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Help fund Rex and Rooty, an interactive Christian book from the Emmy award winning artist of The Batman cartoon

Help fund Rex and Rooty, an interactive Christian book from the Emmy award winning artist of The Batman cartoon Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on January 16, 2013.

About this project

Follow us @deepfriedmanna or Like us on Facebook!

Every Dollar Counts! If you like this, please prayerfully consider making a pledge! Every $1 contribution makes a BIG difference!

We're raising funds to develop our first title, Rex and Rooty, a biblically grounded interactive book for kids. Support our project and help us kickstart the Christian app movement!! Just as the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains, so it is that no contribution is too small! If you like the idea of Christian eBooks for your kids and feel like God is putting it on your heart, please go through the process of registering an account to make a $1 pledge (or more!). Your support means so much to us, and without you this WILL NOT HAPPEN!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Our story centers around a precocious boy named Rex and his floating plant friend Rooty. Rooty has the ability to generate all types of seeds, and it's from these seeds that each adventure begins. Some of these are giant monstrous beanstalk producing seeds. Some are tiny mustard seeds. Sometimes, these seeds are exactly what Rex wants to get him out of a predicament, but other times they are not at all. Rex's hat has two basins full of dirt that he can plant seeds in, and he carries a waterpack with detachable nozzles to suit his needs. Rooty,like any self respecting potted plant, gets around by propeller. 

Rex and Rooty live in a strange and fantastical land full of wonder and danger. Each adventure takes them through different parts of this world. They will encounter new friends, and sometimes scary enemies, and through it all their bond grows stronger. Rooty is the one steady, faithful constant in Rex's ever changing life.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Our story is an allegory for our Christian lives. We're a lot like Rex as he learns to navigate an exciting, strange, and sometimes dangerous world. Rooty, his faithful companion, is like the Holy Spirit - not necessarily giving Rex what he wants, but always exactly what he needs. These adventures become a lens through which we can teach our kids about our relationship with God. Each adventure is a parable based on a specific passage in the Bible. We think this will be a fun and accessible way to get our kids excited about God!

As parents, we've all enjoyed that sweet moment of silence when our kids are playing with their iPods or iPads. There are some great apps out there - some games, some educational. These apps are interactive experiences that stimulate their brains and require them to focus. But what exactly is it that's grabbing their focus?

Wouldn't it be great if you could give your kids apps that were not only fun and engaging, but you could trust to teach them more about God? If the app that got the little wheels turning in their heads was also grounding them in their faith? Wouldn't it be great if these apps were amazingly interactive, stunningly gorgeous, hand drawn by one of the top artists in Hollywood? What if it could actually earn their attention, rather than having it forced upon them?

That's why we founded Deep Fried Manna! But it's so hard to get a Christian project off the ground. We are the forgotten audience. When we talk to investors, they don't believe the market is there. That's why we're turning to kickstarter, because we know you're out there! Lets make our voices heard! Without you, these projects won't happen. With your help, we can send a message to the world that we're out here, and hungry for this type of content!

If you believe in this and want this for your kids, we need you to not only make a pledge, but also tell your friends. Go click the "like" button at the top of this page. Tweet about us. More importantly, will you send a personal email to friends who you think might be just as excited about this and ask them to join the movement? We really are depending on YOU to help us get this word out and make sure we have these resources for our kids. You can even print out this flyer to leave around your church or small group! 

New to kickstarter? They have some great resources to learn what it's all about. But at its most basic level, it's a way for creative projects to get funding directly from their fans - YOU! Each pledge has a corresponding reward. Your pledge doesn't actually get charged *unless* the project reaches its funding goal within the specified period of time. So once you fund, please also help spread the word! Once the campaign is over, we will go develop the product, and when done, will ship you the app along with the rewards associated with your pledge amount.

We've had a lot of conversations about exactly how much we should raise. Some people said it's better to set a low amount and hope that you raise beyond. They said people might feel daunted by a large amount left to pledge and simply not bother. However, after much prayer and discussion, we decided rather than playing psychological games to try to incent people to pledge, we would simply set a target that would be realistically what we would need to deliver an amazing app, and trust that people who are excited about this and want this will contribute regardless.

The investment in the project now will help reduce costs for future titles. We'll be building a basic core technology platform for our interactive books, as well as designing many of the key characters that will appear throughout the series, making future titles more cost effective to develop.

What happens if we raise more than $150k? The more we raise the more we'll pour into the product and push the animations, interactions, sound and music and beyond, and in the best case scenario even develop more than just one title!

