Ghosts, shapechangers and ancient curses — Mary Shelley and her creature present horror stories written by women of the Victorian era.
“That night I dreamed of The Creature, pieced together from corpses, revived … and unloved. His tragedy has granted me immortality. Other women writers of my time have not been as lucky. Famous once, their ghostly stories now gather dust.”- Mary Shelley
Hi, I’m Debbie Lynn Smith Daughetee, the owner of Kymera Press. Welcome to our Kickstarter Project. Our goal is to publish as a perfect bound trade paperback the approximately 200 pages of the first four issues of Mary Shelley Presents. Written by New York Times best-selling author Nancy Holder, Mary Shelley Presents adapts the short stories of four women horror writers of the Victorian era, with each beginning with a special introduction by Mary Shelley and her creature.
Support on KickStarter Today at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maryshelleypresents/mary-shelley-presents-the-trade-paperback
“Ms. Holder captured each story perfectly without losing any of the spooky atmosphere.” Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press
“The real skill here is the fact that the graphic novel successfully captures the subtle and smooth way by which the twists and revelations are revealed. The adoption by Nancy Holder is brilliant, and well complemented by the realistic illustrations.” DarchD, Everything Horror Podcast
“Fantastic art… the writing is far better than most works adapting prose or poetry to comic book form.” Alex Ness, Poplitiko
“The way it’s written, the way it’s executed and just the sense it brings to the reader is inescapable. Some will be enthralled, others spooked and a few gripped with fear and madness by what they experience but every last one will have their own unique encounter will agree, they’d revisit it again and again.” Steven Leitman, Reading with a Flight Ring
“The ghost of Mary Shelley makes for a wonderful narrator and having her monster that she created by her side is a nice touch.” Richard Vasseur, First Comic News
- Fans of Horror and Dark Fantasy
- Fans of Historical Fiction
- Teachers and Librarians looking for a new way to bring literature to life
- Comic Fans who love gorgeous art and great writing
The goal is $7K. We’re in the last few days of this project and we’re going to make it. Doing so is going to unlock a fantastic bundle of digital goodness for everyone who has pledged $20 or more.
- From Russel Nohelty of Wannabe Press we have twenty pages of Katrina Hates the Dead. It’s two years after the rapture and Katrina is dealing with life, such as it is.
- Russell has also sent us Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter. It follows the exploits of an insane and fundamentally deranged mental patient that escapes from a maximum-security asylum to rid the world of monsters during the Apocalypse with the (usually unwelcome) help of the omniscient, impatient, and authoritative voice in his head.
- Madeleine Holly-Rosing at Boston Metaphysical Society has contributed issue one of Boston Metaphysical Society, adding a colorful Steampunk world of ghosts, gizmos, and more.
- From Barbra Dillon at Fanbase Press, we’re including the digital comic Something Animal, a story that revisits the terror and hunger of traditional vampire mythology.
- Nathan Lueth has contributed chapter one of Impure Blood. Roan, dubbed the “Abomination” because of his appearance, carries within his human body the Blood of a mystical and nearly extinct race known as the Ancients.
- From Leonie O’Moore we have Invoked, a spooky gothic tale of mystery and magic.
- Kristen Gorlitz has provided us with issue one of The Empties wherein a workaholic chef, Derrick, has a simple desire – he wants to be happy and he wants his wife Helen to be happy too.
- Laurie Foster over at Unlikely Heroes Studio has contributed issue one of The Surgeon. In it, Doc Hanover answers a call for medical help that takes her farther west than she’s been — away from the violence and anarchy she knew back east and away from her past.
- From DreamForge Magazine we have the first new issue of 2020. DreamForge is a beautifully illustrated PRINT and online magazine of science fiction and fantasy started in 2019, telling the stories that everyone else has forgotten about.
