Following a cataclysmic event, a group of children struggling to survive find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict between two mysterious entities, neither of whom are what they appear to be. Written by Daniel Stalter and Illustrated by Reed Olsen, with Lettering by Frank Cvetkovic.
Chapter 1: Creature's Keeper tells the story of Amalie, a tough 12-year old girl who lives alone with a strange beast she calls Creature. Amalie can't explain what Creature is, but she knows that he has her Papa's eyes. The two have been working together to survive since The Long Winter started, but all of that changes on the day Creature brings home something Amalie hasn't seen in a long time: a living human boy. It is the first of a 12 chapter story.
We are offering a free download of our full first chapter. You don't have to take a blind gamble on our work. The first chapter was completed and made available digitally back in June 2015. Take a look. If you like what you see, help us get this to print.
We (Daniel and Reed) have been friends since High School, and first had the idea to make Dream Crasher back in 2010. It took years of careful planning and perseverance to complete the first chapter, which was published digitally in June 2015. Despite numerous personal and creative setbacks along the way, we have created something we are incredibly proud of. We are ready to take this project to the next level.
In My Own Words: Daniel
In the summer of 2011, Reed and I were on track for releasing Chapter 1 in early 2012. The first chapter was drawn and painted and the second chapter had been started. We still hadn’t thought about lettering, logos, or print budgets - but we had momentum. Then everything came to a screeching halt when my boyfriend died.
The unexpected trauma, the weight of the grief, and the subsequent depression and healing all took their toll in various ways. It was more than 6 months before I was able to return to the project again, and it would be another year before I finished the next chapter. This was in no small part because I gained a whole new perspective on what I was making happen to Amalie.
I was following Kurt Vonnegut’s sixth rule to a T. I was being a sadist and making awful things happen to my main character, but I hadn’t given a second thought to how it was affecting her. I hadn’t thought about how she processed the world around her, or who she was because of it. Through my own grief, I understood her on a whole new level. In many ways, Amalie is a representation of how strong I wish I could be. She’s a survivor. She can tame a beast but she’s still human. She’s still vulnerable.
I began to think of this bleak new world less like a graveyard and more like fertile soil. It’s not a story about the world that’s been destroyed. It’s about the new world taking it’s place. It’s about the children who have an opportunity to shape it. Beyond the horror of the present, there is hope. There is a future worth fighting for.
Ultimately Reed and I made the decision to completely redo the artwork for Chapter 1. It set us even further back, but I can confidently say that we have a better comic because of it. Reed’s patience, understanding, and empathy throughout this project has been instrumental in my sticking with it. There were plenty of opportunities to give up quietly and walk away, and yet we stuck with it. I can’t thank him enough for that. We’re still pushing on, and I believe now more than ever we will see it through to the end.
In My Own Words: Reed
The Dream Crasher story, and Chapter 1 in particular for me, personally represent that relentless monastic fortitude that I have continuously needed to be happy and achieve what I have so far in my life. It is about recognizing the excuses for not drawing after a long day of biking to work and packing CSA boxes with your best friend, but knowing that an excuse does not ink a page, and that I can always sleep later. I hope you enjoy what we have here, it is just the tip of one colossal nightmarish iceberg.
Our primary goal is to fund a large print run of Chapter 1 - 1,000 copies to be exact. This will enable us to table at conventions with physical comics to sell and expand to a wider audience. It will also allow us begin selling copies at our local comic book shops in New York and Seattle. Finally, reaching our goal will cover the lettering costs for Chapters 1-3.
Stretch Goal 1: $4,500 - We will include Dream Crasher Bookmarks with each print copy of Chapter 1, cover lettering costs through Chapter 4, and expand our funds for tabling at conventions.
Stretch Goal 2: $6,000 - We will do a limited print run of Chapter 2 (500 copies), and add a new reward tier for those interested in getting it in print. We will additionally be able to expand our funds for tabling at conventions even further.
Stretch Goal 3: $8,500 - We will add T-shirts as a new reward tier and double our print run of Chapter 1 (2,000 copies).
Stretch Goal 5: $10,000 - In addition to t-shirts, we will double our limited print run of Chapter 2 (1,000 copies).
We are using a Digital First business model. Beyond Chapter 1 and a possible limited run of Chapter 2, we will not likely be printing individual chapters. Instead we will be focusing on digital releases of each chapter through platforms such as comiXology and Tapastic, and then collecting them into printed volumes. Our next print venture will be printing Volume 1 after the release of our 4th (and longest) chapter.
Chapter 1 is finished and ready to be sent to the printers as soon as this project is successfully funded.
Chapter 2 ("The Land Vomits Ghosts") is completed, and it will be digitally available through Kickstarter first. If we reach our second stretch goal, we will also include a limited print run of Chapter 2.
Chapter 3 ("Welcome Home") is painted and in the process of digital editing.
Chapter 4 ("Dearest, the Shadows") is painted and awaiting digital edits.
Chapter 5 ("The Dreamer's Parasite") has been drawn and is in the process of being painted.
Chapter 6 (Working Title: "The Other Side of the Crash") has a script written and in the process of being edited.
We have a total of 12 Chapters and 3 Volumes planned.
Have an idea for a reward that we don't have listed? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have also included full sized views of the various rewards below.
Thank You Card:
The Land Vomits Ghosts 11x14 Print:
"Creature's Keeper" 11x14 Print:
Some of Reed's other artwork:
We could not have completed the video portion of this campaign without Sean's help. When he's not busy helping us out, he's making some truly powerful and important documentaries. You can check out more of his portfolio on his website: http://seanhasawebsite.com.
The video likewise would not have been the same without the musical accompaniment provided by Jaime Traba. There's a full EP where that came from (and more in the works). You can download the album and follow Circadian on BandCamp: http://circadianproject.bandcamp.com.
Risks and challenges
We are ready to print Chapter 1 now, and will begin the process as soon as the campaign is successfully funded.
Chapter 2 digital copies will be ready to be sent out at that time as well.
Chapter 3 has been painted and is in the digital editing process now. It will just need to be lettered and have some final copy edits done. We anticipate the release of that on or before August 1, 2016.
The digital releases of Chapters 1-3 will forge on as planned even in the event of this Kickstarter not reaching it's goal.
We anticipate it will be a learning experience organizing and shipping out all of the rewards, but we have done our research and have included the costs in our budget. Shipping the posters will be a unique challenge, but we have limited the number of them so as not to become overwhelmed.
If we hit our third stretch goal of including t-shirts, It will add a unique shipping challenge for those who choose that reward tier.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)