Celebrating two years of Sovereign's Dread and the completion of its first story arc I am proud to present:
The three books making up the first arc of Sovereign's Dread;
The successful Book 1 (Issues 1-3) Invasion Day 103pp.
The subsequent Book 2 (Issues 4-6) Golden Liberty 103pp.
And now Book 3 (Issues 7-9) A Minute Until Midnight 103pp.
"Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
Carl Jung, “The Philosophical Tree” (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335
Sovereign's Dread is a Dark Fantasy world revolving around the (mis) use of magic. In Sovereign's Dread magic is analogous to Chaos, and the nature of humankind to bend the world to Order is in direct opposition to this. The result; a war torn and misshappen world stubbornly facing its death.
The intention is that Sovereign's Dread holds a mirror up to our world today, but places it in a fantasy setting to emphasise issues. Even since the creation of book one I feel some of these issues have become more topical on the world stage. The power of sovereignty, conflict for resource, and addiction, are all central themes in this otherwise bizzaro setting. Grimly I would say the most familiar elements of this world are its darkest.
The novel itself is paced in a way somewhere between a Japanese manga and western graphic novel. Its world is revealed through interactions and actions rather than narration boxes, with a focus on showing motion to create as cinematic an effect as possible. This is also why I am releasing three issues at a time, so as to convey large parts of the story while maintaining this format. The world is at first a mystery and gradually revealed with considered revelation.
The world of Sovereign's Dread is one in dire straits. Four nations war for resource and try desperately to keep those surrounding at bay as a fifth dies, forgotten by the rest in the corner of the continent.
The story begins in a rare moment of ceasefire between the Hublin Dukedom and the decrepit nation of Autalia. Demian, a poor boy struggling to find a place for himself in the filthy addict ridden streets of New Mortra is working the dusk guard shift on the wall guarding the northern sea. Contemplating his fate on an otherwise unremarkable night, something appears on the horizon and it is not human.
A black ship carrying a single pale faced giant drifts into view, and from the giant spews forth a great tide of limbs and scuttling horror. Their nature unknown, these creatures assail New Mortra and set in motion the beginning of the end of this dying world.
Demian flees and soon meets Reiner, a desperate and cunning battlemage on the search for a cure for his mysterious illness, and eventually they are faced with entering Hublin to escape the chaos. Here they meet Dutchess Leuna of the Causeway City, guarding the checkpoint to her nation. A clash of class, nation and ideology sets in.
The next two books takes these characters across the Hublin Dukedom, origins are revealed, loyalties tested, and temptations made as the world is falling apart. These are not heroes. But people. Forced to confront the nature of the shadow within themselves and the one ever present on the horizon. Their fates are by no means destined to be favourable.
Sovereign's Dread book 3 finally reveals the nature of the dreadful inhuman threat. The Armageddon arc concludes in a cataclysmic event that decides the fate of more than one of the series' main characters, and sets the scene for the rest of the series (all going well 8 volumes) and leaving the world of Sovereign's Dread forever changed.
Book 3 also sets the scene for the second arc, introducing the enigmatic and prodigal Bandit King Dead Eye Dirk, a central figure for the second arc of the story.
Below is a sample of the already completed book 3, showing the first four pages.
Below is a sample taken from later in the book, to demonstrate the chaos that awaits!
Some spreads from issues 1-6:
(All tiers ship worldwide besides Goblet packages, as stated.)
This project has been largely a solo effort. I say largely, because the feedback and encouragement from the readers plays an absolutely integral role in the life of the series. Having said that, all the production and promotion is at this point a one person operation.
That person is me. My name is James Wilkinson. I am an illustrator from Adelaide South Australia. Having completed my Masters in Illustration and Graphic Design I went on a bit of a soul searching journey. Winding up with a good dose of inspiration (or something close enough) in Japan, I decided to come back and commit full time to creating this graphic novel. That was two years ago now, and I've loved (very almost) every single moment of it since.
It is my aim that with this campaign going well i can continue to provide this quality product to you all until the series conclusion. For the journey so far I thank everyone who has already purchased a copy of Sovereign's Dread. it is only the support from you as a pledger that enables me to continue my work and for that I am forever in gratitude.
Reviews of Sovereign's Dread taken from Survey Monkey after the second Kickstarter campaign:
"Sovereign's Dread is a beautifully constructed entry into the dark fantasy genre. With exquisitely sombre illustrations and laconic, yet urgent writing, Wilkinson has created an immersive world, which, at once, fills you with a sense of fantasy, horror, intrigue, adventure... and, perhaps most of all, dread." - Edi Javoric.
"The overall feel I got from the series is exactly what I was hoping for; dark and gritty with glimpses of hope. It made you feel for and relate to the main characters. Illustration wise it is on point! Lots of muted colour, contrast where it counts serving to draw your eyes to the magic and gore (which I love.) Awesome detail especially on the full page art pages and the scenery. Growing up reading comics, watching anime and being a gamer I can say it makes me happy to read the series, and I feel like the material is really aimed at my generation and people like me that aren't content with tradition classic comic style. It's a fully immersive badass emotional rollercoaster and I can't wait to buy my next ticket!" - John Antonidadis.
"I love everything about the series so far! The artwork is great and I can't wait to see where the story is going. l was hooked from page one." -War Wolf (Kickstarter Superbacker.)
Risks and challenges
Well, I've done a few of these now, and I know the importance of planning ahead.
Many Kickstarters end up late, and I have made it a priority to deliver on time in the past. So far has been so good! But... There's always the chances of delays.
The biggest thing I can do to eliminate any fears is complete the work first though, right? So, I've done that :) There is no chance of the book not getting done for you should I meet the funding goal. I am absolutely committed to this project and to you all as essentially the lifeblood of it.
Please note, I still live in Australia which is not exactly ideal for postage prices. I have done my best to make overseas prices viable through careful weight consideration. Because of Australia's expensive packaging the mugs are available only there.
Well, that about wraps it up! Thank you for your time.
P.S. want to be part of the Sovereign's Dread community? Head over to:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)