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$1,879 pledged of $13,000 goal
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About this project

                                    The BIRTH of HORROR!

In the early 19th century hundreds of tales of terror flooded the streets of London with horrific titles such as The Bleeding Nun, Cavern of Horrors, Skeleton Witness and The Bloody Hand and were derided as merely Gothic chapbooks or Literary Mushrooms by critics. To be specific chapbooks were a series of cheap publications inspired by the Gothic novels of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Horace Walpole (1764-1830). The popularity of these short 36-72 page booklets, distinguished by their blue covers, was immense. Often illustrated with garish illustrations these short tales were so popular that they were literally read to pieces by eager readers of all ages and social classes between 1800 and 1830. The Gothic chapbook and their tales of terror and horror are the great grandparents of the modern horror and comic books.

Original Illustrations found in some of the Earliest Gothic Chapbooks
Original Illustrations found in some of the Earliest Gothic Chapbooks

While 100s of these tales of terror were originally published, only a few remain today, so we need to act fast! This is where you and I come in!

At Zittaw Press we specialize in publishing rare Gothic novels and tales that have been forgotten over the years. For the past 10 years Zittaw Press has been finding, collecting and resurrecting as many of these rare Gothic tales and novels as possible. We have published 20 Gothic chapbooks reproductions as well some 15 scholarly editors of rare Gothic novels including James Malcolm Rymer's Varney the Vampire (1847), William Henry Ireland's The Abbess (1799),and several collections of Gothic tales including Forgotten Gothic: Short Stories from British Literary Annuals (2012), just to name a few.

                                            OUR PROJECT  

Our project is simple: to preserve these 200 year old tales and introduce them to a brand new audience. In order to do this we are resurrecting 15 of the most sensational and horrific tales of Gothic terror of the early 19th century,combining them with original horror comic art and publishing them in a hard bound collector's edition. Not only that, but we are releasing each tale as an individual issue that will be available as individual Electronic (Kindle, PDF) copies as well as hand stitched booklets (6.5x4). 

Below is some of the completed artwork for the series.

#1 The Midnight Embrace
#1 The Midnight Embrace
#2 The Bloody Hand
#2 The Bloody Hand
#3 The Horrible Revenge
#3 The Horrible Revenge
#4 The Cavern of Death
#4 The Cavern of Death
The First 2 Issues of Literary Mushrooms, with accompanying artwork
The First 2 Issues of Literary Mushrooms, with accompanying artwork

To do this we need your HELP! We need money to reach a brand new audience who will appreciate these tales of terror. WE need to get these tales out there before they disappear and are lost forever! 

The REMAINING TALES left to be published by Zittaw Press are as follows!

Subterraneous Passage

The Spectres 

The Spectre of the Murdered Nun

The Wandering Spirit   

The Spectre of the Black Forest   

Monkcliffe Abbey   

Castle of Alvidaro  

The Black Castle   

Chateau de Montville   

Monster Made By Man   

Skeleton Witness

What We Will Use the Money For 

• Original Artwork 
• Materials for hand stitched and crafted booklets. 
• Advertising (Web and Print) 
• Printing, shipping, distribution, taxes, ISBN 
• Amazon and Kickstarter fees.

Who We Are

dr. franz and J.Q. Hammer, the creators of Literary Mushrooms: Graphic Horror Series
dr. franz and J.Q. Hammer, the creators of Literary Mushrooms: Graphic Horror Series

Dr. Franz J Potter is a English Professor who specializes in Gothic Literature and the proprietor of Zittaw Press. Follow him on Twitter @Studiesingothic

Jordan Q. Hammer, a freelance comic book illustrator and graphic designer. He is a classically trained artist and self-proclaimed nerd for the horror genre. Follow him on Twitter at @JQHammer

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO LOOK AT OUT PROJECT, OUR GOAL IS TO PRESERVE THESE WONDERFUL TALES OF HORROR, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE HELP US SAVE THEM BY PLEDGING, 

OUR ETERNAL THANKS

dr. franz, and j.q.

Promotional Art for Issue #5 Spectre of the Murdered Nun
Promotional Art for Issue #5 Spectre of the Murdered Nun
An Illustration inside Issue #1 The Midnight Embrace
An Illustration inside Issue #1 The Midnight Embrace

Risks and challenges

As the proprietor of Zittaw Press we have tools, the logistical means already in place to handle this project. The manuscripts have been completed and the artwork is almost done. We have the resources available to quickly assemble the PDFs, hand stitch booklets (as we have been doing actively for 8 years) and gather the tales into a collection. Our printer (lightning source) handles shipping of books, though we often order cases ourselves to distribute according. Overall we have the experience and tools to quickly complete this project on time.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    $1 Snags you the very first issue of Literary Mushrooms, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, in .PDF format. This can be enjoyed on the go, and easily be displayed on your IPAD, IPOD, KINDLE and NOOK!

