Um Khuzi: Origin - A Comic Book / Graphic Novel
The story of a man in 1930's Sudan who is cursed to roam an endless desert until he is given a chance for redemption... and revenge.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, April 30 2019 10:00 AM UTC +00:00.
"Um Khuzi: Origin is my favorite AIC Comics work. I'll definitely be backing it personally on the Kickstarter and suggest you do as well." -Sirens of Sequentials
"You can bet I'm buckled in for this one! I definitely recommend perusing this Kickstarter." -Chico Comics Page
Thank you for checking out our third Kickstarter campaign. This time, the rewards are bigger and better! We're offering a variety of low, middle, and high end reward levels, along with Milestone Bonuses, Add-Ons, and Stretch Goals! The more money we raise, the more you get!
This time we're asking for your help to finish the artwork for the book, which is done by Mukah "Ispa" Ispahani. Ispa lives in what was once known as a beautiful and peaceful area Cameroon, but he recently had to move from his home to avoid political unrest and violence that is overtaking the SW region of the country. While he is safe for now, the unrest continues to spread, putting his life and the lives of many others in danger. At any moment, he may again have to flee the violence. You can read his story in his own words below. In the event that we succeed in reaching our initial goal, a part of the proceeds will go directly to Ispa to help him stay safe and secure the resources he needs to continue following his dream of working as a professional comic artist. "Origin" is the first of several books in the Um Khuzi series, and we at AIC Comics would very much like for Ispa to continue to provide his wonderful and unique style of artwork to the pages of Khuzi's ongoing story.
In early 20th-century Sudan, a young Um Khuzi lives a life of thievery with his friend, Babatu, stealing bread to feed themselves and their poor families. But life in his village is dangerous - violent crime is a daily occurrence. When the violence comes to Khuzi's home, he is forced to watch as his family is murdered in front of him.
Escaping the jaws of death, Khuzi and Babatu grow up together within the criminal underworld, climbing through the ranks and gaining enough power to take revenge on those who killed Um's family from him.
Um Khuzi's ruthlessness takes him to the top, where he builds a criminal empire as a powerful warlord. With no one to stand in his way, he becomes arrogant and takes more than his fair share. But the real danger doesn't come from a rival gang. Rather, his life of power and luxury are torn from him when he crosses paths with a mysterious woman. Tempting him to leave the protection of his guards, she reveals herself to be a demon, hungry for Khuzi's soul. His only escape this time is through redemption, but can Um Khuzi find vindication while seeking revenge on the one who cursed him?
Um Khuzi is written by Michael Kelley, with artwork by Mukah Ispahani.
We are publishing two versions of Um Khuzi: Origins. The first will be the standard trade paperback that includes the story plus the extra content below:
- Character notes written by writer and creator Michael Kelley
- Design concepts by various artists
- Bonus artwork
- Original script written by Michael Kelley
- About the author and artist
The second version of the book is an exclusive Limited Edition with our special "Metal" cover. This version will include all of the extra content mentioned above, but will be a limited print of 1000 books, all hand-numbered and signed by writer and creator, Michael Kelley. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to get yours before they're gone forever!
We'll be giving out bonuses to our backers throughout the campaign. As we approach our initial goal, we'll offer milestone bonuses in the form of free comics, swag, etc. We'll announce each milestone after meeting the previous one in the updates section, so be sure to subscribe to announcements. Backers are eligible to receive more than one bonus, but keep in mind that not all milestone bonuses will be available to all reward levels. For example, some bonuses will only be available to backers who are already receiving print rewards. Check back often to get the most out of your pledge!
MILESTONE BONUS #1: First 20 backers get a free copy of Shexie Meiren #1 Special Edition. Backers receiving only digital rewards will get a digital copy. Backers receiving print rewards will get a print and digital copy.
About halfway through the campaign, we'll begin to offer Add-On rewards. These are optional rewards you can add to your existing pledge. Stay tuned for an update announcement when we will open Add-Ons for backers.
In the event that we meet our initial goal before the end of the campaign, we will begin offering Stretch Goals. Check back for updates on news of available Stretch Goals.
UM KHUZI: ORIGIN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 76%
This stat will update throughout the campaign.
