Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 16, 2010.

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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual is a series of illustrated, interactive stories from the Future That Never Was - on the web, and in print.



This is just a quick note to thank everybody who's pledged to the Thrilling Tales project - today we met the goal!

But this is also a reminder that as I said at the beginning, the goal was just a figure that I believed we could reach. The project's costs will be far above and beyond that goal, and it falls on me to make up the difference. So in the midst of victory.... more is even better! If you've come late to the party, don't assume that there's no point in your pitching in. Believe me... there is!
"Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual" is a project I started working on in July 2009 - it's a combination web/print project which has now launched at its own web site with Part One of a serialized story called "The Toaster With TWO BRAINS".

The Thrilling Tales are densely illustrated, lightly interactive stories set in Retropolis, my world of the retro future. Retropolis embodies the kind of future people dreamed about in the 1920s and 1930s - those days when we were *really good* at imagining the future - full of faithful robots, personal rocket ships, and the fascinating, if disturbing, inventions that pour out of the Experimental Research District. (The accent there is on "Mental".)

The stories can be read in their entirety at the web site (for free!) or purchased as full color books (not for free!).

In a lot of ways this is like a webcomic site. But because of the nonlinear nature of the stories and the length of time it takes me to illustrate them the interactive Tales can't be published like a webcomic, with one or two updates a week. The interactive Tales are a pretty big helping of story that comes in large, infrequent scoops.

So as I prepare for the next phase at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual I find that I have two stories, not just one, to produce. The first is Part Two of "The Toaster Wirth TWO BRAINS". The second is a new kind of story at the site - a linear, non-interactive story that's still heavily illustrated. The linear story will give me a chance to make the frequent updates a site like this must have in order to build its readership, crawl out of the vat, and rampage out across the city.

Which, of course, is the ultimate plan.

Up to now I've built the site and its system for displaying stories; I've spent six months illustrating Part One, "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves"; I've designed and released the book version of that story; and now I need to dive back in again to make two stories at once while the site grows into its adult form. That's another six months of work, at least, and very likely more.

And of course I've done all of this, up to now, with my own resources. The project's been subsidized by the sales of T-Shirts, posters and other merchandise, mainly from my Retropolis web site.

And that's where Kickstarter - and you - enter the picture. Kickstarter backers can give me an opportunity to take this next step in the best Telethon style, by taking home some rewards while helping the Thrilling Tales to grow up.

Exclusive Kickstarter T-shirts in mens (Small - 4XL) or womens fitted (Small - 3XL) sizes; archival art prints (18 x 24"); the "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves" books are 8 x 10" with 128 full color pages.

And it's also because of the sheer length of time this takes that I've chosen rewards that are available now - you don't have to wait through the whole six or eight months ahead to get some nifty swag in return for your support. That's nice for both of us, since I know you'd be likely to get sort of twitchy about it. So the rewards are T-Shirts, prints and books that can go out just as soon as this promotion is over.

The hardest thing for me has been to decide how high to set the goal here. Because if we don't meet the goal, none of the funding becomes available and we all sit there wondering what the heck happened.

The fundraising goal I've set is nowhere near enough to fund the whole project... because it has to be a goal that I think we can reach. So if this project reaches "100% funded" status, you shouldn't be shy. Just do the math on about eight months of work spread across the amount that's been raised - less the cost of the rewards - and you'll see what I mean.

Update! Read the latest for information about this guy... The Clockwork Book.

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$3,350
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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    7 backers

    Henchman: Your unquestioning loyalty earns you a pair of "Thrilling Tales" Bookmarks.

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    15 backers

    Faithful Robot Companion: As a devoted sidekick, you get 1 copy (unsigned) of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves".

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    6 backers

    Rocket Pilot: You speed out of the gate clutching a signed copy of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves" and two "Thrilling Tales" bookmarks. This may make it difficult for you to steer.

  • Pledge $60 or more
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    0 backers

    Space Cadet: Along with some regrettable comments, you're rewarded with 2 unsigned copies of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves" and a pair of "Thrilling Tales" bookmarks.

  • Pledge $70 or more
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    1 backer

    Demented Research Technician: You'll work your way up the ranks of mad science armed with an 18x24" archival art print (pictured). It'll look pretty swell in your lab.

  • Pledge $70 or more
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    0 backers

    Rocket Racer: You can win all of the rallies and races in Retropolis while wearing the exclusive "Toaster With TWO BRAINS" t-shirt (pictured). It reads: "I Injected Life into the Toaster With TWO BRAINS".

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    5 backers

    Sky Pirate: Decorate that new airship of yours with a *signed* 18x24" archival art print, a signed copy of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves", and a pair of "Thrilling Tales" bookmarks.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    0 backers

    Space Patrolperson: Wear your new exclusive "Toaster With TWO BRAINS" t-shirt while enjoying a signed copy of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves" and a pair of "Thrilling Tales" bookmarks.

  • Pledge $120 or more
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    0 backers

    Space Pirate: Your mission: steal whatever you find in space. Your reward: a *signed* 18x24" archival art print and an exclusive "Toaster With TWO BRAINS" t-shirt.

  • Pledge $160 or more
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    9 backers

    Absolutely Mad Scientist: This is it. You get it all: a signed copy of "Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves", a pair of "Thrilling Tales" bookmarks, a signed 18x24" archival art print, and an exclusive "Toaster With TWO BRAINS" t-shirt. MUAHAHAHAHA!

Funding period

- (70 days)