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The debut book from STUDIO GOLDSPARKLE (Peter Arkle & Amy Goldwasser), 50 entirely hand-drawn, entirely unique, entirely All Black Cats
The debut book from STUDIO GOLDSPARKLE (Peter Arkle & Amy Goldwasser), 50 entirely hand-drawn, entirely unique, entirely All Black Cats
The debut book from STUDIO GOLDSPARKLE (Peter Arkle & Amy Goldwasser), 50 entirely hand-drawn, entirely unique, entirely All Black Cats
296 backers pledged $29,812 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike - The Illustrated Book

$29,812

296

THE STORY

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.

ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)
ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)

THE AUTHORS

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:

Goldsparkles 2013
Goldsparkles 2013

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:

Only Peter Normally Wears Glasses. Peter, May, Amy, Mimi (clockwise from top left)
Only Peter Normally Wears Glasses. Peter, May, Amy, Mimi (clockwise from top left)

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:

Coco Is Not Mimi
Coco Is Not Mimi

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.

THE 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.

ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)
ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)
ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)
ABC mockup (book will be hardcover)
Mimi page
Mimi page
Coco page
Coco page

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)

Studio Goldsparkle of the Future
Studio Goldsparkle of the Future

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:

Mimi merch, Tokyo [design by Keiko Sugiyama]
Mimi merch, Tokyo [design by Keiko Sugiyama]
Mimi glum [design by Keiko Sugiyama]
Mimi glum [design by Keiko Sugiyama]

THE THANK YOU (many times over)!

Mimi endpaper
Mimi endpaper

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.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Join the All Black Cat Club. Become a supporter and receive project updates, exclusives and event invitations.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    Join the All Black Cat Casting Call. All the ABC Club benefits of previous reward PLUS you have one slot if you choose to nominate a real-life all-black cat you love for potential inclusion as one of the 50 All Black Cats in the book. (You provide photo reference, the authors and the number of entrants determine if the cat makes the cut or not—and whatever we may project onto his/her character, appearance from there.)

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    The Book. One first-edition copy of ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    The Book, signed. One first-edition copy of ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike, signed by the authors.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    The Book, personalized and signed...for a friend anywhere in the world. One first-edition copy of ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike, signed by the authors, dedicated and shipped to the recipient of your choice.

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    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    The Book and an All Black Cat print of your choice, both signed by the authors. One first-edition signed copy of ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike PLUS a signed print of the cat you select as he/she appears in the book. (If no preference specified, we send you Mimi.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NEW REWARD! Your own Custom Avatar of your pet (any animal for this one: your cat black or other; your dog; your peacock, as you wish). Plus a signed copy of the Book. Your avatar will be one-of-a-kind, created and hand-drawn by Peter Arkle, in simple, but beautiful full color (as the Mimi avatar for Studio Goldsparkle bio). Original artwork forever yours for your FB, Twitter, Pinterest, profiles to come.

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    The Books, three of them and signed. Buy three and save $20: Three (3) first-edition, signed copies of ALL BLACK CATS Are Not Alike.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your sponsorship/choice of a real-life all-black cat to appear as one of the 50 All Black Cats in the book; your credit to appear as this cat's sponsor; a signed print of this cat; a signed and personalized first-edition copy of the book. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ALSO THE PLACE FOR YOU WHO'D LIKE TO LEND THIS LEVEL OF SUPPORT (THANK YOU!) BUT MIGHT NOT HAPPEN TO HAVE A PARTICULAR ALL-BLACK CAT IN YOUR HOME OR LIFE. If there's no all-black cat you'd like to gift with this one, or a favorite you've seen in a photo, it's our pleasure to connect you with one—a cool and deserving character who perhaps wouldn't be able to come up with the cash themselves. Make it happen for them!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your real-life all-black cat appears as one of the 50 All Black cats in the book; your credit appears as this cat's person or people; a signed print of your cat; a signed and personalized first-edition copy of the book. Make the all-black cat that you love most—past, present or future, hero or villain, in honor of, in memory of—a star!

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    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    NEW: The All Black Cats Cats Cats Cats Rescue Reward! Same as the $250 reward, only x4, meaning places for FOUR ABCs in the book (and 10 percent off). That's 16 paws of high-five. Inspired by a special backer who's been adopting ABCs (and other cats) for a lifetime...and a visit to NYC cat cafe Meow Parlour (three gorgeous black cats currently up for adoption: Ringo, Rinaldo, Kim Kardashian), this is for the All Black Cats Live With Me champion. If you're interested in sponsoring ABCs in a multiple other than four, please drop us a line, happy to put together a custom package.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Your custom portrait of the animal of your choice, drawn and signed by Peter Arkle and, of course, a signed and personalized first-edition copy of the book. (We're a rainbow on this one, cats of all colors and markings, as well as other creatures welcome.) The one-of-a-kind portrait is an 8x10 black-and-white line drawing, ink on paper. Peter works from photo reference, so no need to make your kitten or greyhound or cockatoo or snake (or snake food) sit for it.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    UPDATE: Two more custom pet portraits available!

    Same as the reward above, only it sold out so quickly, we decided to add a couple more. For the love of you and adorable animals. (At some point we'll want a break from black cats too, we're sure.) THIS IS A ONE-TIME-ONLY KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE AT THIS PRICE! If you're ever going to buy a Peter Arkle pet portrait, now's the time. When he puts these up for auction, the bidding usually *starts* rather than ends at $1,000...and skyrockets from there.

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Funding period

- (30 days)