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A collection of paranormal experiences, true ghost stories, friend-of-friend tales and brushes with the unknown. Read more

Chicago, IL Anthologies
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 25, 2014.

A collection of paranormal experiences, true ghost stories, friend-of-friend tales and brushes with the unknown.

Chicago, IL Anthologies
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About this project

Have you ever seen something you can't explain? Heard a voice speak a warning to you as you drifted off to sleep? Ever see a woman with no face singing to herself on a long, empty road? Ever talk to a serial killer?

From the strange, nighttime experiences of a man deployed in Iraq to the story of a house haunted by a slightly mad old Jewish matriarch, from a chaplain's experience performing an exorcism to the history of spiritualism, to a ghost that seems to love LARPs, Then It Was Dark collects a variety of strange experiences from talented and diverse voices.

A few people have messaged me asking about Star Power, so I've added two new backer rewards that include a Star Power PDF! One at the $15 level, one at the $40!

Current Stretch Goal:

$16,500 -- Everyone is paid an additional $5 per page, and a free, large, suitable for printing PDF of the "Mystery House" image will be unlocked for all backers! 

From "Kinoko" by Kasia Banas and Tara Zuber
From "Kinoko" by Kasia Banas and Tara Zuber
From "The Sitting Ghost" by Karen Kuo
From "The Sitting Ghost" by Karen Kuo

New roughs by Sarah Dill from her story, The Copperhead

A new stretch goal has been added for Then It Was Dark! A special bonus story written by Dirk Manning and drawn by Sires J. Black!  

Dirk Manning, acclaimed writer of such horror comics such as NIGHTMARE WORLD, TALES OF MR. RHEE, and LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) tells the true story of the spiritual encounter he had in New Orleans that begrudgingly made him believe in ghosts!  

Sires J. Black is the incredibly talented artist of YOU'RE NOT ALONE and other comics. 

Also featured in Then It Was Dark are the writing talents of Natalie Leif, Hannah K Chapman, Tara Zuber, Alo Sophia Lenk and Wesley Sun!

I'm Sarah Benkin, the editor of Then It Was Dark, and I'm raising money to pay the artists for their contributions to the anthology, as well as paying for printing costs, shipping and miscellaneous expenses. All contributors to the anthology are paid up front, and have the perpetual right to buy copies at a significant discount so they can be sold at cons, or in their shops, for a profit. This way, artists and writers can make money off the front and back end. Treating my creators well, respecting their work and paying them for their labors is deeply important to me, and additional money raised will be put towards that goal.

Stretch Goals:

$16,500 -- Everyone is paid an additional $5 per page, and a free, suitable for printing pdf of the "Mystery House" image will be unlocked for all backers!

$17,000 -- A new story written by Dirk Manning and drawn by Sires J. Black is unlocked! 

$18,000 --Everyone is paid an additional $10 per page!

$20,000 --Everyone is paid an additional $15 per page, and we will release a new wallpaper available to every backer!

$21,500 --Everyone is paid an additional $20 per page!

$24,000 --Everyone is paid an additional $25 per page, and we will release a special audio story just for Kickstarter backers!

From "Faces" by Henry Gustavson
From "Faces" by Henry Gustavson
From "I See You" by Meg Gandy
From "I See You" by Meg Gandy

 Rewards for Backers!

 $1 - A thank you ghost in your email!

 $2 - A thank you and a Kickstarter-exclusive wallpaper! Limited quantity!

 $10 - A DRM-free PDF of Then It Was Dark!

 $25 - A PDF of Then It Was Dark and a physical copy!

 $35 - A PDF, a physical copy and a PDF of a kickstarter-exclusive process book!

 $45 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and three monster prints by Sarah Benkin! Limited quantity!

 $50 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a mounted, ready-to-hang print of the "bright figure" promotional image! (This is not the cover art!) Limited quantity!

 $65 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a "Dumb Ways To Die" commission! (See below) Limited quantity!

 $75 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a PG-13 inked commission by Carey Pietsch! Only five available!

 $75 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and an inked commission by Jen Hickman! Only ten available!

 $80 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and an inked commission by Sarah 'Pickles' Dill! Only five available!

 $80 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and an inked commission by Diana Nock! Only five available!

 $100 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a colored commission by Kelly Leigh Miller! Only nine available!

$100 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a colored digital commission by Karina Rehrbehn! Only five available! 

 $100 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and color commission by Kasia Banas! Only four available!

 $350 - A PDF, the process book, a physical copy and a color commission from each of the three above artists! Only one available!

