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Resurrect the ancient tradition of the Book Curse in your own library with these whimsical yet delightfully grim bookplates.
Resurrect the ancient tradition of the Book Curse in your own library with these whimsical yet delightfully grim bookplates.
Resurrect the ancient tradition of the Book Curse in your own library with these whimsical yet delightfully grim bookplates.
359 backers pledged $12,439 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Book Curse: Ex Libris Bookplates for Vindictive Bibliophiles

$12,439

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This Kickstarter was created to fund a series of original bookplates that identify your ownership while also allowing you to inscribe your books with a protective curse of your own creation.

So, what's a Book Curse?

Serving suggestion.
Serving suggestion.

In very ancient days the creation of books, manuscripts, tablets and scrolls was an exacting and laborious process. Scribes worked meticulously to perfectly reproduce and record cultural, religious, and political records using expensive materials that were designed to last for centuries. So important was the veracity of these documents that in the unfortunate occasion of a mistake, the document would often be destroyed so as to not perpetuate any errors.

Of equal importance to the accuracy of these artifacts was their care and protection. Therefore, it was common practice to invoke the wrath of gods and all manner of supernatural havoc upon any who would seek to edit, steal, or destroy any of these works. This protection took the form of what is now referred to as a Book Curse.

How delightful!

The Book Curse bookplates

Inspired by the idea of an 'Ex Libris' bookplate that doubled as dire warning for any potential book thieves, I set my poisoned pen to the illustration of a set of Book Curse bookplates!

Mark your precious books as your own with sexy, sexy bookplates that you can write your own protective curses upon. All tiers include the cost of shipping! Worldwide! Please note that beyond postage, all additional duties, fees, and tariffs are the responsibility of the International backers.

Now make a pledge and be done with it already!

The most petty annoyance or eternity in a flesh-rending hell-- just write it in there yourself.
The most petty annoyance or eternity in a flesh-rending hell-- just write it in there yourself.

What your support... supports

As a meticulous artist and painstaking craftsman, I've invested in my own printing and production equipment and have produced my own fine art prints for years. Supporting this project will help to defray the costs of upgrading my print equipment while allowing me to produce these bookplates for you!

A percentage of the proceeds will also be earmarked for funding other crowdsourced projects. Learn more about Kicking It Forward at http://kickingitforward.org.

How are the bookplates made?

For the sake of the majority of readers, I opted for a self-adhesive solution instead of non-adhesive leafs that required a separate adhesive. Every 3.33" x 4" label is printed with Epson Durabrite pigmented inks and acid- and lignin-free self-adhesive papers. These bookplates are designed for permanent adhesion that will last for years without yellowing and a lifetime without fading. It is as close to an archival self-adhesive solution as is possible at the Maker level of production!

The Art of the Book Curse

Before and after, from rough to final.
Before and after, from rough to final.

Here are the designs that I have planned for this first edition of the bookplates. The final printed artwork will be high resolution. I've posted concept sketches, as well as a couple of printed prototypes using the final artwork:

Memento Mori (prototype, final artwork)
Memento Mori (prototype, final artwork)

 

Trickster (prototype, final artwork)
Trickster (prototype, final artwork)

 

Nevermore (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!
Nevermore (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!

 

Cursed Roots (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!
Cursed Roots (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!

 

Carrion, Wayward Son (concept sketch including a curse to test the available space for writing). Please see final artwork in Updates!
Carrion, Wayward Son (concept sketch including a curse to test the available space for writing). Please see final artwork in Updates!

 

Doombag (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!
Doombag (concept sketch). Please see final artwork in Updates!

Original Artwork rewards

A comparison of a bookplate (left), the original artwork (right) and a skull and some scissors. A pen, too.
A comparison of a bookplate (left), the original artwork (right) and a skull and some scissors. A pen, too.

Between the concept sketch and the production prototype, I draw all of the designs at 2X scale. I then scan them and reduce their size, sealing in all the juicy detailed goodness. All Original Artwork rewards will receive the actual full-scale drawings (signed and personalized with your name and a message of your choice), along with a supply of matching bookplates.

Thank you for considering this project!