We will initially be focusing our efforts on iOS, and then Android. If we exceed our initial funding goals, we will also accelerate cross-platform compatibility so we can launch simultaneously across both platforms.

We (and our kids) have played with a lot of interactive books and apps. One of the areas we feel is sorely underdeveloped is in the area of interactivity. Most of the apps we've seen are really books with some interactivity tacked on. Often the interaction gets in the way of the story - "Then Johnny went to the put together this apple puzzle!" The child's attention is broken to interact with a puzzle, and then must figure out once again where the story left off.  Every story becomes an exercise in stop and go, even though it's a linear story. We believe that every interaction should either advance the plot or reinforce an emotion. So, practically speaking, what does this look like? Let's say in a story, a giant gust of wind is blowing Rex and Rooty away and they need to grab onto whatever they can to not get blown away. We would ask the reader to tap as fast as they could to help Rex and Rooty hold on to the closest object. Even though it's a simple interaction that any kid can do, it puts the reader in the mind of the protagonist and reinforces the panic that the characters feel, rather than taking the reader out of the story.

You're probably saying to yourself, "I love the idea, I understand all the budget stuff, but why should I pledge money to these guys, and why are they all bald?". Well, I'm glad you asked!

We are a team of creatives with deep domain expertise across a variety of industries. Prior to creating Deep Fried Manna, the team worked together as Massive Joe Studios, an indie game developer responsible for the critically acclaimed Escape from Age of Monsters which was featured by Apple and G4TV selected as its Mobile Game of the Week. Though we were building momentum with Massive Joe Studios, we really felt God calling us to take this leap of faith to start Deep Fried Manna. When it came time to name the company, we knew we wanted to incorporate the concept of manna in the name: that we are called not to follow our own big dreams in the name of God, but to live each day in His presence, depending not on our own "good ideas" or skills, but depending on Him alone. And of course, I think everyone can agree everything is better deep fried. So here we are, Deep Fried Manna.

Mike Su is an experienced technology executive. As VP of Product and Games, Mike helped grow Break Media into a top 35 web property. Jeff Matsuda is an acclaimed comic book artist and Emmy award winning Producer and Creative Director of The Batman cartoon. Joe Lee worked as longtime development partner to writer Shane Salerno (Armageddon, Shaft, The Savages). Joe Landon has programmed on pretty much every platform out there and has launched over 20 apps that have reached millions of users. And of course, our Partner and Advisor Dave Gibbons is the founder and Senior Pastor at Newsong Church in Irvine, as well as the founder of XEALOTS and co-founder of Hope Mob.

We've used up all our brains to come up with some cool rewards, we hope you'll like them! See the right column for the full list. Here are some highlights!

$1 - I am a Mannanite!

Every single dollar counts and lets us know you're out there and you believe in what we're trying to do! Your support means so much to us and every contribution is a clear signal of encouragement!

$5 - Gimme an App!

Pretty straightforward. You will be amongst the first to receive a copy of the app!

$10 - Look Ma! I'm in a Music Video!

In this tier, you not only get a copy of the app itself, but we'll also include you in our big fat singing thank you music video. What's this you ask? Well, we'll find some poor soul (we also call these people our friends) to play guitar while we sing the name of each and every person that contributed to this tier and up. We will then upload this video to YouTube for all the world to see! Is it going to be boring? Possibly. Is your name going to be in it? MOST DEFINITELY!! Are we going to be smiling like a bunch of people who are incredibly grateful for your support? YOU BET!!! Are we going to be really thirsty at the end? WITHOUT A DOUBT!

$25  - Stick it to Me!

At this tier, not only are you getting everything in the previous tier, including the app and your name in the video, but you'll also receive this limited edition laptop sticker to let the world know that you are awesome! 

Each tier from here on out will get an additional sticker (as well as every sticker prior) in the collectible series. So you get one sticker in STICK IT TO ME, two stickers in I LOVE LE ARTE etc. The chart below shows the collectible series:

$50 - I Love Le Arte!!

This includes everything in the STICK IT TO ME tier, plus a digital copy of our Art Book. This book will compile all of the various pieces of art created throughout the process of the app, as well as exclusive, behind the scenes commentary by Jeff Matsuda explaining the design process and particular choices made along the way. A must have for art enthusiasts and artistes alike! (We can't show you what it looks like cause, well, the art isn't done yet).

$75 - Posterized!

This includes everything in the I LOVE LE ARTE tier, plus an 11x17 poster of your choice - either Rex and Rooty, or Zombi-fied kids!

