D.S. al Fine is a space fantasy adventure that takes place in a galaxy far from our own. The story begins on the planet Liftenfield, where our protagonist lives. She has been pressured all her life to hold the peace her father miraculously made of their divided land years ago. Rather than follow the plan laid out for her, Princess Charlotte abandons her throne to become a bard.
Charlotte gains the powers of the Music Goddess through the enchanted lyre she picks up and must quickly fix the resulting political chaos that resulted from abandoning her kingdom. Along the way she encounters dragons, travels to other planets, and recruits a new group of friends to help save her kingdom.
This chapter is the first of a five-part series. The comic is accompanied by a soundtrack of the music that is shown in the comic. It is a combination of the traditional and contemporary pieces of the D.S. al Fine universe as well as the music played on the enchanted lyre to cast the spells shown in the comic. The soundtrack is not necessary for the enjoyment of the story, but it truly enhances the comic as a multimodal experience.
We've already had a few people read the script and see the first few completed pages of the comic. Here's what they had to say:
"Talking dragons, a sassy princess and... space travel? With its wonderful art, quippy characters, and unique setting, D.S. al Fine was a wild ride and a fantastic read. Can't wait to see more!" - Reader 1
"The art is beyond gorgeous! The artist creates beautiful pages with foreground and background that are both simplistic and easy for the eye to follow and complex with the attention to detail. I caught myself staring at certain spots for long moments just to really spend some time with the art which has so clearly been cared for meticulously by the artist." - Reader 2
"It pulls you into a whole new world and atmosphere right from the start. An enticing plot and art to match. New galaxies, new planets, but incredibly relateable social expectations." - Reader 3
The comic is being written by Kelly Brajevich and the art is done by Lee Milewski.
We're excited to launch this issue as the first part of our five-issue team-up! This is the first full-length issue Kelly has written, but she is no stranger to writing about comics. Her master's dissertation was on the impact of comic books on its readers and she is applying for doctoral research to start in 2018 to study the narrative elements of comic books. Her inspirations are Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction.
She is also composing the soundtrack for the comic, though there will be two bonus tracks with guest composers.
Lee Milewski, our seasoned comics veteran, has been self-publishing comics for several years. Some of his works include Focus Shift, a sci-fi adventure comic, Tangled Weeds, a horror graphic novel, and The Somber Crown, a two issue fantasy-adventure comic.
Long story short, we're two big freakin' nerds.
Digital PDF: Enjoy the comic on your computer, phone, or tablet screen. Have 22 pages of exciting adventure and story plus a foreword/afterward from the writer and exclusive extras!
Digital Soundtrack: Experience an audio adventure as much as a visual one with the D.S. al Fine Volume 1 soundtrack. There will be 12 tracks of original compositions made for the comic. These compositions will have folk and classical/Romantic influences.
Printed Issue #1: Have the physical copy of D.S al Fine - Happy Birthday! (Issue #1). The issue will be standard America comic book size in full color printed on 60lb opaque uncoated paper with 80lb gloss cover. Bag and board included because you guys deserve it.
Wood Burned Art: Have art right from Liftenfield, the Planet of Trees, made by the artisans from there. (Okay, really, the wood is from middle America and the artisan is really from New York). This art is perfect to be used as coasters, displayed on shelves, or hung as decorations and ornaments! The range between 2.5-3.5 inches in diameter. Choose between three designs. I will send out a survey at the conclusion of this campaign so you can fill out which one(s) you would like. If no response has been made by shipping time, I'll choose for you!
From left to right we have: Treble Clef, Biggest Complainer, and Logo!
T-Shirt: Our exclusive t-shirt is screen printed on Gildan Ultra Cotton shirts from our friendly, neighborhood T-shirt guy. It showcases original lineart from the cover. Look cool wearing not just one dragon... but two!
I will send out a survey at the conclusion of this campaign so you can fill out which size and color you would like. If no response has been made by shipping time, I'll choose for you! We have heather indigo blue and heather cardinal red available in sizes adult small to extra large. You can refer to the size chart here for sizing questions. I would suggest ordering a size larger if you're stuck between two sizes. Better to be safe than sorry! Me, my brother, and my dog are shown below wearing a size large. Me, my brother, and my dog are not included as a backer reward.
Limited Edition Keychain: The amazing Maxy is making a limited run of 25 keychains with the Royal Sigils on either sides of the keychain. There will be no more ever made, ever, once these are gone! Check out their website here to see more of the amazing work they do!
Your Likeness Drawn in the Comic: Ever wanted to be drawn in a super cool comic? Well, I can promise you that this comic is super cool and you can be drawn in it if you're one of the four backers at this level! You're entitled to requesting to be drawn with extra muscles or nicer hair, but we're entitled to think that you're gorgeous just as you are.
Sheet Music: As an add-on with the digital minibook below, the people who back this project within the first 48 hours will receive digital original sheet music of the soundtrack and the digital minibook for free! After the 48 hours pass, they will be available at any backing level as a package for $15. The sheet music will be written for C instruments in treble clef... but rumor has it that the writer is a music teacher and will transpose for you if you ask nicely. (Preview a few measures below- a fanfare!)
