Bringing back Uncle

The Complete Uncle , by JP Martin and Quentin Blake, blasts through its Kickstarter target

“Is this the MOST IMPORTANT KICKSTARTER IN HUMAN HISTORY? Probably not. But it’s my favorite. The return of Uncle!” – Neil Gaiman tweet.

In two days a Kickstarter project to re-publish JP Martin’s classic book series Uncle in an high quality omnibus edition closes.

They might have been well loved when they were published in the ’60s and ’70s, children’s books by JP Martin are scarcely known by youngsters today. However, those who read them clearly remember them fondly, as a project to re-publish them shows.

Overwhelming support meant that the project reached it’s target of £7000 in just four hours, and has, with just days to go, reached almost quadruple that. But the more is raised, the higher quality, more archives the project will have access to, and better distribution the book will get! High profile authors such as Garth Nix, Will Self, Kate Summersale and Neil Gaiman have pledged over £500 each, and will write contributions to the collection’s introduction. The project has delved into archives, and rifled though to find original art work to re-print, with additional contributions from JP Martin’s family.

The project is headed up by Marcus Gipps, a bookseller-turned-publisher who’s a lifelong fan of the stories. He says, “Through my career I’ve been constantly surprised that they weren’t being rediscovered. I decided that if no one else was going to do it, I would.”

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The books have rarely been re-printed, and as a result copies can fetch up to £500. This re-publishing project will hopefully make a children’s classic more affordable and accessible to a whole new generation. Marcus Gipps again: “The books are wonderful, fun, clever; they’re spiky and contemporary in feel, centring on a kind-hearted elephant and his escapades in his near-endless castle, with his friends, and clashes with the inhabitants of ‘Badfort’ where his enemies reside, and of course, wonderfully illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake.” Blake is “very much in favour” of the re-publishing and has given his blessing to the project.

Everybody seems to agree they deserve another chance and if you think so too, there’s still over 50 hours to put your name to the project .

Joanne Ball

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