Help us print The Invisible War
The story of the project
“Truth is stranger than fiction and scientific truth is stranger than science fiction. The Invisible War breaks ground on so many fronts…as to make it a candidate for the first truly modern, 21st century graphic novel.”
WHAT IS THE INVISIBLE WAR?
Set on the Western Front in 1916, this innovative graphic novel is inspired by new scientific discoveries about the protective roles of viruses and bacteria living within our mucus.
You can download an excerpt here.
We are introduced to Annie, an Australian nurse who faces the filth and horror of WWI and, simultaneously, we follow a journey into her body and bear witness to a battle between ancient microbial enemies.
“THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND”
Once we enter the gut, the story describes a newly discovered symbiotic relationship that exists between humans and their tiny resident bacteriophages (bacteria-eating viruses). Co-author of The Invisible War, Dr. Jeremy Barr explains “Bacteriophage Adherence to Mucus — or BAM — is a new model of immunity, which emphasizes the important role bacteriophage viruses play in protecting the body from invading pathogens. This discovery not only proposes a new immune system but also demonstrates the first symbiotic relationship between viruses and animals.”
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
The Invisible War represents a new direction in interdisciplinary learning, combining Science and History content, woven together within the graphic novel format. In addition to the 64-page action-packed story, there is an an explanation section providing further information about the history and science behind the story (all fact-checked by the experts!)
After we officially launch The Invisible War in August, it will retail at $30-35 (excluding postage) – so these current prices are bargain…especially the multi-packs!
Why not grab a copy for yourself and one for the school library?
**ANZAC SPECIAL** Teachers and Librarians in Australia and New Zealand – we’ve specially created a 10 x pack and a 25 x pack School Edition for your classroom.
PLUS – we have also created free teaching resources (links below).
APPROVED BY STUDENTS
We have tested the book in six different high school classrooms – including Science, History and English – across four different schools in Victoria. The student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we can also report that almost all students said they would prefer to read a printed copy rather than a digitial version of the graphic novel
(so much for the digital revolution…?)
Here are a few of their thoughts about The Invisible War:
– “You really feel the connection to the seriousness of the internal happenings and the fact that it is a kind of parallel to the battle between people in the first world war.” Christa, 14.
– “It shows and tells…” Harry, 14.
– “If you’re into science, history and art mushed together, you will like it.” Lucia, 12.
– “A WW1 based graphic novel that is not just entertaining but …teaches you things.” Robert, 14.
– “A battle on both small and large scales which explores the body as well as the living conditions in WWI.” Eddie, 13.
– “A fun informative graphic comic book, full of easy to read and understand facts about viruses and how they work.” Nelia, 16.
We have developed a set of Student Activity Booklets, based on The Invisible War, to accompany the 10 x school pack rewards.
Each Activity Booklet contains over a dozen different activities for high school classroomss, in easy to download and use PDF format.
Download: History & English Activity Booklet
Download: Science Activity Booklet
THE BOOK TEAM
This project is a collaboration between artists, scientists, writers, educators and designers, with a core creative team of:
In addition, The Invisible War would not have been as historically and scientifically accurate as it is, without the invaluable advice given by: Dr. Francois-Xavier Weill (Institut Pasteur/University of Cambridge), Prof. Philippe Sansonetti (Institut Pasteur), Dr. Laurent Debarbieux (Institut Pasteur), Dr. Kathryn Holt (University of Melbourne), Dr. Merry Youle and Dr. Kirsty Harris (University of Melbourne).
How the funds will be used
Here’s an approximate breakdown of how we plan to spend the money we raise:
Printing of The Invisible War $15,050
Pozible Fee (4%) $1,000
Transaction Fees (3%) $750
Total (= Pozible Target) $25,117
PRINTED LOCALLY – IN MELBOURNE
Unlike most publishers, who outsource their printing to China, The Invisible War will be printed in Australia by Arena Printing, who use 100% green energy, 100% recycled paper and vegetable inks.
PLUS, thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $8650, provided we reach our Pozible campaign target!
This MATCH co-funding will support:
– the promotion and hosting of the book launch in the beautiful Royal Society of Victoria building on Saturday August 20;
– ongoing project overheads, like website fees, rental fees, bookkeeping fees, insurance, etc; and
– the conversion from the digital version of The Invisible War to a print-ready file by our amazing graphic designer.
