About this project
My name is Steve Smith. I have been a fan of Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten's French graphic novel series The Obscure Cities since the late 1980s. Five books in the series were translated into English but stopped after 2002 with three graphic novels and at least five other books left in the series.
The Obscure Cities is an internationally acclaimed graphic novel series, having won major awards in Europe and Japan including the Grand Prize Manga in the 2013 Japan Arts Festival. It was the first time that a foreign author or series won this award. The translated The Obscure Cities album was chosen over 457 other entries.
I have translated The Leaning Girl ( L'enfant Penchée) into English and have licensed the rights to the entire series with the hope of reintroducing these great stories to the United States and English-speaking countries. This Kickstarter campaign is to help cover the production costs on the first book, The Leaning Girl. I have the blessings of the author and artist, and the licensing rights from their publisher, Casterman, in Belgium.
This series is a passion of mine and I want to be able to share it with other European comic and art lovers in English speaking countries. Part of my desire to use Kickstarter is that this series should be seen by a larger audience that has proven time and again it is supportive of unique artistic projects.
I have spent the past three months translating The Leaning Girl in to English. The story is very personal and real to me.The art is some of the most delicate and beautiful I have ever seen in comics.
Here are some examples of some the rewards supporters can receive as part of this campaign in addition to the 176-page graphic novel.
This is a mockup of what the limited edition t-shirt will look like. The front features the iconic Alaxis Press logo and the back features a beautiful illustration of Mary, the leaning girl, standing atop a meteor. Both the logo and the illustration are by François Schuiten. The shirt will be a 100% cotton high quality shirt available in men's and women's adult sizes.
Next is the very limited edition print signed by both artist François Schuiten and writer Benoît Peeters. It will measure approximately 18" x 22" and will be produced on high quality archival art paper.
The following video montage gives a great sneak peek into the visuals. The musical accompaniment is by longtime Peeters & Schuiten collaborator and international recording artist, Bruno Letort. Please visit my website, www.theobscurecities.com for many more videos.
I have tried to make the reward levels as simple as possible because really, the goal is to get this book into everyone's hands.
I do have two stretch goal rewards I am hoping to reveal should this campaign surpass its initial $30,000 goal. Additional revenue will go towards advertising and promotion of this book and the next books in the series.
With your support, I will be able to introduce this and other amazing stories from the Obscure Cities to an audience hungry for great writing and great storytelling. I want to thank you in advance for your support and I invite you to ask me questions throughout the process.
Risks and challenges
I have worked in and around the publishing industry my entire 30 year career. I have received all the printing and shipping cost quotes, I have paid the publishing advances. I have received printing or production quotes on every reward level and know what is required to see this project succeed. The books are being produced in Europe by the same printer currently producing the European editions. The author and the artist are supportive of this opportunity to reintroduce the series in English.
The books will be available following the Kickstarter release, through major online retailers including amazon.com, major booksellers, and through quality comic and art book retailers. I am determined to see the three remaining graphic novels translated, followed by the ancillary titles.
If the campaign meets the initial goal and continues to raise additional funds, I will use the funds to promote the book and series.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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