About this project
***BY POPULAR DEMAND: MOAR STRETCH GOALS!***
Thanks to your support and enthusiasm, we’ve now passed our first stretch goal, and we’d like to make EVEN MORE Sherlock awesomeness happen. So we’re posting our second stretch goal…and it’s pretty ambitious.
If we DOUBLE our original goal -- raising $8000 -- we will publish a second illustrated paperback to match the first one. Perhaps one of the novels: Hound of the Baskervilles, anyone? or Sign of Four? We’ll let YOU, the backers, vote to decide which additional stories we publish!
In the meantime, for every $500 raised, we will produce a Hound of the Baskervilles illustration that will be made available for sale.
- $5,000 UNLOCKED The Hound
- $5,500 UNLOCKED Baskerville Hall
- $6,000 UNLOCKED Jack Stapleton's Lepidoptera collection
- $6,500 UNLOCKED The Great Grimpen Mire
- $7,000 UNLOCKED The Black Tor
- $7,500 LOCKED <<Mystery Illustration>>
- $8,000 LOCKED <<Mystery Illustration>>
***UPDATE: STRETCH GOAL #1!***
You guys are the best! 48 hours after launch, we’re almost 70% of the way to our goal. Unbelievable.
The deduction is elementary: you love Sherlock! So we’re posting our first stretch goal. If we hit the $4,500 mark, the book will include 25% more illustrations than we originally planned. You’ll get visuals on five moments that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day. Victorian beekeeping paraphernalia…a secret attic villain’s lair…so many possibilities!
LANTERNFISH PRESS is a design collaboration between Christine Neulieb, a writer and freelance editor, and Amanda Thomas, an illustrator and graphic designer. Christine & Amanda both have their own small freelance companies, called Lantern Editorial LLC and Fish on Europa LLC. Hence the name: Lanternfish!
We met while working at Indy Hall, a coworking space in Old City Philadelphia, and discovered that we both have a passion for lovingly crafted, beautifully typeset books. We get super nerdy about things like drop caps and...kerning.
(If you're a normal, healthy member of the public who's not a professional typesetter, you've probably never thought about kerning. It means the amount of space between letters in a printed text. Typesetting software gives you the ability to manipulate it with a crazy amount of precision, to yield the prettiest possible reading experience.)
We want to show that indie and DIY publishing projects can be gorgeous and treasurable!
We also share a love for the world's favorite detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. "I trust that age does not wither, nor custom stale, my infinite variety," says Holmes slyly in "The Adventure of the Empty House," quoting Shakespeare. A tough thing to get away with saying -- unless it's true. And there really is infinite variety in these stories. They never get old. After more than a century of reading, drawing, and screen adaptation, there are still ideas in the stories that haven't been mined, moments that haven't been illustrated.
This book is going to be a meditative and tactile experience the way only printed books can. With a soft-feel paperback binding and 300 carefully edited and typeset pages, it'll be a book that fans of the detective can enjoy stuffing into their bags, backpacks, and pockets -- to be read anywhere, anytime.
Christine will be writing an original introductory essay, and Amanda will be producing 20 original drawings -- more, if we can raise enough money to print a slightly longer book.
We figure you have lots more questions, so we've tried to answer some of them below. Feel free to drop us a line if you're even more curious!
1. Is this fan fiction?
No. We're publishing a print edition of Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, which are now in the public domain.
2. Which stories will be in the book?
The collection will start with the pair of stories that tell of the detective's apparent death and then his surprising resurrection: "The Final Problem" and "The Empty House." Then there'll be a selection of the stories that came after "The Empty House": nine from The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and then, to finish off, "His Last Bow," which leaves our hero at the brink of World War I -- in a world that's about to be changed forever.
So the book will be titled The Legend of Sherlock Holmes: Selected Tales of His Adventures After Moriarty.
Arthur Conan Doyle was a prolific writer and his Sherlock Holmes a prolific detective. The world doesn't need another 20-pound Complete Stories that stuffs everything into one volume; there are plenty of beautiful complete editions out there. We wanted this book to be a friendlier, more portable volume, while maintaining high production values, and that meant being selective about which stories we included.
3. What will the money be used for?
The money will be used to cover the cost of an offset print run (about $3000 for 1000 copies of the book) and a bundle of ISBNs ($500 -- getting bar codes on books is 'spensive!) The rest covers Kickstarter & Amazon Payments fees, with a smidgen left over for incidentals.
4. If you exceed the project goal, what will you do with the extra money?
Take over the world. Bwahaha!
Seriously, though. Ahem. Extra money, first of all, means we can afford to print a slightly longer book, which means more pictures and a few other fun little extras.
Beyond that, well, we've got some ideas. Christine invents monsters for fun. Amanda likes to draw monsters -- and also loves medieval illuminated manuscripts. Our future may well include an alphabet book: an A-Z of monsters, with intricate, medieval-inspired illustration.
We're just saying.
5. Tell us a bit about the drawing style.
Amanda: I chose pen and ink for the illustrations to give a sense of period authenticity. (Little did I know how irritating ink blots would be when I made that decision!) Drawings start out as crazy scribbles in my sketchbook. From there I do some research to get the details right: I go back through the stories and look up reference material before I start drafting more serious sketches. Next is the process of transferring the basic outlines to vellum paper using the quill pen. At this point, I usually put away my references and sketches and start crosshatching.
I like to do the crosshatching without old sketches in front of me, because I feel like it gives me the freedom to change things spontaneously instead of just copying what I have already done. I do have to say that Photoshop is also a crucial tool...it has this magic way of undoing those pesky ink blots.
Risks and challenges
We both have freelance businesses to run, and one of us is planning a wedding, which means it's sometimes a challenge to carve out the time for our beloved Sherlock Holmes! The number of hours that go into careful drawing, copyediting, and typesetting is staggering.
We'd rather find ourselves apologizing for a short production delay than regretting that we pushed out an unfinished product. Right now we're confident we'll be able to go to press in January, as soon as the project is funded, but there's always a chance that unforeseen setbacks or business needs could push it back to February. We'll absolutely keep you posted!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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