The first in a series of innovative picture books that reward those with extra curious minds and adventurous hearts.
Annika Ash and the Lost Robot is a upcoming picture book created by Coyle. It will be over 40 hefty pages, in glorious full color, and a large 8.5 by 11 inches. This is a book for that special spot on your bookshelf. It is already over 75% done- that last 25% is going to need some of your help! First check out the video above, then read the interview below, and browse through the rewards to the right- if you like what you see, please consider spreading the word!
And now for an exclusive interview of author/illustrator Coyle by SCG:
SCG: Hello Coyle.
SCG: Save the small talk. Let’s get right to it, shall we? So you’re creating this book, Annika Ash and the Lost Robot. Why do you think people should support this project, as opposed to say, spending their hard earned money on things they really need, like sandwiches, or air fresheners?
Coyle: I’d ask anyone to support this book for several reasons. First, because it’s a beautifully illustrated, richly written, unique book that takes full advantage of a picture book’s inherent power to stimulate the mind.
Second, supporting this book creates a strong message that perhaps it’s time to remove some of the existing boundaries in current children’s picture books.
And Third, donating through Kickstarter specifically sends an unmistakable message that people are hungry for more unfiltered, pure voices than they’ve had access to previously.
SCG: I see. Why don’t you tell us a little more about the story? These sketches are nice and all, I guess, but how do we know the story is up to par?
Coyle: As mentioned in the video, Annika Ash is a young girl studying to be a guard at H.A.L.T, the Honorable Academy of Lookout Training. Her first special assignment is to protect the berries of a rare tree on a small island. At first Annika believes this task is beneath her- but a series of events will lead her to reassess the very concept of what it means to perform her duty.
Annika becomes stranded on a floating junkyard island captained by a very odd robot. The poor guy can’t remember who he is, or what his own duty is- all he knows is he’s being chased by monsters and, sadly, feels he can’t stop long enough to return Annika to her island.
What the robot doesn’t know is that Annika has a secret ability to control flame- that, and an unwavering determination to get back to her island lead to some interesting situations as everyone (even the monsters) struggles to get what they want- or at least what they think they want.
Coyle: Heh! No, no no. The depth concept is a very subtle aspect to my story. I’m taking the utmost care to make sure nothing gets in the way of what all children’s picture books should be- heartfelt, warm, friendly and with a generous helping of silliness. All I’m doing is adding insightful opportunities for anyone willing to probe deeper into the characters motivations and encourage the sensation that it’s ok to feel that you might not immediately have all the answers you’re looking for.
SCG: I wonder if you could give us a more specific example of what you’re talking about.
Coyle: Sure! There are several themes the first book explores, but the basis for the entire story centers around these floating islands- little land masses that represent their inhabitants’ personalities. For example, Bakes the robot lives on a junkyard island- reflecting his current confused, cluttered state of mind. Annika lives on an island that she initially finds a bit ‘silly’ but grows to love much as she learns to accept the real concept of her duty.Should this book prove successful, I plan on asking for children’s illustrations of how they would view their own ‘islands’ and posting them on the Annika Ash website. Visual techniques like these can help children see themselves in a new light.
SCG: Coyle, I’m afraid it's time to ask: Why do you hate the publishing industry so much?
Coyle: What? Ok, look- this is what I’m talking about right here. The growing addictive need to oversimplify is alarming. I know it’s tempting these days to make information easier to digest by making broad, combative declarations but it’s getting out of hand. Let’s start getting kids ready to face complexity at an early age to avoid taking this path and ending up... well, like you!
SCG: You, sir, have offended me while at the same time dodging the question.
Coyle: Right. I don’t have anything against the publishing industry- they don’t have any more of the blame for what’s on bookshelves any more than we do. It’s our job to let them know what we’re looking for in our books- and trust me, they’re paying attention. Buying a copy of Annika Ash and the Lost Robot can only help steer them in the right direction.
SCG: I’m still offended.
Coyle: You’ll get over it.
SCG: Very well. Perhaps now would be a good time to tell us a little about yourself?
Coyle: This is my first book, though I’ve been illustrating and writing all my life. I’ve worked with film, animation, and comics- but I’ve found nothing has quite the same impact of a good picture book. I believe I'm a good candidate for Kickstarter because I have the level of professionalism and dedication needed to see this book come to life the right way.
SCG: Where do you see this project going?
Coyle:I’d love to make a career of it- there’s literally no end to the characters and concepts I’m eager to explore. This book will be over 40 pages long- and that was with me having to remove quite a bit! I already have the outlines of the next two books established- should this project prove successful, donations beyond the goal will ensure a steady supply of future Annika Ash adventures.
This is something that appeals to me. What I have in mind is pretty amazing.
