Humans have long looked to the sky and wondered about Mars. What if someone was looking back?
"The Canals of Earth" is the story of how Mars sees Earth, running from Martian prehistory to its space age. We begin in Martian prehistory, when Martians looked to the skies and imagined Earth as a goddess. We see some of the Martian mythology about Earth, tied to the invention of writing. We then see Martian science-fiction, in which they imagined aliens in their own image.
Want to see what alien science fiction looks like? Then "The Canals of Earth" is for you!
We also see Martian telescopes, and explore the various explanations Martians proposed for what they were seeing. (The story's title, "The Canals of Earth," comes from how we did this to Mars, hypothesizing Martian canals.) Then we witness the Martian space age -- probes that delivered the first views of Earth, and finally the first manned Martian mission to Earth.
With 23 color pages of story, this is an insanely fun sci-fi comic, as well as an excavation of our own, Earthbound history of science fiction. It's a trip back to an earlier, wondrous time, when we could imagine all the planets were populated -- now filtered through the mirror of Martian imagination.
The issue is written by Julian Darius, who holds a Ph.D. in English and is a prominent comics scholar who founded Sequart Organization.
The issue is illustrated by Mansjur Daman, an Indonesian comics legend known for his dynamic artwork.
The issue is colored by Diego Rodriguez, whose beautiful colors have graced such titles as Ballistic.
The cover (an homage to the classic 1902 silent movie A Trip to the Moon) is by David A. Frizell, who's done work for Sequart Organization and did the cover to Martian Comics #3.
"The Canals of Earth" is a 23-page full-color self-contained comic book. You can enjoy it without any prior knowledge. But it's also Martian Comics #5, and its story is set in the same universe as that series.
Martian Comics debuted in July 2014, after three years of development and a Kickstarter campaign that helped us complete issue #1. The response to the series has been overwhelming, with readers telling us this was exactly the kind of fun but thoughtful sci-fi comic they'd been waiting for. After getting through issue #2 on our own, we turned to Kickstarter to help complete issue #3 -- a 52-page spectacular featuring seven separate stories! Issue #4 is complete and will be out in May, and it's another oversize issue, running 39 pages of story.
Issue #5 -- "The Canals of Earth!" -- is offers a break from our ongoing story and stands on its own. It's currently being colored and lettered. We've targeted a July release for the public, although we may be able to have it to donors sooner!
Our rewards start at just $3, which gets you a digital copy of the issue. (All our digital offerings are DRM-free.)
Beginning at $20, you can get the comic book in print, produced exclusively for this Kickstarter. Every copy will be signed and numbered by Julian Darius. Plus, you'll get a digital version of the new issue and all past issues -- which itself is an $18 value!
We're also offering two exclusive postcard prints! At $29, you can get one of David A. Frizell's cover to "The Canals of Earth" / Martian Comics #5. At $30, you can get one of Darick Robertson's iconic cover to Martian Comics #1. And at $32, you can get both! These all come with the exclusive print edition, plus everything else at earlier levels.
We're also offering digital subscriptions. Martian Lit plans to publish two additional issues of Martian Comics (#6-7), plus the inaugural issues of three new series in 2016! If you subscribe, we'll message you with links to the next three or six issues (after Martian Comics #5) that we publish! This way, you can be sure not to miss anything. And if you act fast, you can get an early-bird deal on these!
We've also partnered with Sequart Organization to sweeten the deal and get you even more value. So beginning at $15, each reward includes your choice of one of the following Julian Darius books or movies in digital (PDF or MOV) format:
- non-fiction books from Sequart analyzing comics and movies: (1) Classics on Infinite Earths: The Justice League and DC Crossover Canon, (2) When Manga Came to America: Super-Hero Revisionism in Mai, the Psychic Girl, (3) Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Civilization (co-written with Kevin Thurman), (4) The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made: Understanding Jack Kirby's 2001: A Space Odyssey, (5) Revisionism, Radical Experimentation, and Dystopia in Keith Giffen's Legion of Super-Heroes, (6) And the Universe So Big: Understanding Batman: The Killing Joke, and (7) Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen.
- documentary films from Sequart, which Julian Darius produced: (1) Diagram for Delinquents (directed by Robert A. Emmons, Jr.), (2) Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts (directed by Patrick Meaney), and (3) Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods (directed by Patrick Meaney).
- fiction from Martian Lit: (1) Watching People Burn (a screenplay), (2) Nira/Sussa (a novel), (3) The Slave Factory (a novella), and (4) Shedding Skin (short stories).
And at $75, we'll give you ALL of the above books and movies -- a $60 value! That's like getting the Martian Comics issues, the subscription, the bonus materials, the exclusive print issue, and the exclusive postcard prints for $15!
These are just the basic rewards. We've got others too! Check 'em out!
At $3000, we'll add seven original layout pages to the back of the issue (in both print and digital versions)! These beautiful pages by artist Mansjur Daman changed during production and weren't used in the finished issue, but we want to show them to you!
At $5000, everyone who pledged $3 or more will get a digital copy of Martian Comics #6! It's 20 color pages of new story, in which we study the Kennedy administration -- and JFK's assassination -- from the perspective of the Martians. (If he hit this stretch goal, all subscriptions will be adjusted so Martian Comics #6 is free!)
We can't do this without you, and we 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+. Check out the series on ComiXology (including issue #3, which features an earlier story drawn by Mansjur Daman). Check out the official webpage for Martian Comics. We raise funds between issues on Patreon. 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 six 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.
Delays can always occur with artwork, coloring, and lettering, but we're confident we can hit our estimated delivery date. We'll communicate clearly with our backers if any problem should arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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