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The Dandelion King, is a trans-media graphic novel; including short films & app. This divorce memoir chronicles a history of the 1970s.
60 backers pledged $3,361 to help bring this project to life.

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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.

"I teach my kids the truth about capitalism!"
"I teach my kids the truth about capitalism!"

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! 

"He found it himself behind the counter."
"He found it himself behind the counter."

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A warm addition to our updates e-mail list, complete with brief online sampling of the mini-comic serial, The Adventures of Whatever Floats Your Boat Productions e-mailed directly to your in-box.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    MINI-COMIC ABOUT HEIDE'S ADVENTURES: A black and white mini-comic detailing the adventures of the graphic novel and 'Whatever Floats Your Boat Productions'. Intrepid dilettante and mad putterer Heide will save the neighborhood with her experimental art-film-comic project! (What? It could happen.)

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    GRAPHIC NOVEL: A copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line. Friendly note and autograph at the front of the book. This is the BEST reward of all of them, in my humble opinion, look no further than your Kickstarter 'The Dandelion King' graphic novel hook-up!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL:This reward is also pretty great-- and almost the same except for getting to see the internal workings of an artist in Somerville, MA., through the brief but inspiring additional mini-comic mentioned above. I will send you a copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a copy of the mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves-- or at least is mildly useful to-- her small corner of Somerville! O.K., this reward is also very, very good.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL w/ TWO PAGES HAND COLORED:A copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a copy of the mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves her small corner of Somerville! Additionally, I will hand color either 2 pages of the book, or the whole mini-comic! Really, you can't go wrong with this one-- remember how the graphic novel was the best? Well, this IS the graphic novel but with pretty color.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND INK JET COLORED POSTER: A copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a copy of the mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves her small corner of Somerville! Additionally, you will receive a poster with divorce action figures! My brother's "Don't worry we're going to be flower children, now" immortalized in an ink-jet full color print. The color is kind of amazing.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND HAND COLORED POSTER: A copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a copy of the mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves her small corner of Somerville! Additionally, you will receive a poster with divorce action figures! my brother's "Don't worry we're going to be flower children" immortalized in a hand colored print-out of the black and white print. So, it's kind of like a painting-- of the 70's! That's so cool.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND PRINTS OF PENCILED PAGES FOR CHAPTER THREE: Poster sized prints of the rough pencils of Chapter Three of The Dandelion King-- on archival paper-- be the first to see the early pages for chapter 3! This reward means you will get 2 poster sized early prints of penciled pages of Chapter 3! Chapter Three is a blockbuster and the best chapter yet! Also, a copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves her small corner of Somerville!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND i-PAD BOOK BAG: But, you ask yourself: How am I going to remember my i-pad to watch the cool films which will eventually accompany the graphic novel? I know, I'll just slide my i-pad into my hand-designed "Dandelion King" book-i-pad tote with room for a couple of great graphic novels and two pockets in front that neatly slides in i-pad and phone or wallet. Just send me your device dimensions and it will all fit! Dandelion King logo will remind you which book you need to read next! A copy of the first two chapters of "The Dandelion King: love and loss waiting in the gas line" and a copy of the mini-comic adventure-lette in which Heide saves her small corner of Somerville will be neatly slid into the bag which you receive. You will also be signed up to receive updates on the book app's progress so you know when you can purchase the app!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND HAND PAPER DOLL SET OF CHARACTERS FROM THE BOOK: Now we're getting to the good stuff! At the hundred dollar level I will send you hand drawn paper doll set of my whole family based on photographs from my childhood. My kind, crack pot grandfather with the looks of an aging Gregory Peck and a penchant for medical experimentation on himself. My smart, round, grandma who made sure each and everyone of us could read. My dad, Argentine Botanist extraordinaire, and my sweet, serious, hippy mom doing the best she could in knit pants and a peace sign. You will get the whole set! You can see the figures at the website: DandyKing.net . And of course you will get the graphic novel because I'm putting that in almost every reward because it is the BEST REWARD. You will also be signed up to receive updates on the book app's progress so you know when you can purchase the app!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, i-PAD BOOK BAG AND PAPER DOLL SET: This is the party pack! An i-pad bag, the paper-doll set and the graphic novel with mini-comic! Get 'em all! Also be signed up for all of the updates, and be included in the special thanks section of the book.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, AND AN ARTIST TO SPEAK AT YOUR EVENT: Want someone to speak at your school, organization, church or reading group? I am available to present work, discuss changing media environments, archival film or any variety of these topics. I have a PhD. and can talk about some pretty interesting topics. This includes a graphic novel and mini as well as updates for the project.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MINI-COMIC, GRAPHIC NOVEL, i-PAD BOOK BAG AND PAPER DOLL SET AND A STUDIO VISIT AND PRODUCER CREDIT: Producer credit on both short film and app projects. Your choice of three rewards in addition to the graphic novel, the ipad bag, the paper dolls, poster, etc. I will also invite you to my studio for a tour of my working process and to discuss the ongoing goals and deadlines for the project. And I'll draw you a picture. In addition you will receive my deep gratitude and excitement to get the work completed!

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Funding period

- (30 days)