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If you could answer one question from your past what would it be?  Would the answer transform you or haunt you forever? Find out!
If you could answer one question from your past what would it be? Would the answer transform you or haunt you forever? Find out!
47 backers pledged $2,166 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Life's Questions Answered becomes a Graphic Novel project video thumbnail
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$2,166

47

WHO?

Hi, I'm Allan Gross. This is LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED, a collaboration with Gary Smith and Lisa Naffziger. Though I've written and published many books, this is my first KICKSTARTER campaign, so I am going to make it special for you! I've created some unique rewards and stretch goals that let you do more than fund this project. You can actually participate in the "experience". You can live the story told in LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED. You'll see what I mean in a minute!

WHAT?

Sample pages from Life's Questions Answered
Sample pages from Life's Questions Answered

LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED is a graphic novel created from a short film done by my lifelong friend Gary Smith for a Master's thesis. In the story, a man gets the power to see the secrets behind objects he touches. But what about the questions in his life he doesn't want answered?

I liked his concept so much I suggested we expand the plot into a 92 page graphic novel. So we did!

Now we're looking for support as we get it into print and open doors toward making it into a full length feature film -- something I have experience with from my CRYPTOZOO CREW project (optioned by ALCON ENTERTAINMENT to make a feature film). So, that's the plan. From a movie to a graphic novel and back to a movie!

WHY?

Gary and I were completely immersed in this concept while writing LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED. This story is our passion and the KICKSTARTER process is about community. So, we're not satisfied to simply have people fund the book. We want to get to know you all. Better yet, we want to turn this campaign into an artistic process itself! Performance art!

HOW?

The first stretch goal (at only $1 over the goal) is to let everyone spend a month eChatting with our resident mystic, CRYSTAL VISIONS – the character in the story that helps Randy Burton explore his past life.

You'll be able to ask Crystal your life's questions through a private email address! In her unique manner, Crystal will ask you questions back. No guarantees, but who knows, maybe she'll lead you to some answers – and transform your life!

I'm sure many of you have some great questions and amazing stories to tell Crystal. Your input may lead us to the sequel to this book or at least a point of focus for new songs I will be writing for the LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED music CD! Cool, right?  Inspire me!

By helping us reach the goal, the songs will be collected and become a follow-on CD, like I did with the DOCTOR CYBORG soundtrack. (Links to a sample can be played in the Reward Description section.)

WHICH?

Pick a reward level that seems right for you. First and foremost, I want you to get the book, so that is in ALL the packages. Further reward levels allow you to also pick up copies of some of my works apropos to this theme of answering the great questions of the world and about ourselves!

Since I don't have that many copies of some of these remaining, I've structured the tiers to reflect that limitation. So hurry up and take the plunge!

By the way, if working with Crystal is not exciting enough for you, and you have the financial means to really be part of the creative experience, you can always "take the prize". I'm talking the Oscar, baby! If we win one, it can be all yours. How's that for a reward? See the reward section for more information.

WHEN?

Right now! Gary, Lisa and I have spent the last year and a half planning, plotting, and creating this project. Push it over the edge for us! Help us muster the resources and excitement to get a good publisher and a movie deal. And, of course, we need your help to spread the word so we can reach the really cool stretch goals too. Speaking of which...

STRETCH GOALS

#1 - TALK TO CRYSTAL: When we pass $2,000 donated everyone who donated will get access to Ms. Crystal Visions' email address so they can try to get their "life's questions" answered by our "mystic". This will open up for at least a month, starting in September, after all the books have been shipped. Read the book and ask away! While it's all in good fun, it should be quite an interesting exploration of our shared experiences.

#2 - AS IT THEMES TO ME: When we pass $5,000 donated I will make available, for download, an original new "theme song" for the book. Gary and I will be writing and recording it - following in the footsteps of the DOCTOR CYBORG CD. 

#3 - HELP PAY THE HELP: When we pass $7,500 donated, the people who helped out for free on this project will get paid! At this stretch point, I'll be able to do so and continue to increase their remuneration proportionally with more pledges! Believe me, they deserve it!

#4 - IT'S A VIRTUAL PARTY: When we pass $10,000 donated, I'll provide song downloads of the entire LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED CD! I'll be supplementing the theme song with other new material, possibly inspired by Crystal's forays into our readers' psyches.

#5 - IT'S A REAL PARTY: When we pass $20,000 donated I'll produce complete music CDs of the LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED album and ship them to anyone who got the physical book. Lyrics sheets too, of course! That's the best part.

REWARD DESCRIPTIONS

The DOCTOR CYBORG Music CD
The DOCTOR CYBORG Music CD

In the "Music to Read By" Package you get the DOCTOR CYBORG CD. Much of this was recorded in London and features the band I was in called The Suburban Rejects, and for a short time as The Philistines. I was the singer, lyricist, and occasional songwriter and guitarist. The opening song, Doctor Cyborg and the final two acoustic songs all directly relate to the DOCTOR CYBORG graphic novels. I've only added $5 for the CD. It's a great deal. Besides, financial advisers always say you should have some of your money in CDs, right? Take a listen. Let me know what you think!

Doctor Cyborg Sample

 Genocide Jane Sample (acoustic)

Cryptozooligans Package
Cryptozooligans Package

In the "Cryptozooligans" Package you get the 2 CRYPTOZOO CREW Graphic Novels. CRYPTOZOO CREW is an all-ages graphic novel series I created with Jerry Carr. The book chronicles the adventures of husband and wife team Tork and Tara Darwyn, as they travel the globe, searching for the secrets of hidden and undiscovered creatures.

CRYPTOZOO CREW even tries to answer the ultimate question: What is your spouse thinking? Basically a "Romancing the Stone" with crazy creatures. The second book answers the mystery of the mysterious Thunderbird - and how to fund education! You'll see why ALCON ENTERTAINMENT (THE BLIND SIDE, THE BOOK OF ELI, DOLPHIN TALE) thinks this will make a great feature film!

The IS ART Package
The IS ART Package

The "IS ART" package adds the beautiful oversized coffee table book called IS ART: The Art of Insight Studios. The size adds a bit to the shipping, but is worth every penny. The book is broken up into 4 sections - the studio's history, followed by a pictorial biography of the three main artists of the studio back in the day: Frank Cho, Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley. Profusely illustrated with many amazing illustrations and my in depth biography of each creator. 

The Paranoia Package
The Paranoia Package

In the "Paranoia" Package" you get the two DOCTOR CYBORG graphic novels.  The first one, collected under the name "CLONE CONSPIRACY" was created from the five issue comic I published. It is a true conspiracy book, with its own hidden secrets, while taking on some of the more obscure conspiracies, like the Shakespeare Authorship controversy and the cover-up of the harm caused by atomic testing in the United States. All in a fun-loving adventure romp. DOCTOR CYBORG "OUTPATIENT" featured the art of MIKE OEMING (POWERS - now on PlayStation Network). In fact Mike was working on it as the POWERS comic started. It ran in the early 2000s as one of the first online web strips.

 Special thanks to Freedom Digital Media and Insight Studios Group.

Risks and challenges

I am confident I can meet the deadlines for LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED. You can see from my BIO that I have a lot of experience creating and publishing comics, graphic novels and books. It is tougher to gauge the effort or time to create the CD when we reach that stretch goal, but I'll get it done! As for the Oscar, well, Hollywood runs on its own schedule, of course.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    [The "Read Only" Package] A LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED PDF - A PDF of the book for download. The simplest way to support the project. Read the book on your computer or tablet.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    [The "Book It" Package] LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED Special Limited and Signed Edition - A special, color, soft cover, pre-publication, 1st edition of the book. Signed and numbered by the authors. Also the PDF of the book in the "Read Only" Package.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    [The "Music to Read By" Package] Add the DOCTOR CYBORG CD to the package. An all original music CD companion to the DOCTOR CYBORG series, featuring the authors (Allan Gross on vocals & song-writing and Gary Smith on drums). Plus everything in the "Book It" package above (The book and the PDF). For more information, see the rewards description section.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    [ The "Cryptozooligans" Package]. We add the two full color CRYPTOZOO CREW graphic novels. Signed by the author. Plus everything in the "Music to Read By" package above (The CD, the book and the PDF). For more information, see the rewards description section.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    [ The "IS ART" Package] We add the lavish IS ART: THE ART of INSIGHT STUDIOS coffee table art book. Plus everything in the "Cryptozooligans" package above. (The two CRYPTOZOO CREW graphic novels, the CD, the book and the PDF). For more information, see the rewards description section. All books signed by the author(s).

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    [Special Support the Artist Package] Get a SECOND copy of LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED with an ORIGINAL DRAWING by Lisa Naffziger on the signature page! One to read (or lend out), one with original art to keep. Plus get everything in the "Cryptozooligans" package above. All books signed by the author(s). For more information, see the rewards description section.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    [The "Paranoia" Package] Also get the two DOCTOR CYBORG graphic novels (CLONE CONSPIRACY and OUTPATIENT). Plus everything in the "IS ART" package (The "IS ART art book, the two CRYPTOZOO CREW graphic novels, the CD, the book and the PDF). All books signed by the author(s). For more information, see the rewards description section.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    [ The "Original Art" Package] Get a SECOND copy of LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED with an ORIGINAL DRAWING by Lisa Naffziger on the signature page! Plus get everything in the "Paranoia" package above (The two DOCTOR CYBORG graphic novels, the IS ART book, the two CRYPTOZOO CREW graphic novels, the CD, the book and the PDF). All books signed by the author(s). For more information, see the rewards description section.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    [The "You Take the Prize" Package] The ultimate pledge for the ultimate reward. If LIFE'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED is turned into a movie, and Gary and I win an Oscar for our involvement, YOU GET THE STATUE. (Assuming the Academy allows this. They allegedly ask you to sell it back to them first, BUT, since we're not technically selling it, who knows. Anyway, at a minimum we will thank you and/or your company at the award show. How's that for good publicity!) Anyway, show your belief in the project in a way that few can do, and few will believe. Plus you get everything in the Orignal Art package above and 10 extra copies of the book. Plus you get the incredible satisfaction of knowing you've given everyone the Stretch Rewards! All books signed by the author(s). For more information on the rewards, see the description section. The books and other rewards will ship in August. The Oscar may take a while! Hollywood can be slow to recognize greatness.

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Funding period

- (60 days)