- We (Kymera Press) are contributing issue one of Dragons by the Yard wherein Anna, a young woman who sells her stuffed dragons at the Rose Bowl swap meet, finds herself embroiled in the reproductive strategy of an ancient line of dragons. Who knew sewing was involved? If we hit 200 backers will include issue two of Dragons.
From the start, we’ve also had an incentive that is going to provide some digital Mary Shelley Presents art to our backers.
Imagine, if you will, that one of the most renowned female horror fiction writers of our time rose from the grave to give a voice to her contemporaries, female horror writers whose works lie forgotten. That’s what we’ve done with Mary Shelley Presents.
We have three, over-sized issues (40-page books) and one double issue (a whopping 90-page book) that we wish to collect into a trade paperback. All stories are adapted by Nancy Holder, a New York Times best-selling author and winner of 5 Bram Stoker awards. The art inside is as wonderful as these covers done by Amelia Woo.
When researching potential projects for Kymera Press, Nancy and I were drawn to Mary Shelley’s life and that of her mother, feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Together they made giant strides in women’s rights and the recognition of women as writers. So it seemed appropriate that Mary, along with the monster who made her so famous, should introduce the horror stories of her contemporaries.
It also fits with Kymera Press’s mission statement in support of female artists and writers.
Here’s a look at a few pages from the second book in the series. The story is titled Man-Size in Marble and is by Edith Nesbit with the graphic adaptation by Nancy Holder.
So far we have four issues, the stories originally penned by Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Strickland, Edith Nesbit, and Amanda Edwards. All of these women were as famous as their male counterparts in their time and should be remembered today. To that end, each book includes the stories in their original prose in the pages following each graphic adaptation. Here’s the cover Amelia Woo has done for the trade paperback.
The trade paperback includes all four issues, their covers and original art by Bobby Breed, Gwyn Tavares, Leonie O’Moore and Anna Giovannini. As an additional bonus, we’ve also included author Nancy Holder’s and editor D. Lynn Smith’s notes about why each story appealed enough to adapt. By bundling all this up in a trade paperback we’ve produced an incredible book, appropriate for all ages, and one we think will be particularly interesting to teachers and librarians. And of this writing, the book is complete. All the art is done and all four issues compiled. The book is ready for the printer.
The first three issues of Mary Shelley Presents have been published and been warmly received. Issue #4 is finished but hasn’t debuted yet. The trade paperback will be the first place you’ll get a look at this double issue unless you choose one of the rewards that include it as a digital book.
Reaching our initial goal pays for a limited print run of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One as a trade paperback. Our ultimate goal is to do this first printing as a mix of hardcover books and trade paperbacks. So given sufficient enthusiasm among our backers, we’ll do just that and along the way, your pledges will unlock a cornucopia of stretch goal rewards.
The money collected will be used to pay for the print run, incentives, Kickstarter’s five percent, credit card fees and shipping (which includes mailing envelopes, postage, and handling.)
Kymera Press also publishes the series Dragons by the Yard, Pet Noir, Gates of Midnight, and Ivory Ghosts, the comic that broke barriers when the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History contracted to carry it in their gift store in Washington, D.C.
AMELIA WOO (Penciller and Inker) started drawing manga as a professional artist in 2006. Over the years, She’s worked for Dark Horse, Marvel Comics, Del Rey, Trepidation Comics, Imminent Studios, Radical Comics, Dynamite and some RPG magazines from her home country of Brazil. Most notably, she was the artist colorist on the N.Y Times Best Sellers Mercy Thompson graphic novel put out by Dynamite. This was an adaptation of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books. She is also a 3D artist and game designer junior working in a game production based on her own IP. (MSP Issues 1, 2 & 4)
SANDRA MOLINA (Colorist) was born in Novelda, Spain remembers always wanting to become an artist. Once done with high school, she decided to begin working in the comic industry as a colorist, starting with “1936, La Batalla de Madrid” by Rafael Jiménez. While working on that, a Spanish writer by the name El Torres asked her to work with him, and so she entered the American comic market thanks to his editorial Amigo Comics. That same December, she joined a Spanish agency called Spanish Inq, through which she worked with Dynamite, Sideshow, and Valiant. She works with Kymera Press as a freelancer, and loves the series! When not coloring stuff, she’s also an illustrator, a scriptwriter, an English teacher/translator, LARPer, and has two comics of her own as well! (MSP Issues 1 & 2)
DEARBHLA KELLY (Colorist) Dearbhla Kelly is a colorist, designer, and illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland. Her work includes a mini-comic about the life of Irish rebel leader Countess Markievicz (published by The Irish Times), colors on Queen of Bad Dreams (Vault), Red Sonja (Dynamite) and Paradiso (Image), and numerous illustrations that you can find on her website. She enjoys reading good stories about badly behaved women, watching terrible tv shows and spending too much time with her three cats.(MSP Issues 3 & 4)
LAURIE FOSTER (Inker) is a professional freelance comic inker, editor, and graphic designer. She works on Pet Noir, as well as Super! with Unlikely Heroes Studios, and Spirit’s Destiny. She loves D&D, MTG, comics, video games, movies, cosplay, costume-making, and bodypainting. (MSP Issue 3)
SAIDA TEMOFONTE (Letterer) is European born & bred from Rome, Italy. While attending University in her hometown, she won a one-year work exchange Fellowship at Walt Disney World in Orlando Fla. Three years later she then returned to the US and made Los Angeles her second home working jobs mostly in the entertainment industry. She has been a comic book letterer for about 18 years and counting, alternating with art jobs in advertising and movies. She has been working for all the major comic book players in the industry, and currently covering lettering for the main part for DC Comics as offsite staff. (MSP Issues 1, 2, 3 & 4)
Here is a look at the rewards we have in store for our intrepid backers. We have books, art, and critiques of your work as part of our rewards so check them out. If you’re a writer, be sure to check out the critique rewards. It’s not often you’ll get a chance to get notes from writers of the caliber of Nancy Holder and Debbie Lynn Smith.
This is an awesome package. Pledge “The Holder Critique” package and get your comic book script or short story critiqued by 5-time Bram Stoker award-winner and New York Times best-selling author Nancy Holder. The critique will include a 1-hour phone consult along with written notes. Domestic (US) shipping for the return of your script/story is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
Pledge “The Smith Critique” package and get your comic book script or television script critiqued by Debbie Lynn Smith, author of Gates of Midnight and writer for the television series Touched by an Angel, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Murder She Wrote and Promised Land. The critique will include a 1-hour phone consult along with written notes. Domestic (US) shipping for the return of your script is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
Pledge “The Amelia Woo” package and Amelia will see to it that you join Mary Shelley and Frankenstein’s Monster on the cover she did for Mary Shelley Presents issue one.
Your likeness will be added alongside the two of them and you’ll receive an 11″ x 17″ full-color giclee print. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“The Monster” will net you the first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One and a high-resolution PDF of the same. In addition to the book, you’ll also receive a selection of postcards featuring our favorite covers from Mary Shelley Presents, Pet Noir, Dragons by the Yard, Ivory Ghosts and Gates of Midnight, some of which are shown here. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“THE MONSTER PLUS” series of rewards are DIY rewards that allow you to pick and choose between different items to add on to the contents of “THE MONSTER” reward. Your choices are from among the following (as shown above, from top to bottom):
- Copy of Pet Noir Volume One as described in the “CATS IN SPACE” reward
- Art Print (manga version) of Mary Shelley and her monster done by Anna Giovaninni
- Art Print (horrific version) of Mary Shelley and her monster done by Bobby Breed
- T-Shirt with the MSP logo on the back
- Limited Edition Die-Cut Antique Bronze Pin featuring the MSP logo
- Art Print (steampunk version) of Mary Shelley and her monster done by Gwynn Tavares
- Art Print (romantic version) of Mary Shelley and her monster done by Leonie O’Moore
Backers who select the “Digital Goodness” reward will receive a download link to a high-resolution PDF for one of the first three issues of Mary Shelley Presents featuring stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, Edith Nesbit, and Margaret Strickland. Your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
Backers who select the “More Digital Goodness” reward will receive download links to high-resolution PDFs for the first three issues of Mary Shelley Presents which feature stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, Edith Nesbit, and Margaret Strickland. Your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“THE CAT’S MEOW” nets you a high resolution PDF of our most popular title, Pet Noir Volume One which contains the first six issues of Pet Noir. We consider it a YA book, but all ages enjoy the tale of Leon, a genetically engineered cat who’s an undercover cop on a space station. Your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One. If you prefer a hard copy of this book, check out the “CAT’S IN SPACE” or “CAT’S IN SPACE + PLUSHIE” rewards below.
