Startland News is continuing its “Fund Me, KC” series to highlight area entrepreneurs’ efforts to accelerate their businesses or lend a helping hand to others. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs — like Brandon Calloway’s campaign to fund the first book in his “Black Spartans” graphic novel series — to share crowdfunding stories and gain a boost from potential supporters.
Who are you?
I am Brandon Calloway, writer and creator of Black Spartans Manga.
Black Spartans Manga is a graphic novel series, set in a fantasy world that is a mix between the medieval and feudal eras. It follows a guild of Hunters as they go from town to town, using their extraordinary abilities to take on various mythical creatures to keep the people safe, and seek payment in return.
Unbeknownst to them, the Oni are finally planning to make their move and take back what they believe to be their rightful place as the true dominant race of the world, by seeking to resurrect the Four Great Demons and tip the balance of power back to their side.
Our heroes, Balbino, Dayanita, and Amara will have to face challenge after challenge, forcing them to grow their strength and their ideologies of the world, so they may be ready to face the ultimate challenge of the Four Great Demons.
Throughout their journey, they will face all types of mythical creatures, other hunter guilds, the Royal Knights, and have to reckon with the fact that the roots of Balbino’s power is also demonic. They will make many allies and take you on a wild ride of exciting, infuriating, and heartbreaking experiences.
Click here to learn more about Brandon Calloway’s other professional work with GIFT (Generating Income For Tomorrow), which raises and distributes grant money to black-owned small businesses and startups seeking early stage capital.
What does your campaign hope to accomplish?
The goal is to produce Chapter 1 of Black Spartans. It is an 18-page storyline to kick off the entire series. If successful, it will get the ball rolling for us to put out one chapter every other month. We are partnering with 2923 Comics to publish Black Spartans. We are building a comic and entertainment empire for the new generation, starting right here in Kansas City.
Want to be a background character or repeat character in the Black Spartans? Click here to learn how on the campaign’s Indiegogo page.
Since my days as a kid, I have always been a huge fan of anime and manga. Stories of a hero who must go through obstacle after obstacle, overcome personal and external challenges, and show how the ability to rise to the occasion has made them the ultimate force to be reckoned with, have always resonated with me.
Despite my love for this medium, I rarely get to see myself represented in it. Most of these fantasy worlds still favor Caucasian facial features and whiteness as the norm and Blackness as the exotic other. I wanted to create a world where Blackness is just the norm, in a story about perseverance and triumph that is usually reserved for the white male characters.
As a creator, we all have the ability to create any type of world that we can imagine, but yet worlds where Blackness is normalized are still uncommon. I felt compelled to create that world in the medium that I love so much.
How much do you hope to raise with the crowdfunding campaign?
The goal is to raise $3,000.
Click here to support the Black Spartans Manga campaign on Indiegogo.
How do you plan to use the funds?
All money will go toward the illustration, printing, and shipping of Chapter 1. It will be done and distributed by the end of February 2021.
Anything else our readers should know about the Black Spartans or this effort?
We are currently accepting preorders now. To support this project, preorder a copy or just learn more about the story, go to our Indiegogo Page.
I am just really excited to be working on this and developing the story brings me real joy on a daily basis. I know that we also have a real chance to build the next comic and entertainment empire from right here in Kansas City. The people of the city can play a huge role in making that happen.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.