Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 14, 2012.

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An art book featuring portraits of the individuals who lost an American Presidential election, John Adams through Mitt Romney.

We did it! But let's keep going!

From Update #9

OK, a lot of times when campaigns make their funding, they will add stretch goals to improve their project, bring other features to bear, etc. We're going to try to do something different, but one that we think will raise the profile of the book and its artists with just a shade over two days left.

Based on some projections earlier in the week, we had an outside chance of hitting $8000. While we've fallen off that pace a little since we made our goal, we'd like to see about getting back on that upward trend.

So, if we can make 8000 by midnight on Thursday, we'll be dedicating the book to Stephen Colbert. We'll make sure he gets a copy as well. But we can only do it if you help spread the word! I'm working on getting it on his radar before the campaign closes, but any help you can give in that regard would be much appreciated. Do it for America!

From Update # 8

With the ever-increasing digitalization and dematerialization of all media, I’ve come to really believe that future chronicling of our present moment will have to, somewhat perversely, rely on scarce physical objects. In an age when media is readily available, it’s also readily discardable. When emails and texts, tweets and Facebook updates rule our worlds, the rare physical letter becomes even more precious. In other words, when was the last time you loaned an e-book to a friend? Or bequeathed it to a relative?

With the ever-increasing digitalization and dematerialization of all media, I’ve come to really believe that future chronicling of our present moment will have to, somewhat perversely, rely on scarce physical objects. In an age when media is readily available, it’s also readily discardable. When emails and texts, tweets and Facebook updates rule our worlds, the rare physical letter becomes even more precious. In other words, when was the last time you loaned an e-book to a friend? Or bequeathed it to a relative?

Which is certainly no knock on anyone who has come on for a digital version of the book. Every little bit helps, and we’re more than happy to meet people where they live. But my goal was always to produce something physical that people could keep with them, hand on to loved ones, and one frankly that we see eventually increasing in value beyond its initial purchase price. With people’s perennial interest in Presidental politics and elections, and the number of high profile folks we have affiliated with this project, we can really see this item becoming something of a collector’s item. No guarantees of course, but since this book is being put out in a small print run, there just aren’t going to be that many of them out there, and to be honest not that many will be left over for sale once the campaign closes. So the next 58 hours are really going to be your only guaranteed chance to nab a copy. If you’re on the fence, we’d really love it if you took the plunge. You won’t regret it.

How many are you planning on ordering?!!?

So, a couple people contacted me with regards to the last post saying, "Hey what if we want multiple copies of the book?" Great question! Here's the deal! Just add $30, or increments of $30, to whatever pledge level you are at. I'll be contacting you when the campaign closes, and you can let me know if you wanted multiple copies of the book. Make sense? Drop me a line if you have any questions.

And if you're on Facebook, here's a link to the works! We had a couple of losers (the candiates I mean) whose faces were not able to make it into the art show itself, but who will be in the book. Here's our latest addition, 1824 loser, and eventual two-time winner, Andrew Jackson.

Andrew Jackson by Matt Seneca
Andrew Jackson by Matt Seneca

 

In the spring of 2011, my theater company, Gnap! Theater Projects, was the first invitee to participate in the nationwide festival 44 Plays for 44 Presidents. The play is a chronological march through the 44 presidencies of our history, some irreverent, some poignant. 

Companies were also invited to think of other means aside from the production itself to come up with buzz and audience outreach. My good friend, the writer and publisher Wayne Alan Brenner, also happens to be the gallerist at Salvage Vanguard Theater where we were producing our show. Mulling it over, I hit on the idea of having a portrait gallery devoted to all the people who ever lost a Presidential election. Remembering the disaster of Gore v Bush in 2000 and my deflation after John Kerry’s loss in 2004, I realized there was an entire alternate history out there, of all the obscure might have beens and never weres, men (and let’s face it, they’re almost all men) who were once the second or third most prominent politicians of their day and who had faded into the history books, as surely as Gore, and Kerry, and McCain, and Romney will fade.

Earlier this year, we assembled an amazing roster of 75 contemporary artists and cartoonists, and each submitted a portrait of one of the loosing contenders from each federal election going back to the defeat of incumbent President John Adams in 1800. 

Now, here’s where the Kickstarter comes in. 

The show was frankly so strong, we wanted to give people outside the couple of hundred who came to the gallery installation a chance to see it. As far as we know, a show like this has never been done before, and the combination of election year politics and amazing artists makes us pretty confident that there’s an audience out there for this work in published form. This item is going to be a beautiful collectible, and a little piece of American history to boot. 

One of our artists, the internationally acclaimed designer Marc English, has agreed to design the book for us. Mr. English has designed work for The Criterion Collection, the Austin Film Society, and the Suicide Girls coffee table book among many many other projects, and we know the final product is going to be gorgeous. We’re currently planning on a very sophisticated 100 page softcover book, complete with all the portraits along with quick bios of the losing candidates and our artists. Should we do well enough, we have some potential stretch goals to announce to make the book even more collectible. 

