In addition to publishing, we also retail comics and promote critical analysis of comics as a vehicle for social change.

Here are some of the projects on our desk that we’d like to release in the following year:

– An anthology about the Canadian extraction industries…
– A touching memoir of the NYC squatters’ takeover of buildings in the Lower East Side in the 1980s and 90s…
– An anthology of work by Canadian prison rights activist, Peter Collins (RIP)…
– Dispatches from the 2013 uprising in Istanbul…
– A Montreal anarchist’s account of the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto…

Original work:
– A graphic history of the Christie Pits Riot in 1930’s Toronto
– A community-directed free webcomic documenting the history of anti-black police brutality in Toronto
– A graphic history of the impact of hydro-electric dam development on indigenous communities in Manitoba

…In other words, our desk is covered with projects waiting to find time and funding.

Every dollar we receive helps to make each of these projects more of a reality. We can’t wait to share them with you, along with more of our original comics.

If you have any questions about our upcoming work, please stay in touch. Our e-mail is adastracomix@gmail.com, and you can find us all over social media.

Again, thank you for everything you have already done to support this project.

Less than 4 hours to go. …See you on the flip-side!

Sept 28

WE DID IT.

 

Hello everyone,

We invite you in joining us in feeling absolutely ecstatic this morning as yesterday, with some 70 hours to go in our crowdfunder, we reached our goal of $8000.

First off, an internet high-five goes out to all of you. We did this. Together.

This wasn’t just any old number. Let’s take a minute to see how you’ve helped us reach our goal, $8000, and what that means.

We needed $5000 to print as many copies of “Drawing the Line” —as a quality product—as we felt we could sell: 3000 units. Now that we’ve reached that financial goal (and pre-sold 200 copies in the process), we’re going to make extra sure we make the best possible book we can. That means a higher quality cover, and good paper.

We needed $1000 as an advance on royalties for all of the artists and contributors, so they can continue to do all the amazing work that they do in art, design, literature, and publishing.

We set aside a significant portion of proceeds for Ad Astra Comix to produce workshops and presentations for women and girls. Programs, like the “Girls Draw Comics!” series currently on with the youth group of the Afghan Women’s Organization (Mississauga), teaches important artistic techniques combined with the skills to talk about current events, political ideas, and how our lives intersect with those ideas. Your contributions will help subsidize workshops in under-funded communities, helping to buy materials and assist with printing comics made in those workshops. In other words: Awesome.

We also set aside some money for promotional materials! This included posters and leaflets, but also STICKERS. Be sure to look out for a sticker or two in your package of “Drawing the Line”, headed your way soon. :0)

Books will be coming out in October—we can’t nail down a date until we pay the printer, and we can’t pay the printer until the Kickstarter was over!—so keep your eyes peeled, and remember: folks can still pre-order a copy of the book for 1 more day! So keep encouraging your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and bus mates to visit our Kickstarter today, and get in on the action!

Also, if you backed “Drawing the Line” because you like what Ad Astra Comix is doing, consider introducing yourself over social media! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we love chatting with people on all three!

 

Sept 26

Three. More. Days.

Hi Everyone,

Three days and a little less than $1,000 to go – we’re right down to the wire. But we know that we can make it, considering all the awesome support we’ve received, and a piece of very recent good news.

We’ve been featured in Brown Girl Magazine! BGM is a publication highlighting the perspectives of young South Asian women in the diaspora . The article provides insights into several stories featured in ‘Drawing the Line’, so for anyone waiting impatiently for a copy of the book: this review (one of the best we’ve read!) might help to old you over.

Good News…

We’ve been featured in Brown Girl Magazine! BGM is a publication highlighting the perspectives of young South Asian women in the diaspora . The article provides insights into several stories featured in ‘Drawing the Line’, so for anyone waiting impatiently for a copy of the book: this review (one of the best we’ve read!) might help to old you over.

Other coverage… 

We received a nice review on FeminismInIndia.com, and the book was also featured on the FemPositive facebook group, which specializes in intersectional feminism from indigenous and South Asian perspectives.

The end of the crowdfunder is nearly upon us, so these enthusiastic updates will definitely be slowing down soon. There’s always more to be done, though. You can write your own review of ‘Drawing the Line’, and if you need help finding somewhere to place it, we can help!

