About this project
Hi, welcome to the Kickstarter page for Bellows: Fables from the Musical Underground. My name is Roberto Cofresi and I've written a book of ten music fables which has been illustrated by ten different artists from Los Angeles to Texas to North Carolina to Philadelphia. We have launched this Kickstarter campaign to raise money to pay for book design, printing, and distribution of the final product.
The book is made of ten fables, each stands on its own but they are also interconnected in various ways. The fables are darkly comic and come from my imagination which has been fertilized by over 30 years of playing, writing and hanging out in the world of music, from dingy dives to front porches to basement parties to fancy concert halls, music festivals, record stores, fledgling record label offices, corporate offices for international music giants, and other places where music people congregate. Along the way I have met musicians and music industry people from the most committed busker to the most committable record label owners, from lifers to posers, from lovable ones to the ones you wish would trip and fall into a volcano. Of course, no names are mentioned and even appearances have been disguised as cute but not always cuddly animals of all types. There are life lessons in this book, however, this is not a how-to manual, nor an advice book. It's a book made to entertain, to make you laugh, to twist up your mind a little bit with some great images and words. Like a good song, we think this book will make you go 'yeah' while at the same time providing you with a space where you can reflect about what it is that music brings to us and how we treat music in return.
Each fable is illustrated by one of ten awesome artists. Each artist determined how their fable would be treated and thus we get a broad range of visual interpretations - comic book formatting, linocuts, posters, digital images, paintings and more.
Following are samplings from each of the fables with a short blurb about each artist:
1. THE A&R MEN AND THE FOLK SINGER, Illustrated by Kevin Dixon
Kevin Dixon does comics, sculpture, and painting. His comics include Gilgamesh, And Then There Was Rock, and Mickey Death. He has also performed in bands like Bringerer, Dexter Romweber and the New Romans, Shark Quest, and Zen Frisbee.
2. THE METALHEAD, illustrated by David K Rose
David K. Rose has been around for a while. Years of gallery shows, freelance illustration work, and game production have kept him quite the busy fellow. Dave’s paintings and custom toys have appeared in places as diverse as his characters. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he continues his freelance work, rocking out with his band, and continuing to work in the game industry. http://www.grfxmonkey.com/
3. THE BAND OF BROTHERS, illustrated by Nathan Golub
Nathan Golub is an illustrator/graphic designer based out of Durham NC. When he's not illustrating/graphic designing he's either playing music with his friends or hanging out with his wife and ever-growing household. http://nathangolub.com/
4. THE BASEMENT HIPPIE CAMP, illustrated by Sarah Dougherty
Sarah Dougherty paints the beauty of bricolage from observation, travelling, making homes and documenting how humans, plants and animals make place out of space. She finished her Master's in Fine Arts at UCLA in 2012 and will be teaching Spanish through art and creating Classrooms without Walls curricula at Escuela Popular in East San Jose. http://www.roomportraits.com/
5. THE TEENAGER AND THE MOTIONLESS BUSKER, illustrated by Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert was unleashed from the bowels of the earth in a late 20th century volcanic explosion. He paints, draws, cartoons, and generally spews pointless fun at a savage and intractable Universe. Currently he lives in Houston, Texas among the truck-nut masses and makes a living as a librarian.
6. THE COMPOSING FAMILY, illustrated by John Voskamp
John Voskamp is a musician and artist living in Austin, TX. He currently plays with Saucerians and has also played with Peglegasus, Ye Olde Castletons, the Riddlers and others. He loves haunted houses, extraterrestrials and printmaking. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saucerians/171295412918581
7. THE BURDENS, illustrated by Alison Nickles
Alison Nickles is a photographer, illustrator, and hair dresser living in Carrboro NC. She loves rock and roll, her boyfriend and her dog, not necessarily in that order.
