What It Is
Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle used to be fast friends, visiting one another and writing letters back and forth, until their differing views on the afterlife set them against one another on stages and newspapers across the globe. Years after their breakup, the two continue to battle about spiritualism, the belief that the living can communicate with the dead. Doyle, creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, believes in ghosts, mediums, even photos of fairies. Houdini spends his time debunking the seances and the frauds who run them. The two are at war, two ideological armies whose battle of words is about to become a battle to the death for the very fate of humankind.
Houdini — with his wife Bess and an entourage that includes bodyguards, operatives, agents provocateur and the creepy, aspiring writer HP Lovecraft — heads off in pursuit of Doyle in search of answers after an attempt on his life by Spiritualists is ascribed to the man of letters.
Sir Arthur and his wife Jean, in league with crooked medium Margery Crandon, demonologist Damascus Boring and infamous occult madman Aleister Crowley, are busy racing to hasten a coming invasion of the dead by opening the "Gates of Hell" that hold the veil between our world and the next.
As Houdini tries to stop Doyle from ushering in a spiritual and literal apocalypse, The Death Defying becomes a battle of wills, words, faith, science, fisticuffs, handguns and magic that stretches from the windswept menace of Stull, Kansas to the small apocalypse of Tungaska, Russia. Beliefs will be tested, lives will be threatened and the scariest specter of all is whether or not any of this is real.
This Kickstarter is to fund production and printing of The Death Defying #1, the first in a series of four 30-page issues. It's an historical occult adventure and it's only made possible via this Kickstarter campaign.
The First Six Pages
The Death Defying #1! Available as either print or digital. Over 30 pages of comics plus backmatter including essay from Terry Tyson, mentalist and magician.
The Variant Cover! Available only as a print reward, the variant cover provided by Tyler Crook, artist of Petrograd, Harrow County, Bad Blood and cover artist for The Dark and Bloody. Some examples of how good he is--
Enamel Pins! Exclusive set of 3 spooooky pins including the Spirit Altar, the Spirit Box and the Crystal Ball. Pick one or buy all 3.
T-Shirts! It's a t-shirt. We're only making them for this campaign.
Script Consultation! Christopher Sebela reads and gives you notes on a script of your choice. Single issues only, no OGNs please. Good for forever, don't need to have a script ready yet.
Cameo Appearance! Impress your friends by being drawn into the first issue and waving it around as you brag "Hey, that's me in this comic which takes place in 1925. Now you have to admit I'm cool." They will have no choice but to admit that you are, in fact, very cool.
Commission! A 9 x 12 commission by series artist Gavin Guidry for you. Simple backgrounds and single figures, original drawing will be sent to you, suitable for framing.
Can't decide what you want? Back at any level and add prices + shipping from The Menu to add on any extras.
Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Sebela (High Crimes, Heartthrob, Short Blue Beetle, Injustice Ground Zero, We(l)come Back, I Live in A Clown Motel)
Artist Gavin Guidry (The Night Driver, Heartthrob)
Colorist Marissa Louise (Spell on Wheels, Escape from New York, Mystery Girl, Fresh Romance)
Letterer Micah Meyers (The Disasters, The Night Driver, Mercy Sparx)
The Death Defying is a creator-owned book, with all ownership and profits split between all four members of the team and cover credits for all. We're making this book because we believe in it and we think people will like it.
We are looking to raise $8,000 minimum to pay artist Gavin Guidry, colorist Marissa Louise & letterer Micah Meyers for their work on the book. At this minimum amount, they are working at reduced rates and I am writing and running/fulfilling the campaign for free.
There are no unnecessary costs in the mix, this is the absolute cheapest we can make this issue while still paying everyone a proper rate for their work. Here is how the money breaks down, percentage wise:
Why one issue & not the whole thing at once?
Two reasons: 1) The team is assembled and eager to work and it's hard to get a team together and have momentum, so we'd like to follow that momentum and get started right now rather than wait a few months. 2) I don't want to get crushed on taxes. I already owe taxes on the Short Order Crooks campaign and adding the amount that this book would cost for all 4 issues would throw my already confusing finances into deeper peril. We'll be back in January to fund the remaining 3 issues in a single campaign.
Any extra money raised will go towards paying contributors full page rates and possibly a page rate for myself. Once that level is exceeded, money will be rolled forward to production costs for Issue #2.
But if you go nuts and get us past 10K, we'll think of something special to do for you.
Risks and challenges
All of us are experienced in our respective fields in comics. We've hit deadlines for all kinds of publishers on all sorts of timetables and we've worked on personal projects with similar swiftness and focus. We know what we're doing. We've got everything set on our end. Our goal is to complete production on the issue before the end of the year and have books sent out to backers before the end of January.
This is my third Kickstarter and I do my best to be fully transparent as far as where money goes and how it is spent, down to the nickel. So far I have delivered 3 out of the 5 issues of SHORT ORDER CROOKS and we are on schedule to finish and deliver the entirety of the book before the end of the year, 6 months from when the book was funded.
This being comics and life being life, a delay or two might possibly pop up, but updates and explanations will be quickly provided via Kickstarter as to any changes in delivery dates of issues and/or rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)