Dumptruck Baby is an autobiographical, fictional graphic novel that follows an anxiety-ridden and sleep-deprived new mother as she navigates the system as a New York City public school teacher: Trying not to sleep through faculty meetings, taking a field trip to Applebee’s to watch Obama’s inauguration with a group of students, and expressing bemused amazement at such follies as Regents exam grading practices or the largely wasted hours spent in "professional development" meetings. Students, teachers, and administration alike are all examined within the context of their school, but with a nod to the bigger issues at play, such as public policy and lingering racial segregation. The novel takes a humorous look at serious problems, and unravels some of the complicated factors that come into play when a school labeled as “failing” has so much heart.
Kickstarter is the modern day patron. It allows people like me to do creative work that may not otherwise see the light of day due to a lack of support. When you donate through the Kickstarter website, your donation will be pooled with others who want to support my project. I will not receive any funding at all unless my full goal of $7,000 is reached in 30 days. Your credit card will only be charged after I have reached this goal.
I love the idea of having my project on Kickstarter, not only to raise funds to see it to completion, but to get it out there. If you think it's a worthwhile project and want to see it funded, be sure to forward it to everyone you know! Most projects that make their goals on Kickstarter are funded with small donations. You can donate whatever amount you would like- as little as $1. Or you can donate according to my rewards' tiers listed on the right and reward yourself with original artwork, hand silkscreened totes, and PDF copies of the finished book.
While I have been a working artist for 20 years, I have never taken on such a time-consuming creative project. My hope is, that with your help, I will be able to devote six months solely to this book. As the only illustrator and writer, each page takes upwards of a day to complete. With your financial support, I will be able to finish the first draft of my manuscript- which I expect to be around 120 pages- by summer of 2012. All of your donations will be my main support for this project's completion and will allow me to put other money-making ventures on hold as I pursue this creative project. I will be seeking publication through traditional means with the hopes of reaching the largest audience for my book.
I really appreciate your donation and consider it a vote of confidence that the creative process deserves support and really can make a difference. Even though this work is fictional, I do hope it will help continue the current debate leading public education to become the great equalizer that educational reformer Horace Mann dreamed it would be.
NB: If you are an international backer, please add $5 shipping for rewards with flat artwork and $10 shipping for rewards that include the tote. Thanks!
Many thanks to Ian Campbell for making the video and Andy Dixon for working out the Dylan cover (the inspiration for the book's title).