About this project
Now arriving is a circus train filled with little insect performers with big talent! Acrobatic fleas, dancing ladybugs, daredevil grasshoppers and musical beetles travel the world to entertain children and inspire dreams. THE JUMPING FLEA CIRCUS is a kid's picture book about a little circus filled with big heart, written by James Clark and illustrated by Patrick Scullin.
THE JUMPING FLEA CIRCUS is already 100% written and illustrated, and is completely ready to print as a 44-page color book, both in paperback as well as a limited hardcover edition. Our goal is to use Kickstarter as a way to self-publish and produce the book, as well as to offer you a way to pre-order the book along with some fun bonus material.
THE STORY BEHIND "THE JUMPING FLEA CIRCUS":
My name is James Clark. I've been writing comic books semi-professionally since 2004, most recently as the co-creator/co-writer of the Eisner-nominated webcomic The Guns of Shadow Valley.
Seven years ago, while my wife was pregnant with twins, I decided to teach myself how to play an instrument so my kids would grow up in a house that was always full of music. I chose the ukulele for its simplicity and charm; it's got a really warm, fun feel to it. Now it's a cornerstone of my life and my family, and I enjoy making music to share my joy with the rest of the world.
When my kids were old enough to really start appreciating music, I created a CD of songs geared for them and other kids their age. The album Ukulele Jim's Jumping Flea Circus was released in 2010 and was a rewarding endeavor for me. Many parents told me that the album had become their children's all-time favorite CD with heavy rotation at home and in their cars, and fortunately the parents really enjoyed grooving and singing along to it, too.
Earlier this year I adapted the lyrics of the title song into a storybook for children, following the theme and feeling of the album. About the same time I was writing this, I met up with Patrick Scullin, the artist of the Super Siblings webcomic. I thought it was a funny coincidence that the father character in his comic was named James Clark! We got along famously and started working together on THE JUMPING FLEA CIRCUS children's book. The final result is a beautiful book of 44 full-color pages packed with whimsy and fun.
PLUS the book comes with a re-release of the 12-song CD that inspired it: Ukulele Jim's Jumping Flea Circus.
And now with your help, we can publish the book. You can pre-order your copy through Kickstarter, right here!
SO HOW DOES THIS WORK?
In a nutshell: PRE-ORDERS HELP GET THE BOOK MADE.
The book is ready to print and we're almost at the finish line; now we need your help getting there. The money raised through this campaign will pay for the book printing, physical CD manufacturing, and shipping. If we manage to surpass the original $1,500 goal, any extra pledges will go towards higher quality manufacturing, promotion, touring, and even getting a jump start on the next book & record after this one!
This is your chance to pre-order the book and get some special exclusive goodies. Remember, funding on Kickstarter is "all or nothing" deal! If this project doesn't reach its funding goal before time runs out, your personal donation will never leave your bank account and I will not receive ANY funds at all. Only when we meet or exceed our goal will your donation count. So even the smallest contribution helps!
If funding of this project is successful, our intent is to ship books in January. If possible, will make every effort to ship books in time for Christmas for backers who make a special request for us to try to do so. Backers of the project will receive their digital downloads at the end of November.
So what does a backer get for their pledge, you may ask?
With your donation you are pre-ordering The Jumping Flea Circus in either paperback, hardcover, or e-book formats. The printed book comes with a Compact Disc of 12 children's songs, while the e-book comes with a digital MP3 download of the songs.
The printed book comes in two flavors: Softcover (paperback) and Hardcover. Both editions are 44 color pages, 8.5" x 11", printed in the USA on high quality paper.
Each Hardcover book is SIGNED & NUMBERED and includes a one-of-a-kind sketch on the title page.
The book features a BONUS STORY and some COLORING PAGES at the end.
Included in a sleeve within each printed book is a 12-song music CD called Ukulele Jim's Jumping Flea Circus, featuring the title track from the book along with several traditional classics and new original songs. Pre-orders of the e-book will include a digital copy of the album in MP3, FLAC, or just about any format you desire.
You can sample some of the album's tracks right here:
There's toe-tappin' fun for the whole family in this collection of kid-friendly ukulele rock!
