The UNCLE books, written by J.P Martin to entertain his children and grandchildren, were originally published in the 1960s and 1970s but have been largely unavailable ever since. One of the lost masterpieces of children's literature, the six books in the series are illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake. and deserve a new audience.
Uncle is a kind-hearted elephant who lives in a massive and labyrinthine castle, accompanied by a motley crew of companions and employees, including the Old Monkey, Goodman the cat, the One-Armed Badger and many more. Near his castle sits Badfort, home of Uncle's enemies, a disreputable group including Hateman, Jellytussle, Hitmouse and other unpleasant characters. Over the course of the books, Uncle and his followers find themselves mixed up with camels, dwarfs, treacle, bears, ghosts, Captain Walrus, a singing flower, wizards, Respectable Horses and much much more.
Although the books were intended for children, they are loved by an adult audience for their wordplay, subversive and surreal humour and wonderful drawings.
The crowd-funding appeal hopes to raise enough money to reprint all six books in one high-quality volume of around 760 pages, with lots of extra material and new scans of much of Quentin Blake's original art. Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Martin Rowson, Andy Riley, Kate Summerscale and Justin Pollard are all fans of Uncle, and they've all come together to help bring the series back into print. Each will provide new introductions or other exclusive material to this project.