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A comic book with downloadable music accompaniment, THE BUREAU tells you a nine hour story, in real time, of a single day at your job.
A comic book with downloadable music accompaniment, THE BUREAU tells you a nine hour story, in real time, of a single day at your job.
136 backers pledged $4,691 to help bring this project to life.

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THE BUREAU: A Day in Your Life (Comics and Electronic Music)

$4,691

136

THE BUREAU is an 88-page comic book designed to fit in with your collection of 45rpm 7 inch records. It contains a download for 9 hours of music connected to the comic book story contained within.
THE BUREAU is an 88-page comic book designed to fit in with your collection of 45rpm 7 inch records. It contains a download for 9 hours of music connected to the comic book story contained within.

Feb 24: The Live Show is On! I've decided to go ahead with a last day full video broadcast of The Bureau soundtrack, along with other sounds and electronic misbehavior. You'll enjoy it! Check in here on Kickstarter Live, March 1, 8:55am-6:30pm. Read the Updates for information for the LAST DAY SHOW video marathon event. 

I'll be posting other last week details in an official update tomorrow. Thanks again for being so cool this month with the campaign.

News #1:  A GENUINE THANK YOU to Synthtopia.

News #2: The book has reserved its first two individuals to be drawn into the story. Terrific! Perhaps the third person will be you? Thirteen spots remaining.

Hi there - Welcome to this Kickstarter,

Up for your consideration is a project of mine called THE BUREAU, which is an 88-page comic book with a downloadable electronic music soundtrack. The book is complete, ready to be printed, and has an interesting story. You might enjoy reading about its beginnings.

THE BUREAU is a project I began on January 1, 2018 - with the intention to stop watching political TV news, which felt unhealthy. I decided that a better use of my time would be to ignore each daily comment or tweet, and just wait until the President's term was finished, hopefully on or before 2020, and to then have one day where I caught up. 

This project was designed as a sort of New Year's Resolution: I would commit my evenings to having the television shut off, and record a single electronic music track every night, Monday through Friday. And to make it impossible to have any free time where my news addiction might reappear, I'd also draw a comics panel that same evening. I mapped out a plan to include a few nights off, where around 200 tracks could be completed in a year. By year's end, I'd completed the entire album, which is a story of a full nine hour day of work. Here's the entire soundtrack on Soundcloud:

The story is about a single day of your work as an employee. It covers every moment of your day, down to the second, from clocking in, later to your lunch, and goes from there.

For example, here's 8:59: Clocking In and Sitting Down, followed by 9:03am, Dreaming of a Life Without a Job

Each night the comic art would get made for the next day's posting.
Each night the comic art would get made for the next day's posting.

The Music

Prior to the comics panels, back to 2016, I'd been going through some relatable nervous tension. Like many of you at that same time (post election) I was flipping out. To deal with that stress, I just started making these mini-mixtapes of modular music I'd recorded. The mixtapes told a story, based on the environmental sounds. I just started listening to the tracks, and writing down a plot based on what I heard. This made the plot go everywhere, I just was telling a story with no consequences, as they were really just song titles. I'd already started this experiment with a few previous records, with the titles in SPREE, "I Stayed Home", RADIO HOUR, I Want to Make You Happy Tonight, and Live at Harry's Loft

Harry's Loft Studios - Our recording space in Austin TX
Harry's Loft Studios - Our recording space in Austin TX

I continued this process of how I named tracks into 2018 with the track titles in The Bureau. I modified the titles of the original mixtapes from 2016-forward as a guide for the new music and story, and added in timing on each title to line up with a nine hour clock.

Having this script of 202 titles made it all easily plannable. I'd make music that sounded like the title, and art would have the title in its narration. I also make comics. Online there's TEDDY, A Dog and His Elephant, RADIO WIRE, John Wilcock (with Scott Marshall), and The Recovery of Charlie Pickle. So I decided the story had to be a comic, as well, with a comics panel for each track title.  

Once a few panels were compiled, they'd be pasted together as a page. 

The first fifteen panels of the story
The first fifteen panels of the story

The idea is you can look at the art while you're listening to the  music, at that exact moment in your day. It's a comic panel paired with  its own music track.

I realized I'd need to do public postings, or it wouldn't get done.  Subsequently, THE BUREAU started with daily posts (beginning January 1,  2018) on the electronic music forum Muffwiggler. That then led to the creation of a  Bureau page on my personal website. It was then finalized on Boing Boing, who ran it in twelve weekly installments.

I'm glad the comic was online, and will also suggest it works much better as a book. It's a good visual concept piece, as well, 7 inches square, or the dimensions of a 45rpm record. 

The finished book is four panels a page and is very clearly the easiest way to enjoy the story.

Want a Copy?

Here's the options you have for purchase through this 30-day Kickstarter:

PDF - $5.00

For just $5.00 you can download the PDF of the finished book. Includes an index of each song and some other surprises. Listen the music on Soundcloud.