$100 - Look at my Manna-Tee!

This includes everything in the I LOVE LE ARTE tier, plus this extremely attractive IAmA Mannanite Men's Manna-Tee-Shirt (designs subject to change, we may make a couple different styles and have you guys vote!):

Or Women's:

$125 - The Bundler!

Are you the type of person that can rally a crowd? Do you have friends and family that might have never heard of kickstarter and might never get around to registering? Well, this is your opportunity to round them up. If you can get 10 friends to toss in $10 each, and you yourself can put in $25, ALL OF YOU will get a free copy of the app, they will all be in the music video (you guys can have a viewing party afterward), the limited edition sticker, and 10 copies of the digital Art Book, and you as the bundler get one of those sweet Manna-Tees shown above, which normally would require you as an individual to make a $100 pledge!

$300 - The Protector!

A limited edition iPad or iPhone case! These are not the actual cases, but proposed designs. As we develop the book, there may be even better art to put on a case!

$500 - The Old Skool

This is just a mock up. Final product subject to change.
This is just a mock up. Final product subject to change.

This is for all our peoples out there that prefer books you can actually touch. This is the exclusive, limited print edition of the inaugural Rex and Rooty book. That's right, we're going to take the interactive book and turn it into a printed book, with glossy color pages, all signed by the Deep Fried Manna team! Sorry, we can't preview the book at this time because, well, we have to make the book first!

$1000 - The IN YOUR FACETIME!!

A one hour video chat via your technology of choice (skype/Google Hangout/Facetime/email pictures back and forth while we talk on the phone). We can chat about the weather, about the creative process. Jeff can give a personal one-on-one art lesson (we'll send you whatever he draws during that art lesson), or just talk about the NFL...whatever you want - time's yours!

This is us skyping. You could be here!
This is us skyping. You could be here!

$2500 - The Doodle!

This includes everything in "The in your Facetime!" tier, PLUS a completely original sketch from Jeff Matsuda. That's right, whatever you want, Jeff will draw in pencil, sign and mail it out to you! You want a drawing of Batman on the Happy Birthday card for your son so that you'll be the coolest dad ever? This is the tier for you!!! 

$5000 - The Avatar!

We will create an in-game version of you. So in the credits page of the app, at the top will be clickable names of donors in this tier and up. When a user clicks on your name, your avatar, drawn in your likeness, will appear (or the person of your choice)! 

Plus, if you're in LA (or make your way to LA), the team will take you out for dinner at our favorite amazing Japanese BBQ place (or suitable alternative).

$10,000 - MANNASANITY!

This reward includes everything in "The Avatar" tier, as well as your very own autographed Jeremy Lin Rockets jersey!

What? You want more? We got more, not only will we send you the autographed jersey, we will also include a picture of Jeff and Mike doing Jeremy Lin poses like so:

You didn't ask for it, but I know you want it! We will of course sign the back of the picture as well. Thanks to Jeremy for his generosity and support!

$10,000 - KAPOW!

This reward includes everything in "The Avatar" tier as well as one of the following one of a kind Original comic book covers by Jeff Matsuda. These will be claimed on a first come first serve basis. Only one of each of these pages exist in the world! The pictures below do not do justice to the level of detail in the artwork! See descriptions of each below along with quick commentary from Jeff on each piece:

(click on the links below to see higher resolution images)

1. X-Men Mutant Genesis - This is an interior page from X-Men: Mutant Genesis. The shot is of Maverick, one of my favorite characters from the book.

2. X-Men Adventures Issue #8 - Loved the X-Men adventures in the original Savage land run, so it was an honor to do this cover. The original comic was done by Michael Golden, one of my favorite all time artists.

3. X-Factor Pinup - I've always enjoyed this shot of the team, having two feral characters made X-Factor a blast!

4. X-Factor Vol 1 #129 - This will always have a warm place in my heart cause it was one of the first covers that was inked by Art Thibert, and digitally painted by Liquid!

5. Dark Angel #4 -  I just like the way this cover turned out. I Love flowing capes for composition!

6. JLA vs. Witchblade - This one is very exciting for me because I don't know if it's ever been seen publicly. This was a proof of concept page putting characters from different universes in the same comic. Superman and Wonderwoman  from DC Comics and Witchblade from image. This was never published, so few have ever seen it. This is also the only cover I've ever done of Superman or Wonderwoman.

