I have a feeling this is going to come out all wrong. [incoming run-on-sentence] You know that thing where you start following a creator on Tumblr or DeviantArt or in some random forum somewhere and maybe you bought one of their early pieces of art and then all of a sudden that person is getting published and playing in the intellectual property sandbox and you feel a weird sort of pride toward that person but it isn’t exactly pride? What is that word? I guess it could be “admiration” but it’s really more like “hell yes, I don’t know you personally but I remember watching you work your ass off and you deserve all of these cool things that are happening – high fucking five. No, I don’t need you to sign anything. I just want to give you proper respect.” *shrug* I don’t know but I’m sure there’s a German or Japanese word for it. Whatever it is, Kate Leth is one of those people for me. Kate or Die was one of the reasons I started using tumblr and it’s been exciting to see and support her growth. I wasn’t terribly interested in Edward Scissorhands but I bought it (and ended up enjoying) because it’s a way to say to the industry “you’re making a great decision! Give her more work!”
If you love comics and care about shaping the industry I personally think this is a solid way to approach purchasing comics. Occasionally, creators I enjoy get a break and assigned to a project at one of the big publishers that I’m not terribly enthused about but I’ll buy the book anyway. I do it because I want those creators to be offered more opportunities. I’ve watched what they can do independently and know if editors give them more freedom they’ll shake things up and create the books I want to read. Can you imagine Kate Leth on a Spider-Man or Hawkeye book (no, I don’t know if she’s actually interested in writing those characters)?
Anyway, I should probably get to the subject. Kate Leth is going to be putting her signature on comic books and trades at Fantastic Comics, 2026 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, on Free Comic Book Day 2016 (May 7). She’ll be there at some point between the shops opening hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. (hopefully I’ll have more details and will update this article before it publishes itself). Fantastic typically has a number of fantastic things happening on FCBD so stop in, pick up some free comics, and buy something.
As for Leth? She has a Patreon where she talks about taking that leap into full-time freelance. Consider supporting her continuing journey.