Some of my other work
In addition to the own personal projects of the project team, the majority of this team – Briony Barr, Ailsa Wild and Gregory Crocetti – have already created two earlier books: The Squid, the Vibrio & the Moon and Zobi and the Zoox.
Both books were crowdfunded through Pozible, so we have a lot of experience taking a book from start to finish, including running a crowdfunding campaign. The first two books in the Small Friends series tell stories about symbiotic relationships on a microscopic scale. You can read more about the Small Friends series here, and buy our Small Friends pack for $50 above.
The backbone of Scale Free Network projects is collaboration – not only with students or members of the public – but also with other artists (Aviva Reed) , designers (Jaye Carcary, Greybelle), scientists (Prof. Linda Blackall, Prof. Madeleine van Oppen), writers, educators, photographers (Theresa Harrison Photography) and musicians (Brainbeau).
Scale Free Network (SFN) began as a collaboration between visual artist (Briony Barr), art teacher (Jacqueline Smith) and microbial ecologist (Dr Gregory Crocetti). Based in Melbourne, Australia, SFN now has a nine year track record of dreaming up workshops, exhibitions and interactive installations for children and adults, combining both artistic and scientific themes. Focused on the microscopic world as a source of inspiration and wonder, SFN projects visualise, explore and educate about this invisible realm. Using interactive microscopes, projections from the microworld, hands-on sculpture and drawing techniques – and now books – SFN asks the viewer-participant to look and think beyond the human scale from which we are so accustomed to seeing.
Once printed, we will post the book to our amazing Pozible supporters in June, well ahead of our official book launch on August 20th.
Gregory loves microbes. He even forgives those that occasionally make him sick (that’s just their job, right?). After working for a decade as a microbial ecologist – Gregory moved across to teaching science. Together with his Scale Free Network collaborator Briony Barr, Gregory now manages a team of writers, visual artists, scientists, educators and designers to create the Small Friends book series – stories of partnership between microbes and larger forms of life.
AILSA WILD is a writer, a performer and a community artist. She is the author of prize winning books Zobi and the Zoox and The Squid, The Vibrio and the Moon. Her new mystery series, The Squishy Taylor Adventures, for 8-10 year olds was published by Hardie Grant Egmont and launched in Feburary 2016.
Ailsa works for ArtPlay and Kids’ Own Publishing, where she learns something new about working creatively with kids every day
BRIONY BARR is a conceptual artist who regularly collaborates with science and scientists. As testament to this fact, she was recently appointed an honorary fellow of the School of Physics at The University of Melbourne. Since 2008, she has worked with microbiologist Dr. Gregory Crocetti and fellow artist Jacqueline Smith as part of Scale Free Network, an art-science collaborative that create workshops, participatory installations, and publishes books. At the other end of the scale, she collaborates with astrophysicist Dr. Andrew Melatos (The University of Melbourne) on an ongoing project called ‘Drawing on Complexity’. This involves making rule-based, expanded drawings, involving many people and large amounts of coloured tape. The idea is to use the collaborative drawing process to explore the evolution of a complex system. Briony has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. The list includes Museum Victoria (Scienceworks), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Ipswich Art Gallery, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, The Immigration Museum, The National Gallery of Victoria, Antenae Estudio Mexico, Flux Factory New York and The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea). Her work has appeared in diverse publications including BIG kids magazine and VOGUE Korea.
Ben Hutchings has been self-publishing comics since the early 90s, and has created over 30 or maybe 40 comics. Ben’s main works are now published by Milk Shadow Books, including Walking to Japan, Iron Bard Ballisto and Lesson Master. His weekly strip “Tales from the Pub” is published in Picture magazine and is in its 9th year.
Ben was co-founder of Australia’s first cartoonists’ studio Squishface Comic Studio, where he works as a freelance artist working on everything from poetry books to magazines to coins to educational graphic novels about nurses with diarrhea.
Jeremy currently performs science experiments at San Diego State University, USA. Starting August 2016, he and his phage swarm will be making the voyage across the Pacific to join Monash University as a lecturer. He is an avid collector of phages and is solely responsible for the lysis and death of trillions of bacteria (all in the name of science of course…).