Crowdfunding Spotlight: “A Restless Night”, a Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman spin-off

Tom Ward and Luke Parker, the talented team behind the brilliant Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman (the latest issue reviewed here), have just launched their latest Kickstarter for a one-shot prestige horror comic from the world of their hit comic, based on a true story from Sir Frederick Treves’ journals.

The hope is that this new crowdfunding appeal might also secure sufficient funds for a collection of the first four issues of Merrick – although why no publisher is racing to Tom’s door to secure rights for that is depressingly puzzling.

A Restless Night is planned as a 40 page prestige format one-shot, set in the same world as Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman, this pulp horror one-shot can be read as part of the main series or enjoyed as a complete stand alone story.

Given the team’s past success securing backing on Kickstarter for Merrick (although Tom self funded the first issue, three issues so far have been released thanks to crowdfunding backing), it’s no surprise they’ve again turned to the crowdfunding site and their fans to finance this latest book.

Treves: A Restless Night

“Set before the events in Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman, A Restless Night is loosely based upon a true story taken from Treves’ journals of his experience travelling through India, “Tom explains. “It recounts his first encounter with the unexplainable as he fights for his life against a vengeful curse.

“Before he met The Elephantman, before he came to be one of the most talented surgeons at the London Hospital, a young Frederick Treves travelled throughout India with a fellow doctor. One night as they set camp in a barren wasteland Treves’ travelling companion recounts the tale of a previous encounter with a local who put his faith in a witchdoctor over modern medecine…”

Treves was, in the real world  a prominent British surgeon of the Victorian and Edwardian eras who at one point in his long career served in the Indian Medical Service. He is now known for his friendship with Joseph Merrick, “the Elephant Man”. Around 1886, Treves brought Merrick to the London Hospital where Merrick lived until his death in April 1890, after his exhibition days  by showman Tom Norman in a shop across the road from the London Hospital.

“As we were working on Merrick Treves became a pretty nasty piece of work,” a really horrible, cruel, manipulating bastard. It was around this point that myself and Luke came to the conclusion that he might just be our favourite character in the series!

Ever since I read Treves’ original Restless Night in his reminiscences I thought with a couple of tweeks it would make an incredible horror story. This is our chance to show a younger Treves, when he wasn’t such a bad guy, and maybe one day in the future he’ll be able to redeem himself.

“Alongside A Restless Night, we want to collect the first Merrick story arc in trade paperback format which is available as part of this Kickstarter, Tom adds. “The trade paperback will collect Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman issues #1-4 plus a covers gallery, pin-up gallery and other bonuses including an introduction from Joe Casey (Wildcats 3.0, Uncanny X-Men, The Intimates, Adventures of Superman).”
You’ll need to back the project for a higher amount to gain a copy of this collection.
Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman is a terrific indie book, and I have every confidence Tom and Luke will do an equally amazing job on this story if it gets the backing required. Do check it out and of you can, give them your support.

Web Links

Find out more about A Restless Night abd back the project here on Kickstarter

• Find Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman on Facebook at or follow the book on Twitter 

You can still download Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman #1 for free here

• Follow Tom Ward on Twitter @highbrowtrash

• Luke Parker can be found at | On Facebook at | Or follow him on Twitter @artofparker

• Merrick letterer Nic J Shaw is @nicjshaw

You can read Sir Frederick Treves The Elephantman and Other Reminiscences here on

Categories: British Comics, Creating Comics, Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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