 $500- A PDF, the process book, a physical copy, a page in the anthology devoted to a spooky portrait of you, and a "ghost box" filled with five mounted and ready to be displayed pieces of artwork! Only five available!

 $1,000- Everything available at the previous level, plus a customized copy of the book filled with sketches, signatures, funny and creepy photographs and a special customized slipcover! Only one available!

Dumb Ways To Die Reward - Sample images

 Killed by a cenobite? Stomped by godzilla? Eaten by a swarm of sentient cupcakes? You chose the manner of your end, provide a photo or detailed description of your fate, then sit back and wait for the trumpets to sound.

I will be kicking this project forward.

Risks and challenges

I've told all contributors to hold off work on the anthology until the project is funded. (Any preview art you see here was paid for out of pocket by me.) This is because I don't want anyone to work on promises, and so I won't ask anyone to start until the money that I will pay them with is in my hand.

However, because of that, there is always the possibility that one or two of the contributors will, for whatever reason, fail to deliver. Although my contributors are all working professionals who've shown they can put out sequential work in the past, there is always (heaven forbid) the possibility that some accident, illness or family emergency will arise and stop one of the contributors from contributing.

If this happens, and it significantly affects the planned length of the book, I may have to revisit other artists who originally applied, or turn to other creators I know to fill in. I will inform my backers of the situation and of any delays it may cause. If any other unforeseen circumstance should cause a delay, I will inform my backers of that as well.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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Rewards

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    9 backers

    Kick in a dollar to help the project, and you'll get a thank-you ghost in your email!

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    10 backers Limited (90 left of 100)

    First hundred backers to kick in a couple of dollars will get access to a kickstarter-exclusive wallpaper as well as a thank you!

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    134 backers

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark! This is a Kickstarter-exclusive pdf!

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    Pledge $15 or more

    15 backers

    PDF bundle! A DRM-free PDF of Then It Was Dark and of Star Power: A bawdy, body-positive comic. (ADULTS ONLY)

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    20 backers All gone!

    Bleeding Cool Bonus! - 20 Backers can get a DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark, and a high quality softcover copy of the anthology sent to you in the mail for $5 off the usual price!

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    187 backers

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark, and a high quality softcover copy of the anthology sent to you in the mail!

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    30 backers

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, plus a DRM-free PDF of a special, Kickstarter-exclusive process book with behind-the scenes sketches, roughs and process work by the artists of Then It Was Dark!

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    25 backers Limited (15 left of 40)

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus a three pack of ready-to-mount monster prints by Sarah Benkin!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a DRM-free PDF of the process book and a DRM-free PDF of Star Power by Sarah Benkin! (ADULTS ONLY.)

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    13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)

    A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus an 8x10 high quality mounted print of the "bright figure" promotional image!

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    8 backers Limited (12 left of 20)

    Dumb Ways To Die - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus an inked drawing by Sarah Benkin of your death, by whatever means or method you choose! (see examples)

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    INCREDIBLE! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus a (PG-13) inked commission by the incredible Carey Pietsch, artist of The Snapdragon Queen and Written on the Bones. Only five available!

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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    MARVELOUS! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus an inked commission by the marvelous Jen Hickman, artist of The Dead! Only ten available!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    SENSATIONAL! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus an inked commission by the sensational Sarah 'Pickles' Dill, artist of Distillum! Only five available!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    EXTRAORDINARY! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, plus an inked commission by the extraordinary Diana Nock, artist of The Intrepid Girlbot! Only five available!

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    9 backers All gone!

    STUNNING! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, a special thank you on the backer's page, plus an inked and colored commission by the stunning Kelly Leigh Miller! Only nine available!

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    5 backers All gone!

    SPECTACULAR! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, a special thank you on the backer's page, plus a colored digital commission by the spectacular Karina Rehrbahn! Only five available!

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    4 backers All gone!

    AWESOME! - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, a special thank you on the backer's page, plus an inked and colored commission by the awesome Kasia Banas! Only four available!

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    Pledge $350 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Three in One - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, a special thank you on the backer's page, plus an inked and colored commission from EACH OF THE THREE previously listed artists! (Kasia Banas, Karina Rehrbahn and Kelly Leigh Miller!) Only one available!

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Gold Level - A DRM-free pdf of Then It Was Dark and a high quality softcover copy, a pdf of the process book, a page in the anthology devoted to a spooky portrait of you, and a "ghost box" with five mounted and ready to be displayed pieces of creepy artwork! Only five available!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Platinum Level - Everything available at Gold Level, plus a customized copy of the book filled with artists' sketches, signatures, funny and creepy photographs and a special customized slipcover! Only one available!

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Funding period

- (30 days)