Icarus and Jellinek are, on the surface, about as different as two beings can possibly be.
Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned boy of around 17 who falls to the world of Vol from the sky with no memory of anything but his name. His is a graceful being with wings and incredible powers that he has no memory of how to use.
Jellinek is a four-foot hard-scrabble flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a gruff disposition and general dislike of everyone around him, and a two-tailed lava-resistant creature called a "solar" as a companion.
On the day that their lives collide, everything about their world changes, and they discover that they have more in common than they can possibly imagine.
Together, Icarus and Jellinek will battle the tyranny of the Magisters, who have enslaved an entire people.
Gregory Wilson's story Icarus introduces us to the incredibly visual world of Vol, and the stunning array of characters and creatures who call it home. It takes us on an amazing journey in which Icarus and Jellinek fight for their lives and the freedom of a people while trying to unlock the mystery of Icarus's past. To Jellinek's surprise, Icarus's mystery becomes his own, as well.
And it all started with a single piece of artwork.
You see, Icarus started out as a novel. Gregory Wilson submitted the prologue of that novel to the Time Traveled Tales anthology. While another of Gregory's stories was ultimately used, Matt Slay drew the illustration you see above for Icarus. When Gregory saw it, he knew he had found an artist who could translate his book into a graphic novel in a way that would bring it to life.
We here at Silence in the Library agreed, and this project was born.
The Icarus graphic novel is planned as an 80-page, full-color book. In its pages, you'll be introduced to the stunning visuals and fantastic creatures of the world of Vol.
You'll experience the excitement as our two heroes face unimaginable dangers and delve into unfathomable mysteries.
If you're anything like us, Matt Slay's artwork will pull you into the story, and spit you out, gasping, at the end.
You'll get all of this if we reach our initial goal of $8000, but the book, and the project as a whole, gets even better as we reach our stretch goals.
We've brought on authors like Ed Greenwood, Gail Z. Martin, Michael A. Stackpole, Jean Rabe, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Aaron Rosenberg to write short fiction that, if we reach their stretch goals, will be illustrated and added to the book as bonus stories.
We've also teamed with game designer Kris Siuda and his team to develop a 3D first-person RPG based on Icarus. While the full game will be developed and funded in a separate Kickstarter, there are several rewards related to it, like a concept art book, web playable companion level, and even the first module of the game, that we'll make available as we reach those stretch goals.
Who Is Gregory A. Wilson?
I'm an author of speculative fiction and a college professor; my first novel, a work of epic fantasy entitled The Third Sign, was published by Gale Cengage in 2009. I have two other novels, Icarus and Grayshade, in pre-publication, and have works of short fiction published in recent anthologies. I have three articles published in the SFWA Bulletin and am in the planning stages for a proposed anthology considering speculative fiction and politics, co-edited by two-time Hugo nominee John Helfers; a number of well-known authors are already on board. I am also the co-host (with fellow speculative fiction author Brad Beaulieu) of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, a critically acclaimed show which discusses and interviews the creators of all sorts of speculative fiction. See and hear the details at www.speculatesf.com. Finally, I regularly read from my work and serve as a panelist at conferences across the country, and I am a member of Codex, the Writers' Symposium, and several other author groups on and offline.
On the teaching side, I am currently an Associate Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City, where I teach creative writing, science fiction and fantasy fiction along with various other courses in literature. I have published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of academic subjects; my first academic book, The Problem in the Middle: Liminal Space and the Court Masque (Clemson University Press), was published in 2007.
I live with my wife Clea, daughter Senavene — named at my wife's urging for a character in The Third Sign, for which I hope my daughter will forgive me — and dog Lilo in Riverdale, NY. My virtual home is www.gregoryawilson.com.
In keeping with Silence in the Library's goal of making authors and artists partners in the entire publishing process, I will be intimately involved in every step of this Kickstarter and in the fulfillment process. I'll also be giving you regular updates about the project over the course of the next 30 days.
Who is Matt Slay?
Born and raised in Maryland, Matt learned early that the best way to eat anything is with a mallet. Chesapeake folks understand this. His approaches to Art are not that far behind. Utilizing not only brushes, but quills, sponges, sandpaper, salt, razor blades, his fingernails, the souls of his enemies, and empty Tic-Tac boxes, Matt has a wonderful time sparing the general populace by working from his studio home somewhere on a mountain top in Virginia where he occasionally screams out of the third story window that he “was right” and that “nobody listened”.
