Sir Benfro's Big Adventure is a 64 page hardback picture book by the creator of Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon (App Store Best of 2012) Tim Fishlock, and the renowned former showrunner of The Simpsons and writer/producer of Futurama Josh Weinstein. All that's needed now is your support to get it printed.
Who is Sir Benfro?
Sir Benfro has made some of the most important scientific discoveries of his generation. Without him we would have no idea that instead of laying eggs, the female Stingomp knits her offspring from the laces of old pairs of sneakers. Naturalist, scientist and explorer, Benfro is more than happy to invent creatures to support his theories. You can follow Sir Benfro on twitter here.
Who is Tim Fishlock?
Tim is a designer/illustrator/artist/publisher living and working in London. He has been designing and making things professionally for 16 years. He set up his own studio around 4 years ago and you can see some of the work he's done here and follow him on twitter here.
Tim released an app featuring the character Sir Benfro last year. It's called Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon and is free to download for the duration of this Kickstarter project. The App Store made Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon one of their best of 2012 winners.
Here's what other people said about it:
"Inventive, hypnotic...Terry Gilliam-esque." The Sunday Times
"It's not often a game is released that can truly claim to be art, but Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon deserves the title." The Observer
"One of the most visually original and beautiful games I have ever seen, on any platform." VGChartz
Who is Josh Weinstein?
Josh is a TV writer and producer living and working in Los Angeles. He is a former showrunner and executive producer on The Simpsons and up until recently was a co-executive producer and writer on Futurama. With Bill Oakley, Josh wrote some of the most memorable episodes of The Simpsons including Who Shot Mr. Burns? and Lisa vs. Mailbu Stacy. He has won 4 Emmys for his work on The Simpsons & Futurama. He is also lead writer for the innovative CBBC series Strange Hill High. You can read more about Josh on his Wikipedia page.
How did Tim and Josh end up collaborating on a Sir Benfro book?
A few weeks after releasing Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon, Josh sent Tim an email saying how much he liked the game. Tim emailed Josh back to say thanks and asked him if he'd like to write a Sir Benfro story. Josh said yep and the two have been pinging emails back and forth over the Atlantic for the last 8 months. Now the book is finished and READY TO PRINT!
We have decided to self-publish as we like the idea of starting small and building a Benfrollowing. It means we have control over the print process so we can produce the loveliest book possible. We're also hopeful that there could be a TV show in Benfro and we don't want a big publisher gobbling up all the rights. So, we have set up our own publishing imprint called The Round Trip Press.
What's the story?
Great explorers are those who set out to find what no one else can see and to show that there are still great and wondrous things in the world to discover. Sir Benfro's Big Adventure is the story of a boy explorer who, challenged by a group of pompous old explorers who claim there is nothing important left to discover ('cause they've done it all), sets out to prove them wrong. He vows to discover the most frightening beast in the world. Along the way, he conquers his own fears as he realises that so many things we think are frightening aren't. And he also discovers a true menagerie of wonderful and amazing and funny beasts, all in the garden of the famed Explorers Club. There are fabulous creatures in the jungle, in the water and even in the sky. The old explorers never bothered to look and it was all in their backyard. And while Benfro doesn't discover exactly what he set out to find, he discovers something much more important. About himself.
We hope this is just the first of many Benfro adventures. And we hope these stories will encourage kids to explore the world around them. There's so much left to discover...
Our inspiration whilst making Sir Benfro's Big Adventure was (deep breath): Yellow Submarine, Terry Gilliam’s animations for Monty Python, Studio Ghibli, Adventure Time, Where the Wild Things Are, Shel Silverstein, The Simpsons, Alan Aldridge's The Butterfly Ball, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tintin, Luke Pearson's Hilda & the Midnight Giant, Yimou Zhang’s films Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, Mr. Benn, Albertus Seba, Futurama, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Spike Milligan, David Attenborough's The Secret Life of Plants...
What does the book look like?
At 64 pages and 2000 words, Sir Benfro's Big Adventure is somewhere between a picture book and a comic annual. The book takes the critically lauded aesthetic of the app to the next level. Rich collages made up of 18th and 19th century botanical and natural history illustrations, vintage fabrics, postcards and the like are combined with bold, vivid vector illustration:
What's the money going towards?
Printing! If we reach our target we'll be able to print 3000 hardback copies of the book right here in London. If we exceed our target by lots then we'll print more books and come up with some awesome stretch goals. But thinking about exceeding our target makes us dizzy so we'll leave that for now.
Tell me more about the rewards please
The reward tier you choose will be the very least you get if we're successful in reaching our target. If we exceed our target we'll be looking at producing additional merchandise and giving extra rewards to all Benfrollowers. Aside from the lovely book, we're currently offering a set of badges that will look like this:
The limited edition (1000 copies) lithographic print (50cm x 70cm or 19.5"x 27.5") looks like this:
The very limited edition (150 copies) Giclée print 'Sgt Benfro' (50cm x 70cm or 19.5"x 27.5") looks like this:
The very limited edition (150 copies) Giclée print 'Benfro! Run!' (50cm x 70cm or 19.5"x 27.5") looks like this:
And the super limited edition (75 copies) Giclée print (100cm x 100cm or 39.37"x 39.37") looks like this:
Okey dokey, how do I help Tim & Josh make Sir Benfro's Big Adventure a reality?
To become one of our backers, just click on the big green button to the right of our video. Kickstarter will ask you for your pledge, which reward you want, and how you want to sign up. Signing up is easy; you can even do it through Facebook.
When will the book be printed if the target is reached?
As soon as we hit the target we'll set the big printing wheels in motion. Printing and binding will take around 4 weeks.
Huge thanks to Iris Fishlock for operating the flying Clapperclaw and to Tom Colvin for his ace Sir Benfro soundtrack. Download the album here.