PDF + MUSIC - Pay what you want (Starting at $10.00)

The soundtrack for THE BUREAU is 9 hours, 41 minutes, and over 200 tracks. Interesting to play on random. Tracks work great as surprises, thrown in with other music, too. Complete download of the 9.7 hour long album as a pay-what-you-want tier, starting at just $10, or about a dollar an hour. (Nice working wage!) — The PDF will be included for free.

PRINTED BOOK (plus PDF and MUSIC) - $25.00/plus shipping

The printed book is the main reason for this Kickstarter. Presently this will be intended as the only print run I'll do. Once this first run is sold, if I offer it for sale later as print on demand, it will need to be about $40/copy at that point. 

Press play at 8:55am and return to the book throughout the morning and afternoon to see where you're at, checking your clock. I'm told the music is great for working throughout a nine hour day shift, too. (Music and PDF also included)

Multiple copies of books? Yep! Add an additional $25/copy to any book-based pledge. I believe I can offer up to ten copies per person; I won't be able to reduce price per copy, but will give you a deal on combined shipping. — Please message me with your decision to receive multiple copies, so I'll add you to that list and know that's your intention.

LMTD EDITION of 100: A BOOK & A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION  - $40/plus shipping

I'd like to make a limited edition version of this book, so for $40 you can get a rather fun premium. After completing a short survey, a performance evaluation will be written for you (or, at your preference, a name left blank) — I will address your goals for the next year and assess the work you did over the last twelve months. This will be designed to fit alongside THE BUREAU book itself and look nicely official. The Evaluation will be numbered and will include a printed copy of the book with a shared number. The total number of assessments will be limited to 100, but if only five people opt for this, it will be numbered as a set of five, and so on. (Printed Book, Music and PDF also included)

Even rarer: YOU DRAWN INTO THE BOOK - You're really hired! $250/plus shipping

For $250, I will draw you into THE BUREAU story itself, as a participating employee. You'll submit a few photos to get angles correct (or link to an social media acct with image references of yourself) - along with a brief survey. You will receive a custom card with your copy showing the specific panel you're included within. Many of these panels will be crowd scenes (example: you may be in The Auditorium, or you perhaps be in The Morning Meeting) so it won't distract the actual narrative, but you'll be able to clearly point yourself out to others as being included in a panel. Other panels might place a pledger right in a speaking role - it all depends on the casting. Pledging at this level will also entitle you to a Performance Evaluation — the Evaluation will likely refer to pages in the story that you are a participant, and will either appreciate your behavior or have some criticisms. All other premiums will be included: Music, PDF, Printed Book. Limited to 15.

Will this be the only time you can get a copy of this book?

As for future printings of THE BUREAU, nothing is planned beyond this effort. I like to make limited versions of items and presently see this printing to be a sufficient way to conclude the project that began on January 1 of last year. The Kickstarter goal is set to cover the absolute minimum order with my printer; it's the cost of printing and binding 100 copies. This is the same well received printer I've used in the John Wilcock book, whom I like working with and can trust the quality of the product.

If the goal is exceeded, more copies of THE BUREAU will be produced, and I have some interesting things to include as flex goals to make things interesting, all of which will be automatically added as premiums to each backer's pledge.

Thanks very much - Feel free to reach out with any questions through Kickstarter messaging or on  Twitter/DM — Thank you for your compliance, Ethan P

Previous Updates:

February 4: THANK YOU for a successful first week! All pledges at or above the PDF level will now receive a Bureau Parking Permit! Read Update #1 for more information. 

February 8: We're 95% there - You are wonderful people, thank you so much! You've also unlocked the second automatic reward. Read Update #2, Congratulations! You've Earned Your Company ID Card!

February 9: 101% funded — Holy cow, Initial Goal Achieved! Thank you all! With 20 days remaining, a new Reward is set as a goal that will unlock at $2,000: It's your Human Resources Forms — This important paperwork will automatically apply to all pledges at or above PDF level. Have a great weekend and thank you.

February 11: Wow, we crossed another goal threshold today. I am deeply appreciative of the response to this book. Not only have you now unlocked the promised third automatic reward (Human Resources Forms) but at $2,500 you will unlock one of the best treasures of office life — The Break Room Door Key Code. Read the Updates for more information on add-ons. A new update will be posted soon.

Feb 12: New automatic rewards! Door Key and Paperwork! Read the Updates for information on a list of add-ons being automatically applied to pledges, PDF and above. More rewards will be added as the campaign proceeds.

Feb 15: New automatic rewards! You've unlocked a list of Compliance Modules! Read the Updates for information on a list of add-ons being automatically applied to pledges, PDF and above. More rewards will be added as the campaign proceeds.

Feb 18: NEW FLEX GOAL: Buy your own employee for a day — Me! If the community can reach $5,000 in pledges, I will personally work an entire nine hour shift on video, performing music for your entertainment on the last day of the campaign. Make me do it! Read the Updates for information for the LAST DAY SHOW opportunity. 

