Comics by Gangly Sister Aims to Change Kids’ Futures
Comic books are certainly a very popular medium to tell stories. They are amazing because of their capacity to capture the reader’s imaginations and instill powerful messages at the same time. Most comic books devote their pages to the message of good versus evil, but what about smaller, less philosophical, real world problems? This is where Gangly Sister comes in.
Gangly Sister has written their own comic book which came out in October 2015. It is their belief that showing heroines solving real problems is a great way to get kids to relate to their own potential, rather than admiring unrealistic superheroes, who are often violent. They even have a pilot episode up about their original characters, Purple and Nine. Such admirable attempts at storytelling should be lauded, so we investigated how they got started in the process.
THE BRAINS BEHIND THE COMPANY
Gangly Sister founder, Rebecca Rachmany, has been in the technological entrepreneurship world for twenty-five years. “I’ve worked as a marketing person, a senior marketing person and I’ve run service companies,” Rebecca states. The one question that’s always come up for her was ‘where are the women?’ Rebecca had presumed that the equality problem had been solved ages ago. Stunned, Rebecca began to ask herself that question more and more, essentially conceiving the idea of Gangly Sister from her curiosity.
In her search for answers, Rebecca would come across yet another question, one that she believes can answer the first: what are the goals that we teach our children? “It’s very different what we teach boys and girls in terms of life goals,” Rebecca says. “It’s not just what we explicitly teach, but also what the media puts out. We see women are valued more for their bodies, their popularity and for their relationships, particularly with men. On the other hand, we teach boys to be good providers.” Because of the differences in terms of early life lessons about goals, Rebecca feels that equal opportunity may become pointless. “If girls don’t set ambitious goals in the first place, it doesn’t matter what opportunities we provide later in life.”
“For me, technology is a great profession because you can change the world and this is what everybody is interested in.” Considering her experience, Rebecca clearly had a lot to say about this particular goal. “Our products are comic books and apps or videos, but the goal is to show people that they can make real changes in the world. You know that if they become technologists, then we’ve reached our goal.”
THE CREW & THE WORD ON LEADERSHIP
The Gangly Sister team comprises of six individuals. The two most responsible for working on the projects is Rebecca and Ofer, with the others brought in as needed. “Right now we have a product that’s mostly selling so I’m doing most of the marketing with help from contractors. I look for help from experts outside the company, because I can’t be the best at everything.” Rebecca admits.
Because of the nature of their work, Rebecca believes that the most important skill to have would be the ability to work well with people, as well as the willingness to always learn. The mark of a truly effective leader then, would be the capability to be able to not only bring in the right people, but also have the capacity to motivate and inspire them. “A marketing person doesn’t think the same way as a creative person, so the most important skill has always been the ability to ensure that these different kinds of people work well together.” Beyond expert leadership skills, it was their determination, cohesiveness and overall ability that led to the creation of their first pilot episode.
Regarding finance and fundraising, Rebecca’s personal philosophy involves making money on your own as much as possible for as long as you can. This is rooted firmly in her roots as an entrepreneur. Another thing she advises would be to pattern yourself after business models that are not very expensive. “You know one of the things about digital comics is that it is less expensive compared to videos, which made them comparatively easy for us to produce.” Rebecca says, offering an explanation as to why their priorities are where they are. “You really need to be realistic in your choices because it is a fact that most businesses do not succeed!”
ON EARLY MISTAKES
Although they managed to attract a few potential customers, they were not happy with the services that Rebecca and her team were able to provide. Considering themselves to be no better than any other social media company out there, they decided to cease operating in that particular field.