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Become a prankster evangelist! Our crowdsourcing art project spreads faux religious tracts worldwide!
Become a prankster evangelist! Our crowdsourcing art project spreads faux religious tracts worldwide!
127 backers pledged $4,641 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$4,641

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The True Bible Church! comic zine project uses the mass-promotional methods of Evangelical Christianity to stage a new kind of global graffiti—a graffiti that isn’t about defacing property but still questions authority and infiltrates public spaces.

From the heart of Bible Belt U-S-A, we’re using Kickstarter as a vehicle for distributing faux religious tracts around the world. These 20-page zines look like the Evangelical cartoons of the old-school Chick publishing empire, yet each satirizes contradictions in Christian thought and behavior. The first three are illustrated and ready for the printer:

  • No. 1 tackles the epic battle between science and religion!
  • No. 2 unearths the REAL reason religious leaders believe the Bible to be literally true!
  • And No. 3 exposes the most secret contradiction within Christian doctrine … the shocking way that Jesus actually failed!
A sample page from tract No. 3!
A sample page from tract No. 3!

Our project is different from other artist Kickstarter campaigns!

This is an art project, and Kickstarter is our medium. Just like other artists use oil paint or video to make their work, we see Kickstarter—and the crowdsourcing it facilitates—as a method for art production. Many people launch Kickstarter campaigns to develop future projects. And that’s great! But for us, the Kickstarter campaign IS the project. Kickstarter helps us create a network for distributing these pamphlets around the world. By supporting this project, YOU become part of the artwork.

A sample page from tract No. 2.
A sample page from tract No. 2.

The True Bible Church project has two phases!

Phase 1: You support our publishing costs and we mail you copies of all three tracts.

Phase 2: You join the TBC! distribution network.

For our project to work, we need pamphlets in every city, town, and village on the planet. We need them lying around just like regular religious tracts. We want to convert the unsuspecting!

Pledge at the “Missionary” level or higher and you’ll receive a stack of pamphlets. Then let loose your inner prankster and start disseminating! Be creative! Leave them in truck stops and churches, in coffee shops and geocaches. Slip one in a hotel-room Gideon Bible, And then let us know.

A map on our Web site allows you to track where you’ve left the booklets and follow fellow TBC! believers. The most creative placements and postings get special mention on the site.

Wow, you have a lot of rewards! Aren’t you giving away too much stuff?

We’re so glad you noticed! True Bible Church! wants to give you a lot of stuff! Many projects have to keep physical rewards to a minimum, because they need their Kickstarter funds for other uses.

But our rewards ARE the project! We need our pamphlets out in the world! We want people wearing our pins and t-shirts. We want our stickers everywhere! We hope you do, too. So we try to pack as much as we possibly can into each reward level.

Reward Levels:

Want extra pamphlets?: Just add $34 for each additional deluxe distribution pack you’d like to receive. (Maximum of 10 per person.)

Extra t-shirt?: Want two shirt designs or even three? A matching one for your Satanic twin? Add $20 onto any pledge for each additional shirt.

What if I want to support the project but 1) don’t have time or the ability to distribute pamphlets myself or 2) want to help get pamphlets distributed in parts of the world where I don’t live? 

Back the project at any level, and we give you the option to have some or all of your pamphlet packs shipped to agents in the field for distribution across the world.

You will be able to choose this option at the end of our Kickstarter when we send out a survey to collect information such as your shipping address, t-shirt size, etc. You can then decide what portion of your pamphlets, if any, you want to contribute to the wider distribution network. (The rest of the rewards at your contribution level will still be shipped to you.)

This also means that if you fund at any level, we also will give you the option to become an agent in the field to distribute packs paid for by anonymous benefactors. 

There is no fat on our budget!

We spent weeks getting quotes from printers around the word to get the very best deal for our printing costs. As it turned out, we found our printer right here in Missouri. That means we can pick up the pamphlets ourselves and eliminate those shipping costs. We researched the best way to package the booklets, so we already know exactly how much it will cost to ship each of our rewards. We REALLY want this project to go, and have worked out the leanest, cleanest budget possible.


Booklet printing: $2,293
Shipping supplies (boxes, envelopes, etc.): $230
Shipping: $645
Materials and printing costs for producing other rewards: $287
Kickstarter fees: $345

TOTAL BUDGET: $3,800

                 

Risks and challenges

We encountered challenges—not ones we expected but not all that surprising, given the nature of the project.

Before the Kickstarter launched, all the artwork for the pamphlets and rewards was done. The printer was lined up. The silkscreen materials were prepped. In terms of production, there really was no risk. The only real danger we saw was if the project failed to get funded!

But two weeks into the Kickstarter our printer backed out, citing religious objections. (You can read the original post at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nathanboyer/true-bible-church/posts/718615) Over the next few weeks, as we looked for a new printer, several more Midwest printers turned down the job. Printers on the East and West coasts were happy to take the project, but their price quotes were outside of our initial Kickstarter budget, which we could not be changed midstream.

This did not stop our project! The resistance we encountered only intensified our belief in the importance of printing our pamphlets. As of the final day of the Kickstarter, we have found several printers within our budget that we feel good about, though they are outside of the United States—one is in Canada and several are in China. We are continuing to pursue a few more U.S. options. If you would like to know how this resolves, and where we ultimately print our tracts, please click on the project "Updates" link at the top of this page or go to

http://truebiblechurch.com/printer

We do see something intriguing in the fact that while printing is more affordable in the Midwest—and we really wanted a local vendor—the prevailing Bible-Belt mentality seems to make it impossible to print documents here that satirize religious dogma. If we do go with a Chinese printer, there would be an irony in being published in a place that otherwise restricts freedom of speech and other political freedoms.

