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A young woman at the intersection of modern Iran and ancient Persia, family obligations and self-discovery, guilt and freedom...

Just a few hours left! I've reduced the cost of the incentive package to appear as a character in the book by $200, so please take another look and consider this cool and unique reward.

Clarification: the "Collection of 7 Persian cuisine recipes" PDF is actually included in all the reward packages at the $30 level and above.

Persia Blues is the first volume of a trilogy of creator-owned graphic novels, to be published in the summer of 2013 by NBM Publishing. The book will be 6"x9", feature 110 pages of story, and be printed in black-and-white, with a full-color painted cover.

I am running this Kickstarter campaign to compensate my partner on this book, artist Brent Bowman, for the tremendous amount of research, time, and energy he's put into drawing a graphic novel of this length and complexity.

Minoo Shirazi is a rebellious young Iranian woman, struggling to define herself amidst the strict social conventions of an oppressive regime, and the differing wishes of an overbearing father. Minoo Shirazi is also a free-spirited adventurer in a fantasy world, a place where aspects of modern America and ancient Persia meld into a unique landscape.

And yet, neither of these women are the true Minoo Shirazi.

Through the course of this epic tale, we will follow both threads of Minoo's life: from Shiraz University in Iran to graduate work at The Ohio State University in America, and from a tragic incident at a Zoroastrian fire temple, to fighting gods and demons on the steps of the ancient capital city of Persepolis. On her journey(s) of self-discovery, she will encounter diverse elements from Iran's rich culture and history, both real and mythological, and eventually solve the mystery of her world(s).

Persia Blues is a character-driven slice of life tale, combining fantastical elements with contemporary politics, while exploring the universal themes of tradition, family, guilt, and freedom.

As an Iranian-American writer, I've always been interested in exploring multicultural themes in my stories, and this series is my most ambitious and personal work to date. I believe strongly in the sequential art medium, and feel that diversity and fresh perspectives can only strengthen and expand the already amazing world of comics and graphic novels.

Brent and I hope you'll join us on this journey.

I've known artist Brent Bowman for about 6 years now. We're both members of the Columbus-based writers/artists collective known as PANEL, and have worked together on producing the PANEL anthologies, as well as other small projects. Persia Blues is our first major collaboration, and I couldn't ask for a better partner. Not only is Brent a great illustrator, he's also very detail oriented and loves to research the material he'll be drawing.

Since our story takes place in two distinct settings, Brent is illustrating the book using two different styles. Check out some pages from vol. 1 below:

(Those unfinished characters above could be you! Check out the incentives on the right for details.)
(Those unfinished characters above could be you! Check out the incentives on the right for details.)

And here's a look at some character designs:

Dara Naraghi was born in Iran and educated in the United States. An Ohio State University alum, he works in the information technology field, but his passion is for the comics medium. His debut graphic novel, Lifelike, has garnered many positive reviews, from the likes of award-winning novelist Cory Doctorow, and cartoonist Sam Kieth. His other notable graphic novels include the Terminator Salvation official movie prequel, and Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland (both New York Times Bestsellers), as well as works for Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse, and DC Comics. Dara is also a founding member of the comic book writers/artists collective known as PANEL, with whom he has produced 19 volumes of their comics anthology. Dara lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, daughter, and the world’s sweetest hound dog.

Selected Bibliography:

  • Dark Horse Presents #4, #18 (2011, 2012, Dark Horse Comics)
  • Witch & Wizard, vol. 1 & 2 (2010, 2011, IDW, NYT Bestseller)
  • DC Universe Holiday Special #1 (2010, DC Comics)
  • Fractured Fables (2010, Image Comics)
  • Terminator Salvation movie prequel (2009, IDW, NYT Bestseller)
  • Lifelike (2007, IDW)
  • PANEL anthology, vol. 1-19 (2002-present, self-published via Ferret Press)

Brent Bowman is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art And Design with a degree in Illustration. A lifelong comics fan, Brent has been drawing since he was old enough to pick up a pencil. His work has appeared in publications by Image Comics and Caliber Press, as well as the collectible card game Age of Empires. He’s a contributing member of PANEL, a local comics collective that publishes two anthologies a year. Brent has been nominated for the small press SPACE prize in 2008, 2010 and 2011 for both his PANEL work and his own original self published comics. He lives in Columbus Ohio with his wife and two boys.

Selected Bibliography:

  • The Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark (2009, Image Comics)
  • Allied Powers #1-3 (2009-2010, APG)
  • Swafford Creek (2009, self-published)
  • The Dying Cowboy (2008, self-published)
  • PANEL anthology, vol. 10-19 (2007-present, Ferret Press)

Pintrest - We are happy to share with you several Pintrest boards that complement the book, by providing background and insight into the settings and themes of the book. Click to see pictures, videos, and articles on Modern Iran, Persian Cuisine, The Ohio State University, Persepolis, Columbus, Ohio, and more.

Persia Blues website - Still a work in progress, but here you'll find previews, blog updates, news on upcoming book signings, and more.

NBM Publishing website - Our publisher, founded in 1976 by Terry Nantier, and one of the leading critically acclaimed independent graphic novel publishers in North America.

Dara's website - Writer Dara Naraghis' website, including his blog, and previews of various projects.

Brent's website - Artist Brent Bowman's online portfolio.

Ferret Press blog - Dara's self-publishing imprint, as well as the blog of the Columbus-based comic book writers/artists collective known as PANEL, of which both Dara and Brent are members. Check out the nearly 20 volumes of the PANEL anthology, and tons of other artwork, writing, and discussions related to comics and art.

Dara's Author page on Amazon - Listing of Dara's other comics and graphic novels available through Amazon, including for the Kindle.