Matt Slay has been in production art for the better part of a decade having generated images for IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Image Comics, The CBLDF, Upper Deck’s “Marvel Premiere”, “Marvel Beginnings series 2”, and others; as well as Cryptozoic’s Tarzan 100th Anniversary sets.
Matt was the illustrator for Silence in the Library's popular Time Traveled Tales Anthology. He has also worked on “Charnel House” with Wes Huffor and Broken Voice Comics and produced countless designs for Record/Album covers, Logos, Book jackets as well as posters, patches and T-shirts for any number of companies. From time to time, he’s been known to dabble in video game character design for companies such as Flamero on projects such “Naystar: The Beginning” and “Journey Through Naystar”.
Matt studied Illustration and Design at VCU, The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, and completed his Bachelor’s in Illustration at Radford University and later completed his Masters with endorsements in Art History and Art Psychology. He now puts that experience to use as a freelance illustrator bouncing back and forth between comics/comic books, advertising and marketing.
…And What About This Silence in the Library?
Silence in the Library was founded by a group of authors based on the notion that it is important to make the creative drivers of the publishing industry, authors and artists, full partners both in the process of publishing and in the fiscal rewards. We want to ensure that our authors and artists make a decent living at their craft so that they will continue to enlighten us with their work.
We continue that tradition in this Kickstarter project. The initial funding goal we have set is exactly what is needed to produce the graphic novel…to pay the artist, to print the book, and to fulfill your rewards. There is no profit built into this for the publisher. If we reach stretch goals, we will first make sure that our artists and authors are appropriately compensated and that our staff are paid. We expect to make a profit from this book from long term sales. It is more important to us that this book get made and that we are fair to our creative partners than that we worry about short-term gain.
Many of you will have backed our past projects: Time Traveled Tales, A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination, War of the Seasons, and Athena's Daughters.
All of these projects have been launched since June of 2013, so in the last six months or so.
We've completed fulfillment on about 90% of Time Traveled Tales, having sent out all rewards except the signed copes of the book (the bulk of our rewards were eBook or unsigned copies). We expect to have those out in the next few weeks. We've also completed fulfillment of all electronic rewards for War of the Seasons, and expect to have print books and other physical rewards out in the next couple of weeks. We're on track to fulfill A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination on time. Athena's Daughters just finished a week ago, but the first of the digital stretch goal rewards just went out, and we expect to have the rest out in the next couple of weeks. We also expect to have that project fulfilled in the promised timeline.
The reason we mention these things is to let you know that we are dedicated to fulfilling all of our projects on time, and early if at all possible. We carefully planned our projects for the year to ensure that we could make our fulfillment deadlines.
Oversight and fulfillment on this project will be a joint venture between Greg Wilson and Silence in the Library. We feel that this cooperative work flow will allow us to bring you a quality product in a timely manner.
So, take a look at the tiers to the right, and decide how you would best like to participate in the Icarus experience.
If there is a combination of things you would like that you don't see in the reward levels, just let us know, and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
After you’ve perused the tiers, look at our stretch goals to see what we can achieve with your support. We believe in this project, and we can produce it, but only you can make it live. Please be a part of the team, and travel with us on this incredible journey.
What's the Deal with this 3d RPG?
Game designer Kris Siuda has put together an amazing team of game developers including Ken Swails and artists Justin Bintz, Alex Bond, and Darren Geers. While we'll be doing a separate Kickstarter for the full-fledged video game, you'll be able to get some really cool elements of the game and related material as we reach stretch goals in this Kickstarter.
$9500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at above $10 will receive a free digital download of Gregory A. Wilson's short story "The Crimson Demon," is a prequel to his novel Grayshade.
$10,500 - ACHIEVED - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Maxwell Alexander Drake, award-winning science fiction/fantasy author and graphic novelist. Drake is the lead tie-in writer for Sony’s EverQuest Next MMO and among his works is the Genesis of Oblivion Saga. Drake teaches creative writing around the country as well as for the library district in Las Vegas, NV. The story will be illustrated by artist Cyril Van der Haegen (click on image for website).
$11,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at or above $10 will get a free digital download of Maxwell Alexander Drake's novel Farmers and Mercenaries, book one of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga.
