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Pinnacle and Visionary Comics team up to bring you The Cackler graphic novel--a mystery almost 20 years in the making!
Pinnacle and Visionary Comics team up to bring you The Cackler graphic novel--a mystery almost 20 years in the making!
Pinnacle and Visionary Comics team up to bring you The Cackler graphic novel--a mystery almost 20 years in the making!
603 backers pledged $35,265 to help bring this project to life.

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Deadlands: The Cackler Graphic Novel

$35,265

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Stone stalks the High Plains seeking heroes to kill. The Cackler hunts the Weird West in search of a mysterious girl called Rachel. Both of these killers are stone-cold dead...Harrowed...and what they're about to do kicks off the next era in the story of Deadlands!

Join us for a walk on the DEAD SIDE as we create two very different but linked projects that start us on the road for the 20th anniversary of Deadlands coming in 2016.

This page is for the Cackler Graphic Novel ... for more information on the Stone and a Hard Place Plot Point Campaign Kickstarter, click here!

Check out our loco SIMULTANEOUS Dead Men Walking Kickstarters!
Check out our loco SIMULTANEOUS Dead Men Walking Kickstarters!

The Wicked West

The Cackler is an ancient Harrowed in search of a very particular blood relative for a nefarious and mysterious ritual that could change the world of Deadlands forever!

A sample panel from the opening pages...somewhere in the arid Southwest.
A sample panel from the opening pages...somewhere in the arid Southwest.

The Texas Rangers and Agency have invoked the "Twilight Protocol" to unite against the Cackler and are doing everything they can to stop him. They're joined by Morgan Lash—a former Wichita Witch who's shed her dark past to protect the girl the Cackler searches for—her sister!

The Cackler and his lieutenants doing the devil's business...
The Cackler and his lieutenants doing the devil's business...

Think you can figure out the Cackler's secret identity before you get to the end of the tale? We've been putting the clues out there for 20 years, amigo! (The most concise clues are in The Black Circle book for the original Deadlands Classic, by the way, but everything is retold right here in the graphic novel as well.)

What You're Funding & Delivery Dates

We're making both the print and digital versions of The Cackler. Each digital issue of the 4-issue series will be released as it's finished and should be out by May, and the hardback, full-color, collected print version should be in your hands by September.

The print version also includes the bonus game information and the illustrated story Dead Men Talking as well. We'll eventually release those as digital downloads, but they'll appear in the print version of the hardback first.

Digital Fulfilllment

You'll get your digital files through the Pinnacle site, Comics+ / iVerse, and DriveThruComics.com :)

The Twisted Team

Shane Hensley wrote the Cackler's long-awaited tale, and it was edited and kicked in the rear by C. Edward Sellner of Visionary Comics and Deadlands Brand Manager Matthew Cutter.

Art for this tale of Weird Western woe is by the legendary Bart Sears, one of the true masters of the medium. He's worked for EVERY major comic publisher, from Marvel to DC, Valiant to Crossgen. Colors are by the amazing Michael Atiyeh, who includes DC, Dark Horse, and Star Wars credits to his name!

Check out Bart's site HERE, and Michael's DeviantArt Page HERE.

If you haven't read the original one-shots, you can check out a preview of the issue these two hombres collaborated on before, Death Was Silent, one of our most popular initial stories. You can also check out previews of other Deadlands comics on Visionary's Deadlands Page! And get a gander at the initial pages for Cackler below!

A collection of Visionary's Deadlands Comics!
A collection of Visionary's Deadlands Comics!
New to Deadlands? No problemo, amigo! The Cackler is the perfect way to jump into the Weird West!
New to Deadlands? No problemo, amigo! The Cackler is the perfect way to jump into the Weird West!

Sneak Peeks!

We'll be showing you previews of the pages as they're turned in by the art team, including notes and other adjustments so you can see "behind the curtain" into the creative process!

The sinister cover and collector's print...by Bad Bart Sears!
The sinister cover and collector's print...by Bad Bart Sears!
Bart "Story Tellin'" Sears sets the mood right from the opening page!
Bart "Story Tellin'" Sears sets the mood right from the opening page!