Bringing DTL to a Library Near You…

You can also send a request to your local library to carry Drawing the Line, so that people who might not otherwise be able to access it can lay hands on a copy. We are listed with LibraryBound, a popular library distributor. Other important information:

ISBN: 978-0-9940507-1-7
Title: Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back!
Author: Vidyun Sabhaney, Harini Kannan, Reshu Singh, Soumya Menon, Bhavana Singh, Deepani Seth, Deeti Mistry, Anjela Ferrao, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan, Neelima P.A.
Editors: Priya Kuriyan, Larrisa Bertonasco & Ludmilla Bartscht
Specs: Softcover, perfect binding, 162 pages, 7″ x 9″, colour cover with B&W interior, offset printing
Release Date: Oct 15, 2015

You’ve all been so great – this may not be the last update, but with the home stretch in view, I am confident we’ll all be celebrating soon.

 

Sept 24

A Message from Swapna Krishna about “Drawing the Line”

Swapna is Managing Editor at HeyPanels and a contributing editor at Book Riot.
Swapna is Managing Editor at HeyPanels and a contributing editor at Book Riot.

Hello Everyone,

Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back” is close. It’s so close. But it’s so far as well.

If you’ve contributed, you know why this comic is important. Telling authentic narratives in a world where intersectional feminism is a thing many people don’t understand is crucial. Hearing Indian women tell their own stories is vital to understanding the problems they face and to making things better. I am an Indian American woman, but I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be a woman living in India. That’s why I need Drawing the Line. That’s why we all need it.

I have believed in this anthology since I first heard about it a week ago. I have told everyone I know about it, and why it’s important. And today, I’m asking you to do the same. We are just shy of $1,600 CAD to go and 5 days to do it. If everyone who has already contributed, who has so generously given, spreads the word to just one other person, the goal will be met.

We’re almost there.
We can do this.
Let’s make it happen.

Swapna Krishna,

Based in Washington D.C., Swapna is Managing Editor at HeyPanels and a contributing editor at Book Riot. She identifies as a lady geek, an avid reader,
and a diversity promoter. You can follow her on Twitter at @skrishna or visit http://www.swapnakrishna.com

 

Sept 20

60% !!!

Hey everyone,Wow, what a week! Just when you start to fret that things are slowing down, everything picks up. We’ve passed the halfway mark with no signs of slowing down. I know you’ve all been spreading the word, but keep it up because it’s working!

With just 10 days to go, the incomparably wonderful Arti Patel over at Huffington Post put up a great feature on the book. We encourage everyone to read this article and give it a share, especially if you’ve already shared the Kickstarter and are looking for other ways to help us out.

We were also featured in the Western Gazette, the student newspaper at the University of Western Ontario in London. Nice to be noticed!

It’s always a little strange to see yourself in the press but with a little bit of luck, this will hopefully turn into more attention going towards DTL.

This weekend we were promoting the book at MeccaCon (the Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts) in Detroit, an inspiring gathering of largely independent artists of colour networking, teaching, learning, and selling each other’s work. If you’re in Michigan, we highly recommend you pay them a visit next year!

This upcoming week – the last whole week we have to raise the remaining $3200 –  we’ll be at the following events here in Toronto:

OPIRG York DisOrientation (Sept 23 + 24 @ York University)
MADE by Feminists Arts & Crafts Bazaar (Sept 26 + 27 @ OCAD)
Word on the Street, Toronto’s Book & Magazine Festival (Sept 27 @ Harbourfront Centre)

All of these events are FREE to attend, and open to the public!

In addition to promoting Drawing the Line, we’ll be there selling posters of our comic about the slaughter of Inuit sled dogs by the RCMP, as well as a dozen other titles of radical comic books. If you go, don’t forget to stop by and say Hi!

Sept 17

Drawing the Line featured in Huffington Post!

Arti Patel’s fabulous write-up on Drawing the Line and the process it’s taken to get the book from India to a North American market couldn’t have been better. Read more here.

DTL HuffPo screenshot

Sept 16

DTL Update #2

Hi Everyone,

As the clock keeps ticking, we figured we would check in again and say Hi. Just a few bits of miscellaneous housekeeping that we figure might be of interest to you.

We are in talks to put together a critical discussion of the comic, what its strengths are and where it has opportunity to be more intersectional in its discussion of gender and oppression in India. It’s too soon to give details, but if you’re interested in critical perspectives on feminist comics, stay tuned – and keep in touch on our social media.

