At Beehive Books, we have three profound obsessions: artwork, storytelling, and book design.
In 2017, we brought them all together in the creation of ILLUMINATED EDITIONS: an ongoing series of classic literary masterworks, full to the brim with stunning illustration by the greatest visual storytellers in the world, presented in cloth-bound slipcased heirloom editions designed to be read and reread, experienced, and treasured.
You all -- our Kickstarter family -- were kind enough to fund us to the tune of nearly $170,000, which allowed us to produce these books in astonishing style. We sent these glorious volumes out to our supporters just in time for the holidays.
And now we're back, ready to push this wild experiment even further, with three brand new editions pushing the envelope of illustration, production and design: one masterpiece of Russian literature, one beloved children's classic, and one flabbergasting work of bizarre proto-sci-fi/feminist genius plucked from obscure antiquity.
The books are each $100, with some discounts on larger orders. From our rewards tiers, you can just select a total number of books (i.e. ONE ILLUMINATED EDITION, TWO ILLUMINATED EDITIONS, etc), and you will be prompted to select your titles later one the campaign is finished. All six of these beautiful books -- the three new ones, and the three we produced last time -- are available through this campaign!
Each edition is an oversized 9x12" hardcover edition, cloth-bound in sewn signatures from 148-320 pages, enclosed in elaborately debossed and embossed die-cut slipcases, which create a topographical map of the interior artwork in foil blocking.
The interior is printed on creamy, acid-free uncoated paper with a fine tooth, and each edition includes a minimum of ten full page illustrations, along with numerous spots, illuminated letters, and design pieces. The entire package is designed by Maëlle Doliveux with a restrained graphic boldness, and an unparalleled eye for beauty, clarity and readability.
We're producing three brand new Illuminated Editions through this campaign. They are:
Dostoevsky's 1867 opus is a profoundly intense, deeply internal novel of guilt, morality and philosophy. Arguably the first psychological novel, it opened the door to a whole modern history of fiction and storytelling with its close third person examination of an anguished and tormented anti-hero. We'll be using Constance Garnett's translation to explore the deep human passions of this brilliant Russian novel.
There is simply no artist on the planet more fitting to bring these intense moral, mental and emotional currents to the page than Dave McKean. Dave is one of the greatest graphic artists and cartoonists ever to work on the printed page. The author of the masterpiece CAGES, the cover artist for Neil Gaiman's celebrated SANDMAN series, the co-creator of ARKHAM ASYLUM with Grant Morrison and so much more, the winner of nearly every award a cartoonist can win, Dave is sure to present Dostoevsky's story as never seen before.
THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW WORLD, CALLED THE BLAZING WORLD is simply one of the most fascinating, unusual and astonishing pieces of literature we've ever come across. Written in 1666 by Margaret Cavenish, the Duchess of Newcastle, the book details an interdimensional otherworldly queer romance that is centuries (if not millennia) ahead of its time.
This strange metafictional experiment follows a young woman who is transported to a world of animal-people, becomes their empress, and eventually leads an invasion back into her own world, complete with bird-man bombardiers dropping magma stones and submarine ships infiltrating naval barriers. The tale involves spirit possession, astral projection, the many-worlds theory, cutting edge science and philosophy, and more mind-boggling bits than I can express in a short summary. It is truly one of the most bonkers books in the English language, and it must be experienced first-hand.
Rebekka Dunlap is the brilliant cartoonist and illustrator behind 2016's DREAM TUBE, alongside many other comics, animations, and illustrations for clients like The New York Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and presumably other institutions starting with "The New." Her astonishing, often experimental work excels when bending worlds and minds, envisioning bold new possibilities in physical and psychological space -- which makes her the best artist imaginable to bring this bizarre and utterly unique piece of fiction to life.
The beloved classic fantasy adventure PETER PAN (originally published in 1911 as PETER AND WENDY), has been adapted countless times for film, stage, and spin-offs -- but it's never been seen as depicted by the brushwork of celebrated Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens, author of the masterful graphic novels THE WRONG PLACE, THE MAKING OF, and PANTHER.
Brecht will take an inventive approach to this impossibly beautiful book, treating Neverland as an imaginative space of infinite possibility to detail and explore. Pirate ships, lost cities, fairy societies, unknowable beasts and magical creatures.
We cannot wait to see this one come to life -- the imagination of Brecht Evens set loose in the hinterlands of this rapturous and enigmatic fantasy story. It's sure to contain visions that fall, as Barrie wrote, "somewhere between reality and all we've ever dreamed."
Those are the three new titles we're funding with this new campaign. But that's not all -- our first three books, funded via our last campaign, can also be reserved if you missed them the first time around. They'll all ship together when we fulfill the campaign.
The first round brought us:
Before Bill even began work on his jaw-dropping illustrations, we knew this one would be a masterpiece. Wells' gleefully blasphemous tale of human chimeras and deranged scientific curiosity comes to nightmarish life through Bill's supreme brushwork and unmatched vision.
