Smoke and Mirrors follows the journey of two people pulled into galactic politics, intrigue and espionage.
Smoke and Mirrors: He by whom we live is a comic written by Eric Munoz and drawn by Julius Dean Abrera.
To see more artwork by Julius check out http://juliusdean.deviantart.com/ I cannot praise Jules enough for his ability to bring a concept to life.
This is the story of Smoke and Mirrors, two people who are pulled into galactic adventures in chaos, politics, and the expansion of the human condition into not so human territory.
“Man stretches his soul, reaching out, to the fabulous, the puzzling lure of space, [that] still brings dreams of wonder, and excitement to young minds.”
The year is 3131 AD and humanity has left the cradle of the earth and made it's way out into the stars. Over thirty planets have been colonized and more than a hundred stations float in the void of space. Cyborgs, both military and civilian models are now commonplace and while improving life for some also help maintain the peace. Scientific advancements like hover cars and androids have made people’s lives easier but all is not well.
In this age humanity has chained itself in order, legislation, money and control. Currently the public is caught between corporations and the crime syndicates, both which have grown very powerful and have deep ties in the galactic government. Space stations and other remote installations are generally the territory of the Corporations. While the Syndicates control a majority of the planet side colonies and illegal trade. The Syndicates and the Corporations are equally powerful and battle constantly in the shadows.
Information control is commonplace on all planetary web networks. Order is easily maintained with superior weaponry and misdirection. However even with all their carefully crafted plots and contingencies they were not prepared for the coming of Smoke and Mirrors, the children of chaos.
“Welcome to Venus.”
The story begins in Eiolon, the capital city of the planet Venus. Fifty years ago Venus was terraformed and made livable. Now it's a thriving planet with several cities. Eiolon is a large open air city with several separate city blocks floating in the air above it and is mostly under the control of the Archon Corporation.
Waking bruised and bloody in a jail Smoke and Mirrors learn they are wanted criminals. The crimes they stand accused of include theft, assault, and multiple murders.
With the aid of Harvey, an associate of Morbain, their teacher, they must escape and survive long enough to find answers. Of course that will take all their skill, training and some luck. However surviving is only the first step in Smoke and Mirrors’ plan.
So who are Smoke and Mirrors?
“You see in the end it circles back to control. And the rest is only smoke and mirrors. That’s what you will be, a trick that leads to the truth. That’s how fire in the mist works.” –Morbain
Since they were old enough to stand Smoke and Mirrors were trained for combat, infiltration and survival by a man known simply as Morbain on a remote space station. They were never told the purpose of their training.
Their real names are Max and Samantha, age 17, and they have spent their entire lives on a space station. Staffing the station was an odd mixture of teachers, technicians and guards.The station was equipped with information feeds coming in, but sending out was restricted. So they watched and trained.
The only time they met their benefactor was when they very young. He tested them but said nothing of how they did. Morbain told them later, if they had failed they would not still be alive.
What Can I expect from this comic?
“Semi-automatic dreams with 9mm endings”
Expect action, intrigue, twists, turns, and philosophy. Smoke and Mirrors live in a world on the threshold of revolution. Technology has allowed mankind to push out to the stars and they have brought all their problems with them
Be ready for daring escapes, betrayals, dark humor and social commentary. In Smoke and Mirrors everyone is being watched and everyone is watching. They are making sure the revolution can be televised.
Where it began:
Smoke and Mirrors originally started as simply the idea of two thieves but quickly spiraled out of control. Doug Bouck and I came up with the original concept. Even from the start we always imagined several versions of Smoke and Mirrors. This version is far more serious and realistic. I am hoping Doug writes the more comedic version at some point. Smoke and Mirrors seemed like the perfect nicknames for a pair of thieves. Though they can’t seem to agree on whether the saying is “Its only Smoke and Mirrors” or “It’s all Smoke and Mirrors.”
Ever since I found out about Kickstarter I loved the idea of it. Here was a forum where anyone could put up what they wanted to create, and if there was enough support they could make it. Let the people decide what content gets made.
How it works:
You pledge an amount towards our goal by clicking either the "Back This Project" button or one of the Pledge levels in the column on the right. All pledges are processed through Amazon.com. If I reach my goal within the 60 day time period, then you will be charged your pledge amount and receive the reward you selected. Of course, your donations are completely secure and your cards will only be charged when I meet my funding goal. If I fall short of this goal, you will be charged nothing.
The base goal for this project is $6700, which covers the cost of the 40 black and white interior pages penned and inked, the color cover, lettering and the printing. If that goal is reached the entire first comic will be funded. And any additional money will go to either a fully colored version or a longer comic depending on how much money is brought in.
Funding is a big part of the project but I also need your help in spreading the word. However much I advertise, word of mouth is always a defining factor. So if you like this idea, please tell your friends.
Thanks for the support.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Jules is already lined up to do the artwork and planning to start drawing on April 1st. Before that we will be working out the character sketches, environments and vehicles.
A letterer is also lined up through Mercenary Art Studio and there are several options for printing. We expect to have everything drawn and inked by Sept 1st and begin printing that week. Of course digital copies will be available as soon as the comic is done.
A: Printing is a low risk sinceI have found at least 3 printing services that can meet the demand of this project, and that is not including the printing service that Mercenary uses.
B: Shipping is also a low risk considering the number of printing services. However at most, shipping could be delayed up to a month. This would be if all printing services were booked.
C: Artist. As stated before Jules is booked to start work on April 1st. However if there was any issue with Jules that would set back the project more than a month a replacement artist would be brought in through Mercenary.
I think the biggest challenge is for me as the writer to try and contain this story in 40 pages.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $6,700 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on December 3.
Oct 4, 2012 - Dec 3, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Virtual thank you on our page for your support.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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Virtual thank you on our page for your support and full digital version.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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Hardback version mailed to you anywhere in the US (additional shipping for foreign orders) and full digital version.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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Hardback version, full digital version, and your face drawn into the crowds of the Smoke and Mirrors universe.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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Signed hardback version, full digital version, and your face drawn in as one of the members of the Police, Syndicate or the Corporations.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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3 backers Limited (2 of 5 left)
Signed hardback version, full digital version, and your face drawn in as one of the minor characters of the Smoke and Mirrors Universe.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
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0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
Signed hardback version, full digital version, your face drawn in as a major character of the Smoke and Mirrors universe, and a Smoke and Mirrors t-shirt.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013