If you have friends who’d like to pick up a copy of “Drawing the Line” but don’t have the resources to contribute to the Kickstarter, take heart! DTL will be available throughout North America – through select bookshops here in Canada as we mentioned, but also through our new distributor, AK Press!

As always, we’re giving you that friendly reminder to mention the crowdfunder to friends, relatives and people you bump into on public transit!

<3,

Nicole & Hugh

Find our more about Ad Astra Comix and the work we do through our website!
We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Sept 15

DTL Update #1

Hey, everyone!
We are half-way to our goal!

Thanks so much for taking the time to help support the publication of ‘Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back’. Your contribution helps keep our publishing projects independent and from the grassroots! People all over the United States and Canada are pitching in to help make this project a reality.

Here are some things that have happened in the first 2 weeks of this campaign:

  • Upon launch, the “Drawing the Line” campaign was immediately selected by Kickstarter as a “Staff Pick”. That means that the crowdfunding pro’s think this project is interesting, important, and worthy of its funding goal. Hooray!
  • One generous donor in BC has given $200 in order sponsor a feminist comics workshop–very much like the workshop that produced ‘Drawing the Line’ in India! Thanks to her support, the Afghan Women’s Organization youth group (Mississauga, ON) will be able to sit down and put together a collection of comics about their experiences.
  • The book is being picked up by feminist and social justice bookshops in the U.S. and Canada! Distribution of “Drawing the Line” promises to make it a conversation starter long after our crowdfunder is over!

We think that ‘Drawing the Line’ is more than a comic book – it’s an example of how graphic narrative can be used to share perspectives, amplify marginalized voices and help us learn from each other.

If you think you know a teacher or professor who might want to include ‘Drawing the Line’ in their curriculum some time in the future, let us know! We would love to see it used in classrooms to help bring a more intersectional approach to feminism and think it also makes a great addition to post-colonial studies curricula.

Interested in keeping in touch? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also sign up for our mailing list by sending us an e-mail to adastracomix@gmail.com with “MAILING LIST” in the subject heading!

Thanks again for doing your part to make this possible!

Cheers,

Nicole & Hugh
Co-Owners
Ad Astra Comix
http://www.adastracomix.com

 

Sept 3, 2015

crowdfunder screen shot day 2
SCREENSHOT!

plus…

generosity workshop collage

 

Sept 1, 2015

We’re live with our crowdfunder!

 

August 6th, 2015

AD ASTRA COMIX TO RELEASE NORTH AMERICAN EDITION
OF “DRAWING THE LINE: INDIAN WOMEN FIGHT BACK”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

     Ad Astra Comix and Zubaan Books are pleased to announce a North American edition of the groundbreaking comic title ‘Drawing The Line’. The book is a 162-page anthology of 14 accounts by Indian women of their day-to-day experiences in India, illustrated by the authors. After a successful debut in India, ‘Drawing the Line’ is coming to North America where a whole new audience can glean insight from the diverse perspectives of its contributors.

teaser _ male gaze

Released as part of an ongoing national conversation in India around sexual violence and the experience of women in public spaces, ‘Drawing the Line’ is an anthology of comics that range from comics journalism to autobiography. Though some of the comics address sexual violence, other themes include beauty standards, patriarchal attitudes in the workplace, experiences of sisterhood on public transit and other experiences of womanhood in India.

Although the sexual assault case that sparked this national conversation around gender in India was covered in the western press, that coverage has been heavily skewed. Sexual violence has been portrayed as an Indian problem as though it was not also common in North American society. Rather than allowing western media to speak for Indian women, this title presents the individual, on-the-ground experiences of women in their own words and pictures.

At a time when white feminism is struggling to embrace intersectionality in a meaningful way, titles like ‘Drawing the Line’ offer western feminists an opportunity to engage with the lived experiences of Indian women in other parts of the world. For South Asian women living in the diaspora, ‘Drawing the Line’ represents an opportunity to compare similarities and differences between diasporic life and the experience of women still in India.

teaser_ woman drinking tea

Zubaan Books, the title’s Indian publisher, are an independent feminist publishing house based out of New Delhi that has been operating since 2003.

Ad Astra Comix is a Toronto-based comics press specializing in the production and publication of comics and graphic novels that amplify marginalized voices. Founded in 2012, Ad Astra is working on several publishing projects in addition to ‘Drawing the Line’.

Press Contact: Nicole Marie Burton

E-mail: adastracomix@gmail.com
Phone: 1-647-863-4994
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