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Seven stories. 52 pages. A whole new sci-fi mythology.
Seven stories. 52 pages. A whole new sci-fi mythology.
Seven stories. 52 pages. A whole new sci-fi mythology.
102 backers pledged $3,075 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Martian Comics 52-Page Special

$3,075

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$3000 Stretch Goal: Another 38 Pages!

Congratulations! We're funded! Thank you all very, very much! Because of you, this comic book can continue!

If we hit $3000 (less than $400 away), we'll give Martian Comics #4, in PDF and CBZ formats, to every single backer at every single pledge level.

Martian Comics #4 will contain a 32-page story, illustrated by Sergio Tarquini, plus a 6-page back-up story, for a total of 38 pages of new comics. The issue will be completed later this year.

That's right: if we hit $3000, we'll give every single backer a whole new 38-page digital comic book, in addition to everything you're already receiving.

Thanks again for all of your support. You've been absolutely amazing!

Sequart Upgrades Our Rewards

Sequart Organization, which has promoted comics as a legitimate form of art since 1996, has stepped up in a big way to support this campaign.

For everyone who pledges at the $11 level or higher, Sequart Organization has agreed to offer both a free download of one of its movies (of your choice) and a free download of a Julian Darius book (of your choice) in PDF format. (Julian Darius books include Improving the Foundations, And the Universe So Big, The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made, Voyage in Noise, When Manga Came to America, and Classics on Infinite Earths.) We’re incredibly grateful to Sequart, because the value of these two upgrades may actually be more than your $11 pledge! It’s like getting a digital copy of Martian Comics #1-3 almost for free.

For everyone who pledges at the $40 level or higher, Sequart has agreed to offer a download of all six of its movies (a $39 value) and all six Julian Darius books in PDF (a $24 value). This works out to $53 worth of free content, in addition to the rewards already at the $40 level.

For everyone who pledges at the $65 level or higher, Sequart has agreed to match each Martian Comics T-shirt with a Sequart shirt of the same size. Sequart sells these for $20, so that’s $73 worth of free content they’re adding to the $65 level.

A huge thank you to Sequart Organization!

* * *

Remember how your first Grant Morrison comic blew your mind? Remember reading Alan Moore's Swamp Thing for the first time and realizing comics could be so literary? Remember discovering Neil Gaiman's Sandman and how it interwove its mythology throughout history?

We do too. Martian Comics is about recapturing this sense of wonder. We're trying to get back that early Vertigo feeling, when mature writing blended with pulpy subject matter, elevating what genre comics could be. It's the kind of comic we dreamed of, in the 1980s and 1990s, when we wanted comics that kept their coolness -- their bright, absurd genre origins and mind-bending ideas -- but aspired to be placed on the shelf next to the most high-art literary classics. We might fail in this aspiration, but it's a dream deeply rooted in a lifelong belief in what comics can be and the respect they deserve.

The series is overseen and primarily written by Julian Darius, who holds a Ph.D. in English and is a prominent comics scholar who founded Sequart Organization.

Martian Comics debuted in July 2014, after three years of development and a Kickstarter campaign that helped us complete the first issue. The response to the series has been overwhelming, with readers telling us this was exactly the kind of smart, plot twist-filled, sci-fi comic they've been waiting for.

To date, two issues have been published, totaling 54 pages of story. One of the advantages of Martian Lit's literary approach is that we can let stories run as long or as short as we want (you know, the way fiction is written!), instead of forcing them into a set issue length. So issue #1 contains three chapters (21 pages) of "The Girl from Mars," our first story arc, plus the 5-page "The Galilean," which riffs off a reference in the main story and helps build our larger universe. Issue #2 contains the fourth chapter of "The Girl from Mars" (15 pages), which jumps around in time, and "Lazarus" (13 pages), a sequel to "The Galilean." These first two issues were written by Julian Darius and Kevin Thurman, illustrated by Sergio Tarquini, colored by R.L. Campos, and lettered by Colin Bell. Issue #1's cover was by the immortal Darick Robertson and colored by Diego Rodriguez. Issue #2's cover was by series regulars Tarquini and Campos. (More info on our website and on ComiXology.)

Instead of a standard issue #3, we've turned our third publication into a massive 52-page special, containing seven stories. The stories will run in chronological order, so that readers get a taste for the vast historical backstory we're building. All seven stories will be written by Julian Darius, colored by R.L. Campos, and lettered by Colin Bell, but they will feature three different artists, helping to provide the reader with different perspectives on Martian history. The issue's cover (which references "American Gothic") is by David A. Frizell.

The issue's seven stories are as follows:

"One Small Step"

This short story, illustrated by Jason Muhr, opens the volume by depicting the moon landing... the Martian moon landing. Mars's early space program touches down on Phobos for the first time, while Earth is still busy with cave paintings.