Sincerely yours, Chris (and my lovely muse Janet). Not pictured: Schnauzers.
Sincerely yours, Chris (and my lovely muse Janet). Not pictured: Schnauzers.

...but wait, there's more!

In addition to the previous designs, I will also release the following designs as...

ADD-ONS!

Additional Dapper Decals are available for $2.00 US apiece for all backers at the $12 level and above. Simply "Manage your Pledge" and ADD AN ADDITIONAL $2.00 FOR EACH DECAL to the amount already pledged and I'll add the decals to your order. Please see the stretch goal below for additional details on these sexy vinyl decals.

Squee!
Squee!

 ...and STRETCH GOALS!

The LOCKED stretch goals are here up top. Scroll below to see all of the goals that have already been unlocked (there are a lot)!

$12,000 pledged: The Gilley van Weirden Guide for Kids Who Can't Write Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too

Lern too rite reel güd.
Lern too rite reel güd.

 At $12,000 funding, every backer at the $12 level and above will receive a PDF download of the Gilley van Weirden Guide for Kids Who Can't Write Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

This guide will contain a handy reference alphabet of my own design, as well as letter variants, stylistic options, ligatures, jots, tittles, flourishes, kerning tips, as well as ample practice space and bookplate-based practice areas so you can perfect the lettering of your name and curses before personalizing the bookplates. Perhaps you can personalize some for a friend or enemy and pass them along as a lovely personalized gift!

As a former design educator and curriculum developer, I'll make sure that the important stuff is included. You just need to practice, especially you Brett.

$15,000 pledged: Home Library Circulation Kit

"Let's play library!" - Me as a kid (full disclosure: last week too).
"Let's play library!" - Me as a kid (full disclosure: last week too).

At $15,000 funding, every backer at the $12 level and above will receive a PDF download of my DIY papercraft Library Circulation Kit!

I've heard it said that the old-fashioned library card is a small time-travel device. Marked as they are with names and dates, one can relive the journey that a book has taken over its life and recall those with whom you've shared its interior riches. As a child I would look at library cards with such interest, wondering who these other people were, or even delighting in the discovery of a friend's signature. Often enough, I'd then add my own name and continue the story of the book's life.

The kit will contain all you need to print your own library cards and card pockets with plenty of space for annotating who borrowed a book and when. The pockets and cards will be decorated with artwork from the bookplate project so everything can match!

With this PDF, some cardstock, a printer, scissors, and a bottle of mucilage (hehe... "mucilaaaaaage") or even a glue stick you'll be able to create an unlimited supply of your own circulation stock. This is the apex of analog book lending management in a digital craft kit!

ALREADY UNLOCKED:

UNLOCKED! $1,000 pledged: Tentacles & Tea Bookplate

Tentacles, tea, and a monocle. #TOLDYOUSO
Tentacles, tea, and a monocle. #TOLDYOUSO

If funding reaches $1,000.00, every backer will receive 1 Tentacles & Tea bookplate for every 6 bookplates they are eligible for. This breaks down as:

  • $12 = 2 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $22 = 4 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $35 = 7 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $45 = 11 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $55 = 16 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $98 = 33 Tentacles & Tea bookplates 
  • $149 = 4 Tentacles & Tea bookplates

UNLOCKED! $2,000 pledged: Ramble On Bookplate

May the sun shine ever upon you. Please see final artwork in Updates!
May the sun shine ever upon you. Please see final artwork in Updates!

If funding reaches $2,000.00, every backer will receive 1 Ramble On bookplate for every 6 bookplates they are eligible for. This breaks down the same as ol' Tentaclepus up there.

This particular design is inspired by those poor, hungry trolls in The Hobbit that were turned to stone by the sun, never getting to enjoy the meal that they worked so hard for. This concept needs a bit of adjusting, but it's pretty much there.

UNLOCKED: $3,000 pledged: Bookmark of Mystery

Your guess at this point is legitimately as good as mine.
Your guess at this point is legitimately as good as mine.

If funding reaches $3,000 all backers at the $12.00 tier and above will receive a single Bookmark of Mystery.

Mystery? You betcha! Even I don't know what this will look like, but let's see what the pressure of having to produce something clever forces me to come up with.

