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An explosive sci-fi action-adventure comic set in the dystopian colony-planet of Atrius.
An explosive sci-fi action-adventure comic set in the dystopian colony-planet of Atrius.
An explosive sci-fi action-adventure comic set in the dystopian colony-planet of Atrius.
184 backers pledged $20,947 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Liberty: Deception Vol. 1 - A Sci-fi Comic Adventure

$20,947

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Cover of Volume 1
Cover of Volume 1

About the Series

Forgotten by the rest of humanity and encompassed by planet-wide desert, the colony of Atrius endures. Over the centuries resource scarcity led to schisms in the population and now the vast city is split between a police state and the vast but fractured population of anarchists, who live in what is referred to as the Fringe. The Fringe is a place where gangs run everything, where cannibalism is the norm, and it is there that exiled war-hero Tertulius Justus must recruit a rag-tag brigade of untrustworthy prisoners to escape certain death.

I’m Travis Vengroff and I've written a sci-fi adventure I hope will blow you away! Driven by a love of sci-fi and post-apocalyptic fiction, I've been working with a team of artists from around the world to create a full-color comic book series. I've been developing the world of Liberty for years, creating a Tolkien-esque depth of history and a unique landscape to set exciting stories. My background is in film and audio-drama storytelling, and Liberty: Deception is my third creative venture into the comic book world. I'm joined by a core artistic team hailing from a number of well known comics and we're very excited to share our story! The team consists of:

Travis Vengroff- Writer, Creator, Producer (Random Encounter, Careless Juja)

Raymund Bermudez - Interior Sketches and Inks (Justice League, X-Men)

Joana Lafuente - Interior Color (GI Joe, X-Files, Transformers)

James Cartwright - Co-Creator, Storyboards, Concepts

Eirich Olson - Cover Art, Concepts (White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast)

Eduardo Camacho - Lettering

Casey Bailey - Concepts, Short Sequential Stories, & Continuity

Why do we need money?

In short: Print & Distribution Costs. Even with quality art and a strong world/story, as an independent comic book series there are many hurdles that stand between us and even marginal success. [Here's a well written article on the topic.] The chart below illustrates how little money comic book creators make off the sale of each comic (~12% of the retail price of $3.99), and why it's vital to plan ahead!

Since we can only expect to see ~12% of our sales, we need to sell a lot of comic books to break even and be self sustained! For that to happen we need our series to be sold nationally, and to figure out ways to cut costs without reducing the quality of our book...

Pretty bleak, no?
Pretty bleak, no?

This is our plan:

  • Comic books have fixed costs (see above), which means the only way to be self sustaining is through national distribution. The only way to get national distribution is through Diamond Comic Distributors.
  • We need money to advertise in Diamond's Previews (the primary way comic book stores see/order upcoming comics) so we can be on store shelves throughout the country.
  • We also plan to advertise the series at conventions and comic book stores to grow our fan base. Any extra funds we receive beyond our goal will allow us to attend more conventions and offer more rewards to our backers.
  • To reduce printing/advertising costs, we need to release our series in story-arc based volumes, instead of as single issues. Most people prefer buying by volume, and getting more of the story in one sitting, so this is a win/win!

Financial Breakdown

We need $20,000 to create the first volume and get our series off the ground. Here's where that money will go:

  • The cost of printing our 120+ page, full-color, books through Print Ninja will be $9,500. In order to be self-sufficient, we will need to print enough physical copies to sell at conventions and through Diamond Comics Distributors.
  • We'll also need money for advertising. To be noticed on a national level we need to dedicate ~$5000 to advertise in Diamond's Previews Catalogs. Any unused advertising funds will help offset the substantial booth/travel costs at C2E2, NY Comic Con, Megacon, Tampa Bay Comic Con, and other conventions around the country where we aim to advertise the comic book and grow our readership.
  • Finally, we estimate that roughly $5500 (27.5% of funds received) will need to go toward transaction fees (10% [or $2,000] goes to Amazon + Kickstarter), will be lost from non-paying backers, applied to shipping & the creation costs on goods we send to backers, spent to replace damaged goods, and recover misc. fringe costs.

What have we done so far?

