Creators Workshop member and course alumnus Ramon Gil is excited to launch his Story Ark project! This initiative, which will launch between three and four Kickstarter campaigns per year, with themes based on the types of submissions received and possible partnerships with major publishers. His goal for Story Ark is to create more opportunities for creators from underrepresented demographics to get their comics out to audiences.
“Throughout my adult life, raising awareness for people of color has been a theme. Through clubs in college to short-film projects to nonprofit organizations in New York City. When I started producing my own comic book stories, I always featured minority lead characters. The stories themselves often had nothing to do with immigrant experiences or racial issues but the characters just happened to be Asian or Hispanic or Black. But mostly Asian,” he says.
“Story Ark continues that mission by finding and publishing work that features diversity within the stories. The goal is to find character-driven stories that are more about life and the human experience rather than capes, masks or more traditional comic book genres. But the hope is that Story Ark will fill that gap between mainstream comics and original graphic novels. But the ultimate goal is to bring these stories to an even wider audience through film or TV.”
Ramon is currently in talks with production studios for possible adaptations as one of the perks of publication with Story Ark. He doesn’t pay lip service to the concept of diversity, treating it as an ethos rather than a buzzword.
“Diversity can and does mean different things to different people. While one can write stories about the experiences of people of color, I feel like there are enough people doing that. In fact, I feel that immigrant and ethnic stories have a tendency to primarily attract readers of color,” he says.
“My goal is bring color to the mainstream by telling regular genre stories but featuring minority lead characters without their race being part of the narrative. Call it subversive or subliminal, but that’s the contribution I want to make under this banner of diversity.”
If you’re interested in participating, Ramon is now accepting stories!
“Submissions are rolling and we’ll put together anthology themes based on what comes in. Artists and writers can submit samples, pitches or finished stories to firstname.lastname@example.org,” Ramon says.
“And yes, creators retain all rights.”