UNLOCKED: $4,500 pledged: Dapper Octopus Vinyl Decal

Weird, as promised!
Weird, as promised!

If funding reaches $4,500.00, every backer will receive 1 die-cut Dapper Octopus vinyl decal for every 12 bookplates they are eligible for (rounded up). This breaks down as:

  • $12 = 1 Dapper Octopus vinyl decal 
  • $22 = 2 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals 
  • $34 = 4 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals 
  • $45 = 6 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals 
  • $55 = 8 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals 
  • $98 = 17 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals
  • $149 = 4 Dapper Octopus vinyl decals

Risks and challenges

I've managed a successful print-and-ship Kickstarter before, so barring injury or a "victim of his own success" situation, there's nothing too risky about this project. I've set the funding goal high enough to ensure that I can cover the cost of paper, ink, shipping, and everything necessary to produce the labels.

Once funded, I can order the gear and materials and be ready to print when the funding period is over.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    I'll wait for the movie - 1 postcard

    Want to support the project but aren't surrounded by piles of books? Pledge at this level and I'll mail you a postcard bearing a random bookplate design, plus your name and a personal message instead of a curse. ¡Que divertido!

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Casual Reader - 12 Bookplates

    Who doesn't love a good book now and again?

    Receive 12 Book Curse bookplates. You can choose to receive 12 of any one design, or an assortment (2 bookplates each of all 6 designs).

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    114 backers
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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Avid Reader - 24 Bookplates

    Who's always looking forward to the new releases? You are!

    Receive 24 Book Curse bookplates. You can choose to receive either 24 bookplates of any one design, or an assortment (4 bookplates each of all 6 designs).

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    101 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Bibliophile - 42 Bookplates

    Every book is a relationship. Need more be said?

    Receive 42 Book Curse bookplates. You can choose to receive either 42 bookplates of any one design, or an assortment (7 bookplates each of all 6 designs).

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Bibliophage - 66 Bookplates

    You don't read books, you devour them!

    Receive 66 Book Curse bookplates. You can choose to receive either 66 bookplates of any one design, or an assortment (11 bookplates each of all 6 designs).

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Librarian - 96 Bookplates

    You know who you are. You've donated household goods to make room for more books.

    Receive 96 Book Curse bookplates. You can choose to receive either 96 bookplates of any one design, or an assortment (16 bookplates each of all 6 designs).

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    Pledge $98 or more About $98

    The Book Wyrm - 198 Bookplates

    Yours isn't so much a library as a hoard, and woe be upon those who befoul a single, precious page!

    Receive 198 Book Curse bookplates. This tier allows you to specify exactly how many you would like of each design for a total of 198 bookplates! You want 1 of these and 5 of those and 192 of the other? So be it! After all, who am I to meddle in the affairs of dragons?

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Nevermore

    Receive the original artwork for the Nevermore bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Nevermore bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Memento Mori

    Receive the original artwork for the Memento Mori bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Memento Mori bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Trickster

    Receive the original artwork for the Trickster bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Trickster bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Cursed Roots

    Receive the original artwork for the Cursed Roots bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Cursed Roots bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Carrion, Wayward Son

    Receive the original artwork for the Carrion, Wayward Son bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Carrion bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Doombag

    Receive the original artwork for the Doombag bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Doombag bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Tentacles & Tea

    Receive the original artwork for the Tentacles & Tea bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank T&T bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Ramble On

    Receive the original artwork for the Ramble On bookplate, personalized with the name and curse of your choice, plus 24 blank Ramble On bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Dapper Octopus

    Receive the original full-sized, black & white artwork for the Dapper Octopus Decal, plus 24 blank Tentacles & Tea bookplates!

    Artwork is hand drawn in archival ink upon Bristol board, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 6.5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Original Artwork: Dragon Card Bookmark

    Receive the original full-color artwork for the Dragon Card Bookmark, plus 24 assorted bookplates!

    Artwork is drawn and painted upon archival Epson Cold Press Bright, and is signed by the artist. Artwork is drawn approx. 5" x 8" on an oversized sheet.

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Funding period

- (30 days)