Kickstarter has gotten a lot of attention these days. If you just browse their listings, there are many projects that are art-based, but don’t necessarily give you anything tangible in return. But projects are being spread by word of mouth that are more useful and/or interesting than your run-of-the-mill performance art piece.
One such project, and one that intrigues me, is The Circus and the Cyclone by Sue Lawton. Sue has been working on a heavily illustrated book based on the actual historical event of when a tornado came through a town in Wisconsin in 1899, killing many. Her story, however, builds on that event and weaves a story around it. The Circus and the Cyclone began as a graphic novel, but evolved into something more. As it was described to me by her husband, “It tells the story of a devastating tornado, a traveling circus, and tragic love.”
From the press release:
Taking visual cues from old circus posters and an artistic style that pays homage to the golden age of illustration of the early 20th century, Sue has created a rich tapestry of images that brings the narrative to life. Large full‐page illustrations bring particular scenes into focus while others are more like circus posters, full of portents of what is to come.
This project is well on the way to being fully funded, and once now that it is, Sue will complete the fully illustrated book and have it ready by the holidays (any investors over the original funding goal will still get all the special perks!). The Kickstarter campaign ends on August 31, so check it out soon! If the idea of a historical fiction book with fantastical elements interests you at all, consider contributing at least $1, which gets you included in the acknowledgments. It’s only $10 to get a .pdf of the finished book, or $35 to get a hard cover copy. Or, aim high and spend a few hundred dollars to get several art prints along with your copy of the book. Spread the word! More of the book’s artwork is up on Sue Lawton’s website.
I haven’t read a great deal of historical fiction, but I love being immersed in a time period and a way of being that we’ve lost to the past. I look forward to The Circus and the Cyclone being funded so it will be available for all to read.
Full disclosure: Sue is the wife of GeekDad Chuck Lawton, and both are friends of mine.