Houdini and Doyle collide in ‘The Death Defying’

Christopher Sebela, Gavin Guidry, Marissa Louise and Micah Meyers seek to crowdfund a new historical occult adventure miniseries

Christopher Sebela (High Crimes, Evolution, Short Order Crooks) returns to Kickstarter for a very timely miniseries — one set in the 1920s — that pits Harry Houdini against Arthur Conan Doyle in a “battle of wills, words, faith, science, fisticuffs, handguns and magic.” And he’s joined by artist Gavin Guidry, colorist Marissa Louise and letterer Micah Meyers on The Death Defying, which is now up on Kickstarter.

Here’s a description from the Kickstarter page:

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.

The Kickstarter will fund production and printing of the first of four 30-page issues. For a $6 pledge you can get a PDF, while $9 gets you a print copy. Other levels can get you a variant cover, enamel pins, a T-shirt and even the chance to co-write a comic with Sebela. Go check it out.

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