We sat down with Kicking Ice creator, Stephanie Phillips to chat about her latest comic. This comic dives into a story surrounding girl’s hockey and brings attention to women in sports. They have already blown past their initial goal, but see how you can still get in on it while the campaign is open. Check out what all Stephanie had to say and then go back her book (links at the bottom)!
BS: How did you come up with Kicking Ice?
SP: Kicking Ice was born out of my own experiences as a hockey player participating in co-ed hockey leagues. Given my love for the sport as both a fan and player, I have always wanted to tell a hockey story. Finding the right publisher and artist, and then connecting with the National Women’s Hockey League, really helped all of the pieces of this story fall into place.
BS: What does this story mean to you?
SP: Sports have always been really important to me. I played basketball, hockey, and soccer as a kid, and even competed in Muay Thai (a combat sport) as an adult. Getting the chance to tell a story about the importance of equality and inclusiveness in sports is an amazing opportunity.
BS: Why do you feel that people should check it out?
SP: Whether you are new to women’s hockey or a long-time fan, this book has something for you. Following the 2018 Olympics where the US Women’s Hockey Team won gold, our hope is that Kicking Ice can serve as a tool for new fans interested in women’s hockey. This book is a celebration of the pioneers who have helped make professional women’s hockey a reality so, along with the story itself, readers will also get content about the history of the sport and integral moments that really helped grow the game.
BS: How important do you think this book is for young girls?
SP: Someone recently tweeted at me that they were looking through sports books for kids and each cover had young boys playing a different sport. I don’t want to take away from the books that already exist for kids interested in sports, but simply add more diverse content to the mix. I hope young girls are able to identify themselves in our characters and feel excited to be a part of such an amazing community of athletes and fans.
BS: What do you hope that readers take away from the book?
SP: I hope that readers really take an interest in women’s sports and recognize them for the amazing athletes that they are. This year, the US Women’s National Team (the team that just won gold) boycotted in order to receive equal pay to that of their male counterparts. I don’t anticipate this book fixing a pay gap or solving sexism as a whole, but I do hope it helps bring more awareness to just how amazing and hardworking these female athletes are. I also hope that young girls are able to see themselves in our main characters and their hockey journeys.
BS: How is the Kickstarter going for you?
SP: The Kickstarter has been great! This is my first Kickstarter, so I was a little nervous going into this, but I am really excited to see that we have a growing and engaged fan base.
BS: If you could do anything differently prior to your launch. What would it be and why?
SP: I have had so many ideas about the Kickstarter once we started. I think the biggest challenge for me has been reining it in and understanding that I can’t make every single idea a reality right now.
BS: What advice do you have for people looking to launch a Kickstarter of their own?
SP: Definitely plan as much as possible in advance and be prepared to be very hands on with the campaign to answer emails, post updates, and connect with the online community supporting your project.
BS: What advice would you have for young girls looking to get into comics?
SP: There are so many new, diverse titles out there! I would recommend finding a cool local comic shop and not being afraid to ask for help from the sales team to find the kind of stories you are most interested in.
BS: What was your favorite comic growing up? And what book would you absolutely recommend now as an adult?
SP: I grew up on Batman. As a kid, I mostly picked up Batman comics with covers I thought were cool, but the first complete series I remember reading was Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween.
Currently I am reading Brubaker and Phillips’ Kill or Be Killed from Image comics and loving it. I also just finished Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock’s graphic novel Compass South. Despite being extremely different stories, I really enjoyed both. I will also pick up just about anything from Scout Comics, Black Mask, and Aftershock.
BS: What’s next for you?
SP: I actually have a horror series coming out later this year that I am really excited about. I have been working on this book with artist Maan House and colorist Dee Cunniffe and I can’t wait to see that title debut. We will make official announcements about this book very soon!
BS: Will the comic still be available for purchase elsewhere after the campaign ends?
SP: Yes! We will have the book available through our website, at conventions, and (hopefully) through comic retailers.
BS: Anything else you would like to add?
SP: Our entire team really appreciates the support we have received for this project and can’t wait to get it into readers’ hands. If you would like to pledge to the campaign, you can visit Kickstarter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook . A portion of all sales will go directly to the NWHL to support their initiatives to grow the game.