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Karen Beilharz headshot Hi there! My name is Karen Beilharz. I'm a writer, editor and comics creator, and when I was a child, I was scared of a cake that ate people.

I saw this cake when I was five in a cartoon that screened during after school care. It freaked me out so much, my parents came and talked to the staff. The staff were bewildered: It's supposed to be funny! they said. But it wasn't so funny to me.

Thirty years later, I had a daughter of my own, and one evening at bedtime she said to me, Mummy, I'm scared of monsters.

How does she even know about monsters? I wondered. Why does she think they're real? Because she certainly did: she saw them everywhere—along the garden path, in the stairwell, and, of course, in the dark spooky corners of her bedroom.

Nothing I did or said made the monsters go away—not even my energic jumping around, trying to scare the monsters with foolish antics. It got me thinking about the disconnect between my daughter's childhood fear and rational adulthood. I decided I wanted to write about all this. And so Monsters was born.

Here's a quick three-minute video of me talking a bit more about the project:

(Video directed, shot and produced by my wonderful friend Bec Jee!)

What is "Monsters"?

Monsters is a full-colour 74-page anthology of short comics for children—preschoolers and up. Each of the 11 comics deal with some aspect of fear (big fears and small fears) using the concept of monsters and the monstrous.

Click here to read the whole of "Monsters" online!
(Please note that all the comics come down once this campaign is over.)

All the comics were written by me and illustrated by a host of talented independent comic creators—

* Mike Barry
* Greg Lamrock
* Belinda Stead
* Nathan Seabolt
* Peter Fairfax
* EmmJ
* Jemima Trappel
* Kathleen Jennings
* Jordan Taia
* René Pfitzner

—as well as one by me. (You'll know immediately which one it is!) Monster hunter (page 1) Here be dragons (page 1) My mummy the monster (page 1) Also, my long-time collaborator Paul Wong-Pan created this gorgeous cover for the anthology:
Monsters (cover) Even though I wrote Monsters primarily for children, I designed it to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. My particular hope is that parents will read it with their children, and that through the process of doing this, it will open up a conversation between parents and children about fear, and allow children to discuss their fears and be heard in a sympathetic environment. The things that scare us as children often seem ridiculous under the fluorescent lights of grown-up-ness, but that does not in any way diminish their power in the fertile garden of childhood imagination.

Over the course of this campaign, I'll be putting up the comics online for you to read and enjoy, and for you to read and enjoy with your kids (if you have kids!). I'll also be featuring interviews with the creators so that you can learn a bit more about the talented people behind this anthology.

If you want to stay up-to-date, please keep checking the Monsters blog, or follow my various social media feeds:
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Instagram
Or join the Hivemindedness Mailing list.

How The Funds Will Be Used

(Read a quick guide on how to pledge. This will probably change slightly after 1 April when Pozible upgrades this site.)

Your partnership will enable me to

* Print the anthology in bulk. (This will take the lion's share of the funding—approximately $6,800.) Profits from the sale of the anthology will go towards remunerating the contributors for their work. Once my collaborators have been paid, any further profits will be donated to the Starlight Foundation to support brave kids fighting big monsters.

* Produce extra rewards—colouring books, posters and knitted softies ($2,300)

(Here's a page from the colouring book by Peter Fairfax, artist for "The dark":)



(Here's the poster that Kathleen Jennings, artist for "Here be dragons", created from the first four pages of the comic:)
Here be dragons (poster)(Finally, here's one of the knitted softies I've made:)



* Ship the rewards ($500).

* Print promotional materials for the book ($300).

If we exceed our funding goal, we may be able throw a proper launch party for the book—complete with jumping castle, face painting and party games.

Pledge as little or as much as you like; Pozible allows you to pledge any amount. However, certain rewards can only be claimed if your pledge amount is higher than the reward amount. For example, if you pledge $7, you will not be able to claim the Virtual Monster rewards. If you pledge $15, however, you CAN claim the Virtual Monster rewards, but not the Book Monster rewards, and so on.

For those I know and see in person: I am more than happy to refund postage to you if you pick up the book(s) from me directly.

The Challenges

The comics are all at the completed stage, the cover is finished and book production has begun. At the moment, we are putting the finishing touches on the PDF for the printers and compiling art for the colouring book.

I am aiming for a delivery date of the beginning of June 2016, and will be calling in favours from friends to help me pack and ship.
Successful
on 29th Apr 2016 at 1:59am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$5 +Cheering MonsterA big THANK YOU! for your support, plus your name printed in the list of acknowledgements.
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$10 +Virtual MonsterA digital copy of "Monsters" (PDF) + Cheering Monster rewards.
12 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$25 +Book MonsterOne copy of "Monsters" in print + Virtual Monster rewards. Ships worldwide.
57 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$35 +Coloured MonsterOne copy of "Monsters" in print + one colouring book + Virtual Monster rewards. Ships worldwide.
26 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$50 +Poster monsterBook Monster rewards + an A3 poster of the map from "Here be dragons" by Kathleen Jennings. Ships worldwide.
12 Chosen | 188 AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$75 +Family MonsterTwo copies of "Monsters" in print + two copies of the colouring book + Virtual Monster rewards (Australian addresses only).
13 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$85 +Fuzzy MonsterBook Monster rewards + one little knitted monster softie made by me (Karen Beilharz). (Australian addresses only, sorry. Softies will be made from 100% wool and are only for children age 3+.)
9 Chosen | 1 AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$125 +Shop MonsterFOR BOOK AND COMIC RETAILERS ONLY: 10 copies of "Monsters" in print at a hefty wholesale discount. (Australian addresses only, sorry.)
1 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$130 +Hungry MonsterColoured Monster rewards x 5. (Australian addresses only, sorry!)
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$200 +All GoneArty MonsterColoured Monster rewards x 1 + A3 poster by Kathleen Jennings (as per Poster Monster) + knitted softie by Karen Beilharz (as per Fuzzy Monster) + 1 x A4 black and white sketch of your choice by Jemima Trappel (artist for "Monstrous [Part 2]"). (Australian addresses only, sorry!)
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is August 2016
A$201 +All GoneArty Monster 2Coloured Monster rewards x 1 + A3 poster by Kathleen Jennings (as per Poster Monster) + knitted softie by Karen Beilharz (as per Fuzzy Monster) + 1 x A4 black and white sketch of your choice by Peter Fairfax (artist for "The Dark"). (Australian addresses only, sorry!)
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is August 2016
A$205 +Fivefold monsterVirtual Monster rewards + Five copies of "Monsters" in print + five colouring books + five posters. (Australian addresses only, sorry!)
2 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is June 2016
A$500 +Creative MonsterPoster monster rewards + 3 hours of creative consultation time with me (Karen Beilharz) about your creative project (must be writing or comics-based). Ships worldwide. <a href="http://hivemindedness.com/monsters/creative_monster/">Click for more information about this reward.</a>
0 Chosen | 3 AvailableEst. delivery is July 2016