SCG: When can people expect their goods?
Coyle: The good news is that Annika Ash and the Lost Robot is already nearly 80% done. So though I can’t be sure of a specific time it’ll be printed and shipped, I can safely say that it’s going to be much sooner than later. I’m aiming for September.
SCG: We’re about out of time, any last words for our audience?
Coyle: I hope you’ll consider supporting this project- and just as importantly, spread the word! The only way this story is going to succeed is if everyone reading this plays a part. Is the world ready for Annika Ash? I sure hope so!
Expanded Reward Information
$10 Postguard Pledge details
Protect your precious junk! When propped in front of your treasure, this lovely postcard becomes a certified postguard. That's right, Annika Ash will relieve you of the burden of defending your valuables- leaving you with plenty of time to wonder how you ever got by without her. Works best with fresh baked cookies.
$50 and $22 Pledge T-Shirt details
T-Shirts are just about as addictive as picture books. I designed three T-Shirts for this project before I realized I was getting carried away. So! I’m leaving it up to you guys to vote for which T-Shirt will be the reward. If you feel strongly about a specific shirt, spread the word! Should this project exceed the set goal, the two other T-Shirts will also become available. Should this project greatly exceed the set goal, I will, with great joy, design even more T-Shirts! I hope this happens. I love T-Shirts.
Please choose which shirt you’d like (A, B, or C) and remember to include your desired size.
$150 Pledge Portrait Details
Yep, that’s right. There will be, at the end of the book, a page dedicated to 25 of those that have supported Annika Ash. Send me your best picture and I will draw your portrait with your name. The best part is the hats. Yes, the hats. Everyone gets to choose a hat from the following list. Hats are a big theme in this book and represent a person’s identity (check out the 3rd T-Shirt reward). Each hat can only be used once- so pick your favorite and several alternatives if it’s already taken, or I may have to assign one for you.
newspaper, chef, guard, crown, construction, wizard, sombrero, santa, turban, pirate, centurion, fruit, beret, baseball, captain, viking, aviator, cowboy, russian, top hat, victorian women’s hat, woolie, helmet, cloche.
Don't forget to check annikaash.blogspot.com for more updates, including completed pages!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
A beautiful Annika Ash image for your desktop, thanking you for your pledge. Choose a size! 1024x768, 1280x1024, or 1600x1200.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
A limited run of original Annika Ash art in postcard form sent to your door! This Postguard has been proven effective in protecting cherished items from foul play. See the bottom left section for more information. Also includes: the Annika desktop wallpaper.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
A digital option for experiencing Annika Ash's first adventure in PDF format. Also includes: the Annika desktop wallpaper and postcard.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $22 or moreYou selected
Those of you here just for the T-Shirts, you're in luck. Remember to check to the left and vote for your favorite shirt! If I get enough interest in these shirts, I'll unlock all three as an option- and even add new designs. It's up to you guys!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Softcover Annika Ash and the Lost Robot Book. Some books just cry out to be held in your hands. This is one of them. 40+ full color pages. Autographed! Also includes: the Annika desktop wallpaper. International orders add $10.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Hardcover Annika Ash and the Lost Robot Book. The cream of the crop. Few things are better than a hardcover picture book. This is no exception. This is going to be a gorgeous, dense bundle of joy. I may be getting goosebumps. 40+ full color pages. Autographed! Also includes: the Annika desktop wallpaper. International orders add $10.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
T-Shirt time! Vote for which shirt you’d like (A, B, or C) and remember to include your desired size. Read the reward section on the left for more information. Also includes: the Annika Ash Softcover Book. International orders add $10.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)
The book will feature a special page for this reward. Donors will have their portrait drawn along with their name. Send me your photo and hurry and pick your hat- there's only 25 spots! A great way to show your support for everyone to see! See the reward section on the left for more information. Includes: the Hardcover Annika Ash book. International orders add $10.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $225 or moreYou selected
I’ll create an original frameable drawing for you. Either give me an (appropriate) idea of what you’d like, or leave it up to me- either way, if you like what you’ve seen so far, you’re going to love this. On thick high quality paper. Also included: Hardback Annika Ash book. Autographed!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
For each of these three lucky donors, I’m going to create a unique black and white Annika Ash 20 page story. Each story will be printed hardcover. But that’s not all! You, or someone you love will play a major role in the story along with Annika and Bakes. Send me your picture and become a part of Annika legend. You will receive the only physical printing of this story- but it will also be posted on Annika’s website for all to enjoy. So you get the pride of having a one-of-a-kind book and the joy of internet fame at the same time. Should the goal be exceeded, I’ll unlock even more personalized stories. I’m really looking forward to these. Warning: These books could very well be infused with extra silliness.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)