"Paul Duffield is a magician of light and line, and THE FIRELIGHT ISLE is a jewelled dream of a brighter, harder world." - Warren Ellis
"Duffield brings you a world on paper, alive, bright, dark and inspiring. Support this for the best of all possible reasons - because I want a copy in trade, and if it doesn't fund, I can't have one." - Kieron Gillen
NEW: FINAL MILESTONE!!!
The costing on this campaign is quite lean. At £6000, it was break-even. At £16,000, roughly 15-20% of the funds go to the creators as income.
However, from here on out, the campaign scales very economically, so if we can reach £20,000, the percentage of income that the creators take home goes up to 40% of the total funds!
As much as we love making beautiful things for you, we also love paying our bills and investing in the future. Every pledge from here on out will help us do just that even more effectively.
So please make lots of noise, bang pots and pans, irritate your friends, pester your mutuals, exasperate your co-workers, poke some influencers, and spread the word as far as it can possibly get!!
The Firelight Isle is a tale of cultural discovery and coming-of-age in a civilisation dedicated to a mysterious religion, watched over by masked priests known as Ara.
Sen and Anlil are childhood friends about to be parted as Sen starts down the path of priesthood, and Anlil creates a sacred offering that could save her household's reputation. Both risk their souls, and perhaps even their lives, in the process.
I've been working on The Firelight Isle for over six years now - writing, researching, designing, drawing, and eventually releasing it as a webcomic that you can read on my site, and on Tapas. The story is all written, and will run to around 55-60 episodes long. I couldn't have done it without the help of my amazing Patreon supporters, who have helped keep this mammoth project going.
Online, each episode is arranged in what I call a "Ribbon" - a seamless page as tall as 6-8 normal comic pages placed top-to-bottom. You can even read the entire story in one, unbroken page on my site.
This Kickstarter is to raise the printing costs to collect the first volume of The Firelight Isle in a 112-page hardback book. Volume 1 will contain Ribbons 1-18, all of which are finished and ready for print.
In order to preserve the original web format, I'm printing the book in portrait with tall proportions, so there's plenty of space for the pacing and flow of the webcomic's Ribbons to be preserved.
My ultimate goal is to raise enough money to print the cover with spot UV for the central illustration and gold foil for the title and spine. Check out the stretch goals after the creator profiles and perks to see how that can be achieved!
I'm Paul Duffield, the principal creator behind The Firelight Isle. Before I started on this project, I drew the long-running webcomic, Freakangels, written by Warren Ellis, and I'm currently working as a designer and in-house illustrator for the brilliant weekly children's comic, The Phoenix. For The Firelight Isle, I'm joined by my long-time collaborator, and life-partner...
Kate has contributed a massive amount to the project - not least the colouring for a large chunk of this volume and animation for the Kickstarter video! She's been reading it since the first draft, providing editorial feedback and emotional support during the very long creative process, and I couldn't have done it without her.
She just does this in her extra time, though! Her own stories, including the phenomenal Fish + Chocolate, are profound, inspiring and disturbing by turns, and are full of the kind of creativity that makes me excited about comics. You can catch her on Twitter.
Karen provided the narration for the video, voicing Anlil's grandmother, Anesh. She has brought the character to life in a way I could only imagine, and her top-notch voice acting has featured in shows such as Little Witch Academia, and numerous video games including Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Dust: An Elysian Tail. You can follow her work behind the mic, on camera, and onstage here.
Jane created the absolutely beautiful music that you can hear in the Kickstarter video, and it's just a short edit of a full 6-minute track that was inspired by the first chapter of The Firelight Isle. Hearing it for the first time genuinely brought tears to my eyes. You can find out more about Jane's work on her website, and the full track is available as a perk!
There are a range of brilliant perks for backers, including exclusive prints, guest art, an enamel pin, downloads of Jane's music, original art and more... read on for details!
All reward tiers featuring digital perks include a high-quality mp3 download of the full version of the music from the trailer, by Jane Aubourg. The full piece is over 6 minutes long, and tells the opening of Sen and Anlil's story in a winding string duet, featuring percussion straight out of the palace of the Somin. I couldn't have asked for anything better suited to the story, it's an incredible piece of music and truly has to be heard!
All signed reward tiers include a copy of this postcard, personally signed by Kate Brown and me!
