Last year, London-based designer and illustrator Tim Fishlock (opens in new tab) released his app Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon. Hugely popular, the app went on to become winner of the App Store’s Best of 2012.
But Fishlock would never have dreamt that one of the app's biggest fans was none other than Simpsons and Futurama writer Josh Weinstein. After receiving a congratulatory email from Weinstein, Fishlock decided not to pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and replied with a thanks and proposal - would Weinstein like to write a book featuring Sir Benfro? The rest, as they say, is history.
Speaking to Fishlock about the project, he commented: "I was thrilled when Josh got in touch to say how much he liked the app. This guy wrote 'Who Shot Mr. Burns'! He's won 4 Emmys! So I was beyond excited when he said he'd love to write a Sir Benfro story.
"It's taken 8 months of emailing and Skyping to get the book done and we're over the moon with it. It feels like I've taken the aesthetic of the app to the next level. The book is really rich and the story is the kind of tale I always wanted for Benfro but could never craft myself."
Now ready to be published, the duo are hoping to fund the printing of the book through a Kickstarter campaign (opens in new tab), launched today.
"It definitely has a Simpsons and Futurama sensibility," Fishlock adds. "Almost from the outset of our collaboration Josh has talked about Sir Benfro becoming a TV show and that's one of the reasons we haven’t gone the traditional route of approaching a publisher. A publisher would want a giant slice of any dramatic rights and the book would take an age to come out. We're starting small, building up a Benfrollowing and seeing where it takes us."
Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon app will be free to download for the duration of the Kickstarter campaign.