Triumviratus: a premium hardcover fantasy comic (500 pages)

by Shane W Smith

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About

I'm thrilled to bring you my latest and most eagerly anticipated graphic novel, Triumviratus, which will be published exclusively in deluxe hardcover format and launched right here on Kickstarter.

Triumviratus is a 500 page fantasy graphic novel about jealousy, self-esteem, and three desperate people whose misadventures in love bring the world to its knees. Betrayal, destiny and strong character drama drive this deeply personal epic fantasy from acclaimed graphic novelist Shane W Smith.

Triumviratus is supported by my wonderful patrons on Patreon, and by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund!
Triumviratus is supported by my wonderful patrons on Patreon, and by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund!
  • An epic fantasy adventure about the gulf between duty and desire.
  • A print run limited to just 1,000 copies worldwide, each book hand-signed and numbered by Shane W Smith.
  • An oversized and highly collectable deluxe hardcover full-colour graphic novel (more exciting details will be unlocked over the course of the campaign)!
  • This campaign is the only way to obtain a copy of this epic book until early 2020, when the paperback will be released.
  • Get a digital copy of Triumviratus at no extra cost!
  • Exclusive additional content not available anywhere else!
  • Free trial: download the first chapter of Triumviratus here!

Welcome to Watcher's Edge, a tiny duchy lost in geography and stuck in time. The events that begin way out here in this sleepy little hamlet will change the world forever.

Meet Rynold, the court mage, Mirelda, the duke's daughter, and Damian, a stable hand.

In a world where violent magic is punished by the gods, mages have learned to use their powers for deception and manipulation. Rynold has learned this lesson better than most.

A single moment of jealousy and desire was all it took for him to cast aside a lifetime of sacred oaths. Instead of openly competing for the heart of Princess Mirelda, he misuses an ancient artefact to engineer a scheme that sends her lover, Damian, on a fraudulent pilgrimage to a faraway land.

His plan backfires when the artefact flares into life after centuries of dormancy and... well... this happens.

Preview the entire first chapter of Triumviratus right here! Just click the image for a PDF download.
Preview the entire first chapter of Triumviratus right here! Just click the image for a PDF download.
    

Mirelda and Rynold leave Watcher's Edge in desperate pursuit of Damian, and emerge into a dangerous world they aren't ready to face. As their long journey progresses, they come to learn, however, that the greatest threat to them - and to the world - might well come from within...

Triumviratus paints a deeply personal love triangle against an epic fantasy backdrop, and will appeal to readers of fantasy who appreciate strong character drama driving a high-stakes story.

My name is SHANE W SMITH, and I'm an Australian graphic novelist who uses genre to explore and uncover some of the deeper meanings of human experience. Four of my graphic novels have been shortlisted in awards, including the fan-favourite Undad. I've got a Bachelor Degree in creative writing, and I might be the only person in the world to get a comic published in a refereed academic journal. Triumviratus is my eighth graphic novel, and the sixth book I've launched on Kickstarter.

Earlier this year, I delivered my millionth comic page into the hands of my fans. My awesome (and growing) fanbase is incredibly supportive of my work. I'm so appreciative: we only crushed this milestone because of you.

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And here are some shots of me as an invited and honoured guest of Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney last year. 

Wolfgang Bylsma, Marc Noble, Katie Houghton-Ward, Michel Mulipola, and me. Melbourne 2017.
Wolfgang Bylsma, Marc Noble, Katie Houghton-Ward, Michel Mulipola, and me. Melbourne 2017.
Stewart McKenny, Matt Kyme, Queenie Chan, me, Chewie Chan, Michel Mulipola. Sydney 2017.
Stewart McKenny, Matt Kyme, Queenie Chan, me, Chewie Chan, Michel Mulipola. Sydney 2017.
Jason Franks, me, Wolfgang Bylsma. Brisbane 2017.
Jason Franks, me, Wolfgang Bylsma. Brisbane 2017.

Being invited as a guest was a fantastic experience, and really encouraged me to go after Great Things with my next release.

BONUS!

Triumviratus will also feature some internal portrait art by Adelaide artist Rosanna Lam! 

Portrait of Rynold, by Rosanna Lam!
Portrait of Rynold, by Rosanna Lam!

All my books have used genre as an allegory for the various personal challenges I've faced in my life - for example, Undad was a title that allowed me to process my experiences juggling parenthood and depression. In this respect, Triumviratus is no different. Even my decision to bring Triumviratus to Kickstarter ties in thematically to the book.

How do you know when you're ready for great things?

As a creator who's been around for a while, one of the things that I constantly find myself challenged by is the notion of being good enough or ready for the next step in my career.

