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(Mostly) Wordless My First Picture Book!
(Mostly) Wordless My First Picture Book!
295 backers pledged $10,343 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,343

295

Stretch Goal #1, $10,000, UNLOCKED!

Get more (MOSTLY) WORDLESS! 6 more pages of story for (MOSTLY) WORDLESS and 8 more pages of art for THE DRY BRUSH BOOK! (MOSTLY) WORDLESS goes from 46 to 52 pages, nearly twice the size of your average picture book!

Unlock Stretch Goal #2, $14,000!

We go off-set! More content, better paper, better color, better printing and, most important of all, more books! We print enough books to go into bookstores and libraries, like the library where I discovered my favorite book, IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN.

The Book

Last year I made a hand bound and hand sewn book called ELLA AND THE PIRATES. A lot of people have asked me about the book, and a lot of people have wanted copies of the book, but I can't make a hand bound book for everybody. 

So I decided to do the next best thing.

(MOSTLY) WORDLESS

(MOSTLY) WORDLESS  will be a self-published 8"x 8" hardbound book that will not only contain the complete 24 page  ELLA AND THE PIRATES but a number of other short pieces I've done over the years. It will be more than twice the length of ELLA,  46 pages and in full color. It's going to be beautiful and you are going to want one.

Here are just a few images from the book:

You see? It's pretty beautiful. But that's not all!

 THE DRY THE DRY BRUSH BOOK

I'd also like to make  a 6"x 9" paperback art book called THE DRY BRUSH BOOK. It will contain 84 pages in black and white and color of dry brush drawings including both personal work and images that were later incorporated into illustrations using my unique dry brush technique.

And here are just a few of the images you'll find inside:


There are lots of extras too, including silkscreened BICYCLE TREE T-Shirts:

THE BICYCLE TREE has long been one of my most popular images. I've been selling posters and prints of the image for years, and when we go to shows, they've routinely sold out. I've been asked more than once for permission to put THE BICYCLE TREE on a T-shirt, and have always declined, since I wanted to some day do this myself. But I've always felt that if I was going to put my images on merchandise, I wanted the quality to be high. These will be hand silkscreened in two colors at a nice large size on 100% cotton Ts. 

And there's also this limited edition 18" x 24" SPRING SPIRIT poster:

This will be  printed on the same heavy high quality 80# stock as the posters I've sold in the past. 

I'll also be offering postcards, bonus posters from my website, and original artwork!

New Reward!

Limited Edition 18" x 24" ELEPHANT POSTER! For just a $15 pledge!

NEW! We'll now be adding the ELEPHANT POSTER to ALL orders of $150 or more! 

On the same heavy  80# high quality heavy weight stock as the SPRING SPIRIT poster and the other posters I've sold in the past. 

We've Reached Our Goal! So What's Next?  

 First: a big thank you to everyone who believed in this project and helped to make it happen. I couldn't have done it without every one of you. 

As for our stretch goal: at our current amount, our print run won't go much beyond the number of books that have been pre-ordered through the Kickstarter campaign. Once the Kickstarter campaign is over no further books will be printed past the initial run. 

Our Stretch Goal of $14,000.

If we reach our stretch goal of $14,000 we'll not only print more books, but we'll add 6 pages of new content to (MOSTLY) WORDLESS, and 12 new pages to THE DRY BRUSH BOOK and we'll improve the quality of the printing all around. Since we'll be printing off-set instead of digital among other things this could include embossing, spot lamination, dust jackets and color endpapers. Basically, the more money we raise, the better books we'll make. But more importantly: we'll get into bookstores and libraries!

If we reach our goal we can go from a small print run for only a few people, to a full-scale off-set run of 1000 books or more! This means we'll be able to get the book into bookstores and libraries, like the library where I discovered my favorite book, IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN.


A Few Questions That No One has Asked Yet (But Probably Will)

How many copies of the handmade version of ELLA AND THE PIRATES exist, and where are they now?

I made a total of 18, and 18 is all that will be made. It was a lot of work, and I had some help. I have Chris Beer, Stephanie Pulford and Morgan Jenkins to thank for helping me trim the covers and sew the signatures (in printing parlance a "signature" is one folded sheet or four pages) to get the job done. Stef and Morgan were given a copy to share, Chris was given a copy, my agents from Red Fox Literary, Abigail Samoun and Karen Grencik each were given a copy, the parents of the real Ella (the little girl who posed for the little girl in the book) were given two copies, and I kept two.The rest went out to art directors and editors as a self-promotional premium. We received some great and enthusiastic responses to the book that we hope will result in some future work. 

"Transcends Language?"

Ok, I admit that's hyperbole. Technically it doesn't "transcend language." Pictures, especially pictures in sequence, are essentially language, and they're not necessarily a language that everyone understands. I could have edited that part out of the video, but I decided to go with sincerity over accuracy on that one.

