97%

WE CAN DO IT!!!

Teaser 4

As of tonight, we are at 97% on Kickstarter.

Amazing. Simply AMAZING. And with two weeks left to go, too!

It sure looks like this campaign will be a success, after all. Good thing too, because we’re moving ahead with production and it’s going to cost a-plenty. Although the KS campaign will help, it won’t cover all of it. So you have no idea how relieved we are that this will likely work out.

Phew!

Steve has five strips pretty much ready to go and I saw the rough for the sixth one not even an hour ago. It’s looking really great. That he can pull it off given the time crunch is phenomenal. I think that everyone is going to be pleased with the end result. Well, with the art, at least. 😉

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

(which, in my case, means hours of harrassing people to convince them to help out :P)

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82%

Two weeks in and with two weeks to go, we’re at 82%!!!

82

YES!!!

Thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU! :):):)

It’s been a bit of a rough slog trying to sustain momentum, being the worst self-promoter ever, but people are coming through almost every time that I run out of juice.

Everyone is SO awesome!!! 🙂

It would be genius if we could exceed our goal so that we can get into producing bonus strips (one can always dream), but I think just achieving our goal will be victory a-plenty.

We’ve got 5 strip ready to go, and Steve is hard at work on the next ones right now. It’s a massive solo job for him, but he’s coming through.  He deserves every penny he’s earning.

On another note, I went postering yesterday and today, and I’m stunned to see how quickly they’re taken down.  I delude myself into thinking that people are taking them home and putting them on their walls.

Yeah, that must be it.  (I mean, why wouldn’t they, right?)

Anyway, the work continues. Hours and hours and hours a day, but with everyone’s continued support (both moral and financial) we’ll pull through and make ‘Beans’ happen.

Spread the word: ‘Beans’ is coming September 7th!!!

‘Beans’ Q&A

We spent a large part of the day (no joke!) responding to and editing an extensive Q&A with political blogger Josh Drozda at hastagjustjohn.com. Here are the results: http://hashtagjustjosh.com/2015/07/14/qa-beans-featuring-the-thorn/

I hope that you enjoy reading it.

Not much else is new, aside for Steve producing more roughs. Work is moving ahead at a good pace. Couldn’t be more pleased. If all goes well, we’ll have three new strips by the week’s end.

Did I fail to mention that we have awesome new posters? Response to it has been rather enthusiastic and we have members of the Beans Street Team plastering them in Ottawa and Vancouver.

Let us know if you’d like to join them. 😉

New strips, new poster and media interest

The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. While the workload isn’t nearly as heavy as it was, my head is spinning in various directions at once now. It’s a different kind of intense.

One moment I’m networking (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, …etc.), another I’m updating the KS page (or this blog), then I’m putting together promotional material, or getting posters printed and putting them up, or I’m coordinating things with Steve, sending stuff back and forth. It’s pretty much non-stop.

But the results are excellent: the art has been completed on 4 of the 31 strips and work has begun on 8 others. I’m sure everyone will be quite pleased with them. I can’t wait to share the fruit of our labour.

The Kickstarter campaign is doing really well: with over two weeks left we’re less than 35% away from our goal.  With everyone’s help (either on KS or with the Beans Street Team), we’ll make it.

Speaking of which, we have a new poster, which we think is pretty wicked:

Beans Poster - Stevie

Here it is PDF format (zipped): Beans Poster – Stevie

Or feel free to email us for an uncompressed BMP version for better results: beans@comic.com

On another note, ‘Beans‘ has generated some interest online. it doesn’t necessarily translate into KS support, but it means more exposure. We are going to be featured on a political blog shortly (with full Q&A) and, based on response, there’s no doubt that more will come.

We will keep you posted with all developments. 🙂

Street Team members needed!

‘Beans’ needs your help getting the word out

Teaser 3

We are looking for people to print up and post 8×11 posters.

  • Are you looking for an excuse to get out and about in the summer sun?
  • Are you a fan of ‘Beans’ and would like to see it be successful?

Help us spread the word! Be a part of the Beans Street Team!

It’s simple.

What do I have to do?

  1. Just print (or get printed) a minimum of 250 copies of our cheap-@$$ ‘Beans‘ poster (see here and here) and put them up in a highly visible area near you (street corners, construction fencing, car windshields, message boards, …etc.). No illegal postering, please!
  2. Send us pictures of your handiwork as proof.

What’s in it for me?

  1. The full 6-week subscription of ‘Beans‘, which will run from Sept 7 to Oct 19. That’s 31 awesome strips!
  2. The satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping ‘Beans‘ become a reality just by spreading the word.
  3. Our undying gratitude.

This way you won’t miss a strip, even if you can’t afford to back the campaign. Seriously, you won’t want to miss any!