8. TIME AND THE CRITIC, illustrated by Andrew DeGraff
Andrew DeGraff is a freelance illustrator. His work has been featured in American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts annuals and he has shown his gallery work in New York, Albany, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Calgary, Honolulu, and Mexico City. He currently lives in Philadelphia and teaches at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY. http://www.andrewdegraff.com/
9. THE MOUNTAIN MARCHING BAND, illustrated by Jamie B Wolcott
Jamie B Wolcott is a North Carolina based poster artist who has been hanging out in her Aunt Lilly's Attic for quite some time now. She spent three years doing pictorial work for a travelling theater troupe and got a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. She is married to mad banjo player Curtis Eller, and they have a daughter, Daisy Josephine. http://www.jamiebwolcott.com/
10. THE SECOND CONCLUSION, illustrated by Claire Richards
Claire Richards finds great enjoyment in the act of painting landscapes. Landscapes offer her unlimited possibilities. Each painting is a puzzle that must be pieced together through a process of creating and destroying. The terrain is revealed through a constant working and reworking, erasing, building and destroying of paint layers and worlds. www.clairerichardsstudio.com
I started playing music and writing as a kid in Puerto Rico, playing in ragtag garage bands like Los Babilonicos and writing mythological stories and teenage songs. After finishing high school, I moved to Texas where I discovered the crazy world of American indie rock music of the 80s and the booming new world of graphic novels. I played psych rock with Dry Nod and Irish-Texas swing with the Texas Guinness Lovers while writing more narrative songs and stories heavily influenced by writers like Jorge Luis Borges and the Hernandez Brothers. In 1997 I moved to NYC where I ran head-on into the dog-eat-dog side of the music industry. I worked at ASCAP, did my best to "sell out" by producing a hit dance single, and hung out with the Accountant to the Stars and other real life hydras of the music industry. In 2002 I moved to Chapel Hill NC and discovered fertile creative ground that was at once inspiring and relaxed. I found a town where music and writing happened organically and songs and stories seemed to almost write themselves. My wife, Diane, and I started playing music as New Town Drunks and I started writing regularly for the Nonalignment Pact, an international group blog about music where the idea for this book was born. Below are some links to some of my writing and music.
If you choose to sponsor this project, your contributions will go towards book design, printing and distribution.
BOOK DESIGN: We want the book design to be as special as the stories and the art in the book. And because each fable is illustrated by a different artist, each one will need special attention to bring out it's character. Maxine Mills has been designing books, magazines, and other graphics for more than 30 years. She loves telling stories with clean visual design and compelling images, and she's the Creative Director on the award winning book design team of Past Forward (http://pastforward.me/). We chose Maxine for her ability to infuse her designs with the subject's personality to create accurate reflections of the “character”. Her design work for Duke University’s Duke Magazine won several awards, including gold medals from the Council for the Advancement of Education.
PRINTING: The book will be printed by the fine professional folk at the Book Division of Mercury Print Productions (http://www.mercuryprint.com/). It will be just over 80 pages, printed in full color on glossy 80lbs paper and perfect bound with a full color cover.
DISTRIBUTION: For this initial run, we will do the distribution ourselves. This means mailing the book (and rewards) to all of you who contributed, but also making promo posters to mail with copies of the book to various independent bookstores, comic book stores, and record stores. We'll be distributing the book to such places as Brazos Books, Nan's Comics and Sound Exchange in Houston; Chapel Hill Comics, Bull City Records and Flyleaf Books in North Carolina's Triangle Area; Waterloo Records, Monkey Wrench Books and Austin Books & Comics in Austin; Unnameable Books, Bergen Street Comics and Music Matters Records in NYC, and Origami Vinyl, Comic Ink and Book Soup in Los Angeles.
There are many levels of participation, please see the column on the right for the various sponsorship options. Thank you for your time.
And here's the Facebook page for the book, please like us on FB if you like doing that sort of thing - https://www.facebook.com/BellowsFables
Risks and challenges
The main long term challenge for us will be to turn this kickstarter into enough buzz for the book so that we can negotiate successful publishing and distribution deals for further editions of the book. Your support will speak volumes towards overcoming this hurdle.
On the shorter term, doing our own distribution and promotion for this 1st edition will be a challenge, but the combined experience in the arts, music, and publishing of the 11 of us will help us overcome any hurdle we may encounter in these facets of the project. Our experience goes to 11!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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