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A two-fisted, occult, historical adventure about the strange war between famed former friends Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini.
A two-fisted, occult, historical adventure about the strange war between famed former friends Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini.
347 backers pledged $9,343 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$9,343

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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 Rewards

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. 

 

The Creators

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.

The Money

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. 

Stretch Goals

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The Assist

    You're helping! We love you. You're a wonderful person. Give yourself a pat on the back

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    The Thanks

    - Help the book get made and get thanked in the back of the issue. Your name in print!

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    The Digital Issue

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    The Print Issue

    - A print copy of THE DEATH DEFYING #1, signed and numbered by the writer. 30 pgs of comics and essay by noted mentalist/magician Terry Tyson.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    The Variant Issue

    - A print copy of THE DEATH DEFYING #1, signed and numbered by the writer. 30 pgs of comics and essay by noted mentalist/magician Terry Tyson.
    - Variant cover by Tyler Crook. Signed and numbered by the writer. This variant is limited to this campaign only and any future DEATH DEFYING campaigns.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Digital Issue + The Grimoire

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - A pdf copy of THE GRIMOIRE, over 100 pages of thumbnails, inks. colors, script and other behind the scenes looks into the making of THE DEATH DEFYING #1.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    The Retailer Level

    FOR RETAILERS ONLY.

    - 3 copies of The Death Defying #1 shipped to your store. Signed by the writer.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Tyler Crook Variant Print

    - 11x17 print on good-ass paper of Tyler Crook's Variant Cover, suitable for framing. Ships rolled in poster tube.
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.

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    Pledge $21 or more About $21

    The Regular + Variant Covers

    - A print copy of both the series cover by Gavin Guidry and variant cover by Tyler Crook of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. Signed and numbered by the writer. 30 pgs of comics + backmatter including essay by noted mentalist/magician Terry Tyson.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Enamel Pin Set

    - Exclusive to this campaign, a set of three enamel pins: The Spirit Altar, The Spirit Box & The Crystal Ball. Never available again! Each pin comes bagged & boarded.
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $31 or more About $31

    The T-Shirt

    - The Death Defying, now in t-shirt form. Sizes up to 5XL, in Black or White, Unisex tee.
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    The Clown Motel Deluxe

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - A Clown Motel-branded pen from the Clown Motel bought while I was living there. I bought a bunch and these are the last 5 pens I have.
    - Clown Motel postcard (blank or filled out by me, you specify) bought while I was living there.
    - a print copy of the I LIVED IN A CLOWN MOTEL zine.
    - a scrap of fabric from my clown suit, worn at the Clown Motel.
    - PDFs of the Clown Motel zine and prose books.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    The Short Order Crooks

    - A print copy of THE DEATH DEFYING #1, signed and numbered by the writer. 30 pgs of comics and essay by noted mentalist/magician Terry Tyson.
    - All 5 print issues of Short Order Crooks, previously available only via the Kickstarter.

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    Pledge $66 or more About $66

    The Mystery Box

    - Print copies of THE DEATH DEFYING #1, regular and variant covers, signed and numbered by the writer. 30 pgs of comics and essay by noted mentalist/magician Terry Tyson.
    - As much stuff as I can fit into a box and ship to you. Some comics, some books, some stuff that makes no sense, something cool, something awful, a lot of odds and ends and a map to explain it all. Guaranteed to delight and unsettle you.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    The Script Consultation

    - I, Christopher Sebela, will consult on your single issue script. Send me the script and I'll go over it however you want me to. Just want to see if it's good? Done. Want notes on how to maybe make it better? I'll do my best. Want someone to proof it and make sure it's spelled and punctuated right? Okay, I can do that. No OGNs. Consult doesn't expire, so if you don't have a script now, you can hold off until you do.
    - I was nominated for two Eisners, so that's kinda fancy, right?
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Two Headed Press Digital Bundle

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You also get a digital copy of all my Two Headed Press books: 1) I Lived in a Clown Motel 2) Pool Disaster 3) Coffeeshop. Dog. 4) I Live in a Clown Motel (nonfiction prose) 5) All 5 issues of Short Order Crooks. 6) Running Blood 7) Fugue Writing Volume 1 8) Fugue Writing Volume II
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The Commission

    - A commission by Gavin Guidry of your choice. 9 x 12 original art, simple background, single figure.
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Cameo Appearance

    - Appear as a bystander or lookyloo drawn into the pages of The Death Defying #1.
    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - You'll be thanked in the back of Issue #1

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Short Story

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - I'll write you a story of your choosing. You pick the subject matter or prompts or just a genre and let me wing it. Will print it up on nice paper, sign it and mail it off to you, yours and yours alone. Not sure about the length, but it'll be worth it.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Design

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - I used to be a graphic designer. I will design a single piece for you. Need an ad for your comic? Your book? Your unnamed creative endeavor? Need an abstract back cover? Need someone who sorta knows how to use creative suite? That's me! I sorta know!
    - While I'll tackle stuff right away, this offer is redeemable whenever, no need to have a project ready to go.

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    The Co-Writer

    - A DRM-free PDF/.cbr of THE DEATH DEFYING #1. 30 pages. Comes with extra backmatter not in the print edition.
    - I will co-write an issue of your book with you. You can throw out everything I can do, you can take all the credit, you can claim I wrote the whole thing and cash in. I don't take money after you pay your pledge.
    - Limited to up to 24 page scripts. No OGNs. No porn. May require working around my schedule, but you'll get my best. No half-assing, guaranteed.

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Funding period

- (21 days)