So, I haven’t backed very many Kickstarters, not necessarily because I don’t want them to succeed, but a mix between budgeting and usually if I want to back something it’s clearly going to make it, so I figure I’ll buy it later when I meet the person at a con or something. But the the book “The Boy and The Dragon” hit me and I felt like I had to back it immediately. I don’t know if I’d ever been so excited about getting a comic before. It was a lot the art and a ton the story about the story. I’m not sure if it’ll affect you the same way it did me, but it hit me at a special time in my life. Near the end of the kickstarter my boy was just turning one year. He was and is still very young and as a new-ish father I have a lot of concerns and fears for him as I found out so did Isaac for his son, whom the story was written for:
The Boy and the Dragon began as a bedtime story that I would tell my son who has autism. For him it is a magical story full of possibilities. For me, it captures the mixed emotions–the hopes and fears I have for his future. The story is childlike in a way that kids enjoy but only adults can fully appreciate.
After watching the Kickstarter video and hearing these words from Isaac himself it brought tears to my eyes as I know I’d experienced similar feelings about my son. And reading the story again about three or four months after the first time, it brought those same emotions and same teariness.
The story is a quick and simple read, told in a very bedtime story kind of way. But the heart behind is in huge. As stated by Isaac:
As the story goes, a lonely boy discovers a dragon egg. He raises the dragon and they become inseparable, but the townsfolk force it to leave and never return. The boy grows up, but one day, in his old age, he decides to leave everything to go in search of his long lost friend. The story ends with an evocative mix of love and loss, as we see the old man, upon finding his dragon, transform into the boy he once was: “…The boy climbed on the dragon’s back. They soared through the clouds, feeling happy and free, never to be seen again.”
I know for myself the fears of losing something awesome are there, but for my son I worry about the world taking away any joy in his life, even more. But the best part of this story is the end, when as an old man, the boy goes out on a long quest to find the dragon, only to give up, but the very rock where he settles is the dragon himself. My favorite part is the end, “They soared through the clouds, feeling happy and free, never to be seen again.” Not “happily ever after” but simply happy, free and never to be seen again. Nobody to take away their joy or freedom.
On top of the phenomenal story is some fantastic illustration. If you’re at all a fan of people like Mike Mignola or Phil Hester then you’ll love this story just for the art. Some nice thick lines and a nice muted color palette it’s a joy to look at for sure.
I’m sure you can extrapolate a lot from this story. I like to think that it’s about how nobody and take your joy from you. If they do, it might take some time and hard work, but you can always find it again, even if it feels impossible. The thing to remember is that you have to get up from your porch and go get it.
For now you can get it here: https://gumroad.com/isaaccrawford
For more from Isaac Crawford go to http://isaaccrawford.com/