Thank you to all our backers who have made this project a success! If you would like to get involved even though the Kickstarter has ended you can still help shine the light of the True Bible Church! all over the world by clicking over to:

http://truebiblechurch.com/prankster-evangelism

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $4 or more About $4

    The CONVERT—For just a few dollars, we send you one copy of each of the three pamphlets. This reward is for people intrigued by the project (or who want to collect a set of cool artist’s multiples) but are not ready to join the distribution network.

    This works out to just $1 per pamphlet, plus $1 for shipment in a cardboard envelope.

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    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    The MISSIONARY—We ship you a “basic distribution pack" of 10 copies of each pamphlet (a total of 30 pamphlets) packed in a small box. Keep some and pass the rest around!

    This is just 50 cents a pamphlet plus $2 shipping! We REALLY need people to fund at this level or higher for the True Bible Church! project to succeed.

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    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    The TRUE WITNESS—“Basic distribution pack” of 30 pamphlets, plus a 2-by-3-inch sticker of the “Jesus Failed” logo. The sticker is full-color waterproof vinyl with die-cut edges.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    The EVANGELIST—"Basic distribution pack” of 30 pamphlets, plus the sticker, plus a 1-inch-diameter button pin of the True Bible Church! logo—the unicorn with a cross horn—and an exclusive e-mailed PDF (an excerpt from tract No. 2) that reveals the mystical meaning behind the logo.

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    Pledge $38 or more About $38

    The PREACHER—A “deluxe distribution pack” of 20 copies of each pamphlet (a total of 60 pamphlets), plus the sticker, button, and PDF. This is the level for people who really want to spread the Good News about this project!

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    Pledge $58 or more About $58

    The DISCIPLE—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus a t-shirt of Jesus on a motorcycle with the “your face here” passenger, Jesus being nipple electrocuted, or the TRUE BIBLE CHURCH name in bold! These shirts are individually silkscreened onto all-cotton high-quality t-shirts. Your shirt will be custom made for you! We will contact you at the end of the Kickstarter to get your size/color/and image preferences. This is the level for those of you who really want to show the world your devotion to the True Bible Church!

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    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    The PASTOR—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus a limited-edition silkscreen print of Jesus on his motorcycle with the “your face here” passenger. These are hand silkscreened in black ink on Rives BFK printmaking paper (white 280gsm) suitable for framing. The 15-by-22-inch signed and numbered print will be mailed in a tube separately from the booklets. The edition size may depend on how many people request this reward. Maximum edition is 50.

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    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    The VISION OF HEAVEN—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus a limited-edition silkscreen print of the black helicopter flying over heaven. These are hand silkscreened in black ink on Rives BFK printmaking paper (white 280gsm) suitable for framing. The 15-by-22-inch signed and numbered print will be mailed in a tube separately from the booklets. The edition size may depend on how many people request this reward. Maximum edition is 50.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The PROPHET—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus your face inserted into a crowd scene! The third pamphlet includes a group of people looking up eagerly, hoping for a spot in heaven. Pledge at this level and I will do a drawing of you (or one of your buddies, your relatives, your loved one, you get the idea) and insert it into the crowd. You send me two or three photos to work from, ideally, with you (or the subject) looking up. Then your portrait appears in 5,000 pamphlets distributed around the world (plus in any and all future printings).

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The LEFT BEHIND—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus a portrait of you in the project as a post-apocalyptic corpse! Pamphlet No. 3 features an image of Christ walking through a field of bodies after Armageddon. Three bodies have visible faces, and one of them could be you! (or one your relatives, etc.) I will need pictures of you (or the subject) lying awkwardly on the ground; e-mail me for specifics. Your portrait as a corpse will appear in 5,000 pamphlets distributed around the world (plus in any and all future printings).

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    The FALLEN ANGEL—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus a portrait of you in the project as a fallen angel standing guard for the devil! In pamphlet no. 3, two fallen angels serve as Satan’s guards. You could be the one of the guards! You will need to send me 2-3 photos. Your face will then appear in 5,000 pamphlets distributed around the world (plus in any and all future printings).

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    The SAVED—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF) plus your portrait in the project as one of the elite escaping with Jesus into the black helicopter bound for heaven! This scene appears in tract No. 3; the chosen ones escaping with Jesus are in the shadows but clearly visible. You could be the face of one of the saved! Send me 2-3 photos from a particular angle for me to work from … e-mail me for specifics. Your portrait will appear in 5,000 pamphlets distributed around the world (plus in any and all future printings).

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The TELEVANGELIST—A whole bunch of stuff (“deluxe distribution pack,” button, sticker, PDF), plus your involvement in the project gets Truly Biblical! We are currently working on the next pamphlet. This story takes place in the early days of Christianity, featuring one of the apostles and a number of early Christians. We will cast your portrait as a key character (who appears more than once) in this next pamphlet. This is a great way to fund the project in its current form and also help usher the True Bible Church! into the future. This option places you in the centuries-old art-historical tradition of church benefactors appearing in religious paintings alongside saints and other holy figures!

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Funding period

- (30 days)