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The story of five adults (and one baby) in a railroad town, and how their small world spins out of control.
The story of five adults (and one baby) in a railroad town, and how their small world spins out of control.
329 backers pledged $7,670 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What is Bingo Baby?

Bingo Baby is a 72-page, full-color comic book, created by five graduates of the Center for Cartoon Studies over the summer of 2012, under the editorial oversight of their former teacher, cartoonist Jason Lutes. It is a complete, self-contained story (some might call it a "graphic novel"), the first of what we hope will be a series of experiments in collaborative comics storytelling.

We've already put in the long hours needed to create the book; it's all finished and ready to be sent to the printer. We just need help to pay for printing and shipping.

A sample page spread from the finished book.
A sample page spread from the finished book.

What is different about this comic book?

Most comics are written by one person, and are subject to the advantages and disadvantages of a "singular vision." We want to see what happens when the creation of a comics narrative is entrusted to a group. At the same time, while most comics emphasize the visuals, we want to put more emphasis on characters and story.

For this, our first project, the five creators developed the narrative using Fiasco, a "story game" by Jason Morningstar. Fiasco is a structured improvisational acting exercise which allows players to create a complete, character-driven narrative over a single 2-5 hour session. For Bingo Baby, each contributor played a single character, and scenes were acted out one at a time, creating interactions and dialog that could never have emerged from a single creator. A digital recording of the 3-hour play session was transcribed and edited into a final script, which was then adapted into comics form by the same five creators who had acted it out. 

Please note that we are not saying that a story created through this sort of collaboration is inherently better than one created by a single person, but our experience has shown us that it is clearly different, in cool and unexpected ways. We'd like to think of penny lantern as a means to explore this territory of collaborative storytelling in comics.

What will we do with the money?

Our funding goal is based on covering the expense of printing and shipping 2,000 books. After those costs are covered, and all backer rewards are delivered, any remaining funds will be divided equally among eight parties: the editor (Jason Lutes), the five creators (Donna Almendrala, Bill BedardJoseph Lambert, Amelia Onorato, and Denis St. John), Bully Pulpit Games, and penny lantern itself (as a nest egg for future projects).

We believe that cartoonists who create good work should be compensated for that work; if you agree, please consider kicking in an extra buck or two!

What are the rewards?

Psst! Our reward levels are named for bingo number calls.

Shipping is included at all reward levels.

The book: A 72-page, full-color, squarebound, softcover comic book, 6.5" x 9.25".

The t-shirt: A 100% cotton, black t-shirt bearing the penny lantern icon, screenprinted by the penny lantern crew.

The Fiasco rulebook: A hard copy (6" x 9", softcover, 168 pages) of the complete rules for playing Fiasco, the game we used to create Bingo Baby. This book retails for $25.

An original drawing: An original 3" x 5" drawing by Jason Lutes, colored pencil on Bristol paper. The subject of the drawing may be any person or character the backer desires. 

Risks and challenges

The book is complete, so there will be no issues on the creation side. The main pitfall we face will be delays in printing and shipping. We will be printing in China, and the boat from there is known on occasion to be a slow one.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    LITTLE JIMMY: Our gratitude, plus good luck the next time you play bingo!

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    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    DEARIE ME: 1 pdf of the book.

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    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    CUP OF TEA: 1 pdf of the book, for international backers. This reward is identical to the DEARIE ME reward, which had accidentally been limited to US backers.

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BIG FAT HEN: 1 pdf of the book, 1 hard copy of the book.

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    122 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    INTERNATIONAL BIG FAT HEN: 1 pdf of the book, plus 1 hard copy of the book shipped anywhere in the world.

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DUCK AND DIVE: 1 pdf of the book, 1 hard copy of the book, 1 penny lantern t-shirt.

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    44 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    INTERNATIONAL DUCK AND DIVE: 1 pdf of the book, 1 hard copy of the book, 1 penny lantern t-shirt, shipped anywhere in the world.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    BURLINGTON BERTIE: 1 pdf of the book, 1 hard copy of the book, 1 hard copy of the Fiasco rulebook.

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    26 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    HALF CENTURY: 1 pdf of the book, 2 hard copies of the book, 1 penny lantern t-shirt, 1 hard copy of the Fiasco rulebook.

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    INTERNATIONAL HALF CENTURY: 1 pdf of the book, 2 hard copies of the book, 1 penny lantern t-shirt, 1 hard copy of the Fiasco rulebook, shipped anywhere in the world.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    JACKPOT: 1 pdf of the book, 3 hard copies of the book, 1 penny lantern t-shirt, 1 hard copy of the Fiasco rulebook, 1 original drawing by Jason Lutes.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)