“The Gaskell”, “The Nesbit” and “The Strickland” rewards are are for those who would like to get both a high-resolution PDF and a printed copy of the forty-page first printing of one of these classic tales. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
Select “The Horror” as your reward and you’ll get a first look at the Amelia B. Edwards story Monsieur Maurice, the subject of Mary Shelley Presents issue #4. This level will net you a high-resolution PDF of all four of the MSP issues to be included in Mary Shelley Presents Volume One. Also, your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“CATS IN SPACE” adds our series Pet Noir to the mix. We consider it a YA book, but all ages enjoy the tale of Leon, a genetically engineered cat who’s an undercover cop on a space station. For only $10 more, you’ll be receiving all of the items in “The Monster” as well as a first printing and a high-resolution PDF of Pet Noir Volume One, a trade paperback that collects issues one through six of Pet Noir. So for only $45 you’ll receive print and digital versions of both Mary Shelley Presents Volume One and Pet Noir Volume One.
“CATS IN SPACE + PLUSHIE” adds your choice of one of two 6″ plush characters from Pet Noir into the mix. Spatz is a feral cat who roams the warehouses on Gamma Station and has a lot to teach Leon about being a cat. Leila is the story’s femme fatale. She is genetically engineered like Leon and has the ability to change her fur coloring to match that of her owner’s outfits, the ultimate fashion accessory. For only $10 more, you’ll be receiving all of the items in “CATS IN SPACE” plus one of these huggable felines.
“Gates of Midnight II” will net you the first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One, Gates of Midnight Volume One and Gates of Midnight Volume Two. Also included are high-resolution PDFs of the same. In addition to the books, you’ll also receive a selection of postcards as noted above in “The Monster” reward. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“The Retailer” is for those who want to put this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One on their store shelves months before it’s available to other retailers. This package includes five copies of this printing and a selection of postcards as noted above in “The Monster” reward. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name (or your store’s name) will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“The Kymera Press Library” is for anyone new to Kymera Press that wants to get caught up on all five of our current series. In addition to the first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One, you’ll also receive first printings of Pet Noir Volume One, Gates of Midnight Volume One, Gates of Midnight Volume Two, Dragons by the Yard issues one through four and Ivory Ghosts issues one through three. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
“Retailer’s Kymera Press Library” is for those who want to put this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One on their store shelves months before it’s available to other retailers and to add books from our other series as well. This package includes five copies of everything listed in “The Kymera Press Library” package above and a selection of postcards as noted above in “The Monster” reward. Domestic (US) shipping is included and your name (or your store’s name) will appear on the “Thank You” page included in this first printing of Mary Shelley Presents Volume One.
Risks and challenges
Barring the Zombie Apocalypse, there isn’t much risk with this project. All 4 books are finished. All that has to be done is to get the complete PDF off to the printer. We have a dependable printer who has always delivered on time, even when we had tight deadlines. The real challenge, as those who have projects of their own will understand, is getting all of the rewards shipped. We’ve given ourselves ample time with a margin for unexpected delays so that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, things are likely to be shipped weeks in advance of their respective deadlines.