I've learned something from the characters in Triumviratus. These characters are facing the end of the world, but their greatest challenge is reconciling the same personal uncertainties and self-esteem issues that I wrestle with as a creator.

It's time to go after my own Great Things. It's time to chase down that premium hardcover I've always wanted on my shelf, and Triumviratus - an ambitious, lushly rendered, 500 page full-colour graphic novel - is the perfect project to do that with.

Another key conflict not explored above in the theme discussion is one about the eternal tension between duty and desire. This is something I'm sure many people can relate to, as it comes in many forms: work/life balance for one.

For me, this tension plays out in three distinct ways, with points of tension between three core parts of myself.

And I've recently come to appreciate that each of the three main characters of Triumviratus embodies one of these conflicts.

Rynold: Duty/Love

Rynold has a gods-given gift and a sacred duty to uphold as a mage of the Watcher's Edge court. But he doesn't even hesitate to cast that aside when the chance to win Mirelda's heart presents itself.

Damian: Love/Dream

Damian is in love with Mirelda, but he is chasing glory. The pull between the relationship he values, and his desire to become what he sees as a more worthy, better person, is one that plays out in a variety of ways throughout the story.

Mirelda: Duty/Dream

The princess Mirelda, destined for a life driven almost solely by the duty bestowed upon her by her lineage, is given new purpose when she is Chosen to bring Damian back. For a while, her (new) duty and her dreams seem in alignment. But only for a while...

We're coming to Kickstarter to help raise funds for an offset print run of 1,000 copies of the deluxe hardcover edition of Triumviratus, and to celebrate its launch by getting it into as many hands as possible.

We've also prepared a whole stack of benefits for backers that are only available through this campaign:

  • Hundreds of pages of behind-the-scenes content.
  • Exclusive bookplates, only for Kickstarter backers.
  • Free digital copies for every hardcover purchase.
  • Discounted shipping costs, even for international backers.
  • Discounted prices on the entire Shane W Smith back catalogue, including access to some files that have never been shared before.
  • Bonus: additional free comics for backers who pledge in the first forty-eight hours of the campaign!

This print run of Triumviratus is strictly limited to 1,000 copies. Backing through this campaign is the only sure way to guarantee yourself a copy.

Printing hardcover books is an expensive proposition, and I've been planning for this launch for years.

Hitting our funding target on Kickstarter means that this campaign will fund around half of the printing costs, with the remainder coming out of money I've already set aside from the following avenues:

  • Several years' worth of convention profits and book sales;
  • all of my Patreon income since January 2018;
  • PLR/ELR 2017/18 payment of nearly $1700; 
  • a $4000 lump sum raised for Triumviratus through the Australian Cultural Fund, with the support of Creative Partnerships Australia.

Here's how your pledges will divide up.

Have you checked out the first chapter of Triumviratus yet? If not, you can grab it right here:

Click the image to download the 22 page preview!
Click the image to download the 22 page preview!

In addition, you can also grab a Triumviratus ashcan, which will give you a tiny taste of the behind-the-scenes content that you can grab at the $15, $50, and $100+ tiers.

Click on the image to grab the Triumviratus ashcan!
Click on the image to grab the Triumviratus ashcan!

And now for the fun part: rewards! You can order your premium hardcover of Triumviratus through this campaign at a greatly reduced cost. Also on offer is my entire back catalogue of books, also at reduced prices, as well as a whole bunch of digital behind-the-scenes content, some of which has never before seen the light of day. 

And don't forget for non-Australian visitors that all this is in Australian dollars! Your own currency may go even further.

Digital rewards

  • $10 Stable Hand will get you a digital copy of Triumviratus in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats. 
  • $15 Illumination and Misdirection will get you a digital copy of Triumviratus, and a whole slew of behind-the-scenes content, including scripts, concept art, and an entire unpublished novel. 
  • $30 Red Regiment will get you my entire back catalogue of books: Triumviratus; The Lesser Evil; Peaceful Tomorrows; The Game; All The King's Men; James Flamestar and the Stargazers; Undad; and Undad Vol 2. Way over 3,000 pages of comics here!
  • $50 Great Things will get you the entire back catalogue of books, and an absolute tonne of behind-the-scenes stuff for all of them, including a stack of things that have never before been released.
     

Hardcopy rewards

  • $75 The Gift will get you a copy of the premium hardcover edition of Triumviratus, hand-signed and numbered (1000 only)
  • $100 The Chosen One will get you a copy of the premium hardcover, as well as everything in the Great Things digital tier. 
  • $225 Executioner will get you the Triumviratus premium hardback, and paperback copies of all my other books: The Lesser Evil; Peaceful Tomorrows; The Game; All The King's Men; James Flamestar and the Stargazers; Undad; and Undad Vol 2. That's over 3,000 pages of printed comics! You also get everything in the $50 Great Thing tier, and some additional digital titles exclusive to this tier (and above).  
  • $500 Triumvirate You get to choose which the numbering on your copy of Triumviratus. Want #1 out of 1000, or #1000? You've got it. Includes everything in the $225 Executioner tier. 

