Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 23, 2012.

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A comic that follows the plight of Sparrow, a freedom fighter facing impossible odds in 22nd century China.

UPDATE

Funding successful! Thanks to everyone who made this a possibility. There are still a few days left to go. Any additional money raised will go recouping the payment for the first half of the pencils and for the coloring.

I sent off the first few pages to a handful of publishers late last week, so fingers crossed.

Black Lotus Empire is a 12 issue, full-color comic book series that explores what life might be like in China almost 100 years from now.  In BLE, China is now the sole economic and military superpower in the world, and the government frequently engages in intimidation, violence, and control of information to keep the people in line. But cracks are forming, and the leaders know that unrest may threaten their rule, so a sinister general has been giving the authority to create a fighting force to combat China’s only true enemy: her own people.

The comic was created and written by me and features stunning artwork by Carlos Gomez (pencils) and Neeraj Menon (colors).

Sparrow: the protagonist. Pencils: Carlos Gomez, Colors: Neeraj Menon
Sparrow: the protagonist. Pencils: Carlos Gomez, Colors: Neeraj Menon

Ok, but what is the story?

It is the dawn of the 22nd century. For a century, China’s leaders have bought their peoples’ submission with continued growth and prosperity, but as the economy grinds to a halt, protests have broken out in the megacities. Life for urban dwellers is still far better than for those in the impoverished rural areas, which have borne the scars of China’s ongoing industrial revolution. Pollution has contaminated the water, the soil, and even the food the people rely on. Severe birth defects occur in record numbers, though many go unreported. Most families cannot afford to take care of a crippled child. They need a strong, sturdy son to help them earn a living. Because of the one-child policy, many babies born with deformities are simply abandoned by their parents. The military, under the ambitious General Ying, has begun the practice of taking these unwanted children and experimenting on them to create a force of Supersoldiers called the Chāo Shìbīng. Their mission: to combat the growing number of internal threats to the stability of China. The protagonist of BLE is one of these unwanted children. Sparrow was abandoned by her parents because she was born with wings. Fortunately, she was adopted by a kindly army officer who sought to protect her from Ying’s program. In time, she was discovered and taken away; her father imprisoned. After years of training, General Ying has activated her to assassinate a high ranking dissident leader who has suddenly surfaced.


The story begins with Sparrow fighting against the Dissidents, but a discovery leads her to change sides. Now she must turn a rag tag group of dissidents into a fighting force that can take on the military, while simultaneously overcoming her crippling temper, and coping with her feelings for a fellow freedom fighter.

page 1
page 1
page 2
page 2
page 3
page 3
page 4
page 4
page 5
page 5

What is the money for?

Good art ain't cheap! The amount I am asking for covers half the cost of the pencils for Black Lotus Empire #1, plus all Kickstarter and Amazon fees, and costs for printing and shipping the pledge rewards. I am really happy to be working with Carlos Gomez, a talented young artist from Spain. I paid the first half out of pocket, and I will be paying for the coloring out of pocket as well.

Type 9 “Black Lotus” Light Combat Uniform.  Pencils: Carlos Gomez, Colors: Neeraj Menon
Type 9 “Black Lotus” Light Combat Uniform. Pencils: Carlos Gomez, Colors: Neeraj Menon

What's the ultimate goal?

I plan to shop issue one around to comic publishers to see if anyone will pick up the 12 issue run. If not, I will self publish and hope to make enough money off of each issue to fund the next one.I don't really plan on making a penny off of the comic, and may even lose some money, but I am having fun writing it and I would love to see it come to life. If this works out, I have a couple of other stories I want to start work on.

Type 9 “Black Lotus” Heavy Combat Uniform. Image by Jeff Miller
Type 9 “Black Lotus” Heavy Combat Uniform. Image by Jeff Miller

What if the funding goal isn't met?

If I can't meet my funding goal, then I will have to dip further into my savings to pay for the book.The truth is, I don't have a huge Facebook following, or millions of followers on Twitter. This is the second time I am running the Kickstarter project, this time with a lower goal and better rewards. I'm just an average guy trying to live out a piece of his childhood dream, and I truly appreciate anyone who gives a dime to help me make that happen.Thanks for taking the time to view.

Type 9 “Black Lotus” Light Combat Uniform. Image by Jeff Miller
Type 9 “Black Lotus” Light Combat Uniform. Image by Jeff Miller
Chinese helicopter concept. Image by Jeff Miller
Chinese helicopter concept. Image by Jeff Miller

International Backers

For rewards of $15 and up, please add $5 dollars.

General Ying: the antagonist. Image by Carlos Gomez
General Ying: the antagonist. Image by Carlos Gomez
Sparrow, Ying and Black Lotus Sniper fan-art by David MacInnis
Sparrow, Ying and Black Lotus Sniper fan-art by David MacInnis
Black Lotus Empire fan-art by Will Torres
Black Lotus Empire fan-art by Will Torres

FAQ

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195
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    For a $5 pledge, you will receive a high-quality pdf of issue 1 for your computer, iPad, or ereader.

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    everything above plus a signed print of Sparrow or one of the Black Lotus soldiers.

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    everything above plus 3 signed prints of Sparrow and the Black Lotus soldiers.

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    All non-limited rewards above, plus 3 one-of-a-kind figures by backer, David MacInnis. You get Sparrow, Ying, and Black Lotus Sniper figures (viewable at the bottom of the page).

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Funding period

- (40 days)