What about the music? What is it and where can I find it? 

The music is "Jubilee Stomp" by Duke Ellington. It was recorded in 1928 and is now in the public domain. I found it here. Everything Duke Ellington recorded is amazing, so I highly recommend you go find yourself some Duke Ellington!

Risks and challenges

The books are already completed and ready to be sent to the printer, so your book will be printed and shipped relatively soon after we raise the money. PDFs will be sent right away, and the other extras not too long afterwards. Original art might take a while, depending on my workload.

The only risk I can think of is that if we raise enough money to justify an off-set print run, there will be a longer delay before you get your book. This will also mean that the quality of the binding and printing will be a step better. What extra money we raise we'll pour into making better and more beautifully printed books!

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FAQ

  • Generally, no. I have a lot of projects of my own lined up, and unless a traditional publisher commissions me to illustrate a book, I prefer not to do work for self-published projects. However, at the higher pledge levels there is some very reasonably priced original art available and you get lots of other cool stuff along with it, so that's a pretty good deal!

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  • If you can't, or do not wish to contribute, post, or otherwise promote my project, I absolutely understand and I don't need any explanation. I think that if someone does one of these things and isn't OK with their friends not buying their wares or wanting to promote them, that's on them.

    At the same time, I feel as though I have to do whatever I can to make this happen because this book is something I truly and sincerely believe in.

    But it's not cancer.

    It's OK if you don't want to or aren't able to. But if you can and would like to, that's great too. My hope is that the people that contribute do so not out of a sense of obligation, but because they want the book, or books or shirt, and have the money to spend on them.

    Because it's a pretty great book and it's some pretty great stuff.

    But if you can't, I understand.

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  • I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

    I'm self-publishing the book, and will not be submitting it to publishers. We already sent out the handmade edition of ELLA AND THE PIRATES to publishers as a self-promotional premium, and though some of the editors who received it expressed enthusiasm for my work, it wasn't solicited for publication, and no publisher expressed an interest in publishing it. Since ELLA AND THE PIRATES is the main story in (MOSTLY) WORDLESS, I don't think (MOSTLY) WORDLESS would fare much better. The book is in an unusual format, and I don't have the track record yet for a mainstream publisher to risk publishing a book this unconventional at this time.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    I will send you one of the many picture postcards I've made over the years to promote my work (U.S. only.)

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    A PDF of MOSTLY WORDLESS.

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    A PDF of (MOSTLY) WORDLESS and THE DRY BRUSH BOOK.

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    18" x 24" limited edition signed ELEPHANT POSTER!

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    A signed copy of (MOSTLY) WORDLESS and a PDF of both books.

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    BICYCLE TREE T-SHIRT ONLY (please specify whether size is child-sized, S, M, L, or XL

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A signed Copy of (MOSTLY) WORDLESS and a signed copy of THE DRY BRUSH BOOK and PDFs of both books.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Two signed copies of (MOSTLY) WORDLESS, one for you and one for a friend, and PDFs of both books.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    T-SHIRT and BOOK. A signed copy of (MOSTLY) WORDLESS, the BICYCLE TREE T-shirt and PDFs of both books.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Both signed books and PDFs, and the signed limited edition SPRING SPIRIT poster.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Both signed books and PDFs, limited edition SPRING SPIRIT poster and a BICYCLE TREE T-shirt.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Both signed books and PDFs, the limited edition SPRING SPIRIT poster, and 2 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Both signed books and PDFs, the Limited Edition SPRING SPIRIT Poster, 2 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts, a bonus poster (see the link to the right just below the image of the SPRING SPIRIT poster for choices) and an original 8 ½"x 11" dry brush picture (my choice of subject.)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Both signed books and PDFs, the Limited Edition SPRING SPIRIT Poster, 2 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts, 2 bonus posters and an original drybrush commission 11"x 17", your choice of animal study. NOW INCLUDES ELEPHANT POSTER!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Both signed books and PDFs, the Limited Edition SPRING SPIRIT Poster, 4 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts, 2 bonus posters and an 11x17 original ink and watercolor painting of Ella and her Friends.NOW INCLUDES ELEPHANT POSTER!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Both signed books and PDFs, the Limited Edition SPRING SPIRIT Poster, 4 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts, 2 bonus posters, and a 20"x 30" Dry brush commission, your choice of animal or fantasy character. NOW INCLUDES ELEPHANT POSTER!

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

    Both signed books and PDFs, the Limited Edition SPRING SPIRIT Poster, 4 BICYCLE TREE T-shirts, two bonus posters, a 20"x 30" fully painted dry brush and watercolor painting, an 11 x 17 painting of Ella and her Friends and a copy of the original handmade ELLA AND THE PIRATES. I only have two left, and only 18 were ever made, so this is a unique opportunity to own a very very rare book. NOW INCLUDES ELEPHANT POSTER!

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Funding period

- (30 days)