All the King's Men
A huge dystopic science-fiction anthology of comics and prose that features award-winning contributors, and pays fairly for their work.
Latest update: select rewards will still be filled, even if the campaign does not meet its funding targets.
All The King's Men is a science-fiction anthology. It's planned to run a mammoth 300 pages, a combination of short prose stories and black and white comics, all stories loosely linked together by theme and/or setting. I will be contributing one or two pieces to this anthology, and the remainder will be sourced from other writers and artists.
All proceeds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to pay those contributors for their work. There will be no working for exposure, no working for royalties that might never materialise; if it’s good enough to get in the book, it’s worth paying for.
This book, when completed, will be submitted to Zetabella Publishing for consideration, who have already offered to me their support and interest in this project. Ultimately, this means that there will be no need to cover book printing costs, no fancy equipment purchases, no huge drunken parties... all the money is going straight into the pockets of anthology contributors. The more funding the anthology attracts, the bigger their payday.
All stories will be thematically linked, each exploring in some way the notion that some things are broken, and just cannot be fixed.
All The King's Men takes place in the same universe as my previously published works The Lesser Evil, Peaceful Tomorrows, and The Game. Although tied to my previous work, this book will stand on its own, and will not require readers to be familiar with the other books.
It's a dystopic sci-fi setting, one where civil wars are political tools, addictive drugs are revenue raisers, and the life of the man in the street is worth about... okay, yeah. As with most dystopic fiction, it's got plenty in common with the world as we know it today. People live, dream and die, and - living under the oppressive boot heel of the Senate - don't get a chance to do much else.
It's a big galaxy, and there are many, many untold stories, just waiting to come forth.
At the core of all my writing is human drama, emotions, growth, and a parable for the trials of contemporary life. As editor of this work, I’ll be holding all contributors to the same standard, to create a book that I would want to read.
Set in a galaxy rife with corruption, oppression and shattered dreams, All The King's Men will be an emotional and intelligent interrogation of defeat, determination, and hopelessness.
For more information on the book, including potential stories, and submission guidelines, please visit my website:
Please, support the book. And just as importantly, support the principle this book represents: a fair deal for writers and artists.
Although the creative line-up for this anthology will not be confirmed until submissions close in May, there has been considerable interest from a number of extremely talented writers and artists who wish to work on All The King's Men.
This section will be updated regularly as new submissions come in.
JEFF BRENNAN has been an artist for the past 15 years. He started out as an inking assistant to Brett Breeding on Superman in 1991. Since then, he has worked on a range of comics, including: Deathstroke the Terminator; Bart Simpson comics; Flare; League of Champions; Tigress; and Liberty Girl. His work will soon be featured in the June issue of Heavy Metal Magazine and the hit CBS show The Big Bang Theory.
GREG WRAY was born in the Chicago Area, and attended the University of Illinois and Syracuse University in New York, where he received his BFA focusing on illustration. He completed his higher education at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. During his twenty-five year career as a freelance illustrator, Greg's images have appeared in all forms of visual communication. "What I have enjoyed the most throughout my career are the relationships I've established with the people I work with."
DARYL GILLHAM studied graphic design at Nene college, Northampton, illustration at the Herefordshire College of Art & Design, and visual communication at KIAD [now part of Suffolk ARU]. He has done comic book work for Frameworks, Edgewater/Monument comics, and self-publishing personal work. Recently he has undertaken editorial and teaching work for Maybe Magazine. Daryl also exhibited work at the Milton Keynes art gallery and the Old Truman Brewery in London.
STEVEN ROSIA is a Canadian rabble-rouser bent on bursting full force into the comic book industry. Currently operating out of Okotoks, Alberta, he is enjoying a positively droll life with his wonderful and most eloquent fiance and their feisty pup. The cat doesn't deserve mention.
PAUL BRISKE is an Australian artist from Adelaide. He holds a fine art degree and has been working on comics for the past five years. A contributor to four issues of Decay and a comic in the upcoming Killeroo: Gangwar Anthology as well as his own comic, Buzz Mandible, Paul likes to keep busy. He also teaches Comic Book workshops to kids and adults alike and when his time isn't taken up by that, he oil paints comic book characters.
