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Help fund the third issue of this classically inspired queer fantasy epic!
Help fund the third issue of this classically inspired queer fantasy epic!
Help fund the third issue of this classically inspired queer fantasy epic!
161 backers pledged $5,807 to help bring this project to life.

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CASSIUS - Issue #3

$5,807

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Cassius Issue 1 - Art by Ann Uland
Cassius Issue 1 - Art by Ann Uland

Hi there! We're SO excited you're back!

Last Ides of March, Ann Uland and Emily Willis hit the Kickstarter launch button on Cassius, and it was thanks to amazing backers that we were overfunded enough to print both Issues 1 and 2, as well as hire artist Catherine Batka on board! This year, we're here again to print Cassius Issue 3 - but first, a little bit about the story so far:

A queercentric fantasy epic inspired, among other things, by Julius Caesar, Cassius follows Junia - a young queer woman who’s fate has suddenly become very unclear. She has been cursed with a mark that designates her as Cassius - a legendary figure said to bring about great change - but what change is yet to be seen.

Cassius Issue 1 - Art by Ann Uland
Cassius Issue 1 - Art by Ann Uland

And as the peaceful region once known as Latium begins to crumble beneath the armies of the mysterious Caesar, Junia must discover her role in all of this and uncover secrets long thought buried by those claiming to side with her.

There's also the mysteriously conflicted soldier, Albia, whose path has collided with Junia's since the mark was passed on. What their role is in all of this has yet to be discovered, but it's clear they know more than they're telling.

Cassius Issue 2 - Art by Catherine Batka
Cassius Issue 2 - Art by Catherine Batka

But if that isn't enough to pique your interest, here's what other people had to say about CASSIUS!

"Cassius takes a fresh and imaginative position within the genre. Junia is no wide-eyed ingénue, but a smart and confident woman who thinks she knows exactly what she wants." - Girls Like Comics

"I love history, I love Shakespeare, and I love dynamic female characters. Cassius has all of these things in scads, which pleases me immensely." - GeekGirlCon Blog

"It harkens back to a less campy Xena and a more historically accurate Game of Thrones with a story which fans of either will relish! Cassius in Latin means 'empty, vain' [but] this remarkable story is anything but!" - The Good Men Project

Still not sure? READ THE FIRST SIX PAGES HERE!

With the previous Cassius Kickstarter, we made only had the pencils completed - but this issue is already almost entirely inked and is on its way to being colored. Issue 3 is on track to be completed a month after the Kickstarter has finished! Here are some of the pages!

Art by Catherine Batka
Art by Catherine Batka
Art by Catherine Batka
Art by Catherine Batka
Art by Catherine Batka
Art by Catherine Batka

With this Kickstarter, we're looking to print 500 copies of Issue 3, enough to fulfill rewards and take to conventions! The book will be 6.625"x10.25", 36 pages long, and in full color on high quality glossy paper.

Here's our breakdown of funds. We're looking to print 500 copies of Issue 3, to pay the creative team, pay any extraneous costs as well as pay the kickstarter fees, and pay for shipping.

guest art by Jayd Aït-Kaci and Mildred Louis
guest art by Jayd Aït-Kaci and Mildred Louis

Now that we’ve hit our funding goal, we've had a couple people ask what they can do to help spread the word of Cassius and reach our stretch goals. Here's the answer!

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Emily Willis (Writer): Co-founder of Arbitrary Muse Comics. Is a lover of mythology, a good Shakespeare homage, well-rounded and diverse characters, and most of all  - CATS. That last one has no bearing on this story, but it's definitely an important fact.

Ann Uland (Cover Artist, Layouts, Letterer): Married to the above writer and co-founder of Arbitrary Muse Comics. Blood is about 50% chocolate at any given time. Ridiculously excited to pass off the job of drawing intricate Roman architecture to her friend.

Catherine Batka (Interior Art): Friend of the two lovely ladies above. Also a friend of cats. Not a friend of said intricate Roman architecture (not for lack of trying, mind you, but it just wasn't working out. I was looking for something a bit more stable, which is ionic, really.) A lover of coffee, naps, and bad puns.

Video Credits:
Music: Kai Engel "Pacific Garbage Patch", "Silence"

Risks and challenges

Producing a run of physical copies of a comic book inherently presents challenges and there is always the possibility of something going wrong. The good news is that after 3 and a half years of making comics and successfully navigating the printing/shipping process for 3 previous comics, we’re pretty well equipped to deal with any hiccups that might arise. This is now our second Kickstarter, so we feel we're well acquainted with fulfilling orders.

We’re on schedule for copies to ship earlier than by the end of September but we want to have a safe estimate. We’re happy to be working with the reliable folks at PrintNinja (who’ve given us quality products on time before). We also believe in keeping the lines of communication open, so we’ll keep you updated on the process start to finish and if any issue that affected shipping dates were to come up, we’d keep you well informed of the situation!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    TEMPLE ACOLYTE: A PDF of Cassius Issue #3

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    CURIOUS ONLOOKER: The book! You get a physical copy of Issue 3 + the PDF

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    MODERN LIBRARIAN: New to Cassius? Get all three issues as PDFs!

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    ANCIENT LIBRARIAN: New to Cassius? Get all three issues plus their PDFs!

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    CHANGE BRINGER EARLY BIRD: Get Issue 3 plus the PDF, a sketch inside your copy of Cassius, a digital wallpaper, and a Kickstarter-only mini print from Jayd Aït-Kaci!

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    **SECONDARY CHANGE BRINGER EARLY BIRD:** Get Issue 3 plus the PDF, a sketch inside your copy of Cassius, a digital wallpaper, and a Kickstarter-only mini print from Jayd Aït-Kaci!

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    CHANGE BRINGER: Get Issue 3 plus the PDF, a sketch inside your copy of Cassius, a digital wallpaper, and a Kickstarter-only mini print from Jayd Aït-Kaci!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CONSPIRATOR: All the rewards listed in the $25 tier level, plus your name in the back of Issue 3 as part of our "Thank You" section, and a backer-only print by Mildred Louis of Agents of the Realm.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    PATRON OF THE ARTS: All the rewards listed in the $50 tier level, plus 2 6x9 sketches of the Cassius characters of your choosing (1 character per sketch) by both Catherine Batka or Ann Uland!

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    SUPPORTING CAST: All the rewards listed in the $120 tier level, two copies of Cassius, plus a cameo in the comic! It won't have a line of dialogue, but you can point out to your friends that you, your friend, or your OC is a background character in a pretty cool story!

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    URGENT MESSENGER: Ever thought you, your friend, or your OC would look good as a Roman soldier? Now you can find out! All the rewards listed in the $120 tier level, two copies of Cassius, plus a cameo in the comic! And you've got a couple of lines in the comic to boot!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    REPEAT COMMISSIONER: All of the rewards listed in the $120 level tier, PLUS a full-body digital commission from artist Ann Uland!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    REPEAT COMMISSIONER 2: All of the rewards listed in the $120 level tier, PLUS a waist-up digital commission from artist Catherine Batka!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ALL HAIL CAESAR! All the rewards listed in the $120 tier level, three copies of Cassius, a cameo in the comic, PLUS we'll dedicate the issue to you!

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Funding period

- (30 days)