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The collected graphic novel of the webcomic epic of Roman vs. Volcano
The collected graphic novel of the webcomic epic of Roman vs. Volcano
192 backers pledged $11,116 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

SPQR BLUES 10th Anniversary GN! project video thumbnail
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Friends, Romans, Countrymen, send me your bears...

My webcomic, SPQR Blues, has been collected into little minicomics, but it's never had a nice, perfect-bound, collected version with a fancy cover. I'd like to put one together for the comic's Tenth Anniversary!

What I'm looking for: the cost of a modest print run. Basically, I don't have the means to print any number of copies.

What you'll get: a copy! Extra art and goodies and stuff! Plus the gratitude of the Emperor and free sausage rolls at Petronia Vitalis's tavern, should you ever find yourself in Rome 1,940 years ago. Could happen! Could have happened already! Time travel is confusing. Plus:

What's the story?

OK, now you know everything. Sort of.

The Longer Story

SPQR Blues is set in ancient Rome in the years leading up to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. I (aka Klio) began the webcomic ten years ago as part of relearning to draw after recovering from repetitive stress and nerve injury.

Ordinary guys need epics too: Rather than the more typical Roman epic about gladiators and orgies and imperial assassinations (not that there's anything wrong with that), it’s about the lives of ordinary people in the city of Herculaneum, Pompeii's less famous neighbour--though there are the occasional murders, mysteries, banquets, and battles. Many of the characters are based on people who really lived in the town. Our hero Marcus Antonius Felix, the self-described descendent of a slave of the much more famous Marcus Antonius, arrives jobless, homeless, and missing his clothing, but carrying a lot of secrets. The first job he gets (after putting on some clothes) is as bodyguard for a wealthy teenage girl in danger, Petronia Iusta.

Subsequently: intrigue, murders, flashbacks, goddesses, star-crossed lovers, ursine intervention, more misplacement of clothing, heroic accountants, gambling, slave-dealing, swords, sandals, earthquakes, seven emperors, and a jug of wine.

You can see the comic online. There are some mature themes, and the art and language in the printed version will be unexpurgated. It's not extremely racy, but it's written for adult readers.

What the funding will cover:

  • printing chapters I-IV (128 pages, estimated--extra back matter will make it a little longer; see future updates for the final page count) with a snazzy cover at a nice big size (9-1/2x12 inches)
  • "director's cut" of the story: the lettering for the first chapter tidied up, all pencilled panels completed, fully drawn strips to replace the sleep-deprived loopiness from the end of 24-Hour Comics Day, and a little bit more about that incident when Mus and a goat nearly destroyed the legion's HQ
  • shipping for books and goodies, including help with fulfillment
  • the Kickstarter and other fees and taxes 
Cover idea and some page layouts in progress
Cover idea and some page layouts in progress

Goodies

PDF edition, bookmarks, art prints, posters, saucy portraits, original sketches, random sketches based on words in my big box o' Latin flashcards, custom-made Roman-style wood-&-wax note tablets (very nifty! I'll post pics!), and absolute(ish) imperial power! I've tried to offer a lot of possibilities so you'll get something fun for supporting the print run. Some of the art prints will be created only for Kickstarter and not be made available anywhere else. 

International shipping

Unfortunately, it is insanely expensive to ship overseas. You'll be asked to add $15 for shipping to destinations outside the US and Canada.

Stretch goals?

See the latest updates!

November 2005:

If you have any questions, just ask, and thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

The art for the webcomic pages is complete and already set up in printer-ready files.

Fulfillment is always a challenge for me, so I've factored in the cost of having the the printer do fulfillment of books and bookplates.

For books with hand-drawn art, I've factored in having a certain number of books expedited and shipped early so that there'll be extra time to work on art.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    GRATIAS TIBI: My huge thanks for helping make this book happen! Every pledge means a lot!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    NEW BACKER LEVEL! Eternal gratitude, your name on an extra thank-you page in the book, plus a set of three signed bookmarks (Pillage, Sweetums Toga-Bear, and a Kickstarter-only Felix bookmark). I can send a high-resolution PDF of the bookmarks to International backers if you'd like to print them yourself and avoid the extra mailing cost (because postal rates are crazy).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PILLAGE! A copy of the printed book with a signed bookplate, plus a set of three fancy bookmarks (Pillage, Sweetums Toga-Bear, and an extra Kickstarter-only Felix bookmark) to use on your raids in the library (of Alexandria or otherwise).

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    EPIC! The copy with signed bookplate and the bookmarks, and your name on the thank-you page in the printed book. Plus, as extra thanks for the extra boost, a Iusta note card with an original drawing inside illustrating a concept selected randomly from my big box o' Latin vocabulary flashcards. And I'll stick in the flashcard, too.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $66 or more About $66

    VENUS THROW: The book with all the rewards from the previous tier, plus 6x9 art prints of B-Movie Iusta and Venus in the waves. Don't let Vulcan know Venus is giving out pin-ups; I hear that when he gets jealous, volcanoes go up in flames.

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    BOOM! The book with all the previous rewards, plus an especially fancy Kickstarter-only colour print pin-up of Felix and one of Sweetums too. Sexy bear!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    AMOR VINCIT OMNIA: For showing so much love for this book, a Mus-&-Menander art print and Iusta-&-Seianti print; the B-Movie Iusta & Venus prints; the Felix & Sweetums prints; the Iusta card and art; 5 bookmarks; plus an inked drawing of the SPQR Blues character of your choice in your book, packed in a Sweetums Toga-Bear canvas tote bag! And your name on the thank-you page!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LIVE LIKE A ROMAN! The book and Toga-Bear tote bag and everything else from the previous level (including a pantheon of 12 SPQR Blues bookmarks), and a set of 12 art cards with Ancient Roman recipes on the back for all your decadent banqueting needs (including Vitalis's Spicy Sausage, Domitian's Nutty Pudding, Dr. Helvius's Salad Dressing and Indigestion Cure, Sweetums's Fish Surprise...). Packaged in, to take your own notes in the kitchen, an actual Roman-style wood-&-wax note tablet handmade by a master craftsman! You probably won't want to keep the wax tablet by the stove or on top of the volcano.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A CAST OF THOUSAND(S)! 2 sets of the previous reward level including 2 copies of the book with a colour drawing of the SPQR Blues character of your choice in each one, plus one of the 12 available pages of original art from chapter I--backer's choice (in order of pledging).

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    Pledge $2,768 or more About $2,768

    MAD EMPEROR and/or EMPRESS: In the spirit of mad emperors everywhere, I offer an insanely high pledge level! All of the above (with 2 copies of the book) with a special place of honour on the thank-you page, and a detailed colour drawing for each of your books of any SPQR Blues-related character or scene you want--no request is too saucy or spectacularly gladiatorial (unless it will get both of us locked up by the Praetorian Guard or FBI--let's discuss). 2768 AUC is the current year, dated from the founding of Rome.

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Funding period

- (30 days)