Um Khuzi: Origin was initially envisioned as a three-part miniseries that would be published as individual floppy comics. Over time, we decided the story should be published as a single trade paperback. In terms of individual issues, the first two are completed and - as of the opening of this project - the artwork for the third part is 1/3 completed, with assembly and lettering beginning soon. The expected completion date for the entire book is March 2019, at which point it will go to the printer and then be sent out to our backers. Any changes to this plan will be communicated in updates, so be sure to subscribe for notifications.
How Do We Use The Money?
We are in need of funding to continue making this book. While it's already more than half way complete, the funding we seek will ensure there are no delays in finishing the entire book. Money will go toward artwork, publication (printing and shipping), promotional material, and recouping costs for already completed elements of the book. In the event that we exceed the initial goal, we will put the additional funds toward other AIC Comics projects, such as our ongoing web series, White Snake, available exclusively on ComixCentral. We have two other series in the works, including Shexie Meiren and Tales from the Streets of Guangzhou. The former is a 16-part series written by Michael Kelley, with art by Rain Art Studios. Issues 1-4 are available as add-on rewards for this campaign. The other series, Tales from the Streets of Guangzhou is also written by Michael Kelley, with art by Allen Warner. The first three issues are available as add-on rewards as well. Beyond these, we will announcing the sequels to our first graphic novel, Agent Sparx: Defender of Glittera, and Um Khuzi: Origin, later in 2019. If there is excess money remaining from this campaign, we will begin funding these two books.
About the Writer and Artist
Writer - Michael Kelley
Michael Kelley is an American living in China. He has been in the city of Shenzhen for about four years, where he and his wife work as a school counselor and primary school teacher, respectively. Michael has been fascinated with comics since he was a child, growing up with Marvel and DC books in the late 80's and 90's. He combines his personal experiences from living and working in China with the influences from the comics he read growing up to create new and interesting characters, worlds, and stories. After years spent dreaming of creating his own comics, Michael finally started his self-published line, AIC Comics in April 2017. In the nearly two years since he began, Michael has published five different series in both digital and print formats. He hopes to expand on his comic universe with the help of our backers, who have been wonderfully supportive in our past campaigns.
Artist - Mukah Ispahani
My name is Ispahani, or Ispa for short. I was born in Buea, a small city in the southwest region of Cameroon. I’ve lived in Buea all my life, well, most of it. Buea has always had a vista of picturesque landscapes, one of which is the Fako mountain, known to be one of the biggest mountains in Africa and a wonderful touristic attraction. I enrolled in several primary schools during my childhood and later obtained my ordinary and advanced level certificates at the bilingual grammar school of Buea. Buea had always been known as the “town of legendary hospitality” and my nation Cameroon has always been called the “Nation of peace.” Well, we didn’t know Cameroon wasn’t going to be the same again. During the third year at the university of Buea, a group of Anglophone lawyers launched a peaceful protest; the law system of Cameroon was biased towards the French language and the lawyers wanted a change. Unfortunately, the government’s reaction was rather unexpected - some of the lawyers were harassed while others were attacked and beaten. A chain of more protests escalated and from that day, Cameroon was changed forever.
I had realized long before that art was my God given talent and that has been what I do to make a living. I wasn’t too concerned about the crisis because of the training I got. Being a Christian, I had been taught that prayer was necessary in such times by my local church. It was during this time when I met Michael and began working on Um Khuzi. I feel passionately about this project, despite the political instability around me. Though I was able to complete my studies at the university, I've had to relocate several times due to the ongoing violence. It has been quite an experience, working in my room amidst the sound of gunfire in the distance and the occasional bullet whizzing through the air. The clash between the Anglophone rebel group and the army continues to this day. Thousands of Anglophone citizens have been left homeless, thousands displaced, and thousands killed. Though I am fortunate to continue working and producing art up to this day, many dreamers and young talent in my nation have become paralyzed, unable to follow their passions. I keep on praying, working and believing in better days to come.
Risks and challenges
Expected completion of the book is March 2019. As of this writing, the book is over 50% completed and well on the way to being finished. The printer is on board and ready to receive the order. Potential delays exist in the printing and shipment, particularly the shipment, as we're sending from China and so customs will be involved for any rewards going out to other countries. The other potential delay could be with the artist, who has had to physically move in order to avoid political unrest and violence in his home country of Cameroon. While he is currently in a safe place, things can change in a moment's notice and so we hope and pray for his safety as he continues his work on the amazing artwork for this book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter