Project image
)}
S$ 18,134
pledged of S$ 65,000pledged of S$ 65,000 goal
142
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, February 25 2018 2:13 PM UTC +00:00
S$ 18,134
pledged of S$ 65,000pledged of S$ 65,000 goal
142
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, February 25 2018 2:13 PM UTC +00:00

About

A wuxia retelling of the medieval epic of Digenes Akritas, the Two-Blood Border Lord, Digenes is a graphic novel about love, vengeance and duty, set along the Silk Road of the Dark Ages.

In Digenes - Part A: Aristocrat, a love-struck young Digenes commits a tragic mistake that transforms his life and throws an entire empire into chaos. In a clash of powerful families, only the strongest will survive.

The story

It's the 10th century AD. Europe is in deep decline. An entire continent mired in bloody conflict, superstition and pestilence is desperately trying to fend off the formidable armies of confident and thriving Islamic states. The fate of Europe's peoples hangs by a thread. 

It is at this time that, on Europe's eastern border with Saracen Syria, in the Byzantine Empire’s region of Cappadocia, Vassilios Musur is coming of age.  A frail and bookish young man, son to a Syrian emir and a Byzantine noblewoman, Vassilios shows little promise at a time when manhood is defined by the raw skills needed to survive: strength and skill in arms. 

Yet, through a harrowing, mystical journey to the ends of the world and an internal battle between good and evil, Vassilios will defeat his greatest fears to transform into Digenes, an unstoppable warrior, and assume leadership of the Akrites, Byzantium’s celebrated border guards. 

But is that enough to win back the love of his life, exact revenge on his enemies and save the Byzantine empire from ruin? 

The graphic novel 

Log on to digenes.com to read our free sample prologue to Part A: Aristocrat.

 

 Our goal

We already have a full draft of all five parts of the Digenes omnibus.  The funds from this Kickstarter will enable our artists to work full time to do the following for the Digenes - Part A: Aristocrat, the 75-page first volume of the full 375-page series:

  • Expand the draft to a full-blown Marvel-style comic script
  • Complete pencils, inks and colour illustration at the quality shown on www.digenes.com
  • Print the book and produce all rewards
  • Deliver the book and other rewards

Our rewards

Our rewards are named after ranks of the Byzantine military :-)

Why you should support this project 

An ambitious story: a celebrated heroic Medieval epic 

As fans of both epic fantasy and medieval history, our team wants to tell a grand story, packed with adventure and compelling characters. 

10th-century Byzantium is the ideal setting for such a tale. With heroic battles, rivalling powerful families and at the crossroads of East and West, the Empire's history is full of intrigue and is often more shocking than even Game of Thrones!

Digenes Akritas is Byzantium's most celebrated epic poem. Written in medieval Greek, it is part of a long list of more popular medieval epics, such as Beowulf (English), the Nibelungenlied (German) or the Song of Roland (French).  

These poems are their era’s comic books and all outline the achievements of characters that we today would recognise as superheroes. Yet, these written works are the recordings of oral traditions, meant to be narrated rather than read. The texts that we have in our hands today are merely a record of layers upon layers of storytelling that includes embellishment and synthesis of multiple stories awash in poetic license.  

We therefore asked ourselves: what if, underlying the story of Digenes, was a real man? What could his fight with Death on the "threshing floors of marble" have looked like? Who could the Amazon Maximo have been, and what would her battle with Digenes have really been like?  

A hero started taking shape in our minds. In Digenes, we see a fast and agile martial artist, rather than a man of superhuman abilities, whose mere grace would captivate allies and terrify enemies in a European 10th century battlefield. Immediately, we perceived a compelling aesthetic connection to the Chinese genre of swordfighter stories known as wuxia, of which the popular movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is just one example.

In the context of the 10th century’s booming trade along the Silk Road, that gave the story a new, fresh direction: Digenes as a traveller to far away Eastern lands, undergoing a long physical and spiritual journey from West to East and back along the Silk Road; a hero who is not only a man of two heritages – Byzantine and Saracen – but also two civilisations, West and East.

Digenes Akritas as the world’s greatest martial artist... It was a story we felt had to be told!

Beautiful artwork: only the best will do!

Working across timezones, with our team spread across Asia and Europe, we constantly challenge each other to bring you the best artwork possible.

Accordingly, our creative process is thorough.  We are storytellers, not historians, but we are producing a retelling of a heroic epic set in history and a healthy degree of respect for historical accuracy is important to us. Our detailed draft of the full Digenes series, including timetables, character arcs, maps and chapter-by-chapter storyline, is already complete and is based on extensive historical and geographic research.  

Throughout our artistic process, our team is committed to researching and creating historically, culturally, and geographically appropriate visual portrayals of every detail in our story: from styles of dress, weaponry, jewellery to architecture and even shipbuilding. You can see how this has shaped our key character artwork for the full series, which we have already completed - check out the examples on our facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our team's artists Christian, Simona and Laura work iteratively in drafts - from rough storyboards to final coloured pages - to bring the characters to life in the story, using Kallia's detailed scripts.  At each stage, the full team reviews the drafts and provides critical feedback.

Rough storyboards
Rough storyboards

 

Pencils and Inks
Pencils and Inks

 

Flat colours
Flat colours

We aim for final finished comic pages of high artistic quality, worthy of the multilayered story that we envisage!

A hard-working, multi-skilled team

 

 

 

 

 

Help us make Digenes a reality!

Risks and challenges

Getting fully funded will allow enough members of the team to work on Digenes full time. On that basis, we have studied our costs very thoroughly and have estimated our delivery date based on our production rate of pages per week to this date.

However, it is possible that, in order to deliver the high quality that we are targeting, our production rate might be lower than our target.

We plan to keep all pledgers informed of our progress and provide samples of the work in progress as an extra reward. Should we be falling behind on our schedule, we will look into the option of bringing on more team members to improve our manufacturing rate.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 10 or more About $7

    Hekatontarches

    * approximately US$8 *
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 30 or more About $22

    Komes

    * approximately US$23 *
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    70 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 40 or more About $29

    Droungarios

    * approximately US$30 *
    - Earlier digital access to Digenes Chapter A on digenes.com
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    13 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 80 or more About $59

    Tourmarches

    * approximately US$60 *
    - Fold-out map of the Digenes Silk Road
    - Earlier digital access to Digenes Chapter A on digenes.com
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    19 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 140 or more About $103

    Strategos

    * approximately US$106 *
    - Digenes logo T-shirt
    - Fold-out map of the Digenes Silk Road
    - Earlier digital access to Digenes Chapter A on digenes.com
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    12 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge S$ 600 or more About $441

    Megas Doux

    * approximately US$458 *
    - Yourself featured as a 10th century era appropriate character
    - Digenes logo T-shirt
    - Fold-out map of the Digenes Silk Road
    - Earlier digital access to Digenes Chapter A on digenes.com
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 4 backers
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge S$ 8,000 or more About $5,881

    Porfyrogenitus

    * approximately US$6,000 *
    - Dinner with Christian and Kallia in the Athens Byzantine Museum
    - Yourself featured as a 10th century era appropriate character in Part A
    - Digenes logo T-shirt
    - Fold-out map of the Digenes Silk Road
    - Earlier digital access to Digenes Chapter A on digenes.com
    - Print copy of Digenes: Chapter A
    - Concept art high resolution pdf

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only European Union
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    S$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)