Creating a single page of sequential art (comic book art) is a time-consuming process that demands art supplies, blocks of quiet time, and focus, and requires the artist to consider storytelling, camera angles, pacing, guiding the reader's eye across the page, and more. Now imagine drawing over a 100 pages, in addition to your day job and other obligations.

Our publisher, NBM, has been great to work with, and they have even provided us with a small advance, which is rare in the indie publishing world. However, that amount is nowhere near what I think a talented and hard-working artist like Brent should be compensated for this amount of work. That's not a knock against NBM - far from it, they have been extremely enthusiastic and supportive of our book - it's just the reality of today's publishing landscape.

As such, I'm foregoing my share of the advance, and hoping that with the successful addition of this Kickstarter, I can properly compensate Brent.

What if we raise more than the goal amount?

First, a quick aside: the goal I've set is actually less than the budgeted amount. However, I wanted to start with a reasonable figure that could realistically be met, in the hopes that we'd also go above it by some degree.

But, should we be lucky enough, with your support, to raise more funds, here's the order of my allocation plan:

  • Cover all costs, such as fees (Kickstarter, Amazon, taxes), materials (books, art supplies, postcards, gas, etc.) and order fulfillment (packaging, shipping).
  • Set aside a few hundred dollars to help market and promote the book when it's published, including banner ads, promotional items, convention table fees, etc.
  • Take a small advance for all my work on the book.
  • Bank the rest, to pay for vol. 2 and vol. 3 of Persia Blues

A huge thanks from both of us to Terry Nantier at NBM Publishing, who has graciously offered up to 100 complimentary copies of the book for our Kickstarter campaign. We'd love to put all those books (and more!) into your hands, via our various incentive packages on the right.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge to finishing our book is the age old problem of not enough hours in the day. Both Brent and I work full-time jobs, and have families and other responsibilities. But with a multitude of published projects under our belts, neither one of us is a stranger to deadlines. So we continue to carve out time wherever we can - late nights, weekends, holidays - to complete the writing, artwork, and lettering on the book.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    A giant 6x9 postcard, signed by both Dara (writer) and Brent (artist), thanking you for your support. Option of message written in Farsi.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $1 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $10 or more
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    5 backers

    Your name listed as a project supporter in a special "Thank You" page in the book, AND on the Persia Blues website. Plus the signed postcard.

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    Add $1 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    43 backers

    Signed copy (by both writer & artist) of the Persia Blues graphic novel (with the option of having it personalized to you). Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

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    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    13 backers

    Collection of 7 Persian cuisine recipes, from writer Dara Naraghi's family, delivered as a high resolution PDF suitable for printing. Plus signed copy of the book. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

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    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more
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    3 backers

    Signed copy of the Persia Blues graphic novel, including a "flash fiction" (short story under 350 words) handwritten in the book by writer Dara Naraghi. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more
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    6 backers

    Signed copy of the Persia Blues graphic novel, including an original sketch drawn in the book by artist Brent Bowman. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

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    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $70 or more
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    0 backers

    Signed copy of the Persia Blues graphic novel, including BOTH an original sketch and a handwritten "flash fiction" short story in the book. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    A 1-hour pitch/proposal review session with writer Dara Naraghi, via Skype or phone, with email follow-up. Dara will review your comic book story or series pitch, and provide constructive feedback as well as sample pitch packets and helpful resources. Plus you get a signed copy of the book with both an original sketch and a handwritten short story. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    A 1-hour portfolio review session with artist Brent Bowman, via Skype or phone, with email follow-up. Brent will review your sequential art samples and provide constructive feedback on storytelling, pacing, perspective, anatomy, etc. Plus you get a signed copy of the book with both an original sketch and a handwritten short story. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $125 or more
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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Original 11x17 art commission from artist Brent Bowman, illustrated in ink and gray tone markers. Subject matter of your choice, within reason (no adult or distasteful material, please email if you have questions). Plus you get a signed copy of the book with both an original sketch and a handwritten short story. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $175 or more
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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Original page of sequential art from the graphic novel, unique and one-of-a-kind. You will be able to choose from around 60-70 pages made available by Brent, with the earliest pledge allowed to select first. Pages are 11x17, fully inked, but do not contain lettering. Plus you get a signed copy of the book with both an original sketch and a handwritten short story. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard. LIMITED TO ONLY 5!

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    RETAILER INCENTIVE PACKAGE A: 2-hour in-store appearance and book signing by both writer Dara Naraghi and artist Brent Bowman, along with 5 complimentary copies of the book. The 2 hours includes a 45-minute "breaking into comics" workshop for up to 15 of your customers, and 3 portfolio reviews by Brent. You also get an original 11x17 art commission by Brent (to keep, give away, or sell), and a link to your store or Facebook page on the PB website. Note: store must be within a 3-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio (as determined by Google maps). LIMITED TO ONLY 3!

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Appear as a character in the book! Your likeness will be drawn into the story, and what's more, you'll have a small speaking role and appear on 4 pages. Check out the sample art on the left to see the setting. Note: you'll have to fill out a simple release form. Plus you get a signed copy of the book with both an original sketch and a handwritten short story. Plus your name listed in book and website, plus signed postcard. LIMITED TO ONLY 3!

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    RETAILER INCENTIVE PACKAGE B: 4-hour in-store appearance and book signing by both writer Dara Naraghi and artist Brent Bowman, along with 10 complimentary copies of the book. The 4 hours includes a 1-hour "breaking into comics" workshop for up to 20 of your customers, plus 5 portfolio reviews by Brent. You also get 2 original 11x17 art commission by Brent (to keep, give away, or sell), and a link to your store or Facebook page on the PB website. Note: store must be within a 5-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio (as determined by Google maps). LIMITED TO ONLY 3!

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (25 days)