For Deadlands RPG Fans

Besides setting up key events that affect the 20th anniversary of the Weird West, the Cackler graphic novel also includes Deadlands Reloaded statistics for the Cackler and his creepy lieutenants you can use in YOUR game!

Don't bother trying to read the fine print, friend. The Cackler's secrets are locked up inside the graphic novel. Nice try though! ;)
Don't bother trying to read the fine print, friend. The Cackler's secrets are locked up inside the graphic novel. Nice try though! ;)

Want to Be Part of the Story?

The Cackler graphic novel also includes the illustrated short story of the day the Cackler met Stone, the town that suffered their wrath, and the deaths of those stubborn few who tried to save it!

This terrible tale of High Plains horror is called Dead Men Talking, and YOUR CHARACTER can be a part of it! Check out the Deader, Harrowed, and Aces Reward levels if you'd like your character to be one of the undead things who accompany Stone or the mysterious Cackler, or one of those unfortunate souls they blast into oblivion for getting in their way! Check it fast though—coffins are limited!

You can model a character after yourself, a loved one (with their permission), or a character from your own Deadlands campaign! Just realize they aren't likely to survive. ;)

(Obligatory Disclaimer: If we can't come up with something that makes sense in the context of the story, we'll give you the Cackler (Print) Reward level and refund you the difference.)

Stretch Goals

$23,000 — The Cackler Wallpapers (UNLOCKED!): Everyone gets a selection of gorgeous digital wallpapers created from The Cackler graphic novel, for your desktop, phone, and tablet!

$25,000  The Cackler Doomtown Card (UNLOCKED!): A special, EXCLUSIVE card for Alderac Entertainment's amazing Doomtown card game featuring THE CACKLER! Every PRINT order receives TWO of these cards--one for keepin' and one for playin'!

We're making an EXCLUSIVE Cackler card for the Doomtown Living Card Game, created by the Doomtown designers themselves!
We're making an EXCLUSIVE Cackler card for the Doomtown Living Card Game, created by the Doomtown designers themselves!

$30,000  The Cackler Print (UNLOCKED!): Every physical order gets an exclusive PRINT of the Cackler cover, suitable for framing! 

$35,000  The Art of the Weird West (UNLOCKED!): An additional 16-page section featuring a few of the original defining pieces of Deadlands art with the stories behind them, as well as brand new visions by top artists such as Bart Sears, Cheyenne Wright, Bien Flores, and more!

Add Ons

We'll set up the Add Ons after the Kickstarter via an external pledge manager. We'll include the Raven graphic novel and anything else from the Visionary store they have left in stock (inventory is getting a bit low on quite a few of their Deadlands offerings!). That keeps things nice and simple here since Kickstarter doesn't offer an easy way to track Add Ons, and still allows you to add items to your order to save on postage once we're about to ship.

For other Deadlands comics, if you go RIGHT NOW you might still be able to pre-order our first Deadlands comics collection, Dead Man's Hand, coming from IDW. Just download our pre-order form here, then print and take it to your local comic shop. If you want the Raven graphic novel, just select the $75 Visionary reward level, which includes a full digital and print version of the Servitor of War's five issue series by Matthew Cutter, C. Edward Sellner, and Greg LaRocque collected in one volume.

Dead Man's Hand Cover from IDW and Raven Cover
Dead Man's Hand Cover from IDW and Raven Cover

And if you want the digital versions right now, just head over to the Visionary website!

The Visionary Playing Card Decks

Visionary's Dead Man's Hand and Raven Custom Playing Cards!
Visionary's Dead Man's Hand and Raven Custom Playing Cards!

Visionary also created high-quality, custom playing cards for both Dead Man's Hand and Raven, featuring art on the decks from the respective comics, which have proven to be immensely popular. The Dead Man's Hand deck features cover art on face cards, and Raven features the various characters of the series. You'll get one set of each when you pledge at the $75 reward level or above.