This campaign-exclusive hard enamel pin features the symbol of The Somin, made in the exact colour of the closely guarded Heavenly Blue ink that features in the story. It will come mounted on a special card, and is available on a number of reward tiers!
When designing the cover, I made three illustrations that were all candidates. These two cover ideas were designed to work side-by-side, and made for a better pair of prints! They are now available in selected tiers.
For backers of the Book Collector tier and above, you can get copies of my two previous works, Signal, a short visual poem about the search for life and meaning, and Small Tales and Fairy Fails, a collection of all-ages short stories, originally published in The Phoenix.
Signal was inspired by The SETI Institute, and the original hand-bound copy was bought by Robyn Asimov in an auction at the first ever SETI convention.
Small Tales and Fairy Fails was my first project on Kickstarter. It was successfully funded and delivered to over 150 backers.
This poly chiffon scarf is beautifully printed, and will come in a range of designs - you can choose Anlil's weaving or your favourite episode of The Firelight Isle, and have either printed on the scarf! This scarf is available in one of two ways - EITHER choose/upgrade to one of the new tiers that include the scarf, OR add £36 to your current pledge and specify that you want the scarf when I send out the backer surveys (there'll be a specific section where you can detail any add-on items that you want).
This is the ultimate edition of The Firelight Isle! For a select few backers, I will hand-craft a unique scroll containing the entirety of Volume 1 in one unbroken page. The scroll will be wrapped in a cloth bag, with the pattern of Anlil's ceremonial weaving printed on it. The image above is only a very rough indication of the finished item, since they will be made to order, and the exact components are still to be decided upon.
Backers who choose tiers including prints can also pick from a series of unlockable prints by some fantastic guest artists, each of which will be made available when the project hits a stretch goal. Read on to meet the guest artists and see the stretch goals. The featured illustrations are examples only, not the final prints (which will only be commissioned once the stretch goals are met)...
This goal will raise enough money for each copy of The Firelight Isle 1: Heavenly Blue to come with spot UV on the cover.
This goal will unlock this special set of circular Collectors Cards for a range of reward tiers.
Carla Speed McNeil is the brilliant creator of one of my all-time-favourite comics, Finder, and has contributed to a huge range of other comics and projects, including Kickstarter successes Smut Peddler and New World. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter!
This goal will raise enough money for each copy of The Firelight Isle: Heavenly Blue to come with a lavish gold foil title on the cover and spine.
Faith Erin Hicks is the prolific creator of many web and print comics, including Superhero Girl, Friends with Boys and The Nameless City. Her work and her dedication to it always gives me hope for comics! You can see more of it on her site, and follow her on Twitter.
If we reach £16,000, we'll have raised enough for every copy of the book to come with a bookmark ribbon sewn into the spine, a map of the town of Azul and the surrounding Firelight Isle printed in the back of the book, and an ISBN number and barcode! The illustration above is only a rough mockup of the ribbon and map to give you an impression.
Of the £6000 required, the breakdown is as follows:
- 60% is for printing costs (based on acquired quotes)
- 25% is for postage (to cover a worst-case scenario of all shipping being international)
- 8% is for manufacturing costs of pins and prints (based on acquired quotes)
- 7% is to cover fees and other expenses.
- The costs of foil, spot UV and commissioning artists are covered by the stretch goals.
- I've made sure that no tier is loss-making, and that the project scales so that it becomes more economical with more backers.
Risks and challenges
I've created and fulfilled two successful crowd-funding campaigns in the past, including the Kickstarter for Small Tales and Fairy Fails and the original Indie GoGo campaign to raise the money required to develop and write The Firelight Isle.
My work with The Phoenix and David Fickling Books has made me intimately familiar with arranging and hitting print deadlines, working with printers, and taking books and magazines from concept to reality.
I've already sourced a printer, obtained quotes, mapped out a timeline for delivery with room for delays, illustrated the cover and finished the interiors. The only remaining work on the book itself is prelims and back matter, proofing and compiling the pdfs for print and download.
The main challenge will be the volume of distribution, which I can't predict accurately at this stage. I cautiously estimate that there will be between 150-300 packages to send out if the project is successful, which I can handle myself with help from Kate. If by some miracle the task of distribution reaches beyond the scope that I can handle by myself, I'll be consulting industry professionals about the best and most cost-effective way to handle logistics and get you your perks without becoming overwhelmed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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