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Put 15 years of funny and colorful history onto a mobile platform for young people who don't usually pick up books! Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 27, 2013.

Put 15 years of funny and colorful history onto a mobile platform for young people who don't usually pick up books!

About this project

SAVE OUR HISTORY FROM THE TEXTBOOKS!

I have 15 years of fun stories about American history, trapped in print. You can help me refresh those stories and put them into the pockets of young readers on the go and their cool parents who care about what their kids are learning. Instead of piling a stack of my 31 history comix into the backseat of the minivan, kids should be able to read and laugh at Chester Comix on a smartphone or tablet.

THE HISTORY OF THE HISTORY

I have researched, written and drawn Chester the Crab and his historical adventures since 1995. I picked a Chesapeake Bay blue crab for my narrator because his stories appeared in the Daily Press newspaper in Virginia near the bay. In 1999, Chester was given the mission to help reluctant readers do better in school. My target audience is the high elementary or middle school student who can read but chooses not to touch books. Right -- boys, usually. Chester's five years of test-based lessons in the newspaper were popular with students, teachers and dedicated parents and were syndicated across Virginia.

In 2003 I started a company to reprint those stories in book form to share them with a national audience. Chester Comix LLC now has 31 titles in print for sale to schools and families through museum gift shops and online outlets. In recent years I have drawn all-new Chester books, such as a biography of George Washington for the Mount Vernon estate.

Now my commitment to make American history fun and easy to access means digitizing my stories for a mobile platform. And I'm going to take this opportunity as the author, artist and historian to revise and expand Chester's adventures. MORE jokes! MORE details that the textbooks miss! MORE links to the latest, coolest websites! It's exciting for me to spruce up stories that I first drew for a newspaper 15 years ago.

THE GOAL

Digitizing Chester's stories for a mobile platform means more reluctant readers can find his inspiring fun and learn what they need to do well in school. Putting Chester Comix onto a smartphone puts him where young people are already reading their texts and social media. This project will:

* make available stories from the Chester Comix archive that have not seen print since the early 2000s.

* Add extra panels to stories that are in print, to give readers more fun and more facts.

* Add links within the story that take readers to safe and authoritative websites when they have internet connection, so that Chester's stories are not just a doorway to history but a research tool as well.

* Present the new stories within an easy, free reader app for iPhones and iPads; the app will be created by Chester Comix LLC and Imagine Simplicity of Richmond, VA. Young people will be able to download stories to read them later with or without an internet connection.

Chester Comix will continue to be printed and distributed to retailers and schools directly. Print was Chester the Crab’s first home. But it’s time to adapt to a format that promises a more dynamic future for his stories of the important past. This project will reinvigorate almost 20 years of storytelling into a living, growing, active set of stories

The prototypes already exist: three Chester story apps hit the iTunes store in 2010. The stories were a great bang for the 99 cents -- each had almost twice as many panels as the original stories drawn for print. But app technical demands and costs have changed since then, and the next stage of development needs more work than what was done in 2010. The plan now is to do a "reader" framework app that will be free; within that app will be many Chester stories available for 99 cents.

THE SEASON FOR REWARDS

Thanks for reading this far! If you choose to support the digitizing of Chester's history, some of the rewards will be immediate and useful for the gift-giving season. Original Bentley Boyd artwork makes an excellent gift for family and friends who already have all the vases or socks they need. And once fully-funded, the work between Chester Comix and Imagine Simplicity will proceed with haste and deliver the smartphone stories by March, pending Apple approval.

Risks and challenges

I have almost 20 years of steady, reliable production in this art form. For 10 years I have run a business to market and sell books of my stories. Organizing, coordinating and implementing a new outlet for Chester the Crab is the next step in my artistic and marketing growth.

I will maintain communication with the backers of this project, as I already do with my fans through a variety of social media (pick your favorite social media and search for "Chester Comix" to see if I'm there). My developer is just 40 minutes away from the desk where I draw Chester, and we have already met and communicated frequently about this project. All we need is your support!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    THE JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: A copy of one of the new app stories; plus an e-mail thanking you for your support in expanding educational comics to a whole new platform, including a large JPG of Chester suitable for use as screensaver (image unique to this Kickstarter project level)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    13 backers

    THE SOJOURNER TRUTH: A copy of two of the new app stories; plus one autographed Chester Comix printed book; plus thank you e-mail with large JPG of Chester suitable for use as a screensaver (image unique to this Kickstarter project level)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers

    THE CRAZY HORSE: A copy of three of the new app stories; plus two autographed Chester Comix printed books; plus thank you e-mail with large JPG of Chester suitable for use as a screensaver (image unique to this Kickstarter project level)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    19 backers

    THE SUSAN B. ANTHONY: Your name listed in the credits of each app story produced by this Kickstarter project; plus a PDF of a Chester Comic; plus everything at CRAZY HORSE level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    12 backers All gone!

    THE ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: A pen and ink drawing of a subject of your choice, within reason; B&W on heavy stock 5 x 7 inches, suitable for framing and signed by Bentley Boyd; plus everything at the SUSAN B ANTHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    14 backers Limited (6 left of 20)

    THE THOMAS JEFFERSON: Be in a Chester digital adventure! Your name will be added into the narrative of a historical adventure that becomes an app story because of this Kickstarter project; plus everything at the SUSAN B ANTHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    THE JACKIE ROBINSON: A likeness of you will be drawn into a Chester digital adventure! You will also get the B & W original drawing of you, drawn by hand, inked and signed by Bentley Boyd and a JPG copy of the colorized panel; plus everything at the SUSAN B ANTHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN: A page of original artwork from the 20 years of Chester the Crab adventures (B&W on Bristol Board suitable for framing) and signed by Bentley Boyd. You will also get everything available at the SUSAN B ANTHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    THE MARK TWAIN: YOUR OWN HISTORY!! I'll draw your own story in 6 colored pages narrated by Chester the Crab. We'll work together to shape the story and base it on photos you provide, and at the end of the several months of process you'll get a full-color PDF of your history and the B&W original ink artwork on Bristol Board suitable for framing) and signed by Bentley Boyd. You will also get everything available at the SUSAN B ANTHONY level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    THE GEORGE WASHINGTON: Meet the creator! The appearance can be a school presentation, a booksigning at a private party, or some other mutually-agreed upon public speaking event about Chester Comix. Travel costs paid for by Chester Comix.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)