Nadja Djurkovic is a British Citizen from Montenegro, travelling home for the first time in a decade. Called by a letter from her sister, Nadja arrives to find that her sister was murdered just two weeks before.
Stricken by grief, Nadja starts to investigate the crime, and quickly discovers all is not as it seems. Her home town has changed; the fall of communism a decade before has been replaced with corruption and organised crime. Everybody knows the murder was pinned on the wrong man – and the true murderer may well be the most powerful man in the city...
"Great storytelling; clear, accessible and fluent, with a palpable sense of place. I'm looking forward to reading the rest"
-Bryan Talbot (Grandville, Alice In Sunderland, Sandman)
"A gritty thriller, dark and sombre, set in the fascinating remains of the former Yugoslavia. A real page-turner!"
- Pat Mills (Creator of 2000AD)
"Benjamin Dickson is one of the brightest and best new comics
writers around, as those who are smart enough to get Aces Weekly know
already - Unfinished City is certain not to disappoint!"
- David Lloyd (V for Vendetta, Aces Weekly)
Hi! I’m Benjamin Dickson, I’m the co-writer of Unfinished City. Previously I’ve worked with artists like Mick McMahon, Warren Pleece and Boo Cook, and have been published by the likes of New Internationalist, Self Made Hero, Heavy Metal Magazine and Aces Weekly.
Unfinished City is my first collaboration with writer Sylvija Martinović, and my third with editor Shane Chebsey. Meeting for a couple of hours once a week, Sylvija and I spent 2 years crafting this book in our spare time. It’s very much a labour of love for us, and we’re very proud of it. Now it’s time to share it with the world!
Unfinished City is a powerful, stylish thriller with a sharp,
East-European edge. Nadja's home town of Nikšić is a real place; many
elements of the story are drawn from Sylvija's experience of living in
the city, and the stories that circulated at the time. A lot of the
locations featured in the book really exist, and the background details
true-to-life. At the time this story is set, the war that tore
Yugoslavia apart had only ended two short years before. Though the war
never came to Niksic, the town was economically devastated, leaving it
ripe for corruption and organised crime.
Using this backdrop, we wanted to tell a gripping and gritty
detective thriller that would subtly draw you in before you knew what
was happening. This will undoubtedly be a controversial book in the
Balkans – so much so that Sylvija and I had to consciously distance some
elements from real life!
The book is being illustrated in glorious, shadowy black and white by cult Croatian artist Robert Solanović. A highly-regarded artist in the Balkans, this will be Robert’s first English language work. Sylvija and I searched for two years for the right artist for this project – someone from the Balkans who could do noir, comedy, tragedy, and draw in a way that was distinctly European in flavour. We were very happy when we found him!
The book is also being edited by Shane Chebsey, who is also running this Kickstarter. (I'm a firm believer that every writer needs a good editor, even on a creator-produced book like this.)
Can I sample a bit of the story first?
You certainly can! Robert has completed 30 pages of the book already, and you can read the first 20 pages for free right here:
" 20 pages in and I'm already intrigued and captivated by this story. What dangers await Nadja? What dark secrets surround the death of her sister Mina? There is a lovely energy and bounce to the art too. I hope this book is successfully funded as I really want to find out what happens next!"
- Mark Buckingham (Fables, Spiderman)
"It was a pleasure to read the preview of Unfinished City. Ben has
always shown promise to be a master storyteller, and here he builds on
that reputation, coupled with some wonderful "Bandes Dessinees" style
artwork, you feel you're in a REAL place. Can't wait to read some
- Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead, X-Files)
"This is the stuff we need! I would recommend this to anyone --
A*grade storytelling and the type of narrative that just pulls you right
in. A total treasure of a comic by an excellent creative team."
- Kate Brown (Young Avengers, Fish+Chocolate)
We are asking for £9,500 for this project, to pay for the production,
printing and delivery of the book. Any extra funds raised on top of
this £9,500 target will be split equally among the creative team.In return for pledging, we're offering three different versions of the book. All pledges above £8 will receive a PDF of the book, but those who wish for a physical copy will also be able to chose between a standard paperback edition, and a deluxe hardback edition with dust jacket and bonus material!
