Major comic companies have been taking baby steps towards becoming more inclusive and diverse in recent years, which some would say isn’t exactly enough. Meanwhile, independent artists from all walks of life have found other outlets to put out works that they feel best represent them, or at least the world around them. A big outlet for these kinds of works is the growing, accessible field of webcomics, which comes with far less focus-testing and a lot more creativity. This medium has taken off in recent years, becoming a serious contender towards the likes of DC and Marvel.
Case in point: the KickStarter for a second volume of Ngozi Ukazu’s popular Check, Please! smashed through its goals in well under a day. Originally aiming for $75,000 USD, the campaign is sitting at a little over $200,000 right now. There’s plenty of room to grow, too, considering that there are 28 days left to pitch in.
Check, Please! is an offbeat coming-of-age story that follows Eric “Bitty” Bittle. He’s a vlogger, baker, and former figure skater, who ends up getting a scholarship to a university based on his prowess on the ice. However, the scholarship is for hockey, which Bitty’s a tad intimidated by. He doesn’t fit in with the “bros,” and he’s deathly afraid of getting pummeled in the rink. Over time, though, he grows closer to his teammates and starts getting more confident on ice. He even begins to fall for one of his teammates.
The comic has been a rousing success online, and based on this KickStarter, almost 2,500 readers are have been willing to put cash into Bitty’s continuing adventures into sophomore year. As it stands now, that number will likely grow exponentially in the coming month.
Check, Please!‘s success is demonstrative of readers gravitating towards things that they feel represent them and the diverse world they live in, and not stories that use “progressive” and “inclusive” as catchy buzzwords. Here’s hoping we get to see Bitty’s entire college journey in the coming years.