MARTIN PIKKAART works mainly from fascinations such as textures, death, biology, alchemy, mysticism and myths. He tries to create images and stories that are credible, but also originate from fascinations and fantasy. Intuitively he recreates instantly recognisable things like animals and exotic mythical creatures in a unique way.
MARTIN G RIVAS currently lives in a small Nebraska town with his wife and two sons. He is a life-long lover of comic books and loves a good story and artwork. He has a degree in Graphic Design but is trying to build a career in the comic book industry. He is both a writer and an artist and is currently working on two web comics, "Uncanny Cryptic 5" and "Murderers Of The World."
CLAUDIO GHIRARDO grew up loving comics. He has worked as a freelance illustrator and then became a contemporary figurative painter. While watching “American Splendor” and re-connecting with friends from The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, Inc. on Facebook, Ghirardo developed a renewed interest in comics and decided to launch a webcomic. “Untitled” allows Ghirardo to free up possibilities for stories and visual imagery so he doesn’t feel restricted within one set genre or format.
ROY STEWART is based in Leeds UK and spends most of his time illustrating in the sequential medium (‘Silver Screen’, 'DeadRoots', 'Collider', 'Kuruz, 'Aleister Crowley Biography'). His passions in life are coffee breaks and his life revolves around them.
GILBERTO BORBA has worked as a professional illustrator since 1988. In 1996, he launched an underground fanzine "The Obscure World" which achieved some notoriety. He has extensively studied visual art both formally and informally.
ANDRES CORNEJO is a professional Illustrator from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began working as a concept artist and story-board artist in 2006. He has since worked as a freelance illustrator for different markets such as publishing, textile industry, cinematographic industry, toys and video-games, and specially as a comic-book artist and children´s book illustrator. In 2009, he graduated from Palermo University as a comic-book designer, and is currently finishing his studies in fine arts at IUNA.
JORGE MACEDO (aka Micky), Country: Portugal. Been working mostly in storyboards and illustrations for advertisement agencies since the year 2000 and for the past 3 years working as penciller and concept illustrator for Medikids Inc.
JAMES FRANCIS is an artist based in the United States.
I'm sure you agree that this is a pretty amazing array of talent. And we haven't even gotten to the writers yet. Hold onto your hats.
AMERICO ALVARENGA, an award winning writer, was born and raised in San Francisco, California. While attending college, a jovial happenstance took this one-time art student and enrolled him (by accident) into his first film class, and he has never looked back. In completing his first short film in 1997, a local producer took notice of his 8mm project, and without hesitation, gave him a chance to direct, edit, and write a documentary for NASA’s U.S. Space Camp. Since then, he has directed/produced/edited/written for films, documentaries, commercials, and television. With an emphasis toward screenwriting his latest screenplay “Tempus Fugit” has won the Gold prize at the Hollywood Screenplay Contest, Official selection at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, and Fourth place at the Los Angeles Screenplay Competition. Now living in Canberra, Australia, his writing has expanded to working on his first novel and other writing avenues.
TINI HOWARD has always been a writer. A wordsmith from childhood, all of her early publication experience came easily to her, such as school literary magazines and papers needed for the day job. She has been published by Gawker/Kotaku, Posh Seven Magazine, and NerdCaliber. When the stars align, she is working on her first novel (Chamber Sounds) as well as GLASS, a graphic novel collaboration. She is the winner of the 2013 Top Cow Talent Hunt, and will soon be published by Top Cow Comics.
MATTHEW J HELLSCREAM is the author of the first successfully
Kickstarted Australian fiction novel, Metro 7. He lives in Queensland,
Australia and writes scary things for fun.
BRETT SIMON discovered comics at a young age, but didn't fully
grow to appreciate the medium until 2011. Currently, he dreams of
having some of his story ideas published in either book or comic form
within the future. When not studying or writing articles for Moarpowah,
he enjoys writing short stories, weight-lifting, and debating about the
superiority of New York Style pizza.
KEVIN DEMPSEY is a young writer from New York who has a
passion for games, film, books, and comics ever since he was a child.
