CAT CANYON begins with little Nat, who gets separated from her family on a tour while she's preoccupied with her screen tablet, and finds herself in a canyon inhabited by intelligent cats who formed their society after they figured out how to use the Internet.
As Cat musicians Herb and Alpert quabble over what to do with Nat (is she food? Or a strange new kind of cat?), she learns more about the incredible infrastructure of this feline Shangri-La:
- The cats have engineered grand perches amongst the canyon's spires and the cleanest litter-fueled sanitation system in the world.
They've developed their own agriculture of almonds, which they convert into delectable almond milks to lap up in chic cafes.
- They have their own flamboyant fashions, crafted by creative fur-stylists always looking to create the revolutionary new look for the day.
But, everything is not as fabulous as it seems here in Cat Canyon: many of the cats are becoming sad and listless, as they spend every night alone in their perch with nothing but the glow of their screens to warm them.
It's up to Nat, and her newfound band of creative cat friends, to show the denizens of Cat Canyon that our technology should lift us up, not hold us back (and other matters to consider in the Digital Age).
The book will be written in rhyming verse to make it extra fun reading for parents and children alike, with vibrant drawings to excite the furthest reaches of a child's imagination.
Every child born today is coming into a world overrun with screens. While the connectivity of the Internet is ultimately a good thing, we want to encourage the children of the future to find value in real life interaction.
Like any good children's book, we want the lesson to feel organic and not preachy: by using a society of cats analogous to our own, we aim to delight parents and children alike with fun words and imagery, while the lesson quietly powers the narrative.
As we're the last generation to have a childhood without the Internet, it's up to us to carry forward the traditions of the Analog era that are worth maintaining. It's our goal to capture the best elements of children's literature from the 20th century, while addressing distinctly 21st century concerns.
We hope to get children excited about a creative and sustainable future: the society of cat canyon is a model of green living, and we want to present this as an appealing concept to the next generation.
This book will start a dialogue between parents and children about how the world used to be different, and how it's up to us to keep it changing for the better.
Also...cats! Cats who talk! That's why!
The inspiration for this story comes both from creators of children's entertainment that we admire, as well as the Transhumanist thinkers who are shaping the future of human consciousness.
If you're the kind of parent who wants to impart the wisdom of say, Carl Sagan or Ray Kurzweil to your kindergartener...then this is the book for you!
Children's Entertainment/Animated Content Creators
Transhumanists (who bring humanism into the Digital Age) / Future Thinkers
(However, we realize this list is entirely comprised of men. Help us change that!)
Bron and Sarah are a creative team based in Los Angeles.
Bron is a pop artist and illustrator, whose work has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and more.
Sarah is a writer and net artist. She is one half of The Current Sea, a GIF design team. She is a Jeopardy! Champion as of September 27th, 2013.
We feel we are uniquely positioned to tell this tale: Bron's passion for drawing and ability to create new visions out of cultural references will yield spectacular full-color illustrations. And Sarah's love for wordplay and Jeopardy-winning brain will yield rhymes to dazzle and delight, and put a smile on your snout.
We have a base goal of $25,000, which will allow us to do a limited first run printing of the book, which will only be available to our early backers. You can have a hand in bringing a major cultural institution to life!
The book will be approximately 50 full-color pages with a hardcover binding. We have the whole book storyboarded, and the rhyming text is being workshopped until it's divinely delightful.
This funding will also allow us to put out an e-book of CAT CANYON across all platforms: because after all, a children's book for the Internet Age should be available for Internet Age people to read!
A successful campaign will allow us to complete the text and artwork of the book, and have the final published version ready in time for Holiday Season 2014.
If we attain our reach goal of $35,000, we will be able to provide a super cool coloring book to be included with each printed book. We will also make a download of the coloring book available only to our Kickstarter backers!
If we attain our reach goal of $50,000, we will be able to do a second printing of the book in delicious hard cover!
If we attain our reach goal of $100,000, we will be able to create a proprietary interactive mobile App of Cat Canyon, which will allow for further books and exclusive creative content to be released electronically, so that kids can really immerse themselves in the world of Cat Canyon!
If we attain our reach goal of $500,000, we will be able to complete a fully animated television pilot for Cat Canyon: The Series, done in the vein of a Cartoon Network style animated show.
Risks and challenges
There is minimal risk to this project. Bron and Sarah are a powerful creative team, and with successful funding, will have all the resources they need to complete this book.
We've created a thorough breakdown of the $25,000 budget.
Kickstarter fee + Amazon processing fee: Between $2,000 & $2,500.
Hardcover book printing: $9,465 (for 500 copies)
Post cards: $800
T-shirts ($10 each to print): $1,750
Adobe Software: $200
Art supplies: $500
Archival Art Prints: $1500
Total Expenses: $17,115
Production time: Four pages weekly, beginning May 5th and ending in September to allow time for printing (approx. 22 weeks).
If we raise $25,000, with our projected expenses we will be left with $7885 to split between us: $179/each per week of work.
The book is fully storyboarded, the main characters are designed and the rhyming verse is already in process. We are Kickstarting the book, as opposed to pitching it to publishers, so we can maintain full creative control as we bring the initial stage of the project into fruition.
We have several potential printers lined up for the publication of the book, so even if we run into roadblocks, we have backup plans in place to make sure we can fulfill our promise of releasing the book in time for the holidays.
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