7. Secret Origins #1 - I love teen superheroes sharing adventures. Though I grew up on Batman, Superman, and the Flash, I love the further adventures of Robin, Superboy and Impulse!!


If you are interested in contributing beyond the max limit available on kickstarter, please contact us directly at 

We've also made a fun little app called Noah's Weather for you to keep up with us. Check it every day to see the latest weather and get a daily verse for encouragement. Keep up to date with our progress by checking out the blog. And best of all, there's a fun little six page storybook about Noah's Ark. There's no interaction here, but just a little sneak preview for our supporters!! You can download it here.

A quick note on the tragedy in Newtown, CT. As parents, we've all been completely heartbroken over the shootings. We've watched news report after gut wrenching news report, and it's hard to comprehend how or why something like this would ever happen. We've been in prayer, our hearts break for those involved, and we're reminded of how blessed we are to have our kids alive and healthy. While it's a small gesture that can hardly begin to erase the hurt and the pain, we're pledging 5% of the funds we raise to support the victims and their families. We'll be sending our contribution through our friends at HopeMob, who have a history of on-the-ground support to those in need in recent tragedies like Hurricane Sandy and the Aurora shootings.

We are so blessed to have the support of so many people just to get this kickstarter project off the ground!! 

Thanks to our Mannanites!

Adam Edgerly, Pastor of Newsong LA
Craig Groeschel, Pastor of, YouVersion Bible app
Cue Jean Marie, Pastor of The Row
Dave Gibbons, Pastor of Newsong, HopeMob
Derrick and Linda Jackson & Family, Pastor of Life Convenant Church
Eric & Jenn Quan & Family, Campus Director at Open Door San Mateo
Francis Chan, SF City Impact, bestselling author of "Crazy Love"
Jeremy Lin, NBA star
MC Jin, rapper
Michael Chang, tennis star
Skye Jethani, Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, Author of "With"

Video Production

Scott Coones - cinematography and stuff
Gary Chan - editor
Earl Newton - additional editing
MC Jin - Open Arms
Michael Fallik - Animation

Special Thanks To

Allen Lu
Catch Adventures
Hakjoon Kang

How can I help beyond my pledge?
If you're as pumped as we are, we'd love to have you help us! The most important thing is to help us spread the word. We believe there's strong interest for this, but we know there aren't that many believers here on kickstarter. Our biggest challenge is to get word you to enough people in time!! That's why we need your help to not only pledge, but to get other people excited! Talk to people in your church or small group! We will also soon have PDFs that you can email or print out and leave around your church bulletin board. Tell people about it on social media! Like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and sign up to be a part of the Mannanite Street Team and get the latest info and resources for how you can help us make this happen!

We will be building our app on a cross platform engine. However, we will initially launch on iOS. BUT, this is purely a resource constraint. On iOS, there are fewer different devices we need to test on. On Android, we need to acquire and test across many more devices, which is costly and time consuming, and as a small team we simply had to make a call on where to best focus our resources. We will rollout on Android after the iOS launch. However, as mentioned above, if we are able to exceed our funding goals, we will be able to launch on more platforms simultaneously.

Wow, $100 is pricey for a t-shirt!
We have tried to make a careful balance between value and having the funds to actually be able to deliver on our promised apps. There are many projects out there who do a great job of raising money, but end up nearly breaking even once rewards have been delivered! As mentioned, we estimate that approximately $30k of our budget will go toward producing the rewards. Your pledge is not only for the rewards, but a contribution towards making this project a reality. We are greatly humbled and appreciative for your support!!

Risks and challenges

As with any creative endeavor, there could be areas where we have underestimated the scope. We are an experienced team who have collectively been through many many cycles of app development so this is less of a risk compared to a younger team. However, this is a risk with any creative project, and the thing we will guarantee is full transparency and communication throughout the process.

The funding we're raising is all going towards this specific project with very little wiggle room. As such, from time to time we may come across work for hire contracts opportunistically to keep the business running. Such scenarios may cause delays in project schedule. If we reach our stretch goals, we will have enough runway that we will not need to be distracted by contract gigs.

Finally, in the case that we are wildly successful, and there is huge enthusiasm for the tiers where Jeff is creating original art, we may be delayed in fulfilling such artwork. This, of course, is a good problem to have, but nevertheless we ask for your patience and understanding. Also, if we receive significant commitments in The Avatar tier that we are not able to fulfill in time for launch, we may enlist the help of other artists to draw your avatar. Of course these will all be art directed by Jeff and drawn to his exacting standards. Jeff will start drawing those who contributed first, while other artists will work from the last contributors back. We do not anticipate this to be a problem within our funding goal. However, if we are blessed enough to far exceed it, we may have to resort to this in order to launch our project in a timely manner and we want to be completely upfront with you guys about this!!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00 USD

    I'M A MANNANITE! Every bit helps. For $1, you will have our eternal gratitude, and we send virtual hugs and kissed over the interwebs.