Risks and challenges

Book is complete and ready to go to press — with two exceptions: 1) For quality of the final product, I'd like to do one more edit/review for text and art and 2) If one to fifteen people opt to be included in the book, there will be time needed to add them (perhaps, you!) into the book's artwork. I work very quickly, however.

Delivery: I'm setting May as a delivery date for a printed book and PDF, but this should be sooner. The music is completed. I consider it fair to wait until the printed books are delivered to send out digital copies and music downloads, but if you feel you'd like the PDF or music beforehand, I will absolutely send that out on an individual basis. Communication will be clearly made through Kickstarter messaging to all pledges, including updates on all significant parts of printing the book, mailing, and delivery. A similar time schedule will be applied to the Performance Evaluations. Progress on your Evaluation (should you select one) will be communicated clearly, and should ship with your copy of the book.

I assuredly suggest this is a fundraising for a completed book, with your pledge at the print-level securing a copy. I have over 20 years experience sending out items through the mail and dealing with customers. It is very important to me to send you an undamaged, securely packaged copy, with mail tracking (within the US) and other communicated comforts. Thanks for your interest in THE BUREAU.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Show of Support

    A dollar or more and you have our genuine thanks.

    Includes:
    • you're a great person, thank you!
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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    DIGITAL: PDF of the Book (no music)

    Digital reward of the complete BUREAU book in high-quality PDF file format. Displays nicely in 2 pg view on a tablet. Stream the music on Soundcloud.

    Includes:
    • PDF of the book (with no music)
    • Stream the music on Soundcloud
    • terrific! you'll love the PDF!
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    1 backer
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    DIGITAL PACK: Music and PDF (download)

    Digital reward of the complete BUREAU book in PDF format and MP3 download. Download the music in high bitrate (320 kbps) MP3, direct from digital master. 202 separate tracks, around 9.7 hours. Featuring odd electronic sounds from SSL, Metasonix, Moog, Evaton Technologies, other incredible devices. Refer to your PDF while listening for a full BUREAU experience. You're Hired!

    Includes:
    • PDF download of the book
    • MP3 (320 kbps) download of the music
    • nice choice! lowest price we'll ever offer for the music, too.
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE BUREAU (Print Edition)

    Here's what you're looking for. First printing of THE BUREAU. 88 Pages, full color, and packed with many pages not included online. Includes a download of the music in high-quality MP3. PDF also included. Seven-inch square format presentation of the book that you can store with your 45rpm discs.

    Includes:
    • PDF download of the book
    • Printed Book (88pgs) with MP3 (320kbps) download of the music
    • hot dog! enjoy & thank you. people will ask you about your copy.
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    64 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    THE BUREAU (Ltd Edition of 100)

    - YOUR PERFORMANCE EVALUATION - Want a nice BUREAU rarity? We're offering a one-of-a-kind item that will be exclusive to this Kickstarter. You'll receive the PRINTED BOOK, the MUSIC, and the PDF. You will also receive a customized Performance Evaluation, written by me, assessing your work over the past year. A survey will be provided for you to indicate name, or name left blank, and an option to advocate on your own behalf for (fictionalized) work done over the year, if you so choose. This will be an opportunity for us to discuss goal planning, your adherence to the company's core mission, other humor. Each evaluation will be unique and numbered, and the printed book will be numbered to match. Expected return: 1-3 months to finish out the assessments and compile everything. Item will be on official Bureau letterhead with processing stamps and other indicators of authenticity. We appreciate your compliance on this matter. Limited to 100 employees.

    Includes:
    • PDF download of the book
    • Printed Book (88pgs) with MP3 (320kbps) download of the music
    • Performance Evaluation (each customized)
    • Numbered Title Plate (1-100)
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    YOU DRAWN INTO THE BOOK

    To add to this one-time offer, you will get a Performance Review, AND you will be drawn into the final art of the story. There are a few significant crowd scenes in THE BUREAU, including THE AUDITORIUM, MORNING MEETING, and THE TRAIN. There are other scenes that might benefit from a person (perhaps yourself) staring out at the reader. I'll ask you to provide 2-3 images for reference, along with a short survey. The rendered art of you will be mixed into the panels, and will be either photorealistic if appropriate, or caricatured in a way similar to the art I did for THE POGOSTICK (with Al Columbia) or TEDDY. A Performance Evaluation will also be included, along with all the other reward items (Music, the Printed Book - which you'd then be included in - and PDF). Your action in the story might even be included in the Performance Evaluation that gets drafted. Limited to 15 Employees.

    Includes:
    • PDF download of the book
    • MP3 (320 kbps) download of the music
    • Printed Book (88 pgs, first printing)
    • A custom card in your copy, indicating your panel in the book
    • Performance Evaluation (each customized)
    • Your image included in the book itself - Welcome to the story!
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)