From Zombies to Pirates, Apple Valley Couple Takes on Bullying with New Kickstarter Project

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By Nolan P. Smith

(Apple Valley)—Apple Valley residents Chris and Amy Hernandez took the High Desert by storm when they released their first children’s book, Jack and the Zombie Attack. Not only that, but they garnered supporters from around the globe, and made a splash at the largest pop culture gathering in the world, the San Diego Comic Con. Now, the husband and wife team are once again turning to Kickstarter to turn their latest book, Jack and the Pirate Attack, into reality. This time, the book focuses on something near and dear to their hearts, bullying.

“This book is important to us because it is an anti-bullying book,” said Chris Hernandez in regards to the importance of their second book. “Our family has learned first hand how being bullied can truly damage you as a person. We want to teach children at an early age, that not only is bullying bad, but when you are the victim of bullies you often to have to be the one who forgive those who have wronged you.  Everyone is different in their own unique way, but unfortunately we as a society tend to pick on individuals that are different.”

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This goes deeper than the classic schoolyard bully scenario we have all seen growing up. As Chris tells us, this doesn’t just mean bullying by children, but by adults as well. “It is not just children, but also adults that are being bullied.  When we hear the word “bully” we think of kids getting picked on at the playground, but it goes deeper than that.  With the onset of technology we have a new age of bullies to deal with. People say and do things online that they wouldn’t do in person.  They have digital courage.  With that said, people are meaner these days and we need to prepare our children with positive ways to deal with it.”

The Hernandez’s have an emotional attachment to this book, not to say they weren’t attached to zombies when they made Jack and the Zombie Attack. The book has a clear set of morals it enforces, all while offering the action and adventure you would expect from a book with the word “pirate” in the title. With author Amy Hernandez, hours are poured into the dialogue and text on each page, as she studied pirate vocabulary to make the book feel not only entertaining but historically accurate as well. As the artist, Chris puts in an average of 15-20 hours per page, as he goes from the concept to the final, watercolor artwork that pops off the page.

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Apple Valley residents Chris and Amy Hernandez with a page from their first book, Jack and the Zombie Attack. Photo by Nolan P. Smith.

Now, for me, the question that was on my mind when I heard the news of the new book being centered around pirates was: why pirates? “Everyone wants to be a pirate!” said Chris Hernandez. “The world has a love/hate relationship with pirates.  They are “The Sons of Anarchy” of the seven seas; they are rock stars.  The historical truth was that pirates weren’t always what Hollywood has made them out to be.  They were the biggest bullies in history.  They took what they wanted, whenever they wanted, but boy did they dress awesome!  They spoke like gods with the best one-liners ever.  “So be it! But afore an hours out, ye’ll be beggin’ ‘elp from me. Them that die’ll be the lucky ones!” (Robert Newton)”

To check out the Kickstarter page for Jack and the Pirate Attack, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1486566848/jack-and-the-pirate-attack. Help support our fellow High Desert residents in not only creating art, in creating something entertaining, but help create something that really matters in this world of negativity.

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