The first graphic novel created by homeless people is being crowdfunded.

Homelessness charity Accumulate are trying to raise £17,800 to release The Book of Homelessness next June.

The Big Issue are telling the story of former vendor Rae McKinlay with a mini-graphic novel – and if you like what you see then there could be more on the way.

Charity Accumulate are also putting together a visual story, what they are dubbing the “world’s first-ever graphic novel created by people affected by homelessness”.

The Book of Homelessness is pencilled in to be released in June 2020, taking in the drawings, texts, visuals and poems created by homeless people in Accumulate workshops from January.

The charity is currently crowdfunding to raise the £17,800 they reckon will be required to produce an initial print run of 500 copies with profits from the book shared among the homeless authors as well as helping to keep the Accumulate programme running.

Those classes are so vital to allow homeless people to take ownership of their own stories by learning about the creative mediums they need – like photography, drawing, writing and collage – to master to tell their tales.

If the project is backed (it has already raised more than £2,800 at the time of writing) it will be unveiled on June 4 next year at The Autograph Gallery in Shoreditch. The gallery are collaborators on the project, along with Ravensbourne University London, and will be offering free workshop space for people on the programme to get creative.

Working on Accumulate you realise that you’ve got people who’ve got an extensive range of stories, of life experiences and of knowledge that actually nobody bothers to listen to,” said Accumulate founder and director Marice Cumber.

So what we’re going to do at Accumulate, we are going to create the first ever graphic novel created by people affected by homelessness about their own stories – it’s going to be their book with their stories which they have created.”

You can back the crowdfunding project here – with various rewards on offer for backing at different tiers including signed copies of the book, photo shoots and the chance to take part in a workshop.

The above article by Liam Geraghty first published on bigissue.com in Nov, 2019.