I am cross posting this very important message from GrayHaven Comics publisher Andrew Goletz, on a project that I am very proud to be involved with helping to create:
The events of December 14, when 26 innocent people (including 20 children) lost their lives, have affected many people. I know it’s touched me in a profound way. My fellow editors have felt the same and after much discussion we agreed that something had to be done.
What good is having the ability to reach people with our stories if we can’t put that to use in a beneficial way?
It goes beyond the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. It goes beyond the victims of Aurora. This is not about gun violence or gun control. This is not a political statement. This is a statement of being good to your fellow man.
This is about Brandon Elizares, a 14 year old boy who took his own life after being bullied for coming out to his friends and classmates.
This is about Victoria Gray’s African American son who was tied to a locker at his High School as classmates taunted him with cheers of ‘slave for sale’
This is about the 11 year old developmentally challenged child who was held down on a kitchen table by four adults who took turns beating him.
This is about the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse and others like him.
This is about the children who are ridiculed or worse because of the color of their skin. Their sexual orientation. Their mental capacity. Their weight. Their interests.
This is about the children who no longer feel safe going to the movies or to school.
This is about the millions of kids who suffer abuse and suffer in silence thinking that no one cares.
This project is designed to show that we hear you. People care. WE CARE. And what they can do to get help.
GrayHaven Comics will be publishing YOU ARE NOT ALONE, a very special anthology one shot featuring stories inspired but not based on real life events like the ones mentioned above. With this book we hope to give people the means to get help and know what to do should they ever witness or face such situations themselves. The book will be produced by our editors and distributed by us for FREE in order to get the message out to as many people who could benefit from it as possible. Along with print volumes we will also offer a free digital version of the book for those that prefer their reading on handhelds. A donation button will be placed on the site for anyone who wants to contribute any amount (be it a dollar or ten) and those funds will go to the charities established for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
After the post above was made, Andrew followed up with this response and the submission guidelines:
What can I say? Early response to this was overwhelming. My inbox was flooded with amazing personal stories from people who experienced or feared the very topics we talked about in doing the book.
It quickly became apparent that a single 36 page volume wasn’t going to be able to contain the passion and creative energy that people had for this idea. Alternatives were considered but in the end we have decided to make this an oversized book to allow more people the opportunity to tell their stories.
Whether you’ve witnessed or experienced racism, homophobia, bullying, or violence, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and there are ways to seek help.
Submissions about bullying, suicide, depression, racism, homophobia, violence or anything else that you think would fit within this realm would be considered. The story could be based on an experience that you or a friend may have had or witnessed or it could be a work of fiction grounded in tragic reality.
The stories should center on younger characters from grade school to high school and contain a positive message or hopeful solution. While in reality often times these types of stories don’t always have a happy ending we are looking to inspire those who read.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org a short (2 paragraphs or less) submission idea about what your story is going to be before January 21st. Please include the story resolution in your submission.
While we hope the stories and information contained in the book will help provide resources and information for people of all ages our main focus is on younger victims and witnesses to these events.
Stories should be 2-4 pages in length. No more, no less. Editorial will guide writers and artists to make sure the material fits the criteria and is suitable for younger readers who we hope to reach with these stories.
If you have an artist that is going to work with you (or if you are an artist) let us know in your pitch. If you need someone to illustrate your story we will provide one, so don’t worry.
If your story is accepted for the volume you will be contacted via email by February 7th and the full script for the story will be due within 5 weeks.
We are currently targeting the book for publication in September when the new school year begins.
We want this book to be a valuable and FREE resource to those in need. We will make use of the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to increase the book’s initial print run, and cover additional shipping and promotional costs.
While the size of the print run will be limited by costs, the digital edition has no overhead, and will be available to all who want it. Moreover, we can increase the size and scope of the digital edition to allow even more stories.
We’ll be selecting stories for the print version that tackle versatile subject matter in order to cover a broad range of topics. The digital version will allow for much more overlap.