The Only Kickstarter Project Sending Backers on Vacation

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Since 2014 Kickstarter backers have seen some pretty amazing projects and awesome pledge rewards for their support. However, we are certain they have never seen anything quite like this. Isaiah the Demon Slayer—a sci/fi fantasy graphic novel project—is giving backers vacation getaways. The campaigns Tier-2 pledge rewards offer luxury resort stays and a ton of cool merchandise.

Xavier Ortega, a marketing executive from Seattle, is the sole author and illustrator. When asked why he and his company developed this incentive program, he said, “I want everyone who supports this project to a) get something from it immediately and not have to hold their breathe and b) I am making travel more accessible for people who could not otherwise afford it.”

In addition to the vacation rewards, there is an incredible collection of merchandise and apparel spanning 15 pledge levels. “There is something for everyone,” says Xavier, “my goal was to create as much universal appeal as possible—I know graphic novels aren’t some people’s thing so I developed rewards that would be exciting to anyone. Who wouldn’t like the gift of travel? I mean come on, five nights for two adults in Cancun for $200—where else can you get that?” He has a point.

Beyond the cool factor of making a new sci-fi fantasy epic, the creator has a much larger motivation beyond his work. “I’ve researched the mainstream youth literature, comic book creative community, and American publishing industry at large and what I found was alarming,” says Xavier, “The demographic make-up in the industry is heavily skewed and the statistics paint a startling picture—Black and Latino creators are almost non-existent in mainstream comic books and graphic novels.”

This is an interesting fact, given that there are certainly POC characters in mainstream comics and graphic novels and stories based on them. So, where are their voices coming from? The answer is simple…other groups. This is an obvious compromise in the authenticity of these character stories. “We aren’t missing from most of these stories. Our presence reflects the truth of the real world. We just aren’t creating enough of our own. Without our stories being told in our own voices we run the risk of misconceptions being portrayed. Marginalized groups of all walks of life invite others to fill in the blanks of their understanding with negative stereotypes or harmful tropes when they don’t tell their own story,” says Xavier. “I am not here to point fingers or cast blame…just raise awareness and encourage participation from more under represented creators to develop their work and deliver more authentic stories from the margins.”

 Isaiah the Demon Slayer is a dystopian epic about a young boy living in the year 2058 and chronicles his journey to discovering his true power and purpose; hunting down and destroying demons on their own turf. The story offers an insightful examination into the history of civilization, human origins, and converges science and spirituality in a colorful action packed adventure showcasing societal evolution in the Age of Enlightenment. “It will be entertaining yes—but it will also serve as a survival guide for young adults and the world they may inherit in the next half-century,” says Xavier.

You can help create more author diversity in the world of graphic novels and get an amazing vacation—destinations like Las Vegas, Orlando, Mexico and even Thailand—simply by backing this project. A $15 pledge guarantees a copy of the book.

Xavier Ortega