Original Art and a True One-of-a-Kind

We've also added two reward levels for the art collectors in the crowd. Pledge at the Art Collector $400 level and get all the graphic novel goodies, including a page of original Bart Sears art, chosen from the interior of the book (earliest backers choose first). 

One quick-on-the-draw soul can also back the Aces level, which gets you in the Dead Men Talking story, a full-color print of the cover, AND the original cover art itself, all signed by the creators!

Why Kickstarter?

Pinnacle is known for some great games and we're very proud of that. Our partnership with Visionary Comics to produce the comics has resulted in some great titles to date. But we want to take things to the next level with this effort and produce a title that has sweeping and major changes for the world of Deadlands.

Our efforts here are not only vital to producing more fantastic comics, but help pave the way for other opportunities, such as the excellent upcoming novel series from Tor Books, spearheaded by Visionary. It also helps our continued efforts to make Deadlands a great computer or video game, live action show, and/or feature film.

Producing a graphic novel—especially with the kind of top talent and high production values we hold ourselves to—is expensive and very risky in a field dominated by such power players as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, and others we're huge fans of. We've got the story, Visionary has the skills to make it happen, and now we need YOUR HELP to bring it together!

Risks and challenges

Both Pinnacle Entertainment Group and Visionary Comics are old hands at fulfilling Kickstarter projects—check our previous Kickstarters to see for yourself. Pinnacle's award-winning Deadlands line includes more than 100 products over its almost-20-year history, and Visionary has produced multiple titles, including previous Deadlands comics Raven, One Shot originals, and Dead Man's Hand. The artists attached, Bart Sears and Michael Atiyeh, are top professionals in the graphic novel industry who frequently work for the likes of Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse, and others. Like any creative project, something could happen to the principles that could slow or halt production for a while, but we've hit worse obstacles and still delivered so we think your risks are as minimal as they come. Thanks greatly for your constant support and enthusiasm for our books, comics, and games!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Cackler (Digital): The Cackler graphic novel in digital formats plus all applicable stretch goals.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The Cackler (Print): The graphic novel in full color hardback AND digital formats, plus all applicable stretch goals.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Visionary: The Cackler graphic novel in full color hardback AND digital formats, plus all applicable stretch goals AND the print AND digital versions of the Raven graphic novel AND the collector's Dead Man's Hand and Raven playing card decks (see main text)!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Deader: The full-color hardback Cackler graphic novel SIGNED by Shane Hensley and Bart Sears, the Dead Man's Hand and Raven card decks, AND we'll work with you to get you or a character of your creation into the illustrated story "Dead Men Talking", along with a byline on the credits page for your character AND a high resolution head shot of your character! (Please expect the character to meet a gruesome end!)

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Art Collector: The full-color hardback Cackler graphic novel SIGNED by Shane Hensley and Bart Sears, the Dead Man's Hand and Raven card decks, AND receive a page of original art from the comic! (First choice determined by pledge date! Get it fast!)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Harrowed: The full-color hardback SIGNED by Shane Hensley and Bart Sears, the Dead Man's Hand and Raven card decks (see main text), a page of original art from the comic (see above), AND we'll work with you to create a villain who runs with the Cackler in the illustrated story "Dead Men Talking" OR a featured hero who runs afoul of him! You'll also get a byline on the credits page AND a full-color illustration of your character in a high-resolution file alongside the Cackler suitable for framing! (Fair warning--the character probably won't survive the story!)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Aces: The full-color hardback SIGNED by Shane Hensley and Bart Sears, the Dead Man's Hand and Raven card decks (see main text), AND we'll work with you to create a villain who runs with the Cackler in the illustrated story "Dead Men Talking" OR a featured hero who runs afoul of him! You'll also get a byline on the credits page AND a full-color illustration of your character in a high-resolution file alongside the Cackler suitable for framing! (Fair warning--the character probably won't survive the story!) In addition this one-of-a-kind reward will include the original art for the cover and a full-sized color print, both signed by the creators! These will be suitable for framing side by side to show off to friends and family!

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Funding period

- (37 days)