We're also offering lots of bonus goodies, including post-cards, T-Shirts, signed editions, and more!
LOCKED: £1000 above target - each
hardback will be upgraded to have an embossed logo on the cover,
underneath the dust-jacket.
LOCKED: £3000 above target - each hardback will be upgraded to a leather-bound edition.
This is very much a labour of love for everyone involved. We feel very passionately about this book, and we're sure that you will feel the same way when you read it!
The script is already complete, and 30 pages of artwork (out of of 144) are fully drawn and lettered. We have a printer lined up and quotes prepared. Robert is drawing the book as you read this, and barring illness or injury, we estimate it will take him one year to finish.
Thanks for reading, and together let's make this book a reality!
"The Window Shopper Reward" - Want to support the book and get a preview at the same time, but have limited cash to spare? This reward gets you a 48 page PDF preview of the entire first chapter of the book.
"The Collector's Reward" - The Deluxe 160-page Hardback Edition of the book, complete with dust jacket, additional bonus material not available in the paperback edition. This is a truly unique item, and will only ever be available on this Kickstarter! You will also receive the PDF edition, emailed to you in 3 x 48-page chapters.
The Special Request Reward - For those of you who have specifically requested: Not only will you receive the Deluxe Hardback Edition of the book (and PDF), each copy will come with an exclusive "bookplate" art card signed by all 3 creators.
"The Fashionable Collector's Reward" - Not only will you receive the Deluxe Hardback Edition of the book (and PDF), each copy will come with an exclusive "bookplate" art print signed by all 3 creators, as well as an exceptionally cool "Unfinished City" T-Shirt, exclusively designed by Robert Solanovic.
The Softcover Retailer Reward - For those comic shops who expressed an interest in trying our books we've added this reward. You get 10 copies of the Regular Softcover edition along with an exclusive poster featuring art from the book.
"The Connoisseur Reward" - Everything from the "Fashionable Reward" PLUS - an original signed sketch by the artist. Each one of the sketches is a unique piece of original art; you can request what you would like to be drawn, and the work can be dedicated to you if you so desire! Not only that, as one of our Connoisseur backers, you will also have a thank-you credit in the book itself!
"The Bumper Reward" - Everything from all the previous rewards, so you get both versions of the printed book (enabling you to have a reading copy and collector's copy), the digital episodes, plus all the merchandise goodies, the credit in the book and the original sketch from Robert.
Only one supporter can claim this reward.
The Special Host Reward - This one is exclusive to UK Comic Shops. You get 10 copies of the book in either format of your choice, plus at least one of the creative team will come to your shop for a signing, where you'll get the option to order more copies at the same rate.
"The Superstar Reward" - This is a unique reward for only 5 special supporters who want to be immortalised forever in comic form - Not only do you get the Deluxe Hardcover with the signed book plate, not only do you get the signed art prints, the T-shirt and the original sketch from the artist but on top of all that you get your likeness drawn onto one of the non speaking characters in the book along with a printed credit and thank you from the publishers.
"The VIP Reward" - The Exclusive Deluxe Hardback Edition with Signed book plate plus the regular soft cover edition, the T-shirt and an original sketch Presented to you in person by the creators (subject to work commitments - at least two of the creators will attend) at our star studded official launch party where you can rub shoulders with other VIP creators from the world of comics. You can get to find out all about how the book was made and ask for cheeky extra rewards like extra sketches and signed napkins.You'll get a printed credit and thank you in the book too ... FEEL THE LOVE!
Not only that but a night's accommodation and breakfast in a swanky hotel is included.
(For this reward you will need to be able to travel within the UK and be available to attend The Launch Party).
"The Sponsor's Reward" - This is a one off special reward for a supporter who wants to show that extra level of support for the book and it's creators. You will get everything from the VIP Reward plus 10 copies of the Deluxe Hardback Edition of the book to give away to your friends PLUS your company logo appears on the back cover and you get a fully art worked advert in the introduction pages of the book and - of course - our eternal thanks!