If you can back the campaign (and have!) but would still like to help, please do! We’ll take any assistance we can get!

Please get in touch with us so that we may coordinate everyone’s efforts. You may do so by commenting on this blog or by emailing us at beans@comic.com

Pass it on! The more the merrier!

BIG THANKS to everyone for your support. We couldn’t make this happen without you. 🙂

The Thorn

Girl talk

LizzieIn the last few days, I received a few comments about the lack of girls in the strip – or, that is, in our primary contingent. I had one person tell me that they wouldn’t back a project that was so unbalanced. Later, a friend made the observation that the strip had a serious gender disparity.

So let’s discuss this for a moment, shall we?

The reason why there are few main characters of the strip who are girls is because they are all based on real life people in our current Parliament. Take a look at the party leaders and the make-up of the government’s front bench. What do you see? Not a lot of women, I’d wager.

The few women in the current Cabinet are, like most Cabinet members, figure heads, and these few women are likely token women. So not many have the chance to speak in public. In fact, the point persons for this current government (and since 2006) are generally men.

Sad but true.

Face these facts

Of the 158 Conservative MPs, only 28 are women.

Of the 95 NDP MPs, only 35 are women.

Of the 36 Liberal MPs, only 10 are women

Only the Green Party has a balance of 50% (mind you, they only have two MPs)

 

Argument 1: Some might argue that the Conservative front bench is thin because they have few women to pick from.

Counter-argument 1: Well, who chooses the candidates for that party? I’m willing to bet they don’t have a roster that’s 50% women to start with. None of the parties do, but the Conservatives have the worst track record by far. You can’t elect women if they aren’t candidates.

Argument 2: Some people argue that women should get jobs/gigs solely based on merit, that there is no need to “artificially” balance the scales.

Counter-argument 2: In a perfect world, we’d have enough women in the upper echelons of all fields and walks of life so that this would be true. But let’s use the Conservative caucus as an example: we’re looking at 28 women versus 130 men! C’mon! It’s not even close to being a fair battle for the few women there.

Argument 3: Some will persist to say that the men who are front-benchers in this government got their gigs over women on merit.

Counter-argument 3: They’re hand-picked. There isn’t an entrance exam. And since they are all parroting talking points vetted in advance, surely the women could do that equally well? I think so (not that they should be parroting anything, but that’s another conversation). Women are just not given that chance.

In any event, this is why ‘Beans’ is low on girls in the main character department. It’s not intentional or even accidental sexism; I am, in fact, one of the few avowed male feminists I know. I don’t think it’s a dirty word – and I own it, even if I’m not as good a feminist as I could be sometimes.

I have actually been careful to write secondary characters in non-gendered ways, have purposely instructed Steve to be mindful of diversity in his art, and will try to consider gender issues in current and future strips (should there be any). I even wrote a bonus strip about this matter last week.

No joke. Because this concerns me too.

On the matter of future strips, we are leaving the door open to that possibility, should this series of 31 prove to be a success.  And this means that the make-up of our Parliament will change, no matter who wins. This will thus affect the make-up of the strip’s main characters.

The point of ‘Beans’ is to poke fun at our current political landscape, whatever it is, whoever the players are. There will always be something utterly ridiculous that deserves a good skewering, irrespective of our place in time. It’s just that sometimes there are more than others.

Like now.

So the players could change, and the issues as well. In a perfect world, ‘Beans’ would gain the support needed to carry on for a long time, so that we could continue to have a good laugh all the while reflecting on what ails us politically. When we elect more women, ‘Beans’ will have more girls.

Look, ‘Beans’ will never be perfect, but we are fully committed to making a positive difference. Yes, with humour.  Sometimes that’s the best way.

Honestly, our intentions are good. Give us a chance.

Promotional material

Teaser 2

‘Beans’ is going to need your help. Although the campaign has been doing quite well so far, we can’t be 100% sure that we’ll hit our target.

And we can’t afford to miss it!

Kickstarter campaigns are an all-or-nothing thing. Even if we hit 99.99%, we get ZERO. That’s why we set our goal this low – this project actually costs twice that much, and we must succeed.

We put together a couple of promotional items you can always print and put up in the kitchen at work or leave lying around for people to see.

Beans Poster 1

Beans promo

They’re not great, I know, but I’m not going to get Steve to do more work right now; he has to focus on the strips. So I cobbled something together.

Snicker, snicker… and that’s why he’s the artist, not me.

Anyway, spread the word. If everyone gets JUST ONE person to subscribe to the full run of ‘Beans’ (for a mere 30$!), the KS campaign will be a success.

We can make it happen.

PS: in case the PDF files are too unwieldy, here are some jpg versions

Leaflet

Beans promo

Poster

Beans Poster 1