Take a gander at the list of contributors to the show. As the campaign rolls on, we’ll be unveiling info about each of the artists with the images of their work we’ve already prepped for the book. In the meantime, here are a few images from the show.

George McGovern (1972) by Andy Sturdevant
George McGovern (1972) by Andy Sturdevant
John Breckinridge (1860) by Garrett Young
John Breckinridge (1860) by Garrett Young
Hubert Humphrey (1968) by David Fullarton
Hubert Humphrey (1968) by David Fullarton
Al Smith (1928) by Michel Fiffe
Al Smith (1928) by Michel Fiffe
Grover Cleveland (1888) by Jim Rugg
Grover Cleveland (1888) by Jim Rugg

Thanks for your support and thanks for passing this on to your friends and people you think might like this—we suspect there are a lot of them. 

Contributors, in chronological order: 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As we've never published a book before, we know there will inevitably be unexpected circumstances with the project. That's why we've already prepped the images for production, and have enlisted experienced hands to help us see this project through to the end. We're anticipating having the book done and ready to ship sometime in January 2013, but we will communicate with all of our backers immediately should we run into any delays.

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    5 backers

    The Adams A thank you on the Presidential Losers tumblr with a link on your name to a website of your choice.

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    3 backers

    The McCain A personal audio recording from project creator Shannon McCormick, the voice of Red vs. Blue's Agent Washington among many other projects, deliverable via Tumblr post, tweet, email, Facebook post, etc. To be delivered at the time of your choosing any time in 2013.

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    26 backers

    The Pinckney A digital download of the book!

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    The Romney A personal video recording from project creator Shannon McCormick, the voice of Red vs. Blue's Agent Washington among many other projects, deliverable via Tumblr post, tweet, email, Facebook post, etc. To be delivered at the time of your choosing any time in 2013.

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    The Henry Clay A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book.

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    The Breckinridge A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. And a copy of Wayne Alan Brenner's amazing out of print Minerva's Wreck #2

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    22 backers

    The Nixon A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book.

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    The Teddy Roosevelt A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus a copy of contributor Benjamin Marra's comic Ripper and Friends

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    The Bell A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. And a copy of Wayne Alan Brenner's amazing out of print Minerva's Wreck #3

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    The Dewey A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. And a copy of Wayne Alan Brenner's amazing out of print Minerva's Wreck #1

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    The Kerry A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus a copy of contributor Dan Wieken's 8.5 x 11 inch codex The Petrified Catalogue.

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    The Seymour A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus a copy of contributor Pat Aulisio's drawing of losing candidate Horatio Seymour.

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    The Tilden A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus signed copies of contributor Zak Sally's Sammy the Mouse and Recidivist #3.

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    The Humphrey A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus an original 5"x5" collage by contributor Andrew McCormick.

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    The Van Buren A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus an original 3"x5" abstract drawing on archival cotton paper by contributor Amelia Winger-Bearksin.

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    The Ford A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Sam Gaskin's portrait of losing candidate Gerald Ford.

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    The Greeley A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. And a copy of each of Wayne Alan Brenner's amazing out of print Minerva's Wreck series, #1, #2, and #3

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    The McGovern A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus an original medium-sized (7.5""x9.5" through 8.5"x11") collage by contributor Andrew McCormick.

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    The Hugh Lawson White A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus an original drawing of a funeral arrangement (5.5'' x 7") by contributor and Parenthetical Girl Amber W. Smith.

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    The Nader A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus a signed set, in a custom pizza box, of all three volumes of contributor Yehudi Mercado's comic series, Buffalo Speedway.

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    The Carter A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus an original 12.5"x12.5" collage by contributor Andrew McCormick.

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    The Wirt A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Tiffany Adams's portrait of losing candidate William Wirt.

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    The Debs A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and a print, of a series of 3, of Shannon McCormick's Eugene V. Debs photocollage portrait.

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    The Dukakis A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Lisa Choinacky's portrait of losing candidate Michael Dukakis.

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    The Mondale A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Andrew McCormick's portrait of losing candidate Walter Mondale.

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    The Smith A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Michel Fiffe's portrait of losing candidate Al Smith.

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    The Winfield Scott A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Jeff Zwirek's portrait of losing candidate Winfield Scott.

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    The Douglas A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Aron Taylor's portrait of losing candidate Stephen Douglas.

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    The Davis A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Craig Stagg's portrait of losing candidate John W. Davis.

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    The Blaine A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus contributor Graham Franciose's portrait of losing candidate James G. Blaine.

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    The Obama A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus contributor David Ohlerking's portrait of losing candidate Mitt Romney plus the portrait he made of Barack Obama for the show (should Obama have lost).

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    The Adlai Stevenson A copy of the book itself, the digital download, and Aidan Koch's portrait of losing candidate Adlai Stevenson.

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    The Clinton A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus contributor Kent Michael Smith's portrait of losing candidate John Adams, the face of this campaign.

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    The Perot A copy of the book itself, mailed to you as soon as we get them! Plus the digital download of the book. Plus a public acknowledgment of you as a backer in a thank you credits list in the book. Plus contributor Regina Allen's portrait of losing candidate Ross Perot.

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Funding period

- (30 days)