"Safari"

This 17-page story, illustrated by Indonesian comics legend Mansjur Daman, focuses on a Martian boy whose city's coming-of-age ritual involves a dangerous hunt. In the process, he realizes his father's mortality for the first time, and he confronts his own fears, his powerlessness in the face of his culture's traditions, and the concept of manhood. It's a subtle, beautiful story that contains the series's very first fight scene -- in which it's not at all clear with whom we're supposed to identify, or how we're supposed to feel about what we're seeing.

"Ezekiel"

This short story, illustrated by series artist Sergio Tarquini, depicts prehistoric humanity's encounter with the incomprehensibly alien and strange, as embodied in the vastly more technologically advanced (and therefore inscrutably powerful) Martians.

"What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?"

This ambitious 11-page story, illustrated by Sergio Tarquini, tells the story of Lazarus, who has moved to Athens since we last saw him and now witnesses St. Paul's famous visit. The encounter puts Lazarus in the strange position of hearing Paul's sermons about Jesus, a man whom Lazarus knew personally but Paul did not. Although he doesn't know it, Lazarus is witnessing Christianity's beginnings. His observations illuminate how he has evolved since we last saw him, while also providing a historical and philosophical exegesis on this portion of the book of Acts. (In a genre comic!)

"Another Small Step"

This short story, a sequel to "One Small Step," is also illustrated by Jason Muhr. It depicts Earth's own moon landing, as observed by Mars.

"Small Talk with Rats" and "The Other"

These two stories (16 pages), illustrated by Sergio Tarquini, continue "The Girl from Mars" from its issue #2 cliffhanger. Here, the comic's biggest villain reveals himself and demonstrates his insidious power, resulting in a character's death.

Where Your Money Goes

Coordinating and funding this big issue has been exhausting. Julian has taken no remuneration from the series so far, and he's largely funded it on credit. He managed to pay for this new issue's cover and B&W artwork, but he's looking to cover the costs of finishing the issue's coloring and lettering.

This campaign will also fund getting Martian Comics into print for the first time! A special trade paperback, printed only for this Kickstarter, will collect this new, 52-page special issue and issues #1-2 (previously only available digitally). This exclusive collected edition will feature Darick Robertson's beautiful cover from issue #1, will collect all 106 pages of story, and will also include the sketch page from issue #1 and the covers to issues #2-3, along with a new letter column exclusive to this edition.

In addition to this exclusive trade paperback, you can also get a Martian Comics T-shirt, featuring Darick Robertson's cover art:

We can't do this without you and thank you for your support!

Stay in touch with us on Twitter with @MartianLit and @MartianComics, on Facebook with Martian Lit and Martian Comics, and on Google+. And if you sign up for the Martian Lit mailing list, we'll give you a free PDF book!

Risks and challenges

Julian Darius has been involved in five previous Kickstarters (all were successfully funded) and will make sure everything stays on track. We at Martian Lit take our commitments seriously and know our reputations are always on the line.

Since the artwork is complete, there shouldn't be any substantial delays. Delays might occur during coloring, lettering, and printing, but we're being conservative with our estimated delivery date in order to make sure we can hit it. We'll communicate clearly with our backers if any problem should arise.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You receive the 52-page special (a.k.a. Martian Comics #3) digitally, in both PDF and CBZ formats!

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    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    Get the whole series thus far! Receive Martian Comics #1-3 in both PDF and CBZ!

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    Pledge $26 or more About $26

    PRINT EDITION: Yes, print! You get an exclusive trade paperback collecting Martian Comics #1-3! That's 106 pages of comics, plus extras! It's a rare keepsake edition that won't ever be reprinted after this Kickstarter. PLUS all three issues digitally.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    CREATOR'S EDITION: This is a big one. First, you'll receive digital copies of the B&W original art for Martian Comics #1-3 and Julian's scripts (in PDF) for all three issues!

    Plus, you'll also get all six Julian Darius books for Sequart in PDF and downloads of all six of Sequart's movies -- a $53 value!

    Plus, everything at the $26 Print Edition level.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    MARTIAN T-SHIRT: Get the stunning black T-shirt made from Darick Robertson's beautiful Martian Comics #1 cover art! Plus, everything at the $40 Creator's Edition level.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Get immortalized with an acknowledgement on the letters page of Martian Comics #3 and the printed trade paperback! Plus, everything at the $65 level.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    SEE THE FUTURE: Get Julian's scripts for at least TWO upcoming Martian Comics issues -- unavailable anywhere else. Plus, everything at the $75 Acknowledgement level.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CONTROL THE FUTURE: Got a favorite historical person, setting, or event? If Julian can meet the challenge, he'll write a short comics story (minimum 3 pages) about it for inclusion in a future issue of Martian Comics. (See the FAQ for details.) You'll be mentioned in the story credits with a phrase like "setting suggested by..." Plus, get everything at the $99 See the Future level.

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Funding period

- (42 days)