‘Kindergarten’ Book, Nightmares of Children and Fatherhood

The best art comes from a dark area of the mind and is best expressed as a tangible manifestation in the form of art. Whether coping with inner demons or dealing with anxieties and worries, art has a way of expressing what ails us in a way that words just cannot fully encapsulate.

“Kindergarten” is a short story and visual illustration book that has now been fully funded and ready to go. The brainchild of artist Shawn Coss, who is best known for his work in the webcomic Cyanide & Happiness, the Stephen King film Cell, and Any Means Necessary Clothing, the artwork in his newest project is a therapeutic release of his anxieties amassed after the birth of his first child. Much like David Lynch’s first film, the enigmatic EraserheadCoss’ fear of fatherhood is brought to life in his book which features a series of short stories with darkly innocent imagery.

Each piece features a girl named Lucy– the artwork recalling the horrifying and nightmare inducing children’s books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Guillermo Del Toro, and Stephen King— and focuses on not just fatherhood anxieties, but childlike fears.

Here is a quote from the official press release from Shawn Coss, describing his work: “Each vignette is a personal fear I’ve had since having my children,” Coss said. “Whether it’s the loss of a child from an accident or a loss of a parent through suicide.”

His artwork is supposed to be something that parents can relate to, according to Coss, however, he has crafted his work in such a way that it appeals to fans of horror as well. Coss wants his readers to go “into a darker more uncomfortable place” when they experience Kindergarten

Furthermore, the title of his piece alludes to the German word Kindergarten, which sounds much eerier as “garden of children” in its literal English translation. Coss wanted to take the innocence of the word Kindergarten and evoke something much more darker, challenging our pre-conceived notion of the word.

Kindergarten will be available soon, but to secure your very own copy, you must pre-order by October 5 to get the Kickstarter extras. The extras include a recording by Welcome to Nightvale’s Cecil Baldwin reading “Breathe Easy,” a story in the book, previous e-books from Coss, and custom artwork as well.

Early pre-orders end tomorrow along with the campaign. For more information or to donate and get your copy of Kindergarten visit their Kickstarter Page. Also check out their official Facebook Page