    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5 USD

    GIMME AN APP! This tier gets you our eternal gratitude and a copy of our app!

    Estimated delivery
    54 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    LOOK MA, I'M IN A VIDEO! Not only do you get our eternal gratitude, but we will also make a music heard right...a music video! You mean like a P. Diddy video? Nope. Like a really ghetto video. Probably someone playing a guitar, and we will sing a song that is basically every donors name. This might be the worst song in the history of songs, but your name will be in it!!! Oh, you also get a copy of the app when it's released.

    Estimated delivery
    31 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    STICK IT TO ME! Everything in the "LOOK MA" Tier plus a sweet, limited edition "I kickstarted Deep Fried Manna!" laptop sticker so you can show your Manna pride and let the world know how cool you are and how you were a Mannanite before it was trendy to be a Mannanite. The first in the collectible series of stickers.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    53 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    I LOVE LE ARTE! Everything in the "STICK IT TO ME" Tier, plus an exclusive digital copy of the Art Book, plus your name in the credits! Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    48 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75 USD

    POSTERIZED! Everything in "LE ARTE" tier PLUS a sweet Rex and Rooty 11x17 poster! Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    LOOK AT MY MANNA-TEE! Everything in "LE ARTE" tier PLUS a ridiculously good looking, limited edition kickstarter exclusive t-shirt! This t-shirt screams Mannanite! Mostly because it says so right on the t-shirt, but also because it lets the world know that you were a part of making this happen! Be a Mannanite! Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
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    64 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125 USD

    THE BUNDLER! Election season may be over, but it's not too late to be a bundler! We know you probably know a bunch of people who would love to get involved but have never been on this thing called the Internets. Round up 10 people to donate $10 each, and throw in $25 of your own, and you'll get everyone in the music video, 10 copies of the app, 10 stickers, 10 PDFs, and a the aforementioned sweet t-shirt for yourself!

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    8 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350 USD

    THE PROTECTOR! Everything in the "MANNA-TEE" tier, plus a supafly limited edition iPad case featuring Rex and Rooty characters. Specially designed for our kickstarter fans!!! Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    THE OLD SKOOL! Everything in the "MANNA-TEE" tier, plus a limited edition (I know, everything is limited edition, but it's true, we want to make it special for you) hardcover print edition of the story. That's right, we're gonna kick it old school and print it on real paper, sign it and send it to you. Plus we'll sign the poster as well! Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    IN YOUR FACETIME! Everything in "THE OLD SKOOL" tier, plus a one hour Facetime/Google Hangout/Skype session with the team. Get a drawing lesson from Jeff Matsuda or ask us questions or provide creative feedback to the team, or just talk about the weather and NFL playoffs. Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500 USD

    THE DOODLE! Everything in "IN YOUR FACETIME" tier, plus an original drawing by Jeff Matsuda. Whatever you want (within reason). A sketch of your kid? Done. A sketch of Spiderman fighting a gorilla? No problem. Personally addressed to you. Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

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    2 backers
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000 USD

    THE AVATAR! Everything in "THE DOODLE" tier, PLUS a custom avatar of you, drawn by Jeff Matsuda, that will appear IN GAME in the credits. The app will have a credits section which will contain credit for all those who contributed in the appropriate tiers. However, if you get THE AVATAR, your name will be clickable, which will pop up your avatar. Plus the next in the collectible sticker series (see main description for details).

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    2 backers
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    MANNASANITY! Everything in "THE AVATAR" tier, PLUS a SIGNED Jeremy Lin jersey, with a one of kind photo of Jeff and Mike posing as Jeremy Lin, signed in the back to certify its authenticity. In addition to this, we'll fly you to LA (from within the continental US), put you up in a hotel for night, and take you out to dinner with the team. Plus the entire set of all 12 collectible stickers!

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000 USD

    KAPOW! Everything in "THE AVATAR" tier, PLUS a SIGNED original comic book page by Jeff Matsuda (details in the post). Plus we'll fly you to LA (from within the continental US), put you up in a hotel for a night, and take you out to dinner with the team. Plus the entire set of all 12 collectible stickers!

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer

Funding period

- (30 days)