By: Nicole D’Andria
Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Anthology presents multiple stories from 20 creators delving into a variety of perspectives and genres. I’m chatting with Comic Frontline’s very own Kathryn Calamia aka Comic Uno about this anthology, which she describes as “one of the most important projects I’ve ever worked on.”
There are a total of nine stories features in the 44-page Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Anthology. The creators and genres featured include:
- “Will I Regret It”: A drama by Kat Calamia (Like Father, Like Daughter) and Dominic Bustamante (For Better or Worse)
- “The Bi Card”: An action/spy story by Haley Rose-Lyon (M.O.M.: Mother of Madness) and Eileen Widjaja
- “I Wish”: A romance by Julius Dulinayan (Art-Book Mobile App) and Maru Davalos
- “Gay Panic”: A PSA by Wells Thompson (Descent into Dread) and Ile Gonzalez (DC Comics’ Super Sons graphic novel)
- “LGBTQ RPG”: A fantasy by Jimmy Gaspero (Comic Book Yeti) and Beck Kubrick (Lonely Wolf)
- “Punchline”: An autobiography from creator Kay Rose (The Day It Rained Iguanas)
- “The Big, Little Things”: A slice of life story by Tiffany Babb (PanelxPanel) and Megan Huang (Jia and the Nian Monster)
- “A Most Unusual Trajectory”: A slice of life story by Andrea Tower (Geek Girls Don’t Cry) and Elaine Tipping (Pathways: Chronicles of Tuvana)
- “My Voice”: A political, sci-fi tale by Christie Porter (Salt Lake magazine), Philip Sevy (Tomb Raider), and Sarah Stern (Zodiac Starforce).
The anthology is helmed by editor Kat Cal along with assistant editor Phil Falco (Haunting) with lettering by Taylor Esposito (Constantine), logo design by LetterSquids, and graphic design by Brant Fowler (The Last Ember).
The Kickstarter has already raised almost double its $10,000 goal and will be live for more backers to join in until the campaign ends on September 30, 2021, at 10:00 PM EDT. Rewards tiers start as low as $1 for a “Queer Indie Comic Book Bundle.” Digital ($5) and physical ($15) versions of the anthology will be available along with trading cards ($23) and two variant cover options ($35). Check out the rest of the rewards on the official Kickstarter page.
For a more in-depth discussion about the contents and importance of Bi Visibility, check out my interview below with the woman helming the anthology, Kathryn Calamia!
Me: You’re not only the editor and creator of the Bi Visibility anthology, you also contributed a story to it. What can you tell us about your story and the artist you teamed up with for it, Dominic Bustamante?
Calamia: There are plenty of coming out stories, but there aren’t enough queer people telling these stories, there aren’t many bisexual coming out stories, and even fewer coming out stories dealing with dementia. This short is not only about a granddaughter wanting to tell her grandmother with dementia that she’s bi, but also how this affects her relationship with her mother.
Working with Dom has been a dream. His style really nails the facial expressions that were so necessary for a story like this.
Me: For creators who are not bisexual themselves but who want to write bisexual characters, what advice would you give them when writing these characters?
Calamia: My biggest advice is to talk to the bisexual people around them. Ask questions about their experience to write the most authentic story you can, and then have a bisexual person read the story.
Me: What would you say are some of the best examples of bisexual representation?
Calamia: I still think there is a lot of work to do, but TV shows like Jane the Virgin with Petra’s character did a wonderful job at representing her bisexuality. I’m really excited to see where they take Adam’s character in Sex Eduction—they had a wonderful coming-out story with him last season.
As for comics, I wish there were more bisexuals to discuss, but I really do love characters like Julie Power and Nico Minoru, and I hope future stories have more conversations about their bisexuality in particular.
Me: There has recently been a lot of coverage about Tim Drake’s bisexual representation in comics. Can you tell us a bit about your feelings regarding his representation, the way it’s been covered by the media, and people’s reactions to it?
Calamia: I’m really excited to see where they take his character. The creative team did a wonderful job at telling an authentic bisexual story. They go out of their way to explain that Tim’s new feelings for this boy don’t erase his past relationship with Stephanie or any other girl.
I’ve seen a mix of wonderful and downright disgusting comments about the reveal of Tim’s bisexuality. Both being proof of why we need more bisexual representation.
Me: There are three cover choices available for Bi Visibility. What can you tell us about each of these options and how they each represent the anthology in their own way?
Calamia: The main cover illustrated by Melissa Capriglione showcases the diverse faces (or should I say arms) that connect with the bisexual label.
Cover B illustrated by Sebastián Franchini is a fun play on a few bisexual calling cards all in a style of an old video game—inspired by the Pokémon Nintendo games.
Our last cover is done by our frequent collaborator, PapurrCat. It’s a play on one of our stories in the anthology “Gay Panic”, which takes place in a 50s styled diner.
Me: Your Kickstarter has a “Queer Indie Comic Book Bundle.” Can you give us a quick rundown of the various comics included in this bundle?
Calamia: Every campaign we do has an indie bundle so backers have the chance to discover other great indie books. This time around we wanted the bundle to feature queer stories and creators. We have books ranging from horror to magic with titles like Haunting and I Am Hexed.
Me: What is the number one reason why people should pledge money to your Kickstarter?
Calamia: There’s such a wide range of stories that I feel like anyone (bisexual or not) can fall in love with.
Me: What inspirational words would you give to fellow creators interested in spearheading an anthology?
Calamia: Organization and communication are key!
Me: Promote yourself! What other projects do you have in the works that we can look forward to seeing soon?
Calamia: We’re keeping ourselves busy! A few weeks following Bi Visibility we’re launching another Kickstarter for our Webtoon: Slice of Life.
The series is a queer romance about a gritty anime protagonist who comes to life and falls in love with a high school cheerleader. This will give readers a chance to collect the Webtoon physically and we have a special exclusive four-page story about the future where the couple is actually together.
Me: Thank you for taking the time to share these stories with us, Kat. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in checking out Bi Visibility, check out the anthology on Kickstarter.
Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe the Week?” Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website. Also check out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle.
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