$12,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at or above $10 will receive a free digital download of Gregory A. Wilson's short story "Shadow Within Shadow".
$13,000 - ACHIEVED - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Michael A. Stackpole, award-winning author, editor, screenwriter, graphic novelist, game designer, computer game designer, and podcaster. He also has an asteroid named after him. The story will be illustrated by artist Jason Engle (click on image for website).
$13,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at a print reward level will receive a free trading card featuring Icarus. Every backer at a digital-only reward level will receive a digital version of the card.
$14,000 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at or above $10 will get a free digital download of Michael A. Stackpole's fantasy/mystery short story collection Murderous Magic.
$14,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at a print reward level will receive a free trading card featuring Jellinek. Every backer at a digital-only reward level will receive a digital version of the card.
$15,000 - ACHIEVED - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Gail Z. Martin, author of Ice Forged in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga and the upcoming Reign of Ash (Orbit Books, 2014), plus The Chronicles of the Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, & Dark Lady's Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread) from Orbit Books. Gail's story will be illustrated by artist Joe Corroney (click on image for website) and colored by Brian Miller.
$15,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at or above $10 will get a free digital download of a Gail Z. Martin short story collection.
$17,000 - Every backer at or above $10 will get a high resolution 3D character sculpt of Icarus. This model will come rigged and ready for animation with all materials necessary to be used in any game mods, machinima films, or image renderings.
$18,000 - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Aaron Rosenberg, award-winning author best known for his WarCraft novels and his bestselling Dread Remora space-opera series. Aaron has also written original fiction, as well as books for Star Trek Starfleet Corps of Engineers, Exalted, Warhammer, StarCraft, Eureka, iCarly, Shake It Up, Bandslam, and 42: The Jackie Robinson Story.
$20,500 - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Ed Greenwood, multiple New York Times bestseller and creator of the Forgotten Realms® fantasy world for the Dungeons and Dragons game.
$21,500 - Every backer at or above $10 will receive a free web-playable companion level of the Icarus RPG. You'll be able to explore the Magister's Tower in first-person, highly detailed 3d graphics and listen to developer commentary from the level designer, book author, and graphic artist.
$22,000 - We'll produce a run of three challenge coins featuring characters from the graphic novel, and make them available to you as add-ons.
$22,500 - Every backer at or above $10 will receive a free digital download of Matt Slay's artwork for the Icarus prologue from Time Traveled Tales. All backers for print book reward levels will receive a free 5x7 photo-quality print of that art.
$23,500 - We'll add an illustrated short to the graphic novel written by author Jean Rabe, fantasy and science fiction author and editor who has worked on the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and BattleTech series, as well as many others.
$26,500 - Every backer at or above $10 will get a free digital download of the concept art book for the Icarus RPG. This will be a high resolution digital booklet with environment and character designs, as well as gameplay plans for the RPG. We'll be using Studio Bond and Darren Geers to produce it.
$28,000 - We'll produce a hard-cover version of the Icarus graphic novel and make it available as an upgrade, add-on, and new reward level.
$31,000 - Every backer at or above $10 will receive another free web-playable companion level of the Icarus RPG. You'll be able to explore Jellinek's village of Vesu in first-person, highly detailed 3d graphics. Enter all the buildings and listen to developer commentary from the level designer, book author, and graphic artist.
$34,000 - Every backer at or above $10 will receive a free second web-playable companion level of the Icarus RPG. You'll be able to explore the Academy in first-person, highly detailed 3d graphics. Enter all the buildings and listen to developer commentary from the level designer, book author, and graphic artist.
$37,000 - Every backer at or above $10 will receive free Creative Commons licensed 3d game ready assets of Icarus characters and props, rendered in high detail. These assets will come with all materials and textures, along with instructions on how to bring them into popular development kits such as Unity and Unreal. You can use these in your own game mods, machinima films, or make your own 3d prints. Game props will include all building sections, decorative props, as well as sky and terrain materials.
$55,000 - We'll produce Icarus the Game: Episode I, which will cover the first five chapters of the graphic novel. Every backer at or above $10 will get this first episode of the game at no additional cost.
Risks and challenges
While we have produced several print book projects, this is our first graphic novel. This means that there will be some nuances specific to graphic novels that we will have to work out. That said, our experience and our relationship with printers should make any risk minimal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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