Kel McDonald and Alina Pete Discuss Their Anthology New Graphic Novel

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Kel McDonald and Alina Pete Discuss Their New Anthology Graphic Novel, The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories

Kel McDonald and Alina Pete Discuss Their New Anthology Graphic Novel, The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories, that is now live on Kickstarter.

The fifth in a series of graphic novel anthologies that spans the globe, The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories, inspired by original Native North American tales is now live on Kickstarter.

Kel McDonald, Alina Pete and Kate Ashwin (who was not able to make the interview) in association with Iron Circus Comics along with the help of nearly a dozen other creators brought to life The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories, which after only one day on Kickstarter has nearly tripled its original goal!

This was an enlightening conversation as to how the series came about and what we could expect in purchasing these books especially across the continents.

The most exciting part in being a contributor is that this trio didn’t try to nickel-and-dime everyone with their contributions as the most expensive package is only $70 which includes:

World Traveler Collection

Print editions of every Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales book so far – That’s FIVE whole books packed with stories from all around the world!

INCLUDES:

  • A DRM-Free PDF of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Africa
  • A DRM-Free PDF of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Oceania
  • A DRM-free PDF of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: North America
  • Paperback copy of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: North America
  • A DRM-Free PDF of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Asia
  • A DRM-free PDF of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Europe
  • Paperback copy of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Africa
  • Paperback copy of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Oceania
  • Paperback copy of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Asia
  • Paperback copy of Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Europe

Official Statement:

Spike Trotman’s Iron Circus Comics is launching a Kickstarter campaign for The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories, an all-new anthology of comics inspired by original North American folktales. From the thrilling tale of Chokfi the trickster rabbit, to the stirring story of the White Horse Plains, the book features more than 100 pages of entertaining and educational stories by artists and writers from Indigenous people across the continent.

Stories include:

  • “As It Was Told to Me”, a creation tale that shows that the world needs good and bad to exist, which is written and illustrated by Elijah Forbes, a transgender Odawa illustrator who has facilitated the creation of illustration projects such as the 2020 “Trans Awareness Week.”

  • “Chokfi,” the story of the trickster rabbit, who is jealous of Otter’s fur coat and tries to steal it, by writer Jordaan Arledge, a trans Chickasaw comic writer and the founder of Arledge Comics, and artist Mekala Nava.

  • “White Horse Plains”, a cautionary tale about greed that comes from the Métis settlement St. Francois Xavier, as told by Rhael McGregor, a Non-Binary/Two-Spirit Métis comic artist and animator from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  • “Rougarou” by Mystery Solving Lesbians writer Maija Ambrose Plamondon and Métis-based artist Milo Applejohn, about a werewolf-like creature that haunts the Métis communities.

  • “Agonjin In the Water” by the non-binary, Ojibawe artist Alice RL, about a girl whose tribe is suffering from a drought and finds a Mishipeshu while searching for water.

  • “Woman in the Woods” by the Cuban Taíno artist and storyteller Mercedes Acosta about a curious girl who sees a mysterious figure in the woods at night.

  • “Into Darkness” by Izzy Roberts, a Michigan-based illustrator and a member of the Navajo Nation and Kinyaa’áanii clan, about a creature so dangerous and scary that no one dares utter its name.

The anthology is edited and organized by Alina Pete, Kate Ashwin, and Kel McDonald, and the contributors list is curated by Alina Pete, who is Nehiyaw (Cree) and who provides a beautiful cover. The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories is the fifth volume of the acclaimed Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series. It’s the first volume of the series to be published by Iron Circus Comics; the series has previously been crowdfunded by Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin.

“The acclaimed Cautionary Fables and Fairytales series has been chronicling folktales from around the world for nearly a decade, hopping from Europe to Africa, to Asia, and the Oceania region,” said guest editor and cover artist Alina Pete. “Kids and adults alike have enjoyed these beautifully retold stories. Some have been spooky, and others have been silly, but they are all memorable.”

“We’re thrilled that we’re partnering with Iron Circus Comics for the latest Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales anthology,” said Kel McDonald. “It’s really helping the series grow.”

“We’re always excited to have the opportunity to showcase the work of incredible independent artists with Cautionary Fables, and this volume is really something special!” said Kate Ashwin. “Everyone has worked hard to bring together a book that will delight both returning readers to the series and new readers alike, and we can’t wait to share it with all.”