EXCLUSIVE NEW CONTENT

All pledges to this campaign will also receive a free and exclusive digital preview of The Winds of Change, my next graphic novel project, and the final volume in the epic sci-fi series that has been shortlisted twice in the Aurealis Awards. 

This exclusive preview of The Winds of Change will only be available as part of this Kickstarter campaign!
This exclusive preview of The Winds of Change will only be available as part of this Kickstarter campaign!

BONUS REWARD FOR SUPER-FANS

If you back this campaign at any level, and have either:

  • backed one of my previous campaigns; or
  • donated to the Triumviratus project via the Australian Cultural Fund;  or
  • currently support me on Patreon...

...then you are a SUPER-FAN.

And as an expression of my gratitude, you'll receive a lengthy digital audio commentary for Triumviratus

This commentary will run for a minimum of forty-five minutes, and will cover topics like themes, creative processes, writing and artwork processes, publishing trivia, answers to FAQs re the book, and much more. 

This is an exclusive offer for my super-fans who are coming back to support my work for a second (or third [or more-th]) time! You guys take really good care of me, and I'm going to do the same for you. 

If you haven't backed one of my earlier campaigns, all is not lost! To get access to this commentary, simply back this campaign, then head over to Patreon and make a pledge. 

Rewards start at just $1 a month, and you'll get a free audio commentary for Triumviratus!
Rewards start at just $1 a month, and you'll get a free audio commentary for Triumviratus!

If you're not sure but think you qualify as a super-fan (for the above reasons or any other reason), please get in touch. I'm more than happy to be flexible regarding eligibility.

I want you to be able to back this project with confidence, and I'm committed to delivering a high-quality product to you. And to back that commitment up, I'm offering a money-back guarantee.

If I haven't met your expectations, or you're not satisfied with what you've gotten, I'll do what I can to resolve the issue. And if I can't, simply return your reward to me, and I'll refund your pledge amount.

  • 10 August - Kickstarter campaign ends
  • 24 August - funds received (2 weeks) and Triumviratus goes to print
    [estimated 10 weeks to print + 2 weeks as a buffer for contingencies]
  • mid-November (est.) - books delivered to me for signing
  • late November - books sent out to backers
  • late November - all digital rewards delivered
  • early December - books received by Australian backers
  • late December - books received by international backers

If we hit our funding target early on in the campaign, I should be able to scrape together enough funds out of my own accounts to get the printing moving a little earlier. This will give us a broader buffer for contingencies and allow a little longer for the printing process to complete.

Let's recap.

The Triumviratus launch campaign offers a huge number of lovely and exclusive perks. 

  • An epic story. Jealousy, self-esteem, destiny, desire, and the end of the world all come crashing together in this huge 500 page self-contained fantasy tale.
  • A premium product. The Triumviratus hardcover is a massive, stunning, full-colour product. I'll be revealing details about the book as we hit funding milestones, so look forward to those!
  • Value for money. This premium edition of Triumviratus will never be cheaper to obtain than it is through this campaign. 
  • Early access. Only 1000 copies of this book will be printed, and there won't be a paperback edition of the book until at least 2020. 
  • Exclusive content. All backers receive a meaty preview of my next graphic novel project, and higher tiers have access to a huge amount of content that has never been released before.
  • Extra bonuses. My superfans (new and old alike) will receive some additional exclusive high-value content.
  • No risk to you. I'm a five-time Kickstarter creator, and have a tonne of fulfilment experience (a million pages worth, in fact!). In addition, I'm offering a guarantee that you will receive what you pledged for, or you'll get your money back. 
  • Bonus comics for early backers in the first 48 hours of the campaign only.

Thank you very much for checking out this campaign to bring Triumviratus to print in a premium hardcover format. I'm incredibly excited to bring this book to you, and am more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

This book can't exist without your help, so if you'd like to see it come to life, please click the green Back This Project button.

Risks and challenges

Since 2015, I have run four successful Kickstarter campaigns, and delivered hundreds of thousands of comics pages to backers. By now, I've developed a strong awareness of the challenges a creator faces to deliver a project on time and on budget.

The book is 100% complete, and ready to go to print. As soon as funding is secured, the printing process will commence.

