Heather Massey’s Steampunk Cafe’

Coming Soon: The Invention of E.J. Whitaker

EJWhitakerA few weeks ago, an intriguing Kickstarter campaign was announced: The Invention of E.J. Whitaker. Created by Shawnee´and Shawnelle Gibbs, the project’s goal is a “A steampunk comic adventure that follows one heroine’s epic journey to become a distinguished inventor at the turn of the 20th century.”

Well! My eyes exploded with stars upon learning this news. The story promises so many cool elements, foremost among them a female inventor protagonist who’s also a woman of color. *fist pump*

I immediately jumped on social media to share the information. Then I headed over to Kickstarter to back the project the day it began (my claim to fame: I was the first backer!). The Invention of E.J. Whitaker is exactly the type of comic book I crave and I couldn’t work fast enough to help support this project.

Here’s the 411:

Conceived by indie comic book and animation sister-team, Shawnee´and Shawnelle Gibbs, “The Invention of E.J. Whitaker” is a 24-page comic book tale mixing elements of Adventure, Romance, Historical Fiction and Steampunk to tell the story of one heroine’s epic journey through the cultural and gender land mines of the early 20th century to become a bonafide inventor.

Imagine a time in which your week might include being assaulted by patent-jackers, a surprise run-in with Nikola Tesla and catching up on “the tea” through actual tea time with Madame CJ Walker….with no Instagram to capture it all…

Welcome to the world of Ada Turner and her secret life as EJ Whitaker.

At the turn of the century, in America’s great Industrial Age, Ada Turner is a brilliant and charming inventor with dozens of patents to prove it but she’s got one big strike against her: She’s a woman…and…well, frankly put, she’s got more than a few strikes going on. So in an effort to have her work taken seriously, she comes up with her best invention yet: the pseudonym of E.J. Whitaker…

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And check this out: in just a few weeks, the campaign not only reached its goal, but also exceeded it!

I’m so thrilled for the Gibbs Sisters and their team. They’re doing such important work. Stories like Ada Turner’s are practically invisible in mainstream venues, so independent artists are taking up the mantle to ensure they reach the spotlight. I can’t wait to read this story and I’m definitely going to introduce it to my daughter. There aren’t nearly enough comics like The Invention of E.J. Whitaker to go around, which means fans like me will (enthusiastically) go out of our way to help spread the word. My hope is that between projects like this and fan support, we’ll pave the way for more tales like it in the future. Because comics like E.J. Whitaker should be the norm, not the exception.

Here’s how you can learn more about The Invention of E.J. Whitaker:

Visit EJWhitaker.com for all the fantastic details and illustrations.

Meet the E.J.Whitaker creative team.

Follow the project on Twitter: @iamejwhitaker

About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures and blogs about them at Galaxy Express 2.0 and Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, where she’s the Releases Editor. She’s also an author in the genre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.

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