I’m Eamon Espey, a cartoonist from Baltimore with two books published by Secret Acres, Wormdye (2008) and Songs of the Abyss (2012). My drawings have appeared in art shows in such places as New York and Istanbul and in print in Sweden’s Galago Magazine and Washington DC’s Bash Magazine.
For this project, I have collaborated with Lisa Krause to create a puppet show based on one of my comic stories that was collected in my new book. Lisa is a sculptor and puppeteer who has studied in the Czech Republic and has worked with Bread and Puppet in Vermont. She’s been an associate artist with Black Cherry Puppet Theater in Baltimore since 2009.
The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise money to aid in travel cost for our national book and puppet show tour. Indiegogo is way for us to get the last amount we need quickly, and offer you our arts and crafts in return. Although we’ve been working very hard and have already saved a great deal, we’re not rich. Far from it. We’re putting everything we have into this project. The $1000 goal we are trying to make here is a only a small fraction of what we have already spent and what we anticipate spending. Anything will help and will be deeply appreciated.
Songs of the Abyss is a graphic novel that diagrams the psychic history of human beings. It is a journey through chaos in search of peace. There are five chapters in which grotesque and spiritual themes overlap. All is rendered in black ink with precision and care. The cover is stained glass. I made it in the basement of our home. Songs of the Abyss is my personal record, creed and poem.
Making a Puppet Show:
There are no words in Songs of the Abyss so that left the question of how would one have a reading for promotional events if there is nothing to read? The answer was very simple and suggested by Lisa.
Together we turned one of the chapters into 22-minute puppet show performance. Although we started with the comic, once we began collaborating new possibilities and interpretations began to emerge. As we continued working the show grew in concept and in scale. The result is unlike any creative project I have ever been a part of.
While we were writing and building, Stephen Santillan was simultaneously composing a soundtrack. He would send us pieces of what he was working on and we show what we were doing. Stephen’s entrancing and ethereal music really helped define the tone and movement of the show. At times it was uncanny how in sync the sound was to the visual elements. We’re very grateful and lucky to have such a talented friend.
Now that we've performed in Baltimore, New York City and Washington D.C., we are taking it on the road. We are packing everything into our 2001 Toyota Corolla and going on 8000-mile road trip.
On that trip, we’ll be performing at a variety of venues across the country and will be at two comics festivals: The Small Press Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio and Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland Oregon.
We leave for our first show on April 11, 2013 and last tour date is on May 18, 2013.
The Story of Ishi’s Brain:
Ishi’s Brain is based on the true story of a man that has often been referred to as “the last wild Indian.” Lisa and my version turn the story into a science fiction ritual where a lone spirit spends his final days and an alien shaman helps guide the dead into the next world. Although the ideas presented are highly imaginative, the intent comes from a place of reverence and the utmost respect for the original people of America.
What We Need & What You Get
While we are working as many jobs as we can and have almost met our goal, we need your help!
- We anticipate our expenses for the tour to be around $5,000.
- ($1,200 in gas alone.)
We've already spent $1,500 on car maintenance in preparation for the trip and around $1,000 to make the show.
- Your contribution in any amount will help ease the burden for us, because we're paying for this all ourselves.
To thank you for your contribution, we’re offering some great things that have never been available from us before. Things we’ve made especially for this fundraising campaign- so think of it as a presale or something to get us a bit of gas money! The rewards include 1” buttons, patches, stickers, t-shirts, posters, replicas of our shadow puppets, a copy of Songs of The Abyss, original artwork published in the book, and more. Lisa will even make a custom puppet for you. Seriously.
All donations of $5 or more receive a postcard and 1"button
Custom orders will be received by 2014 and amulets or stained glass before winter 2013
You will be part of us sharing our work. Through your contribution, you will help us bridge communities of puppetry, comics, and music. You can follow our journey on our tumblr/tour blog.
You can feel good because many of the places on our tour will be free/donation based, and others are very low cover.
You can get stuff we made directly from us. Your contribution will help us out now- when we need it most!
We’ve already saved a good percent of our projected costs, and it’s going to happen- it’s just really hard to swallow, because we’re going for broke here. We're putting all we have into this. It’s been really hard to come up with the money, but it’s even harder for us to ask for help!
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand that not everyone can contribute, but here are some other ways you can get involved:
Tell everyone you know about our project.
- Loan us your roof rack's cargo box.
Make us some peanut butter & jelly rice cake sandwiches or a mix CD for those long drives on the west coast!
- Come see our show!!!
For more information on our project and tour dates visit Lisa's blog.
You can listen to Stephen Santillan's music here
Thank you for your time and your support!
-Eamon and Lisa
And special thanks to our friends and family that helped us make the show: Michel Anderson, Chuck Espey, Andrew Liang, Russell de Ocampo, Mary O’Flaherty,Stephen Santillan, Jennifer Strunge, Deitra Thompson, Emily Uchytil