  • We've designed an expansive universe, written the entire story, and completed story-boards for much of the series.
  • We've given away over 3500 copies of our prototype issue to raise awareness for Liberty at conventions and events like Tampa Bay Comic Con and Free Comic Book Day events across Florida.
  • We've created a successful Audio Drama podcast adventure - Liberty: Critical Research, which you can listen to for FREE here.
Projected Timeline
Mid May 2016 - Interior artwork for Issues 2 & 3 complete.
Late May 2016 - Paperwork with Diamond signed. The book is formatted and prepared for print.
August 2016 - Liberty: Deception Vol. 1 goes to print.
October 2016 - Release of Liberty: Deception Vol. 1. Premiere at NY Comic Con with events at select US shops. All physical goods sent to backers!

Rewards

We're offering a wide array of goodies...

Liberty: Deception Volume 1 is our core story. We're offering it in physical and digital formats. While we're looking to print in soft cover, if we hit our first Stretch Goal, all copies of Liberty: Deception will be Hard Cover! 

Physical copies of Volume 1 will be printed with a total of THREE different covers, and you can pick the one you'd like! The above cover is the primary option. Backers of the Kickstarter will decide which of the two other painting by Eirich Olson (which you can see at the bottom of the page) will be the Kickstarter Exclusive variant cover. A third non-exclusive cover is being painted by legendary artist Dave Dorman.

The Fringe Iconography Guide booklet is your quintessential guide to the symbology and iconography created by factions within the Fringe. Every symbol in Liberty has a meaning, and now you can identify what they mean! Illustrated by Matthew Bailey, with accompanying text by Fringe expert Dr. Martollow Kovski, this book will help you identify which faction is in control of Fringe territories you might pass through.

Wear your Critical Research Patch proudly as it symbolizes your devotion to Atrius!

Atrius: A Citizen's Guide is a fully illustrated history book featuring the artwork of Casey Bailey. In addition to a broad history of Atrius, the book also explains the Atrian written Language, Technology, Holidays, Government Structure, and even has information on key Citizens of note.

Posters

Poster Design by Michael Lee Graham
Poster Design by Michael Lee Graham
Kickstarter Exclusive Poster Design by Casey Bailey
Kickstarter Exclusive Poster Design by Casey Bailey

Special Thanks Digital Manifest

A rough sketch of the 4 Day War Memorial
A rough sketch of the 4 Day War Memorial

The Four Day Memorial is a monument in Atrius that will bear the names of those who helped us in our time of need. The final design of the Four Day Memorial is being created by KC Bailey and it will also be featured in the pages of Liberty: Deception.

Cameos

 

We want YOU to be a character within our story!

ELITE ($200 level) Cameo - Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a comic book in our series!

COMBATANT ($250 level) Cameo - Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in our comic in a combative role! You might even beat up one of the main characters, or save their lives! We also have combative roles as members of specific factions like the Saark flesh traders & the terrifying Dark Kin.

CONTACT ($1,000 level) Cameo - We'll work with you to create a character (in your likeness or other) who will be given AT LEAST one line of dialogue & involved as much as their occupation allows (there's only so much a dentist can really do in our story), either in one of our current issues, or a future one (depending on your character). They might also appear in our podcast stories! You also get the concept art signed by Casey Bailey! Note: You'll have to sign a release for us to use your likeness or character :)

MOST WANTED ($1,700 level) Cameo - We'll work with you to create a character (in your likeness or other) who will kill one of the main characters in Liberty: Deception (in a subsequent volume)! You will also receive the signed page of where you make the kill, and a signed print of your character concept art, designed by Casey Bailey. After all, it's not every day you can say that you personally killed a comic book character! Note: You'll have to sign a release for us to use your likeness or character :)

Vote: Variant Cover!

Our Kickstarter Backers will pick which cover you'd like to be our Kickstarter Exclusive variant cover!

Director of Order - The above painting is a possible variant cover for Volume 1 by Eirich Olson. Hang the original painting on your wall and rest easily knowing that Atrius is protected by Caden West!

Director of Justice - The above painting is a possible variant cover for Volume 1 by Eirich Olson. Hang the original painting on your wall and rest easily knowing that Atrius is protected by Special Agent Tertulius Justus!

 Archon Reeve Statue - We're working with Art Shaft to create a limited edition line of 6'' model statues depicting the great Archon in her youth! Each piece is hand painted, and individually numbered.

This is a resin statue of the character Twitch.
This is a resin statue of the character Twitch.

