Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 30, 2013.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

This rhyming scientific comic book explains the story of our origins. From the Big Bang to evolution to the dawn of human civilization.

For a Limited Time: Free eBooks

The Universe Verse & Great Apes! PDF eBooks will be available for free download to anyone in the universe for the remaining duration of this campaign. http://goo.gl/mWGKrq.  

Let's go out with a Thunderclap!

So in the interest of making one final push before this campaign ends I've set up a Thunderclap - a coordinated mass post on social media that's set for Thursday, September 26th.  You can sign up in advance by clicking this link and if at least 100 people sign up then the post will go up from everyone's account at 10am on Thursday, creating a supernova of social media attention.  

If you participate (and you send me a message to let me know) I'll enter you in a drawing to win some of my top tier rewards.  I'll be raffling off the chance for one person to get illustrated into the book, and 5 framed, original sketches.  If you just sign up for the Thunderclap with your Facebook account, you get entered once, if you add your Twitter account you'll be entered twice. I'll also enter you an additional time for each post you make before the Thursday trying to get other to join in on the Thunderclap. But to be entered you have to send me a message (via email or Kickstarter) to tell me where / how many times you posted.

Stretch Goals: 

If we reach $15,000 I will create a PDF coloring book version of BANG! and make it available to anyone in the world for free download.  The 8.5" x 11" file will be perfect for printing at home.  If I reach $20,000 I'll do the same thing for It's Alive! and at $25,000 I'll do the same thing for Great Apes! At that point there would be a completely free version of The Universe Verse that anyone, anywhere could download, print out, staple together and, if they so choose, color in.

(But please keep in mind, these coloring book files would be the last thing to be completed, as I don't want them to delay the delivery of any of the other rewards, so they could take a long time)

If I reach $30,000 I will release the video version of BANG! on YouTube. If I reach $35,000 I will do the same thing for It's Alive! and at $40,000 I will do the same for Great Apes!  These wouldn't take so long since the videos are a part of the original rewards and once I have the videos edited posting them on YouTube is quick.

"This children's science book could help save the US economy" - Gizmodo.com

"Carl Sagan meets Dr. Seuss" -  UniverseToday.com

"Fantastic... a masterful demonstration of how even complex science can be made fun and engaging" - WIRED

"Everyone alive today needs to know this story" - David Christian, President of the International Big History Association

WARNING!!! - This book contains graphic depictions of scientific knowledge which may lead to decreased ignorance and heightened sensations of awe and wonder.

The Universe Verse

is a series of three scientifically-accurate rhyming comic books about the origins of the Universe, life on Earth and the human race.  It introduces and illuminates the most fundamental features of our existence in a way that is engaging and accessible to a wide audience, including young children. 

The first two of these books are already published and available to the public as 7" x 10" paperback books & PDF eBooks.  The second one, It's Alive! was funded here on Kickstarter in 2010.  Now I've finally finished illustrating the third and final book: Great Apes! and I'd like to put all three of them together into a single book and do a high-volume, high-quality, 8.5" x 11" hardcover print run.

To pay for that printing (and some other fun rewards) I'm trying to raise at least $10,000.

Reward Notes:

Backer Updates & the PDF eBook of The Universe Verse - If you pledge $10 you'll get immediate access to Backer Updates.  If you go back and look at the first update it will contain a link that you can use to download a complete, advanced PDF eBook copy of The Universe Verse right now so you can you can see just how awesome it is and realize how cool a hardcover copy would be and how much you want to tell everyone about it.

Signed & numbered, limited, first-edition hardcover book with your name in the credits - If the project is successful and The Universe Verse is printed in hardcover, everyone who pledged at least $30 will get a copy that I will sign and number, and their name (or that of a loved one) will be thanked on my website as someone who made this possible.  Any backer who donates $50 or more will have their name thanked in credits at the back of The Universe Verse.

Paperbacks & Other eBooks - I have five books that are available as rewards as both paperbacks and PDF eBooks. There are the three Universe Verse books: BANG!, It's Alive! and Great Apes! as well as two others: 7 River Riddles &Gordy McGranite Grapples with Gradients & .  You can see low-resolution previews of all except Great Apes! on my website JLDunbar.com.

Audiobook & Video DVD/CD Set - There will be a set of 2 discs: 1 DVD & 1 CD.  The DVD will have a video that combines the illustrations from the book with my narration, while the CD will have an MP3 audiobook of me narrating the book.  Here is a preliminary sample of the video:     and the audio book:

Greeting Cards - There will be a variety of Universe Verse greeting cards with illustrations from the book.  There will be at least three designs, and possibly more depending on the final amount raised. The packs will include an assortment of the different designs.

T-shirt - So far I've made one possible design for the t-shirt, but I'll look for some input from my backers before I send anything to the printer.

A la Cart Rewards - You can increase the quantity of the following items in any reward by adding the appropriate amount of money.  The Universe Verse $20, T-Shirt $20, DVD/CD Set $20,  Paperbacks $10, 10 Greeting Cards $10.   Maximum of 5 for each item.  After the campaign ends you will be able to specify which items you want.  International backers please add $5 for each additional item.

Framed Original Sketches - I will be giving away framed & matted original thumbnail pencil sketches made in the creation of The Universe Verse.  These sketches were an instrumental part of my page design process, and they each consist of two tiny, facing pages, together measuring 3.5" x 2.5"

Getting Drawn into the Book -There are two reward tiers which will allow you or a loved one to be drawn into the book.  

