April 9, 2018, Berkeley, CA Today, filmmaker Vivian Kleiman and comics artist and advocate Justin Hall announced that their feature-length documentary film, No Straight Lines: The Story of Queer Comics, will launch a Kickstarter fundraiser in late April. This new effort is aimed at completing filming of the project, which tells the story of how LGBTQ comics evolved from a marginalized underground sceneoffering uncensored commentary on everything from coming out to the AIDS crisis to gender politicsto one with worldwide, mainstream recognition.
The fundraising campaign has set a goal of $38,000 and is scheduled to launch on April 23rd. It will offer a variety of rewards to backers from large to small, including social media shout-outs, signed graphic novels, original artwork, dinner with the film creators, invitations to private screenings of the work-in-progress, and more.
In 2012, cartoonist Justin Hall put together the anthology No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, which featured milestone contributions by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics creators from the 1970s to the present, and shared the story of the queer comics community.
Now, Justin's Lambda Literary Award winning and Eisner Award nominated collection is the inspiration for a new documentary film directed and produced by Peabody Award winning and Sundance and Emmy nominated filmmaker Vivian Kleiman. This film will bring the stories from the comics off the page and give viewers a personal introduction to the vibrant artists, writers, and activists who have paved the way for queer comics' dynamic present and fabulous future.
The team has been developing the project for some time and have already received grants from the California Humanities, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Berkeley Film Foundation, along with contributions from private donors. Filming is over halfway done, including extensive shoots with Alison Bechdel ( Fun Home ) and her mentor Howard Cruse ( Stuck Rubber Baby ), as well as interviews with a selection of young cartoonists at the Queers & Comics Conference in San Francisco, and more.
They've lined up financial support to complete the editing phase, but first they need to capture all the footage that will make this project shine. Cartoonists being notoriously shy, the filmmakers have to bring their crew to places like the snowy hills of Vermont and the rainy streets of Portland, Oregon, to record these important, untold stories.
Meeting their campaign goal will allow the filmmakers to complete principle filming on the project, which will include travel and accommodations; producer, director, and director of photography costs; sound and lighting equipment; insurance; bookkeeping; production assistance; and admin expenses.
Support from the community will make it possible to film with longtime LGBTQ comics legends like Rupert Kinnard ( BB and the Diva ), and interview pioneering web cartoonist Scout Tran ( Failing Sky ). The filmmakers have plans for additional shoots if they exceed their funding goals.
In advance of the campaign, the filmmakers have set up a mailing list to provide news updates and behind-the-scenes peeks, and encourage supporters to sign up. People can join the mailing list, as well as watch the film trailer, on the documentary's website: nostraightlinesthefilm.com