ARCHIVIST:

One of the Sketches for the Justice cover
One of the Sketches for the Justice cover
 
Alternate Sketch for the Justice cover
Alternate Sketch for the Justice cover
Sketch of the Order cover
Sketch of the Order cover
Alternate sketch of the Order cover
Alternate sketch of the Order cover
 

Vote: Who is the next hero?

We want YOU to tell us who you'd like to see us create a short 9-12 page comic about! Every backer gets a vote!

1. Officer Cato Patel - An Interface Specialist of the Special Defense Force undertaking his first mission beyond the wall.

2. Helix - A pit-fighter turned servant for the Children of Kon who prefers evisceration over conversation. Complications are sure to arise as he's sent to the market.

3. THE MANY - An infamous and mysterious entity within the Fringe seeking to punish the wicked. However, not every target is without complications.

4. Bridget the Ruffian - A notoriously lucky assassin for the Lucky 8's gang who is frequently volunteered for suicide missions.

5. Officer Melor Tactica - A tough-as-nails Close Quarters Specialist of the Special Defense Force who finds herself at odds with a rogue hacker.

6. Rhaya the Wanderer - A devoted warrior of the Dark Kin on a pilgrimage to seek knowledge.

7. Aemos Tural - A young exiled Atrian robotics specialist seeking to challenge the Archon.

8. Dr. Martollow Kovski - An Atrian scientist working undercover as a "Talesman" in the Fringe.

9. Liv Conway - A pissed-off 4'2 gun-seeker whose boyfriend was just kidnapped.

Stretch Goals:

Claw - by Dave Dorman
Claw - by Dave Dorman
  • 25k Stretch - Every copy of Liberty: Deception will be hardcover!
  • 27k Stretch - Every backer will receive a free download code for the Liberty: Deception #1 Motion Comic staring Jon St John.
  • 30k Stretch - Every digital copy of Atrius: A Citizen's Guide becomes a physical copy!
  • 35k Stretch - We'll create an extra 8-12 page short comic illustrated by Casey Bailey and give a physical copy to every backer over $25! Every backer can vote on who the main character is.
  • 40k Stretch - ?????

The Creative Team of artists who have helped shape our world:

Raymund Bermudez |Joana Lafuente | Eirich Olson | Adam Cartwright | Casey Bailey | Eduardo Camacho | Laurie Thomas | Matthew Bailey | Michael Lee Graham | Sean Thornton | Henry Hall | Kaitlin Statz | Danielle Otrakji | Deon De Lange |Alex Pascenko | Dylan Pierpont | Dave Dorman

Liberty (R) logo designed by Stacey Baldini

Music by Stevin Melin!!!


Finally...

If you've read this far and you're still interested in the project: Our success is based on the support we get from the community, and we need your help to share our story! This can be through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, blogs, forums, your local comic shop, or just by sharing this a friend who might be interested. Thanks again for checking us out! We look forward to bringing our story to life.

Liberty Endures!

-------

はじめまして!

僕たちは『Liberty: Deception』(自由:欺瞞)というタイトルの新しいSF漫画を制作したいと思っています! もう何年も前から取り組んでいるプロジェクトで、終末を迎えた後の世界を舞台にしたスリル満点のアドベンチャーです。『ホビット』、『ゲーム・オブ・スローンズ』、『Mass Effect』、『スター・ウォーズ』のように深い世界を構築しながら、現実的な科学を描きます! 作品はフルカラーでシリーズ化し、120ページ強の第1巻を10月に発刊する予定です。ただ、僕たちは100%インディペンデントで自己出版をしているため、シリーズの印刷費用を賄うために皆さんからのヘルプが必要です。そこでKickstarterでクラウドソーシングをすることにしました。協力してくれた方には、ほかでは手に入らないお礼をたくさん用意しています。高いレベルの寄付者からは直接ご意見をお伺いして、特別に登場人物を作ります(自分に似たキャラクターにすることも可能です)。僕たちの世界で後に重要な役割を果たすことになるキャラクターです! ヒーローと一緒に戦うこともできれば、文字どおりヒーローを殺すこともできます! また、次の巻でフィーチャーするキャラクターに投票することもできます!