Recently he has been working with Pronto Comics to publish some of his
works, including the soon to be released horror anthology story
“Summoning Disaster.” As a writer, Kevin enjoys writing short stories
and comics and hopes to write a book or comic series of his own one day.
EMMET O'CUANA is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. He has
written for Filmink Magazine, Etchings Journal, Film International and
Home Brew Vampire Bullets. Along with Ryan Huff he co-hosted the now
defunct Beardy and the Geek podcast, dedicated to the discussion of
Australian comics. He is also a contributor to Hopscotch Friday and
Hopscotch Friday: http://www.hopscotchfriday.com/search/label/emmet%20o%27cuana
Beardy and the Geek: http://www.bandtheg.com/
JASON HUWER has been published a number of times by Grayhaven Comics. He has a number of significant comics projects in the pipeline at the moment as well.
Published work: http://www.grayhavencomics.com/comics/hey-kids-fantasy/
Published work: http://www.grayhavencomics.com/comics/the-gathering-ghost-stories/
Published work: http://www.grayhavencomics.com/comics/hey-kid-fairy-tales/
DANIEL DOWSING is a writer from North Wales, UK, with a
passion for books and games. He has worked as a narrative designer for
two game projects: Recovery Search & Rescue Simultion; and Primal
Rumble. As a writer he enjoys writing short stories and comics, and
currently has a Kickstarter campaign of his own running for a graphic
novella project entitled The Wolf.
NICK JOSEPH is a 23 year old African American, and is new to the world of comic writing. He has been reading comics for as long as he can remember, and has been inspired by DC's New 52 series (and many others) to write his own stories.
ERICK MANCILLA dreams of one day producing his very own creator owned comic, but is actively exploring all opportunities to contribute to the comic industry. He has written a comic short which he hopes to submit to Heavy Metal Magazine when the art is complete. As a writer, his strength lies in dialogue and characters. His inspirations include Ed Brubaker, Scott Snyder, Terry Moore and Becky Cloonan.
SHANE W SMITH is an Australia-based graphic novelist with big dreams of literary success. He has a bachelor degree in Creative Writing, and has had a number of full-length graphic novels published by Zetabella Publishing, including one which was a finalist in the 2013 Aurealis Awards. His oddest achievement is getting a comic published in a refereed academic journal in 2007.
Although only one story has been finalised at this stage (see below), here are some of the potential story ideas for All The King's Men.
THE LONG ROAD HOME - Shane W Smith
Angus Baxmerian once claimed that he would never work for a government. Any government. But fate is cruel, and destiny manipulative... and he now finds himself firmly under the thumb of Principal Director Frank Tomhines. How did this happen? And when Frank Tomhines orders him to assassinate a man he once called friend, why is he powerless to resist?
There's actually not a whole lot of budget detail to divulge right now. The money is only going to three places.
That's it. Every cent that is left over after Kickstarter and fulfilling rewards will go into contributor pockets. No other costs that crop up will be funded by this Kickstarter.
If the project meets its minimum funding targets, contributors will be paid:
Authors: $0.02 per word ($120 for a 6000 word story)
Script writers: $7 per page ($140 for a 20 page script)
Artists: $35 per page ($700 for a 20 page story)
Based on a survey I conducted late last year, the pay rates on offer at the minimum funding level is at the lower end of acceptable for an indie project.
Personally, I would like to pay more to contributors. They’re certainly worth more. The only stretch goals this project has involve increasing the amount of compensation that contributors receive. The more you give, the more they get.
The proposed timeline for this project:
A survey I conducted late last year attempted to ascertain a fair pay rate for contributors to indie anthologies. While responses were varied, it was not impossible to negotiate a line between principle and reality.
A write-up of this survey can be found here.
In brief, respondents indicated that between $70-$100 was an appropriate amount to pay a writer for 10 pages of script, and somewhere in the vicinity of $300 was appropriate to pay an artist. This was by no means a comprehensive study, nor is it necessarily a fair rate of pay for contributors, but it was generally deemed an acceptable rate for small-time projects.