Digital Minibook: Are you a nerd for world building? The type of person who liked Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them/Quidditch Through the Ages while the Harry Potter books were still being published? The mini book is for you! This will have an additional 25 pages of insider information about the world of D.S. al Fine, the cultural history behind the music in Liftenfield, and the history of the kingdom. Along with the sheet music PDF, it will be available for free for the first 48 hours of backing and then will be available as an add-on with sheet music for $15 (see below).
Private Lessons: I am a New York State certified teacher who will privately tutor you (or someone of your choosing) in the following. I can teach through the intermediate level unless otherwise marked: Violin (all levels), Viola (all levels), Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Music Theory, or Piano.
Lessons will be given over skype unless you are local (within 30 miles of Ronkonkoma, Long Island, NY). If you/your delegated person are local, you are eligible to have lessons in-person! If you pledge at the 'Learn Some Stuff!' level, you are eligible for 4 half-hour sessions!
7" Customized Statuette: Last but definitely not least, we have a 7" painted statuette of our featured dragons, Harry and Magdala, duking it out at Charlotte's home castle. There will only be ONE made. That's right. Not even I'm allowed to have it. Below is the concept art of the statue, as it will only be made if someone backs at the appropriate level. It will be made by my friend and seasoned prop designer, Maxy, who has designed props for Microsoft and Comic Con!
We also have a referral program!
To keep the momentum going, I've decided to add a referral program. Here's how it works:
1. If you are a backer at a physical tier ('Hold it, Love it' tier or higher)
-Refer someone and have them message me your name/the name associated with your kickstarter account. They can back the project at any tier (yes, even the $1 tier!)
-If you refer 1-2 people, I will give you an additional copy of the comic signed and with a doodle by me for free.
-If you refer 3 or more, I will annotate the entire additional copy (in addition to signing and doodling on it) with insider information, notes about the creation process, and other interesting facts about the comic! OR I will record a personalized 15-second video message in either Times Square, NYC or in front of the broadway theatre of your choice. It can be a happy birthday message, throwing shade at someone who wronged you... I don't judge.
-If you refer 6 or more, you will receive a second copy of the comic with a doodle + annotation, a digital color doodle of your choice by me, and I will record a personalized 15-second video message in either Times Square, NYC or in front of the broadway theatre of your choice. See here for what the digital doodle looks like (you'll have to scroll down just a little)
2. If you are a backer at a digital tier (College Student Special, Digital Stuff, or Digital Stuff Deluxe)
-Refer someone and have them message me your name/the name associated with your kickstarter account. They can back the project at any tier (yes, even the $1 tier)
-If you refer 1-2 people, I will give you a quick digital doodle of something (reasonable) that you request. See here for what the digital doodle looks like (you'll have to scroll down just a little)
-If you refer 3 or more friends, you will receive a digital doodle plus I will record a 15-second video with a message of your choosing in Times Square, NYC (or in front of the broadway theatre of your choice *cough*hamilton*cough*). Could be a birthday message, could be throwing shade at some person that wronged you. I don’t judge.
Here's a message you can copy/paste for extra ease to get your sweet, sweet free stuff:
Hey! There’s this cool comic I think you’d like that’s getting kickstarted right now. It’s got space travel, dragons, and a soundtrack. It’s about a princess who decides she wants to be a bard, so she picks up a magical lyre that gives her god-like powers. Also, she fights dragons. Here’s a link! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1933787066/ds-al-fine-issue-1
You're also welcome to message me who you've referred and I will check the backer report to make sure that they did back the project.
Are there add-ons?
You bet your bottom there are. Extra t-shirts can be ordered at $22/shirt. You can get the Sheet Music + Digital Minibook package for an additional $15. Also, you can get extra wood-burned art made for $10 each. For $0, you have my love.
So here's the breakdown of where your green, green dollars will go: 70% goes to the artist, 10% to kickstarter fees, and 20% backing reward costs. Here's a pie chart.
I'm all for optimism, so we do have stretch goals! The first will be revealed after the project goal is reached, then each stretch goal will be revealed when the previous stretch goal is reached. Stay tuned (hah, musical pun) for updates on these goals!
Heck yeah, I have closing remarks!
I'm really excited to get this comic out into the world and I want to thank you all for becoming a part of it! Writing comics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and I'm incredibly thankful for all those who took the time out to support this project.
Also as both another thank-you and a congratulations for reading through the end of this huge wall of text, here's a free download of my original song featured in the kickstarter video (limited to the first 100 people. If you're a latecomer, then message me and I'll email you the file!).
Risks and challenges
The script for this issue has been completed in its entirety and our artist has completed several other comics. We expect for all aspects to be completed and products ready for shipping by late August, but have promised an October delivery in case of unforeseen delays. Also, we have an emergency fund set aside for any extra, unforeseen costs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)