What other exclusives are available, you may ask?
Higher reward levels include some or all of the following:
- ORIGINAL ART SKETCH CARDS hand-painted by artist Patrick Scullin, of any character you like from The Jumping Flea Circus or other pop culture figures.
- ORIGINAL 6 X 9 DRAWINGS of one of the Flea Circus characters, hand-drawn by Patrick Scullin.
- A NEW ORIGINAL T-SHIRT created exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign.
- A FULL COLOR 8 X 10 PRINT of the Flea Circus characters performing under the Tiny Top Tent WITH YOUR LIKENESS drawn in as a child watching the show. The Print will be in Full Color and printed on beautiful archival paper stock. Each of theses prints is ONE OF A KIND!
- THE ORIGINAL 11x17 PENCIL & INK DRAWINGS used in the creation of the book! You can obtain one of the actual page illustrations drawn by Patrick Scullin. These are the original 11" X 17" pencil & ink pages that were hand-drawn (the color was later added on computer). The following pages are being offered in this Kickstarter campaign (availability is first-come, first-served):
There's only one of each of these, so act quickly, and be sure to indicate which page you want when making your pledge!
- NEW! HOME-MADE ALLIGATOR SCARF! Made by the Clark family, exclusively for this Kickstarter. My mother-in-law wanted to make an exclusive item available, so she is making some fun, warm wool scarves just in time for winter! She knits these herself for charity and small boutiques, and they are very popular. They're available in 2 sizes/colors: Medium in Purple or Green (for kids/adults, approximately 60" long x 4.5" wide) and Large in Green (for adults, approximately 72" by 5", bulky).
Your support is appreciated so much!
We couldn't make this book without you. So, sincerely... thank you.
With your support, this story for kids of all ages can come to life as a beautiful book to share. The funding received will go directly toward it's printing, shipping, and delivery of the book around the world.
I can't wait for you to see it!
"Ukulele Jim" Clark
Risks and challenges
THE JUMPING FLEA CIRCUS is already 100% written, illustrated, edited, proofed and ready to go for the printers. We are working with a printer that has repeatedly produced excellent quality books for me, and they have always been able to deliver on time.
Time will also be needed for emailing, getting together prizes, as well as signing and shipping out books. Patrick will also need some time to create the sketches and personal drawings for backers who select those prizes.
I am expecting to be able to provide the printer with enough lead time to get some the books printed in December. However, I also anticipate that the preparation and shipping of the books and prizes will be a considerable and time-consuming effort. Therefore, most prize levels have an expected due date of January.
IF YOU WANT YOUR BOOK(S) AND/OR PRIZE(S) TO BE CHRISTMAS GIFTS, PLEASE LEAVE US A NOTE ABOUT IT WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PLEDGE! Just post a comment or send me an email. We will make every effort to try and get books to you in time for the holidays, but ONLY if you request it. We won't even know for sure if that's a possibility until the Kickstarter is finished and all the orders are in and we see how many requests for December delivery we get. So there's no guarantee you'll have a book in your hands before Christmas. All we can do is try.
The January due date is still our target for the majority of prize levels, but we'll do our best to get them shipped early.
Our goal is to be completely up front and keep communication open with backers throughout the campaign. We will make every effort to ship and get every reward filled on time. We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort making this project, and we're committed to making it a reality. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Short answer: MAYBE.
Long answer: We are going to make ever effort to get books printed and shipped in a timely manner. Depending on the printer's schedule and the number of orders we receive, we may end up only shipping a limited number of books in time for Christmas.
IF YOU NEED YOUR BOOK TO GET TO YOU BEFORE CHRISTMAS, YOU NEED TO LET US KNOW WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PLEDGE! Just leave a comment or send me an email to let me know. That's the only way we'll know if we need to try to ship yours early.
Otherwise, your book will ship in January.
Yes. Each printed book -- paperback or hardcover -- includes the CD of "Ukulele Jim's Jumping Flea Circus".
The Digital music downloads in every tier are available in VBR or 320k MP3 format, but also in FLAC, AAC, OggVorbis, and just about any format you desire. You'll receive a download link which will allow you to select which format you prefer (or multiple formats if you wish).
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