このプロジェクトには、世界各地に住む才能あふれるアーティストが多数協力してくれています。現在、第1巻を日本語に翻訳していますので、日本からの協力者の皆さんにはデジタル形式で日本語版をご提供いたします。また、成功の見込みがあれば全シリーズを日本語化したいと思っていますので、ぜひこのプロジェクトをサポートしてください! どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。

― Travis Vengroffと『Liberty』クリエイティブチームより

Risks and challenges

By May 27th the artwork should be complete. We're already close to finishing the remaining work, even before the launch of the Kickstarter and short of a global disaster we should have no issues finishing the artwork for Volume 1 well before July.

While we are not currently seeking a publisher, a potential publisher might offset some of the costs of printing as well as some of the costs associated with advertising. If this were the case we'd use this financial leeway to create additional artwork and continue the series.

In the event of a rejection by Diamond Comics Distributors we'll use the "extra" funds to advertise directly with select comic book shops around the country and will still maintain our October release date.

I personally have a very positive reputation within the Kickstarter community as a backer and also as a creator. Both of my previous projects that were funded delivered above and beyond what was promised.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    OBSERVER

    You'll get:
    *Our sincerest thanks for your show of support.

    *A single vote on which character we create a 8-12 page, short story about.

    *A single vote on which Kickstarter Exclusive variant cover design we use.

    *Regular updates as the series is created

    *Your name (in both English and Atrian) will also be added to the Special Thanks Digital Manifest on our website: (thelibertycomic.com)

    Thanks for shipping out with us on our journey!

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    PASSENGER

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    *A DRM-Free Digital Copy of both our Zero Issue and the first issue (of three) within Volume 1!

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    RECRUIT

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    *A DRM-Free Digital Copy of the book you helped create: Liberty Deception Vol. 1!

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    CITIZEN

    You get:
    **All the rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *A Signed Physical Copy of the book you helped create: Liberty Deception Vol. 1 and our sincerest thanks!

    You can also choose which of the 3 available covers you'd like!

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    RESEARCHER

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    *A Patch showing your devotion to Atrius.

    *A DRM-Free Digital Copy of the fully illustrated Fringe Iconography Guide Book, by Dr. Martollow Kovski.

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    ENLISTED

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    SECURITY OFFICER

    You'll get:
    **All the rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *A DRM-Free digital copy of A Citizen's Guide to Atrius. This full-color 50+ page book is an illustrated history of Atrius and some of its key Citizens. Art by Casey Bailey.

    *An ADDITIONAL copy of Liberty: Deception Volume 1 with your variant cover choice.

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    AGENT

    You'll Get:
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    *TWO posters:
    One commemorating your dedication to the Archon, by Michael Lee-Graham.

    One Kickstarter Exclusive design featuring the heroes of Atrius by Casey Bailey.

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    THE FALLEN

    You'll Get:
    **All the rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *You will be memorialized inside the walls of Atrius! Your name, in Atrian (a phonetic alphabet), will appear on the memorial for those who fell and gave their lives during the Four Day War.

    This memorial (and your name) will be prominently featured on the Special Thanks digital manifest on our website, as well as in the book itself.

    *You will also receive a digital copy of the Atrius font, which is Windows and Mac compatible.

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    SENIOR INVESTIGATOR

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    *An extensive and unique set of Developer Notes and Extra Concepts for Volume 1 (Digitally), otherwise not available.

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    THE FAITHFUL

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *ALL THREE copies of Liberty: Deception Volume 1. This means you'll receive the KS Exclusive variant cover, the Dave Dorman cover, AND the traditional cover.

    *All 5 volumes of Liberty: Deception, sent Digitally (DRM Free) as they're released. You read that right, even the future ones!

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    DEALER
    (Aka the Comic Shop Bundle!)

    *We'll send you 10 copies of Liberty: Deception and a Michael Lee Graham DISPLATE (metal) Poster for your shop with custom text painted on!

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    COLLECTOR

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    *A limited edition, hand-painted 6'' statue of a young Archon Reeve! Each piece will be numbered.

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    ELITE

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a comic book in our series!
    Note: We'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness or the likeness of your friend/family member.

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    COMBATANT

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Sometimes it's fun to be the bad guy! Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a Liberty comic book in a combative role!
    Note: We'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness or the likeness of your friend/family member. Also please be aware that we can't guarantee your survival...

