All Black Cats Are Not Alike is the first book-length collaboration from Studio Goldsparkle—and, we think, the first lovingly hand-drawn, hand-lettered celebration of the wild range of personality, originality, charisma and character of 50 highly individual all-black cats. It will be beautiful, square and hardcover.
Studio Goldsparkle is the New York-based office of Peter Arkle and Amy Goldwasser. Peter is an illustrator and Scottish; Amy is an editor and writer from Detroit. They share a studio, a home and two cats (Mimi=black; May=other) in the East Village. Yes, still in Manhattan.
If you're someone who responds to a love story—with dodgy seafood—then this project has that, too! Scroll down for the romantic tale of mistaken identity and distracted guy at bar 1999 naming origins of Mimi the cat.
Peter and Amy met 15.5 years ago. They have been trying to find the right book to make together nearly since then. (Plus, Peter has a tendency to get all Miranda Priestly at moments when they collaborate.)
At last, they found it, it found them in ALL BLACK CATS ARE NOT ALIKE.
THE NEW YEAR'S REVELATION
Peter and Amy try to send out a New Year's card every year, featuring them and their cats (usually two) as characters.
Here's one, for example, wishing everyone peace for 2013, when May was new and performing outsize acts of destruction to sleep and objects and tree ornaments, as well as to Peter, Amy (experimenting with hair growth) and Mimi:
But it was this year's card that led them to the book idea.
This is starting to feel ridiculous talking about us in the third-person, so it was OUR 2015 card that led to the book idea:
THE COCO EFFECT/ALL BLACK CAT CALL
We started getting responses, including, most entertaining, from those with all-black cats in their homes and their holidays...accusing us of putting their all-black cats in our specs on our card!
ALL BLACK CATS ARE NOT ALIKE, people.
To illustrate this for one household, Peter assembled a quick identification guide:
Striking difference, right? Seeing them gato a gato, friends noted that Coco looks like a Parisian librarian, while roundfaced gallerina Mimi will steal your SoulCycle and only pretends to like books.
This made us smile, which is really what we all want from a collaboration, from cats, from media about cats.
So we took away Coco and Mimi's Daily Planet disguises and decided to turn them—and your favorite all-black cats—into a book.
All Black Cats Are Not Alike features 50 cats, much like Mimi and Coco here, each one hand-drawn and full of character, in a four-color, first-edition hardcover book. This is a collection of cute black cats and original artwork that we hope anyone can appreciate. The book is mostly for adults but suitable for kids—you'll see we made a conscious creative decision to keep Mimi's cutting* out of it, no hard questions at bedtime.
We're big believers in user-generated cat content, so please note that we have claimed only two spaces of the 50 All Black Cats in the book: One is for Mimi, who's still with us and dedicating her life to licking her own fur away (we hope the little bit of stardom she's always felt she merits will stop the self-mutilation). More on her below. Always more on her. The other is reserved for Sonny, the big dopey loverboy who aptly curled up purring and died ten years ago on Valentine's Day (and who Peter is to this day convinced said "allllllright" to him early one morning).
This means YOU get to lead the All Black Cat Casting Call to select the 48 other beloved all-black cats in the book.
We've set up a full range of ways for you to do so, make it easy—from $24 to nominate a real-life cat to $250 to sponsor one who we connect you with and might not be able to swing the cash on his/her own to $500 to secure your cat a place.
Thank them, thank YOU. It's a wondrous thing that none of us, none of them, none of you are anything alike. The more you get to know anyone, the weirder, funnier, more interesting and exceptional and perhaps furry they turn out to be.
Here's to that, true originals, and your support in making this project possible.
- Amy and Peter
THAT LOVE STORY (with ugly big clam)
MORE MIMI (aka Me! Me!)
If you've read this far, we're sure you will respect both Mimi's decision—and her cover story—to remove herself from the public eye for a while due to "exhaustion."
She would like you to know though that she's no stranger to the spotlight and is not to be mistaken for any other all-black cat.
Here, some previous Mimi media appearances:
As the pop princess, representing for ModKat:
Video by Gregory Kennedy/gregorykennedydirector.com
In her big-in-Japan period, from a sold-out show in Tokyo:
THE THANK YOU (many times over)!
Risks and challenges
First there's the eternal question we all ask ourselves: How many strictly all-black cats can one reach with their message?
In the campaign kickoff, we suppose our biggest challenge is that our All Black Cats Casting Call makes its way to the maximum number of qualifying cats in the real world—a large-enough pool to bring forward at least 48 of them to star in our book.
From there, if our project is successfully funded, the real risk around it of course is that we're making something major together—when we already pretty much spend the entirety of our work and home lives together, waking and sleeping hours. But that's the best part, too. There's a lot of love in this, and it's something we've always wanted to do, to collaborate.
This is a book we're choosing to make, on our own time, with our own marriage. For fun. We're confident that incentive and commitment is everything, enough to power us through—even if this project takes off as we hope it does and it means we turn Studio Goldsparkle, at least for a short while, into a full-time shipping and order fulfillment center. We look forward to serving you, seriously.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)