Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 15, 2010.

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Part 2 in a series of 3 scientifically accurate, rhyming comic books about the history of everything. This book explains the origin of life on Earth.

WOW! So I hit $1000 after 5 days, thank you very much to all my backers! But that doesn't mean I'm not hoping to raise more money. The more money I raise the better this book will be and the sooner it will be completed. Eventually, I want to adapt The Universe Verse to lesson plans, interactive, animated eBooks and hardcover pop-up books. Of course that's going to take more money. If I reach $5000 I promise to make the PDF of Book 2 freely available to the public, just like Book 1.

Visit http://JLDunbar.com to learn more.

"It's Alive!" is the second book in a series of three scientifically accurate, rhyming, comic books about the origin of everything. The series is called the Universe Verse and it's my ode to science.

Book 1("BANG!") starts with the Big Bang, then goes on to explain energy, matter, the fundamental forces, quarks, protons, the first atoms, stars, fusion, supernovae and galaxies. It does so in 30 pages of wonderfully written rhyme and remarkably intricate drawings, packing a vast amount of scientific information into a book that is engaging to readers of any age. BANG! can be viewed in it's entirety online (in low resolution - http://jldunbar.com/JLDunbar.com/View_BANG!.html) or you can e-mail me and I'll send you a free high-res PDF. If you'd like to purchase a copy outright, without any of this pledging / project business, you can do so here: https://www.jamesandkenneth.com/store/show/JLD%20010

So that's Book 1, written, illustrated, self-published and ready for purchase. I've already written Books 2 & 3 and currently, I'm working on the illustrations for Book 2. It's going to pick up where Book 1 left off, beginning with solar systems, planets and the early history of Earth, the definition of life and the ways it could have naturally produced itself from non-living ingredients, natural selection and evolution, then nucleotides, DNA, genes, proteins, cells and bacteria. It will also be accompanied by beautiful illustrations starring Gramps, Grams and cameo appearances by Baby. The biggest difference will be that I plan on illustrating this book in full color.

I couldn't be more excited. Outer space and cosmic pyrotechnics are great and all, but I really think evolution is the coolest idea ever, and I think that spreading awareness and respect for that idea is one of the best things I can imagine doing as an artist. These books are my attempt to inspire appreciation and enthusiasm for science, in children and adults alike. They're filled with accurate scientific information, but it is my hope that they provoke more questions than they answer.

I illustrated BANG! in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet on a Mac laptop and some of the more intricate illustrations started slowing my computer down. In order to illustrate in full color I'm going to have to upgrade my aging laptop. So if the funding goes through it will largely be used to buy a new computer. Of course, the other major cost will be printing the books!

*A few notes about the rewards. I have a number of "limited edition" books available as rewards "while supplies last." In the event that I get so many backers that I don't have enough copies of a limited edition, everyone will still get a signed copy of the book, it just won't be numbered. I will give priority for the numbered copies to the people who pledged the most money. All of the books are available now, with the exception of "It's Alive!" The rewards will be mailed in a single package, so if your reward includes "It's Alive!" then you won't receive your books until "It's Alive!" is finished and printed, unless you're willing to pay for additional shipping.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    13 backers

    ARISTOTLE - High-resolution PDF eBook copy of "It's Alive! The Universe Verse: Book 2" (when it comes out). You also get behind the scenes access to the making of "It's Alive!" including a sneak peak at the manuscript and preliminary sketches. You can even make suggestions!

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    32 backers

    GALILEO - Signed & numbered, limited first-edition paperback copy of "It's Alive! The Universe Verse: Book 2" (when it comes out) OR a signed & numbered, limited first-edition copy of "BANG! The Universe Verse: Book 1" (available as soon as the funding goal is met)

  • Pledge $22 or more
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    3 backers

    INTERGALACTIC GALILEO- Add $7 to any reward for international shipping. So if you don't live in the US but you'd like the GALILEO, pledge at least $22. For the INTERGALACTIC NEWTON, pledge at least $32, INTERGALACTIC EINSTEIN is at least $57 and INTERGALACTIC DARWIN is at least $107

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    66 backers

    NEWTON - A signed & numbered, limited first-edition paperback copy of "It's Alive! The Universe Verse: Book 2" (when it comes out) AND a signed & numbered, limited first-edition paperback copy of "BANG! The Universe Verse: Book 1"

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    2 backers

    X GALILEO - However many copies of Book 2 you want. Simply multiply the number of copies by $15 to find out the minimum pledge amount ($30 = 2 copies, $45 = 3 copies, etc.)

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    19 backers

    EINSTEIN - A signed & numbered, limited first-edition paperback copy of "It's Alive! The Universe Verse: Book 2" (when it comes out) AND a signed & numbered, limited first-edition paperback copy of "BANG! The Universe Verse: Book 1" AND a signed & numbered, hand-bound, limited first-edition paperback copy of "7 River Riddles" AND a paperback color copy of "Gordy McGranite Grapples with Gradients: A Calculus Story" (or the signed and numbered, limited first edition B&W copy)

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    9 backers

    DARWIN - All of the above, plus a signed, original drawing from my Universe Verse sketchbooks, plus customized, hand-drawn doodles in each of the books.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    BABY da VINCI - All of the above plus a tiny custom oil painting: 6" x 6" on a stretched canvas or wooden panel with an original design of your choosing. Either tell me what you want me to paint or leave it up to me. You can see samples of my painting at JLDunbar.com PLEASE NOTE: see below

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    da VINCI - All of the above (four first edition books w/ original doodles and an original sketchbook drawing) plus a small custom oil painting: 12" x 12" on a stretched canvas or wooden panel with an original design of your choosing. Either tell me what you want me to paint or leave it up to me. You can see samples at JLDunbar.com PLEASE NOTE: The painting might take awhile. It will be the first thing I work on after I finish illustrating Book 2, but that's the priority until everyone gets their books. Including you - I'll send your first three books on Sept 16th and Book 2 as soon as it's printed.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    BIG BANG - All of the above (four first edition books w/ original doodles, original sketchbook drawing and custom oil painting) plus a super-rare, limited edition, extra large, hand bound, signed and numbered, hardcover copy of BANG! measuring 12" x 18". PLEASE NOTE: The painting and the big book may take a while.

Funding period

- (44 days)