The $300 level gets you drawn in as a "hidden baby."  Currently, there is at least one baby on every spread of Book 1: BANG! (but none in It's Alive! or Great Apes!) Many of those babies are very small or semi-transparent or otherwise hard to find.  Send me a photo of a baby and I'll draw them into The Universe Verse somewhere, in a similar subtle style.

The $500 level gets you drawn in as a "fully illustrated, non-hidden person."  There are a few illustrations where there are other people illustrated in the book, mostly in Book 3.  Send me a photo of a person and I'll draw them into one of these illustrations.

For both of these "drawn in" rewards I will gladly listen to any suggestions you might have about how you'd like to be illustrated, but ultimately I reserve full control over how I include you (size, location, clothing, pose, etc.)

The Big BANG! & other Hand-bound Books - For any Big Spenders out there I'm willing to make some awesome hand-bound books just for you.  For $1000 you can get a very rare, XL-sized copy of BANG! that measures 13" x 18."  I've already made one and I'm willing to make as many as 4 more if there's interest.  

For $5000 I'll make a one-of-a-kind, hand-illustrated, hand-bound, hard-cover version of one of the three books that make up The Universe Verse: BANG! It's Alive! or Great Apes!  I would probably do it in ink & watercolor, or maybe color charcoal, but I'd be open to suggestions if you've got something in mind.  For $10,000 I'd make you a hand-illustrated, hand-bound hardcover copy of The Universe Verse.  

These hand-bound books will be the last thing to be completed and will take awhile.  Depending on how this whole campaign goes, the hand-bound books could take more than a year.  Of course, I'll send you all of your other rewards when those are ready.

If you're interested in checking out some of the hand-bound books I've made in the past, I've got a few nice galleries on my website: JLDunbar.com

What people are saying:

" ...Solid science, whimsically portrayed, so that both young ‘uns and grown ups can enjoy it" - Phil Plait, (BadAstronomy.com)

"This children's science book could help save the US economy" - Kristen Philipkoski (Gizmodo.com)

"Carl Sagan meets Dr. Seuss... The whole thing is wrapped in wonderfully written rhyme and richly detailed illustrations." - Jon Voisey (UniverseToday.com)

"Everyone alive today needs to know this story... and James Dunbar's books provide just the introduction they will need.  They are fun, beautifully illustrated, and easy to understand..." - David Christian, Macquarie University, Sydney and Ewha Womans University Seoul; Author of Maps of Time — An Introduction to Big History; President of the International Big History Association

"A wonderful contribution to the world of cosmology books for children!" - Brian Swimme, Professor of evolutionary cosmology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco; Author of Journey of the Universe

"What amazing creativity! These books appeal to people of any age... All with utter accuracy!" - Cynthia Stokes Brown, Author of Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Depending on interest, I may have some people to draw into the book before it gets printed, which could delay the printing of the books for up to 2 months.

With this in mind I will probably not be able to get the physical rewards out to backers in time for the winter holidays, in which case I will send all my backers an eCard they can print out to tell someone about the wonderful gift they'll be getting in a month or two. I am confident that I can send out all of the main rewards by the end of February 2014 (this does not include any hand-bound books).

There is no risk that I will fail to complete writing or illustrating The Universe Verse, as it's already complete (minus any changes required by the rewards / input I receive during this campaign). In fact, if you pledge sufficient support now you'll receive a link to download an advanced PDF eBook copy of The Universe Verse.

This will be my first off-set, hardcover print run, but I have found a couple of local printers with similar quotes, and I have prepared book files for printing with low-volume book printing services before, so I am confident that I will be able to manage it without too much trouble.

I have also designed and produced t-shirts, DVDs, CDs, greeting cards, framed artwork & hand-bound books before, so none of those rewards should be too problematic.

The hand-bound books will take awhile as they will be the last thing that I work on. Please look carefully at the estimated completion date before selecting one of these top-tier reward levels.

FAQ

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

Ask a question
367
Backers
$26,050
pledged of $10,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    44 backers

    Backer Updates + PDF eBook of The Universe Verse. Available now!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    27 backers

    Everything above + one signed and numbered, limited 1st edition paperback copy of Great Apes! The Universe Verse: Book 3

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    157 backers

    The Universe Verse PDFs + one signed and numbered, limited 1st edition hardcover copy of The Universe Verse + you or a loved one will be thanked by name on my website

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    74 backers

    All of Jamie's PDF eBooks + 1 limited-edition hardcover of The Universe Verse + you or a loved one will be thanked by name in The Universe Verse book and on Jamie's website + 1 t-shirt

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    21 backers

    All of Jamie's PDF eBooks + 1 limited-edition hardcover + your name in the book and website + 1 t-shirt + 1 video & audiobook set + a 20-pack of greeting cards + any 2 of Jamie's paperbacks 1 video & audiobook set

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    7 backers Limited (38 left of 45)

    The $100 level + a matted & framed original thumbnail pencil sketch from the making of The Universe Verse

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (29 left of 30)

    The $100 level + you or a loved one will be drawn into the book as a hidden baby*

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    The $100 level + you or a loved one will be drawn into the book as a non-hidden person*

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    The $500 level + a copy of The Big BANG! - an extra-large, hand-bound, hardcover copy of BANG! The Universe Verse: Book 1, measuring 18" x 13"

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    The $500 level + a hand-illustrated, hand-bound, hardcover version of any one of the three individual Universe Verse books: BANG!, It's Alive! or Great Apes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The $500 level + a hand-illustrated, hand-bound, hardcover version of The Universe Verse

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (31 days)