By Linzy Novotny
Learn the ABCs of steampunk with Karen Luk’s Kickstarter project—an alphabet book. Luk, a freelance illustrator and art instructor, is venturing into the world of children’s books with the creation of “Steampunk ABC,” according to the project’s Kickstarter page. The 32-page book will feature illustrations that highlight historical facts and discoveries from the Victorian era.
“Each letter is an aspect of steampunk archetypes, early science fiction and the historical time period,” according to the project’s video. It is “a vision of the future past.” Sample pages include zeppelin for Z and steamship for S.
“The steampunk aesthetic allows to me create images and explore ideas using a well known time period and infusing [them] with a modern interpretation of what could have been,” Luk said. “It’s an intriguing and creative challenge to balance the two and to make it as fresh, interesting and familiar all at the same time.”
Although it is a children’s book, adults will enjoy reading the book as well. “I hope that people enjoy seeing objects, concepts and literature of the Victorian era in a different light,” Luk said. “In ‘Steampunk ABC,’ some illustrations include sight gags and references for adults, while children can enjoy the imagery and learn facts.”
Backer gifts include a signed copy of the book for pledging $20 and higher, an archival print for pledging at least $63 and a custom painting by Luk when pledging at least $750, according to Kickstarter. The custom watercolor painting will be a portrait of the backer wearing a Steampunk outfit.
Luk plans to continue using the steampunk aesthetic in her art post-Kickstarter. “My next steampunk project will be a web comic (or graphic novel) featuring multicultural aspects stemming from imperialism,” she said. “It’s at a nascent stage, so it will be a while before it comes out. In the meantime, I have plans for a shorter comic inspired by [a poem], ‘The Highwayman,’ by Alfred Noyes.”
Luk has set a Kickstarter goal of $9,000 to cover printing, shipping and backer reward costs, according to Kickstarter. As of Sept. 2, $2,210 has been pledged. The project will be funded on Sept. 28 if a minimum of $9,000 has been raised. To pledge, visit the “Steampunk ABC” Kickstarter page.