Triumviratus is very near and dear to my heart, and I'm committed to delivering a high-quality book to every backer of this campaign, and I'm more than happy to respond to any questions or concerns you might have.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $7

    Stable Hand

    The entire 540 page fantasy epic, delivered digitally.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 15 or more About $11

    Illumination and Misdirection

    Triumviratus + all the bonus content. The short comic that inspired it. Scripts. Deleted scenes. A full unpublished novel. Character profiles. Trivia. Concept art. Unused art. Hundreds and hundreds of pages here.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 30 or more About $22

    Red Regiment

    Just the books - digital copies of every Shane W Smith title that's been released to date. That's over 3000 pages of comics.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil - digital (350 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows - digital (616 pages)
    • The Game - digital (394 pages)
    • All The King's Men - digital (710 pages)
    • James Flamestar and the Stargazers - digital (74 pages)
    • Undad - digital (220 pages)
    • Undad Volume Two - digital (230 pages)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About $37

    Great Things

    All the digital books, and bonus content to go with it. Also includes some additional digital books only available in this tier!

    Scripts, behind-the-scenes goodies, unpublished pages, deleted scenes, trivia, articles, unused artwork, concept artwork, funding information, pro forma contracts. It's all laid bare here.

    That's over 3000 pages of comics, and untold thousands of pages of additional material to trawl through.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil - digital (350 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows - digital (616 pages)
    • The Game - digital (394 pages)
    • All The King's Men - digital (710 pages)
    • James Flamestar and the Stargazers - digital (74 pages)
    • Undad - digital (220 pages)
    • Undad Volume Two - digital (230 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • Academaesthetics - digital (53 pages)
    • Undad journal - digital
    • Bonus content for all books (thousands of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 75 or more About $56

    The Gift

    Limited hardcover edition of Triumviratus, numbered and hand-signed. Personalised at your request.

    Also comes with the digital version of Triumviratus, and a huge amount of behind-the-scenes content.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - premium limited edition hardcover (500 pages)
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $74

    The Chosen One

    Limited hardcover edition of Triumviratus, numbered and hand-signed. Personalised at your request.

    Plus all digital content offered in the $50 tier. That's every Shane W Smith book available, as well as a huge amount of behind-the-scenes content for them.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - premium limited edition hardcover (500 pages)
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil - digital (350 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows - digital (616 pages)
    • The Game - digital (394 pages)
    • All The King's Men - digital (710 pages)
    • James Flamestar and the Stargazers - digital (74 pages)
    • Undad - digital (220 pages)
    • Undad Volume Two - digital (230 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • Academaesthetics - digital (53 pages)
    • Undad journal - digital
    • Bonus content for all books (thousands of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 225 or more About $167

    Executioner

    Everything. Just... just everything. The Triumviratus hardcover (+ digital edition), paperback copies of all my other books (+ digital editions), a massive amount of behind-the-scenes content for all the books, and two additional digital titles only available at this tier.

    (Please note: for international pledges, Triumviratus will be hand-signed and sent out from Australia, but the other books will be sent to you directly from a printer in your region to keep shipping costs affordable)

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus - premium limited edition hardcover (500 pages)
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil paperback (350 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil - digital (350 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows paperback (616 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows - digital (616 pages)
    • The Game paperback (394 pages)
    • The Game - digital (394 pages)
    • All The King's Men paperback (710 pages)
    • All The King's Men - digital (710 pages)
    • James Flamestar paperback (74 pages)
    • James Flamestar and the Stargazers - digital (74 pages)
    • Undad paperback (220 pages)
    • Undad - digital (220 pages)
    • Undad Vol 2 paperback (230 pages)
    • Undad Volume Two - digital (230 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • Academaesthetics - digital (53 pages)
    • Undad journal - digital
    • Bonus content for all books (thousands of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About $371

    Triumvirate

    Get book #1/1000. The first book signed and numbered. Only one #1 will ever exist, and it can be yours. The second pledge in this tier will receive copy #1000/1000 (or another number of their choice)

    Includes all rewards from the Executioner tier as well.

    Includes:
    • Triumviratus premium hardcover (#1/1000 or #1000/1000)
    • Triumviratus - digital version (500 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil paperback (350 pages)
    • The Lesser Evil - digital (350 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows paperback (616 pages)
    • Peaceful Tomorrows - digital (616 pages)
    • The Game paperback (394 pages)
    • The Game - digital (394 pages)
    • All The King's Men paperback (710 pages)
    • All The King's Men - digital (710 pages)
    • Undad paperback (220 pages)
    • Undad - digital (220 pages)
    • Undad Vol 2 paperback (230 pages)
    • Undad Volume Two - digital (230 pages)
    • James Flamestar paperback (74 pages)
    • James Flamestar and the Stargazers - digital (74 pages)
    • Triumviratus bonus content (hundreds of pages!)
    • Academaesthetics - digital (53 pages)
    • Undad journal - digital
    • Bonus content for all books (thousands of pages!)
    • The Winds of Change exclusive preview
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.