The Iron Empires began its life as a quirky pen and ink title in Dark Horse Presents—a gothic militaristic piece of science fiction set in a rich, well conceived world.
The black and white story—the Passage—was fascinating, but the full force of what was the Iron Empires didn't hit until a few months later. Dark Horse released Chris' four issue opus—Faith Conquers. Fully painted and fully realized, it was gripping. Indie titles rarely had such rich art and well-executed settings.
Chris didn't borrow this imagery, he reinvented it. The influence of his vision was felt soon after Dark Horse published the four issues of Faith Conquers in comics and even games. Download the first issue here.
The techniques Chris uses to create these comics are slow and deliberate—the concepting, sketching and painting all take years.
So it wasn't until four years later that Chris followed up Faith Conquers with the equally powerful, yet distinctly different series Sheva's War.
In Sheva's War, we received the first true glimpse of Chris' vision. This was a universe of many worlds, each containing a story—each story a personal struggle against enemies external and internal.
We started Forged Lord Comics to publish Chris's books. We're huge fans of his and we want to see his work on every comic fan's shelves. The Dark Horse editions of Faith Conquers and Sheva's War are out of print, so we have the opportunity to get new printings with hard covers and done in the same trade dress as our new Iron Empires: VOID volume.
There's a hitch (of course). There are no complete native digital files of these books. Chris created these books in the age before PDFs. Any scans of the original art that were done are lost. The current digital editions are of the printed graphic novels themselves and are thus unsuitable for printing.
Fortunately, we have the original mylar film from which the comics were printed 20 years ago. We now must send that film to be scanned at a special scan house. They'll give us new digital files created from that film. And then we'll use those files to do the reprints of the books.
It's going to be a process! But we're incredibly excited to get these back in print in a format that matches the quality. These are some of our favorite graphic novels ever and we want to share them with you!
Risks and challenges
We learned a lot about creating and publishing a graphic novel during our Kickstarter for Iron Empires: VOID. We will of course apply this new found wisdom, but we're cutting a path into new territory once again.
We've never had to scan film to create digital files. Even though we're working with professionals on this, basically everything could go wrong: the film could be lost or damaged (gah!) or the scans could be of poor or reduced quality. We really don't know how it'll turn out.
But we hope that you'll have faith and walk with us, because there is only one true path: the river of fire.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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