Bill Sienkiewicz, for the few who aren't aware, is a living legend, and a master of mutants if there ever was one. The man almost single-handedly brought fine art techniques into mainstream American comics, drew many of the most acclaimed comics and graphic novels of of the last 40 years, and collaborated with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller on some of their most powerful and ambitious works.
His Illuminated Edition of THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU is accompanied by an introduction by none other that Guillermo Del Toro, whose Moreau-vian THE SHAPE OF WATER is the reigning Best Picture and Best Director champion of the 2018 Academy Awards.
Early in his career, Oscar Wilde produced two books of fairy tales -- THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES and A HOUSE OF POMEGRANATES. They've rarely been collected in one volume -- and never with stunning artwork by Yuko Shimizu (THE UNWRITTEN, BARBED WIRE BASEBALL), one of the modern masters of illustration and graphic art.
Wilde's original fairy tales are moving, sweet, sad and magical -- much like Yuko's artwork. Yuko is one of the most celebrated and admired editorial illustrators in the world, and her work is perfectly aligned with Wilde's witty, rueful voice. As the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Michael Cunningham writes in his introduction to our volume, this collaboration is "a meeting of such extraordinary talents the book itself emanates the minute traces of a pulse."
Algernon Blackwood is one of the most important authors in the history of weird fiction and literary horror, and his work deserves to be universally recognized. His turn-of-the-century occult sagas of the natural and supernatural world had a huge impact on many 20th century masters, including H.P. Lovecraft, who believed that his masterwork THE WILLOWS was the greatest supernatural tale in all of English literature.
THE WILLOWS is a chilling and gorgeous story of two friends rafting down the flooded Danube, and slowly becoming deranged by a mysterious force at work on the branch-choked river. Has the river itself become astonishly, malevolently conscious? Or is this a tale of two human souls perched on the brink of madness?
But in the 110 years since its original publication, THE WILLOWS has floated in and out of print, without the wide recognition it deserves. But now the celebrated cartoonist and graphic artist Paul Pope, whose vividly energetic brushwork seems to writhe and vibrate on the page, brings this story to life, along with four other classic Blackwood horror tales.
DAVE MCKEAN ENAMEL PIN. A 1.25" enamel pin featuring Dave McKean's artwork, designed by Maëlle Doliveux.
YUKO SHIMIZU ENAMEL PIN. A 1.25" enamel pin featuring Yuko Shimizu's artwork, designed by Maëlle Doliveux.
THE BLAZING WORLD POSTCARD. A 4x6" postcard of Rebekka Dunlap's cover illustration for Margaret Cavendish's THE BLAZING WORLD.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT PRINT. An 8x11" print of Dave McKean's cover illustration for Dostoevsky's CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
PETER PAN PRINT. A 21x27" print of Brecht Evens' cover illustration for J.M. Barrie's PETER PAN.
SIGNED & NUMBERED LIMITED EDITIONS. We will produce a limited edition of two hundred copies signed and numbered by the artist. All orders including a signed and numbered edition come with a BLAZING WORLD postcard, a CRIME AND PUNISHMENT print, and a DAVE MCKEAN ENAMEL PIN.
ASSOCIATE PUBLISH A TITLE. You will be credited as an ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER of one of the books. You will also receive a special PUBLISHER'S EDITION, signed by the artist and numbered in an edition of fifty. You will receive a CRIME AND PUNISHMENT print, a BLAZING WORLD POSTCARD, a DAVE MCKEAN ENAMEL PIN, and a digital edition of all three new books.
CO-PRODUCE ILLUMINATED EDITIONS. We are seeking TEN CO-PRODUCERS who will help us make this line possible with early funding. You will be credited in ALL of the titles in our ongoing line of Illuminated Editions in perpetuity. You will also receive SIGNED AND NUMBERED LIMITED EDITIONS of ALL SIX BOOKS, exclusive publisher's edition of fifty. You will also receive SIX CRIME AND PUNISHMENT prints, SIX BLAZING WORLD POSTCARDS, SIX DAVE MCKEAN ENAMEL PINS, a PETER PAN PRINT, and ongoing access to DRM-free digital editions of every title we produce for the Illuminated Editions line.
ORIGINAL ARTWORK. We will make several pieces of original paintings and illustrations from the Illuminated Editions line available throughout this campaign. So watch this space!
WATERCOLOR SHIPWRECK PAINTING BY BRECHT EVENS. 14 x 19", watercolor on bristol. An alternative cover image created by Brecht Evens for the Peter Pan portfolio. The original piece can be had as a unique reward.
DAVE MCKEAN has illustrated and designed over eighty award winning and ground breaking books and graphic novels including The Magic of Reality (Richard Dawkins), The Homecoming, Skeletons (Ray Bradbury), The Fat Duck Cookbook, Historic Heston (Heston Blumenthal), What's Welsh for Zen (John Cale), Varjak Paw and Phoenix (SF Said), The Savage (Liverpool reads book 2009), Slog’s Dad, Mouse Bird Snake Wolf, Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (David Almond), Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison, the most successful single graphic novel DC ever published), Voodoo Lounge (The Rolling Stones), Night Shift, Wizard and Glass, The Colorado Kid (Stephen King), I Am Legend (Richard Matheson) and Mr. Punch, Signal to Noise, Violent Cases, Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls (NY Times Illustrated Book of the Year), American Gods and The Graveyard Book (Carnegie/Hugo/Newberry Medal winner) (Neil Gaiman).
He has written and illustrated Cages (Harvey, Pantera, Ignatz and Alph Art awards), two Pictures That Tick volumes of short stories (V+A Book of the Year), the erotic novel Celluloid, and Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, a commission by the 14-18 Now Foundation and the Imperial War Museum. He recently received the inaugural Aragones award for excellence in comic book arts. He was chosen by Apple as one of their 30 key creatives representing 30 years since the launch of the Apple Mac (Dave’s year was 1994, the year he created the first Photoshop comics covers for the hugely influential Sandman series, and the first online interactive narrative Club Salsa).
The multimedia live performance of Black Dog was featured at Tate Britain, the Somme Memorial in Amiens, and many other festivals in Europe and Canada.
Dave has also performed his Nine Lives project at the Sidney Opera House and British Library, and co-created and performed An Ape’s Progress for the Manchester Jazz and Literary Festivals in 2015.
Dave has directed five short films, including N[eon], which won first prize at Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, and three feature films. MirrorMask (Jim Henson Company/Sony Pictures) which premiered at the Sundance Festival in Utah, and was officially selected for the Locarno, Sitges, London, Edinburgh, Sarasota, Hawaii and Dublin film festivals. It won 9 awards (including the Inaugural Black Tulip at the Amsterdam Festival) . Luna (Raindance Festival Best British Feature and BIFA awards) premiered at Toronto FF, and The Gospel of Us with Michael Sheen (two Bafta Cymru awards) in 2012. He is currently editing his fourth feature Wolf’s Child, adapted from his own play, created with Wildworks Theatre Company.
His next publishing projects are Raptor, a book about grief, literature, and political monsters, a book of Venice drawings, and a book of paintings and drawings inspired by silent cinema.
He lives on the Isle of Oxney in Kent, England with his wife, studio manager, and musician, Clare.
REBEKKA DUNLAP's figures often bend and distort, filling the frame or floating into oblivion so as to allow traditional space to fall away completely. Her pre-occupation with the interiors of the mind have lead her to visually discuss such topics as Mental Health, Women's Issues and more generally, the emotional strain of navigating tumultuous systems of power. Leaning heavily on a lexicon of Children's Media and Anime, Rebekka combines the whimsical with real world gravity.
Belgian cartoonist BRECHT EVENS was born in 1986 and studied illustration in Ghent, Belgium. Important mentors were his illustration teacher Goele Dewanckel and cartoonist/comedy coach/zen master Randall Casaer.
His debut comic book, A Delivery from Outer Space, was released in 2005. The slightly melodramatic Vincent was released in 2006, followed in 2007 by a little nocturnal fantasy called Night Animals. The Wrong Place (2009) started out as a graduation project and was a departure from the more typical comic art of his earlier books. It won the Haarlem Comic Festival's Willy Vandersteen Award for best Dutch-language graphic novel, and an award at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. He followed The Wrong Place up with The Making Of (2012) and Panther (2016), which appeared on many year-end best-of lists.
BEEHIVE BOOKS is a new Philadelphia-based small press founded by the artist and designer Maëlle Doliveux and author and editor Josh O’Neill. They create book art editions of great literary and pictorial works with a special emphasis on graphic art, design, and comics. Their line of forthcoming books includes monographs on Harrison Cady and Herbert Crowley, illustrated novels with art by Yuko Shimizu, Bill Sienkiewicz and Paul Pope, and the ongoing experimental periodical LAAB Magazine, curated and created by Ronald Wimberly. Learn more at www.beehivebooks.com, or find us on Instagram @beehivebooks.
Risks and challenges
As the veterans of over a dozen fully funded and fulfilled Kickstarter campaigns, Beehive Books founders Josh O’Neill and Maelle Doliveux know well the challenges associated with funding, printing, and distributing beautiful oversized art books. Between our various ventures, we have raised nearly a million dollars on Kickstarter, and rewarded backers of every campaign with very beautiful books and rewards.
Armed with that experience we feel very ready to tackle the task of producing and publishing substantial, handsome volumes befitting their brilliant authors and illustrators.
We've carefully priced out expenses for domestic and overseas shipping, as well as printing costs for all books, prints and ancillary rewards. We’ve arranged for the logistics of reward fulfillment. We know exactly how much money we need to get this project across the finish line. All we need is the funding necessary to finish the job. In fact, with such a substantial funding goal, the biggest danger is simply that we'll fall short of our ambitious aims.
Still, there are more risks and challenges involved in making books with this level of production value than I can realistically list here. Don't believe anybody who tells you this stuff is easy. Problems can and will pop up in ways we can't predict. But we have the knowledge, experience and commitment to persevere through difficulties and deliver a product that meets and exceeds the exacting expectations of our audience of discerning readers and collectors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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