The World Needs More Sheroes...
In a world not so far away, Shero Comics is building a Metaverse for underrepresented women and girls in comics, films, and gaming. But, being black and female-owned, and a part of the .0006%, the company faces a crisis of currency that threatens its future to sufficiently scale. Join forces with us in funding, so we can continue to give minority Sheroes a voice in a historically male-dominated universe.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
BIPOC- and Women-Owned Businesses
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Fernando Valley
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report is an ongoing study that annually tracks how well women and minorities are represented in Hollywood. In the most recent report, Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón concludes that when it comes to filmmaking, "women and people of color continue to receive less financing...the chronic underinvestment in women and people of color creates limited opportunities for them to showcase their talents to a wider audience.” This underinvestment in women and people of color is, unfortunately, not just an issue in Hollywood but in the worlds of comics and gaming. In comics, men outnumber women nine-to-one behind the scenes at both DC and Marvel, and 79%of people working on comics are white. In the gaming world, women make up 41% of gamers in the US, but only 18% of games feature a female protagonist. After spending several years with these limited opportunities, I created Shero Comics to address the issue of underinvestment in women and people of color head-on.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
The LA 2050 grant will support Shero Comics as we continue to trailblaze and disrupt these male-dominated industries. The mission of Shero Comics is to help minority women and girls uncover their superpowers in the worlds of comics, films, and gaming through unapologetic representation. On the comics side, we’ve released seven female-led comic books. When it comes to films, we’ve released five short films and are in the middle of our festival run with our most recent project. On the gaming side, we are days away from completing a prototype for our first mobile game, “Rayven Choi: Reaper’s Run,” which will make history as the first endless runner game with a black female protagonist. The funding from this grant will support us during the final quarter of 2022 as we release our “Rayven Choi,” trade paperback graphic novel to public libraries across America and South Korea, and as we publish our “Rayven Choi: Reaper’s Run” mobile game to Android and iOS platforms. In the first three quarters of 2023, funding from this grant will support us as we reprise our local comic convention SheroCon in Culver City and as we create another game, “The Shero Universe,” for Roblox.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Los Angeles County will be different if our work is successful because, like Marvel and DC, Shero Comics will inspire the fans of the arts through the lens of creative storytelling. With our lens being laser-focused on telling stories from a female perspective, Shero Comics provides a unique service to the community that stands to benefit women and girls. The fact that we are a small company grounded in Los Angeles means that we can reach the community in a more meaningful way. In addition to our macro-level ambitions, we can make an impact locally with events like SheroCon 2023 and by hosting educational workshops that teach women and girls how to not only create comics, films, and games but navigate those industries. Additionally, being Los-Angeles based allows us to hire locally as we continue to scale our company over the next year.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Over the last few years, we have been measuring our success through our direct sales to consumers, the success of our fundraising efforts, our attendance numbers at special events, and the media attention that we’ve received. Since launching in 2016, we have sold around eight hundred books per year. We’ve raised fifty thousand dollars through grants, small loans, and crowdfunding. Our annual SheroCon event averages three to four thousand attendees per year. And we’ve been featured in countless media outlets, notably Buzzfeed, Spectrum News, Deadline, Publisher’s Weekly, and InStyle Magazine. As we prepare to launch our gaming division, we will be able to measure our success through downloads of our game and in-app purchases. After releasing our upcoming trade paperback volume to our wholesaler, Baker & Taylor, we will be able to measure our success through orders from them and their sales to public libraries and bookstores.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 1,000,000
Indirect Impact: 50,000