In this installment of the Queer Creator Spotlight I had the opportunity to talk with Kat Calamia and Phil Falco. You may be familiar with those names as they are the creators, editors, and publishers behind the wildly successful anthology, “Bi-Visibility!” They have another fantastic project running right now on Kickstarter called “Hairology Vol. 1“.
Hair. Love it. Hate it. We all have it. Mostly. Kat and Phil have assembled a wonderful compilation of writers and artists to tell us their own personal hair-raising tales and take us on some very funny and relatable stories about hair. Let ‘s get to it…
Chris Allo: What prompted the idea to do an anthology about “Hair?“
Kat Calamia: I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my hair. I love my curly hair, but throughout my life I’ve had people try to tell me how I should style it.
I would learn that everyone has a complicated relationship with their hair, and these are stories we should showcase. I’m very proud of the diverse amount of narratives and genres we were able to stick into this one.
CA: In terms of the talent, you have on the book, did you put out a call for ideas/stories? Were there people you knew you wanted to have contribute to the book?
KC: We received all our stories from a submission form that we shared on our social media platforms. We had a great range of writers submit including veterans like Sterling Gates and even newcomers making their comic book writing debut.
We also had a handful of artists that we hired through the submission form, but we also hired artists we worked with in the past and new artists that we’ve had our eyes on from their social media posts.
CA: You’ve used KickStarter before, quite successfully, with Bi-Visibility. What is it about the platform and the experience that keeps you coming back?
KC: The community! We love the community we’ve been able to create with our readers, with fellow comic book creators, and the people of Kickstarter themselves.
CA: What are some must know/must do when running a KS campaign that you’d like to share with future and current creators?
KC: Know your elevator pitch. What makes your comic book stand out compared to other comics in that genre.
And have a good thumbnail and sub-header because that’s going to be the first thing potential readers are going to see before committing to clicking.
Chris Allo: We all love hair! What do you want for people to take away after reading this amazing book?
Phil Falco: We want our readers to come away from the book with an overwhelming feeling of self-love. Everybody has a different relationship with their hair — it’s such a huge part of everybody’s self-expression. And while every story in “Hairology” is very unique and different, I think it’s fair to say that each of them has an undercurrent of learning to love/accept yourself more through your unique relationship with your hair.
CA: Which are some of your favorite stories from the anthology and why?
PF: We genuinely love all of the stories in “Hairology”, but to name just a few stand-outs: we have an anime-inspired action story about a young professional literally”fighting” her hair before her first day on a new job, a hilariously heartwarming autobiography about a protagonist always considering himself “ugly” finding self-confidence through his hair, a dystopian story that touches on the oppressive feelings of dress codes and hair length requirements, and a beautiful autobiographical story about a trans woman’s first time growing out her hair as part of her journey of self-discover and being surprised by the result.
CA: Do you have any personal “Hair” stories that you’d like to share that were not included?
KC & PF: We both have plenty of our own hair stories — Kat especially surrounding the brash way people sometimes regard curly hair. But we decided early on not to contribute our own stories to this anthology. One of the main reasons we create these anthologies is to give other writers/artists the opportunity to tell their own stories. And we wanted to give our creative team as many pages as possible to do so.
One hair story we’ll leave you with that actually partially inspired “Hairology”: Phil was on a professional phone call related to a gig that Kat and he were both working on. For whatever reason, Kat couldn’t join that call but had been on previous calls. And completely unprompted, the other party told Phil that we needed to “think big, like Kat’s hair”. We were both baffled by this random declaration and discussing it after the call is part of what led to the conversation about creating “Hairology”.
CA: Since you’re both editors, can you share some advice for aspiring creatives on some of the ways to get their work seen and read?
PF: Just keep putting yourself out there! We’re fortunate to be in a time where there are so many different avenues to break into creative spaces. So we always encourage creatives to try it all — whether that’s pitches, self-publishing, posting on Webtoon and other digital comic platforms, building an engaging social media, etc. Just always been putting your work out there and keep creating new and diverse work!
CA: Kat and Phil, thank you both for your time and for another great project!
Please click on the Kickstarter link below and get your copy now and continue to support our Queer Creatives!