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    SAARK COMBATANT

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a Liberty comic book in a combative role as a member of the Penny Saark Gang! The Saarks are the best dressed gang in the Fringe and arguably one of the most powerful. They control the flesh trade and are well known for their ruthlessness.

    Note: We'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness or the likeness of your friend/family member. Also please be aware that we can't guarantee your survival...

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    DARK KIN COMBATANT

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a Liberty comic book in a combative role as a member of the Dark Kin! The great warrior tribe can see in the dark, ignore pain, and has a morbid fascination with blood.

    Note: We'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness or the likeness of your friend/family member.Also please be aware that we can't guarantee your survival...

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    ARCHIVIST (Justice)

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Cover art is one of a kind. You'll get the original pencil art for the "Justice" variant cover design of volume 1, sketched by Eirich Olson.

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    ARCHIVIST (Order)

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *Cover art is one of a kind. You'll get the original pencil art for the "Order" variant cover design of volume 1, sketched by Eirich Olson.

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    SURVIVOR

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *You'll receive BOTH a painted 6'' statue of Archon Reeve & Twitch.
    *You'll receive a DISPLATE (Metal) poster of the Michael Lee Graham design with custom lettering added.

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    THE MANY

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *We'll work with you to create a character (in your likeness or not) who will fight with our protagonists as a member of THE MANY. You will appear in multiple issues, have multiple lines of dialogue, and quite literally fight alongside the team.

    THE MANY are a Fringe faction dedicated to fighting the unjust.

    We'll give you a signed copy of your character's concept art, which will be created by Casey Bailey or Alex Pasecenko.
    Note: You'll have to sign a release for us to use your likeness or character :)

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    CONTACT

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *We'll work with you to create a character (in your likeness or other) who will be given AT LEAST one line of dialogue & involved as much as their occupation allows, either one of our current issues, or a future one (depending on your character).

    Is your character a student, a punk, a mercenary? We'll give you a signed copy of the concept art, which will be created by Casey Bailey.
    Note: You'll have to sign a release for us to use your likeness or character :)

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    MOST WANTED

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *We will work with you to create a character who will kill one of the main characters in Liberty: Deception (in a subsequent volume)! You will also receive the signed page of where you make the kill, and your character concept art, designed by Casey Bailey. After all, it's not every day you can say that you personally killed a comic book character!
    Note: You'll have to sign a release for us to use your likeness or character :)

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  24. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    DIRECTOR OF JUSTICE

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *You'll receive an original painting by Eirich Olson of our Volume 1 Variant Cover, featuring the protagonist of our series: Tertulius Justus!

    *Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will also appear in a comic book in our series! Note: You'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness.

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  25. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    DIRECTOR OF ORDER

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *An original painting by Eirich Olson of our Variant Cover for Volume 1 featuring the protagonists of our series traversing the underground tunnels of the Fringe!

    *Your likeness (or that of a friend/family member) will appear in a comic book in our series! Note: You'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness.

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    PRIME DIRECTOR

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *If still available you will receive one of the $2000 level paintings, otherwise you'll get to pick from a list of Eirich Olson's paintings created for future Liberty: Deception covers.

    *We will work with you to create a character who will be featured within our series, either as a character killer, or associate. You'll get the concept art by Case Bailey, and first physical page of that your character appears in. Note: You'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness/ideas!

    *We will create a 3'' (or 25mm) resin figure of your character!!!

    *You will receive physical copies of every Volume of Liberty: Deception (1-5) as they're released, and early digital copies as well.

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  27. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ARCHON

    You'll Get:
    **All non-limited rewards listed for the smaller pledge levels!

    *If still available you will receive one of the $2000 level paintings, otherwise you'll get to pick from a list of Eirich Olson's paintings created for future Liberty: Deception covers.

    *We will work with you to create a character who will be featured within our series, either as a character killer, or associate. You'll get the concept art by Case Bailey, and first physical page of that your character appears in. Note: You'll need to sign a release so we can use your likeness/ideas!

    *We will create a 3'' (or 25mm) resin figure of your character!!!

    *We will also work with you to design the antagonist for our next 8-12 page short story!

    *You'll receive THE signed original Print PROOF of Liberty: Deception Volume 1.

    *You'll be listed as the executive producer of Liberty: Deception Volume 1.

    *You will receive physical copies of every Volume of Liberty: Deception (1-5) as they're released, and early digital copies as well.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (40 days)