by john & jana
Published by Manic D Press, 2012
by john & jana
published by Manic D Press
"A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy is a perfectly wonderful picture book about the spirit of anarchism and its utterly fitting dovetail with the joy of childhood. The book is full of excellent advice, wonderfully illustrated."- Boing Boing
" I love this book- my children's new favorite.
'A Rule is to Break' says: go ahead and throw yourself a party! So glad it exists.
- Kristin Hersh, (Throwing Muses), author of Rat Girl
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"Many children's books encourage self-expression and free thought; few take those ideas as far as this collaboration from Seven and Christy. This is the softer side of anarchy, with an emphasis on fun and independence, but also community and kindness. Seven and Christy's heroine wouldn't look out of place in a Peter H. Reynolds story, and their message isn't far from his work either—it's just been cranked up to 11."
Here's a question that we've been asked a couple times: "A book about Anarchy! Cool! But why isn't it available for free or a through a Creative Commons license?" Well, here's the skinny:
Originally, we self published the book through a Kickstarter campaign. We raised about $1,200- enough to get some printed and do some modest promotion. We sold about 100 copies. We really wanted to get the message out, so we then made a digital copy available for free and I think a couple thousand people downloaded it. At about that time, the Occupy movement started (which we LOVED and supported in a variety of ways) and we took some food, tents sleeping bags and remaining print copies of the book and little cards with the free download info and distributed widely. We also made a free li'l Occupy book to hand out. Anyway, we were now pretty happy. We'd found our peeps.
However, bookstores weren't so happy. Stocking a print-on-demand book can be a bitch, and a number of stores asked if we'd be getting it published- one store recommended a good anarchist publisher, Manic D, out of San Francisco. We've never been in this for the money- just the distribution, so we gave it a shot and Manic D loved it and has done a great job at getting the book out there, much better than we did. Did we blow it by not insisting that there be no 'copyright' and instead have a 'Creative Commons license on the book? Yes, but not out of proprietary greed, just out of sheer numbskullery. By the time the book was being laid out for the new printing, we were tired and honestly just blanked.
SOooooo- the book has been made available in a variety of ways. It was crowdsourced, it was free and now it's in good indie bookstores, online and will also soon be available in french and danish versions and an audio-e-book version (with soundtrack by our kids- yay!). We just want to get our message out.
(Also, and i hestitate here because i don't want to sound tooo defensive, but when we did a book tour this winter/ spring, every appearance we made was a "Give Stuff Away For Free" Book Party- we gave away tons of signed print and mini-comics in exchange for donations to local food pantries.)
xoxoxo john & jana
"A perfect book for parents (and their kids) who have been inspired by the message of the Occupy movement. This picture book uses fun and simple graphics to inspire kids to follow their own path."
- KQED Public Radio
"...a delight to read! A children's book on anarchy seems somehow just right: an instinctive, intuitive sense of fairness, community, and interdependence sits naturally enough with a desire for participatory democracy, feminism, queer rights, environmental balance, self determination, and peace and global justice."
- Bill Ayers, author of To Teach: The Journey in Comics and Fugitive Days
Buy the ebook version with narration and music here!
In addition you can find the book in the following excellent museum shops:
NY MoMA Mass MOCA Eric Carle Museum Chicago MoCA Boston MFA SF MoMA SF Cartoon Art Museum Oakland Museum of Art
Hammer Museum Portland Art Museum Berkeley Art Museum
Menil Collection Museum Walker Art Center