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How far would you push the boundaries of science to save the one you love?
It’s the question at the heart of Terminal Protocol, a near-future science-fiction comic about robotics, artificial intelligence and the limits of the human brain. Dr. Katherine Talton and Dr. Dustin Jessup are the founders of Future Sight, the groundbreaking company that has changed the face of robotics for a quarter-century. The two are also husband and wife, and they’ve lived a good life as scientific explorers of the unknown.
However, when Dustin learns that he’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it seems that their time together is coming to its end. Unable to accept the limits of medical science, Katherine throws herself into exploring the boundaries of robotics and artificial intelligence to try and find a way to save her husband. But as the end draws near for Dustin, Katherine must consider if she's pushing too far past the natural order of things…
Written by Jordan Alsaqa and illustrated by Rem Broo, Terminal Protocol is a 52-page graphic novel exploring the possibilities of where technology may take us in the future, focused through the personal journey of our two protagonists. The goal of this campaign is to secure the necessary funding to complete production of the main story and create a printed version of the book. As a backer of this campaign, you’ll have your choice of a number of great rewards, including a copy of the book, two exclusive art prints, commissioned sketches from Rem, and even the chance to appear in the main story as a minor or supporting character.
Most importantly, you’ll be funding the completion of a project we’re both extremely excited to be working on. In fact, to see our enthusiasm for and dedication to the project than by checking out the complete six-page prologue to Terminal Protocol, available in full below. It’ll give you a good feel for the visual style, sense of humor, and real human emotion we aim to bring to the finished story.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Writer Jordan Alsaqa lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a frequent contributor to numerous websites, including TV Equals and The Joy of Gaming. In addition to graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in Creative Writing, Jordan also served as the Features Editor for Technician and can currently be heard as co-host of The Joy of Gaming podcast. "Terminal Protocol" is his first major comics work.
Romanian self-taught artist Rem Broo lives in Berlin, Germany. In 2008, he left his job as an architect to focus on drawing, his lifelong passion. Since then, he has created illustrations for magazines and children's books, storyboards for advertising companies, and worked in animation studios. He also began his slow climb into comics, resulting in his first widely-published book "The End Times of Bram and Ben" in 2013, co-created with writers James Asmus (Gambit, Thief of Thieves, Quantum & Woody) and Jim Festante. For his unconventional style used in this comic, Broo earned a coveted Russ Manning newcomer nomination.
Supporter Level ($1)
At this level,you’ll of course have our deep thanks, but more than that, you’ll get full access to the production cycle of Terminal Protocol over the next several months. This will give you a look at plenty of behind-the-scenes material, including Rem’s sketch work and design process, as well as a look at pages at various levels of completion. All in all, this is essentially early access to the bonus features section of the graphic novel, plus tons more.
This and every other level will now also come with access to the Backer Goal exclusive reviews of sci-fi films about artificial intelligence and robotics!
Digital Reader Level ($10)
Physical Reader Edition ($20)
For those that haven't been entirely pulled in by the digital movement, you’ll also be sent a printed copy of the final graphic novel, signed by writer Jordan Alsaqa.
Art Print Level ($30)
If you want more than just the book itself, you can go for one of the two Art Print Levels. At this level, you’ll get your choice of one of the two Kickstarter-exclusive art prints from the world of Terminal Protocol. Our first print is a more realistic, serious piece that aims to capture the themes and arc of the story. The second, meanwhile, is a whimsical, cartoony take on the world. Both are original designs from Rem himself.
Double Art Print Level ($35)
Having a hard time choosing just one of Rem's awesome art prints? Then this is the level for you, giving you both prints for just an additional five dollars!
Digital Headshot Level ($45)
Alright, so you want the personal touch? Then how about the chance for a commissioned piece of original artwork from artist Rem Broo? At this level, your reward package will now include a hi-res digital headshot of a character of your choice.
Robo-Girl Level ($65)
Want something you can physically add to your collection as well as show off online? At this level, your reward package will now include a 5.83x8.27 illustration of a stylized robotic female character, straight from Rem's imagination. This and all illustration rewards are drawn with waterproof ink on bristol paper.
All illustration rewards at this level and above will now also include a high-res, digitally-colored version as part of your reward package!
Character Sketch Level ($100)
And if you want something with a bit more detail to it, then how about any character you can think of? At this level, Rem will create a handmade illustration of any character you want at a size of 6.10x10.03. You're free to ask for whatever character you can imagine (a maximum of two), and you'll still be getting the digital headshot and Robo-Girl illustration. That's THREE pieces of original art from Rem!