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    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    $2 Snags you the first 2 issues of Literary Mushrooms, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, and THE BLOODY HAND in .PDF format. This can be enjoyed on the go, and easily displayed on your IPAD, IPOD, KINDLE and NOOK!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    $3 Snags you the first 3 issues of Literary Mushrooms, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, THE BLOODY HAND, and THE HORRIBLE REVENGE in .PDF format. This can be enjoyed on the go, and easily displayed on your IPAD, IPOD, KINDLE and NOOK!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    For a $5 donation you will receive a gorgeous handstitched copy of either The Midnight Embrace, The Bloody Hand or The Horrible Revenge. Your Choice!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    You snag your very own hand stitched first Issue, The Midnight Embrace. Each book will be signed by the artist J.Q. Hammer, and will even include a mini original sketch inside the book. Not only that, but you will also receive the .PDF version of the The Midnight Embrace, which can be taken with you and easily used with your Ipad, Ipod, Nook or Kindle.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    10 bucks nabs you the first 2 hand stitched issues, The Midnight Embrace and The Bloody Hand, each of them signed by the artist J.Q. Hammer, and each come with a custom mini sketch inside each of the books. This will also grab you .PDF versions of the Issues, The Midnight Embrace, The Bloody Hand and can be easily taken on the go, and will display gloriously on all IPAD's, IPODS, NOOKS, and KINDLES.

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    Pledge $13 or more About $13