The amount paid to contributors will be entirely dependent upon the level of success this campaign enjoys, but pay rates will not fall beneath:
Authors: $0.02 per word
Script writers: $7.00 per page
Artists: $35.00 per page
All contributors will be offered a contract that provides for payment upon completion of the commissioned work. These payments are in lieu of royalties, and the entire transaction will be treated as a work-for-hire arrangement. This approach was overwhelmingly favoured by respondents in the survey.
The contracts will contain deadlines for production, which will facilitate the timely delivery of the anthology.
In the interest of transparency, I will be making all details of the contracts available publicly. Below are drafts of the contracts that will be provided to contributors.
It's all very well to be championing a cause, but it's even better to get something in return. I've done my best to pull out all the stops with regards to the reward structure. With the blessing of my publisher, I have been given permission to make my entire back catalogue of books available to backers. There's some amazing content available here in addition to All The King's Men, including a huge range of exclusive stories and artwork that aren't available from any other source.
If the funding campaign for All The King's Men falls short of its target, backers will still be rewarded for their support of the project. Obviously, the anthology itself will not exist, but other rewards will still be provided. Here's how it will work.
All pledges of $10 or more that are still active when the project closes will receive The Long Road Home as a reward... regardless of whether this campaign makes its target!
All pledges of $150 or more that are still active when the project closes will receive The Long Road Home, The Lesser Evil, and Peaceful Tomorrows PDFs as a reward... regardless of whether this campaign makes its target!
All pledges of $200 or more that are still active when the project closes will receive The Long Road Home, The Lesser Evil, and Peaceful Tomorrows PDFs, and the first unpublished issue of Triumviratus as a reward... regardless of whether this campaign makes its target!
All pledges of $400 or more that are still active when the project closes will receive all of the above, except the issue of Triumviratus won't be digital; it will be printed, signed, and will feature an exclusive never-to-be-seen-again cover.
If the campaign isn't funded, backers will not be charged a cent, but will still receive the awesome rewards outlined above.
There are also retailer-specific reward tiers:
For some more reading on the 'work for exposure' phenomenon, please check out this excellent article for an argument, and this incredible Twitter feed for a never-ending barrage of real-world examples. I have also written a blog entry on it.
- Special thanks to Bleeding Cool for helping me get the word out.
- Feel free to ask any questions, either here or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Thank you very much for checking out this project. I hope I have convinced you that it is worth funding, and that I am capable of putting this book together. It can't exist without your help.
Please make a pledge, and support All The King's Men, and the principle of fair pay for the artistic community.
Risks and challenges
There are two primary risks with this project that I can see. One is that the book will not be produced on schedule, and the other is that it may not be published as hoped by Zetabella Publishing.
1. What happens if contributors fail to deliver on deadline?
I'm hoping to work with around 20-25 contributors on this book, so it is certainly a possibility that at least one will not be able to meet the agreed-upon deadlines.
I will be monitoring the progress of the book throughout, so there shouldn't be any last-minute surprises. Should an artist be slipping behind deadline, I intend to be as accommodating as possible within the bounds of the contract signed by the artist. I'll remain in contact with the contributor, and through negotiation, we will determine whether or not the artist should continue to work on the project.
Should a contributor drop out midway through the project, it may be possible for me to offer the incomplete work to another contributor, or tackle it myself, without incurring too significant a delay (as each individual story is reasonably short).
There is a chance this will impact delivery dates for rewards, but the consequences are unlikely to be more severe than that. The book will still be made, and delivered.
2. What happens if the book isn't picked up by Zetabella?
I have attempted to mitigate this risk by obtaining in-principle approval of this project from Zetabella, but (of course) they will reserve the right to make their final decision once they see the book.
Should Zetabella elect not to publish the book, there are still several options open to me.
I intend to submit it to a number of publishers first; should no interest be forthcoming, I can publish it myself. The money set aside for purchasing the books for the reward tiers will simply be sent directly to a POD printer instead of a publisher. I anticipate no major cost blow-out, and can cover incidental costs out of my own pocket.
I always planned to start my own publishing company one day. This might be an opportunity to get a jump start on that.
There are risks with any project, of course, but my commitment is rock solid. Please help me make this vision a reality, a beacon for the fair pay cause, and a damn good book besides.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)