Another example of the high-res digitally-colored version that comes with every illustration level!
Mega Robot Level ($150)
Oh, you want FOUR illustrations from Rem, do you? Well, that's exactly what you get at this level; in addition to everything else, you’ll get an 11.69x16.53 Mecha illustration(maximum of 5 characters) drawn in waterproof ink on bristol paper from Rem. Here is where you can get a truly massive image to fit the size and grandeur of whatever giant robot character you deem worthy. And remember, this level also includes a digitally-colored version of your illustration!
Cameo Appearance Level ($200)
If all of that isn’t awesome enough, why not just go for an appearance in Terminal Protocol? At this level, you – yes, you! – can appear in the book as a background character. You'll also receive an illustration of your character drawn by Rem.
Minor Character Level ($250)
Want to take part in the story in a more direct way? At this level, you'll appear as a minor character with a full one-page appearance and several lines of dialogue. We’ve got two appearances up for grabs – as a newscaster and as Katherine’s personal assistant – at this level, and we’d love to see backers fill these parts. On top of this, you’ll receive a personalized illustration of yourself by Rem as part of your reward package.
Supporting Character Level ($300)
Finally, for an even bigger role, why not become a major supporting character in Terminal Protocol? At this level, you’ll be illustrated into the comic as Dustin’s physician, featuring across several pages and serving a major role in the story. Like the Cameo and Minor Character Level, you'll also receive a personalized illustration of your character drawn by Rem.
Retailer Level ($70)
At this level, retailers are welcome to get TEN (10) copies of the book, all signed by the writer. Any retailers interested in fewer copies are welcome to message the creator.
Below, you can get a quick look at what each Reward Level includes!
And, for the different art levels, here's a quick side-by-side. As a point of reference, the final comic will be right around the standard graphic novel dimensions (6.6x10.2).
From the lowest pledge level to the top, every single backer will receive our deep, genuine gratitude for helping us bring this project to life. We look forward to sharing the process with you as things move forward.
While stretch goals may become a possibility should we approach our funding goal, we wanted a way to reward backers for their continuing support even as the campaign is starting out. So, we have a series of Kickstarter-exclusive podcasts available as backer goals. As the co-host of the Joy of Gaming podcast, Jordan has brought in the entire podcast crew to record up to five exclusive reviews of films about artificial intelligence and robotics.The first podcast will be unlocked at 50 backers, with additional episodes unlocked for every 50 backers up to 200. In addition, as a thanks for all the support so far, we'll be doing a Backer's Choice episode as well!
-50 Backers: (UNLOCKED: Jordan's Choice - Transcendence)
-100 Backers: (UNLOCKED: Rich's Choice - ????)
-150 Backers: (UNLOCKED: Kevin's Choice - ????)
-200 Backers: 5 Exclusive Movie Reviews
-Just Because! (UNLOCKED: Backer's Choice)
What exactly will your money be going towards? First and foremost, around $2,900 will be going towards completion of interior artwork. Rem puts a great deal of work into penciling, inking, coloring, and lettering each page, and this will make sure he gets the proper compensation for his skill. Next, around $2,000 will be put towards printing costs. This is mainly for printing the graphic novel, but also includes funds for the art prints. Next, we’ve got about $500 estimated for shipping costs in order to make sure we can actually get your physical rewards mailed out in a timely fashion. This leaves $600 to cover the necessary campaign fees and, of course, Kickstarter’s cut.
We know that any Kickstarter can be a huge ask, so we thank you just for taking the time to give Terminal Protocol a look. We hope you'll consider pledging to help bring our unique near-future vision of the world to life!
Thanks for reading!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge at this point is just completing the book in a timely manner. As noted above, Rem takes his time on the artwork, so the possibility of delay always exists. Also, with so many months between the campaign and printing the final product, there's the chance that printing or shipping prices could go up. However, there’s enough of a buffer on both ends that we’re prepared for a shift.
And while this is Jordan’s first Kickstarter, he's done his research to do the best job possible learning from the past mistakes of others. On top of that, Rem has previous experience as part of the Kickstarter for the Image mini-series The End Times of Bram and Ben. As such, we’ve got experience on all levels to help us through any potential difficulties, and a team dedicated to making sure the project reaches completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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