    This notoriously unlucky number will actually be lucky for those who choose to donate. 13 bones will snag you the first three hand stitched issues of the Literary Mushroom series. THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, THE BLOODY HAND, and THE HORRIBLE REVENGE! Each book comes signed by the artist, J.Q. Hammer and will each include a mini sketch inside. Not only that, but this UN-UNLUCKY donation will also bring you all 3 .PDF versions of the first 3 issues as well. GOOD LUCK!!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A ghoulish 11x17 black and white print of one of the covers for our horror series. Each is hand signed and numbered by the artist Jordan Q. Hammer. Pick one from our 15 covers, and then Hang it proudly on the wall and show how twisted and sick minded you are to all those that enter your home.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    20 bucks will see to it that you have in your hands the first 3 hand stitched issues, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, THE BLOODY HAND, and THE HORRIBLE REVENGE, all hand signed by the artist J.Q. Hammer. Not only that, but you will also be grabbing the .PDF versions of those books to go along with the 3 corporeal versions. And why not, a black and white 11x17 print of the cover to our first issue, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE! (also signed and numbered).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Choice A for our $25 Incentive. A horrifically beautiful 11x17 full color print of the first cover of the Literary Mushroom series, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE! Each is hand signed and numbered by the artist Jordan Q. Hammer. Hang it proudly on the wall and show how twisted and sick minded you are to all those that enter your home. You will also grab the first 3 issues in .PDF format. LUCKY YOU!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Choice B for our $25 Incentive, You Will get a glorious full color print of our 2nd Literary Mushrooms Issue, THE BLOODY HAND. Each hand signed and numbered by the artist J.Q. Hammer. Also you will be getting the first three issues in .PDF format. All easy to display on your IPOD, IPAD, NOOK, or KINDLE.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Choice C for our $25 Incentive. A disgustingly beautiful 11x17 full color print of our 3rd issue, THE HORRIBLE REVENGE. Certainly the fan favorite so far, hopefully she doesn't choke to death on that key! Not that she could anyway. Each comes hand signed and numbered by the artist J.Q. Hammer. You will also receive the first 3 issues in .PDF format!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    $35 will grant you access to the sick inner artistic workings of the artist J.Q. Hammer, by offering the official, Limited Edition sketchbook for the LITERARY MUSHROOM SERIES. This 32 page book shows the early sketches and artistic development of the Literary Mushrooms Series. Each sketchbook comes chock full of horrifying black and white images, and topped off with a blood red full color cover. Each sketchbook comes Individually Numbered and Signed by Jordan Q. Hammer, and just cause he likes your hideous face so much, J.Q. will draw an original sketch right inside the front cover. You Will also receive the first 5 ISSUES of Literary Mushrooms in .PDF format!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    CHOICE A for our $45 INCENTIVE
    You will receive the first 5 hand stitched issues of the Literary Mushroom series. THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE, THE BLOODY HAND, THE HORRIBLE REVENGE, THE CAVERN OF DEATH, and SPECTRE of the MURDERED NUN!
    All hand signed by J.Q Hammer, and will include an original sketch inside each book. Also accompanying .PDF versions to go along with the physical versions and a a gorgeous decayed black and white 11x17 print of our first issue, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    CHOICE B for our $45 INCENTIVE
    You will receive issues 6-10 of the hand stitched issues of the Literary Mushroom series. All hand signed by J.Q Hammer, and will include an original sketch inside each book. Also accompanying .PDF versions to go along with the physical versions and a a gorgeous decayed black and white 11x17 print of our first issue, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    CHOICE C for our $45 INCENTIVE
    You will receive issues 11-15 of the hand stitched Literary Mushroom series. All hand signed by J.Q Hammer, and will include an original sketch inside each book. Also accompanying .PDF versions to go along with the physical versions and a a gorgeous decayed black and white 11x17 print of our first issue, THE MIDNIGHT EMBRACE!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    $60 big ones will grab you the first 5 hand stitched issues of Literary Mushrooms. Each hand signed and numbered by the artist. Also, 5 .PDF versions of the first 5 issues to take with you on the go using a IPAD, IPOD, NOOK, or KINDLE. Not only that, but you are going to get the official 32 page Literary Mushroom sketchbook, also signed, and last a beautiful 11x17 color print of the cover of our third issue, THE HORRIBLE REVENGE (also signed and numbered by J.Q.)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Hold onto your skin! $75 bucks is gonna grab you the first 5 hand stitched Literary Mushrooms! (all hand signed) The Official Literary Mushrooms SKETCHBOOK signed and numbered by J.Q. Hammer. All 15 .PDF versions of our book series that can be easily played on any IPAD, IPOD, NOOK, or KINDLE. And last 5 black and white 11x17 prints of our first 5 issues, each hand signed amd numbered.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    This pledge snags you the Literary Mushroom Complete Collection. All 15 meticulously hand stitched books, showcasing the best vintage gothic literature from the 19th century and Coupled with beautiful illustrations by Jordan Q. Hammer. These Tales of Terror are Guaranteed to keep you up at night, and severely hinder your sleep pattern for weeks.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    This is gonna be scary! Your gonna get all 15 hand stitched Literary Mushrooms. All 15 accompanying .PDF versions to take with you on the go! The Official Sketchbook! AND! 5 full color 11x17 prints of the first 5 covers. (as above mentioned, everything will come hand signed, numbered, ect.)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    You will receive an Original, One of a Kind 11x17 black and white illustration by the Literary Mushrooms artist Jordan Q. Hammer. The artwork will portray a horrific and ghoulish design of his choice, and will surely not disappoint. Each original illustration will come signed and dated by the artist, and it is surely a piece that will make all your fellow horror enthusiasts foam at the mouth out of jealousy (or possibly lycanthrope). You will also receive all 15 hand stitched tales of terror with this pledge.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HERE IS SPECIAL INCENTIVE from J.Q. Hammer himself. An 11x17 black and white inked portrait of YOURSELF as a Zombie! Imagine yourself in all your rotting, disgusting putrified goodness, although some would say you have never looked so good! HAA! You will also grab the entire Literary Mushroom 15 hand stitched Book Collection!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Listen up dead-heads!! your gonna want to here this ghoulish deal! All 15 hand stitched Literary Mushrooms. All 15 .PDF's to take with you on the go! An original 11x17 full color Illustration, fiendishly created by J.Q. Hammer. and The official signed 32 page SKETCHBOOK.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    This is it Horror enthusiasts, the chance for you to personally star as the killer, creature, or poor disemboweled soul. Jordan Q. Hammer will draw your likeness onto the cover of one of our upcoming stories, of which he reserves the right to portray you fittingly into the story of one of our 15 Tales of Terror. Don't miss out on this chance to have your fate forever sealed and immortalized onto a comic book cover. This is a dream come true for any horror fan! You will also grab the official Literary Mushroom Sketchbook, and all 15 hand stitched Literary Mushroom issues.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    And last but not least the big one!! WANT TO DRAW HORRIBLE, DISGUSTING, TERRIFYING CREATURES!! (orange county, san diego, los angeles CA AREA ONLY!!) WE ARE OFFERING A one on one art session with the LITERARY MUSHROOMS artist J.Q. Hammer. HE WILL MEET WITH YOU and 5 of YOUR FRIENDS FOR A 2 HOUR art lesson, and will show you how to draw truly nightmarish creatures, and give you tips and tricks for developing your artistic ability. a time and a place will be set up between you and J.Q., and will be offered somewhere between DECEMBER AND JANUARY, or sometime after if you would prefer! You will also get all 15 hand stitched Literary Mushrooms, 5 full color 11x17 art prints, and a special surprise to go along with your official Literary Mushrooms Sketchbook! This is a great deal, and J.Q. looks forward to jamming with you! EMAIL US PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!

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Funding period

- (30 days)