About The Creators:

Mercedes Acosta is a Cuban Taíno artist and storyteller who, as a child, was always warned to stay away from trees at night. She loves eerie and joyful things. Mercedes lives in the tropics of southern Florida with her Papí.

Milo Applejohn is an autistic illustrator of Métis and settler ancestry who resides in the unceded traditional territories of the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Jordaan Arledge is a trans, Chickasaw comic writer and founder of Arledge Comics. Jordaan’s credits span from the award-winning ALEX PRIEST series to all-ages titles like FUTURE GIRL. They graduated from Central Washington University with degrees in English – focusing in British literature – and in philosophy – specializing in religious studies and focusing in pre-Christian literature. When they’re not reading or creating comic books, Jordaan can be found at your local comic book convention talking about indie press and queer representation in comics.

Elijah Forbes (he/him) is a transgender Odawa illustrator who primarily works in the fields of graphic novels and children’s literature. He has facilitated the creation of illustration projects such as the 2020 “Trans Awareness Week” through Twitter, as well as projects benefiting transgender rights groups, such as Sunshine House in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He seeks to create work that uplifts people of transgender and Indigenous backgrounds.

Rhael McGregor is a Non-Binary/Two-Spirit Métis comic artist and animator from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They work primarily in writing LGBTQ2S+ imaginings of fantasy/sci-fi stories in hopes of making the world a little brighter!

Mekala Nava is a reconnecting Chicana designer/illustrator with a passion for storytelling. She likes to incorporate folktales, myths, legends, and history into her work and hopes to move into the realm of graphic novels. Mekala graduated from Cornish College of the arts with a degree in Visual Communications and a focus in animation and motion design. She likes to focus on the “human-ness” of storytelling and how it has inspired and connected people throughout our history.

Maija Ambrose Plamondon is a Métis writer currently living on treaty 6 territory. They spend their time writing music, comics, and being bad at rhythm games. Their current comics projects are two webcomics; one called Mystery Solving Lesbians which surprisingly is about two lesbians solving mysteries, and the other called Coming of Age.

Alice RL is a professional Illustrator and Art Teacher based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The non-binary, Ojibawe artist draws inspiration from their experiences and cultural teachings and melds it with a signature palette of bright, playful hues to create stunning juxtapositions of human brutality and emotion with hope and whimsy. Alice’s range of projects include game and comic book art, digital and traditional illustration, and graphic design. Alice is a Graduate of the University of Manitoba Fine Arts Program and Digital Media Design at Red River College. Alice is deeply involved in the local art community and strives to improve themselves and others. Whether working in digital or traditional art, Alice brings a unique personal style and emotional impact into all their creations.

Izzy Roberts is a Michigan-based illustrator and a member of the Navajo Nation and Kinyaa’áanii clan. They spend much of their time writing and illustrating comics or attending conventions around the Midwest. Most days they can be found working at home with their rescue dog, Pickles, close by their side. Armed with a love of seductive horror and a commitment to creating more Native representation in visual mediums, Izzy is a highly dedicated artist with a passion for storytelling.

About the Editors:

Kate Ashwin has drawn and written over 1000 pages of webcomics since 2002, her most current project being the award-winning Victorian-era adventure story Widdershins (widdershinscomic.com), which is currently on its ninth Kickstarter-funded volume. Kate has also contributed to, co-edited, and provided Kickstarter support to the Cautionary Fables and Fairytales books, written a story for Dark Horse Presents, and contributed artwork to critically-acclaimed kid’s weekly comic The Phoenix.

Kel McDonald has been working in comics for over a decade—most of that time has been spent on their webcomic Sorcery 101. More recently, they have organized the Cautionary Fables and Fairytales anthology series while contributing to other anthologies like Dark Horse Presents, Smut Peddler, and Sleep of Reason. They have also worked on Buffy: The High School Years. They recently finished their creator-owned series, Misfits of Avalon, and the Eisner-nominated Stone King. They’re currently working on her self-published series, The City Between. Their work can be found at  kelmcdonald.com.

Alina Pete is a Cree artist and writer from Little Pine First Nation in western Saskatchewan. They are best known for their Aurora award-winning webcomic, Weregeek (weregeek.com), and for their Shuster-nominated anthology, Life Finds a Way. Alina also writes short stories, poems and RPG supplements, and their work has been featured in several comic anthologies, including Moonshot Volumes 2 & 3.

Follow Kel McDonald on Twitter @kellhound.

Follow Alina Pete on Twitter @alinapete.

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