THE DANDELION KING: LOVE AND LOSS WAITING IN THE GAS LINE:
The Dandelion King is a divorce biography—in the form of a graphic novel and six short animated films (both media in production) and a serialized book app (in pre-production)—about growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970’s. Short combines animation with archival footage from historic documentary, linking ‘real’ films of the era with a graphic mind’s eye.
The 1970s is the decade with the largest recorded rates of divorce in history, a legacy with which my generation struggles. In 1969 my father, a political refugee from Argentina and biologist in the field of plant population genetics left his wife and his kids to marry his graduate student. My mother, brother and I moved back to Whittier, California to live with my grandparents. In this graphic novel, the personal story I explore is underpinned by social change in the 1970’s: the impact of evangelical movements and their political ascendency in southern Los Angeles county; how changes in mental health policy impact my mothers’ job at the notorious psychiatric hospital, Metropolitan State; how Argentina’s economic and political upheaval impacted my immigrant father’s life and work in the U.S.. The backdrop of my chaotic childhood are large societal shifts illustrated by the movement from Richard Nixon’s (a native son of Whittier) famous phrase, “we are all Keynsians” to the ascendance of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980.
The Dandelion King is intimate, political, and accessible storytelling, available on multiple media platforms. Film & motion graphics will be available online, phone and tablet apps as well as in chapter ‘comic book’ and graphic novel forms.
WHAT'S THIS KICKSTARTER ACTUALLY FUNDING?
I know, I know, "The Dandelion King" sounds like it might be a big ambitious project--It is: A book, short films, AND a book app. What are these funds actually for? Well, the short answer is I am starting by getting these two chapters printed out--The budget estimate below shows that I can just about cover a run of 300 books with the help of the Kickstarter. I'm investing also because this is my passion and my work and it makes sense I throw my hat into the investment. With this run of the first two chapters I am hoping to build some interest in the story I'm telling and how I'm telling it.
What's the cost of the publishing? I have an estimate of $2500. for 300 books which is the primary goal of this fundraisier: I WANT YOU TO SEE THE BOOK! This quote is for digitally printing a 64 page book with 12 pages in color and one-sided color cover.
Besides just hoping you will love the book (I do!) I hope that when the films and the app come out you'll think, "Hey! I really liked that book. I bet these films will be even awesomer!" Become the Dandelion King community!
WHAT WOULD I FUND IF I COULD?
1. If we go over our funding goal (a girl can dream!) we will also invest in development of the app and working with (i.e. paying-- I believe in paying creative people for their work!) Amos Lattieir, an old friend and brilliant thinker in the digital experience realm. The first bit of overage will pay for us to meet in NYC and work on the app. in person. His assistance in imagining and then building apps to load onto your tablet will be instrumental.
2. Of course, extra money allows for time to write and draw in the studio, rent for the studio and support for researching the archival and documentary films which make my story more accessible to my audience-- you folks! It's a big project, writing the book, finishing the films and designing the book apps should take another two years, minimum. In the meantime, JOIN MY TEAM! I'll send you updates (with pictures) if you want 'em. You'll be the first to get notified of each publication, local screening or digital release and you will have my infinite, incredulous and sincere gratitude. In short, I will be gobsmacked if this all comes together. Thank you so much!
Risks and challenges
The Graphic Novel: Completed in a year and half. No problem.
The first two chapters are completed and I have a clear outline for the next three chaps-- the hard part will be not be being able to raise enough to fund a full run or the possible necessity of self-publishing. The final graphic novel is my passion project and I seem to be unable to STOP working on it, so I feel there is very little risk in not completing the novel. It is long-term or wide distribution which will depend upon agents, publishers and of course YOU GUYS--i.e. an excited and engaged audience and fan base who finds value and meaning in my little history in a grain of sand approach to telling about my 1970's childhood. Get on board, I need YOU! I'll be researching publishers who want to engage with digital publishing for a young audience and inventive distribution. In the meantime, I'm just making it happen however I can.
Short Films and Apps: Two years to completion with funding or a publisher.
I feel the same about the films and book apps-- passion projects which are necessary for telling a personal story that expands into the history of a decade. These elements are in an earlier stage of development and they are also going to require more funding and creative resources, as well as the time and talents of programmers. I am applying for funding and resources from Creative Capital, Mass Cultural Council, POV Hackathon, etc. I will be working with archivists to get clearance for historical and archival footage from the period, I will be reaching out to documentarians from Los Angeles from the era to engage with their documentary work in the project. I hope to reach out to folks who innovate in this arena, such as Jeff Gomez about how cross-platform media works for experimental, historical and non-fiction storytelling.
Programming: Amos Lattieir and I are currently planning to get together for in Nov. to design the interface either through POV's Hackathon or on our own time. The risks of making 'book apps' a part of The Dandelion King project are that it requires me to address technical constraints and distribution early on. Nonetheless I choose apps intentionally as a way to provide an accessible platform for distributing experimental motion media, telling non-fiction stories about history which do not rely on the traditional entertainment model of film distribution. To be able to make and show animated shorts linked with a book through an app and at the same time also discuss a particular decade, my life, and politics is a labor intensive process. I expect to finish the book in about a year and a half, and the shorts/apps in probably two years or a little more time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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