Khyber Knights: Under Siege (Canceled)
A true adventure story set in the lawless frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass during the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the late 80's.
Khyber Knights is inspired by an amazing, true adventure story. An American journalist covering the Soviet war with Afghanistan, is setup by a corrupt Pakistani Police Chief and thrown into a notorious prison.
Upon release, his close friend is kidnapped by Pashtun Bandits and our hero must join forces with the Mujahideen in order to find and rescue him, in the lawless frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass.
Volume one: Under Siege – 72 pages including cover and end sheets
Khyber Knights is a story of survival, love and loss. It is about sister and brotherhood winning over the politics of war. It will test you. It will scare you. You won't be able to put it down.
Download a 15 page preview by CLICKING HERE!
We are kickstarting the finishing and printing costs for this book which will come in at either 68 interior pages. It will be printed with a 12pt gloss cover and 85lb matte coated interior paper.
-- PRINTER UPDATE --
We have just secured a printer in the Philippines through a personal connection that can shave a month off of our delivery time! We are now looking at end of March 2018 for delivery of all physical rewards!
In 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan revolted against the government in a coup d’état that resulted in a Communist ruling party. More than 27,000 political prisoners were executed.
As the country fell into chaos, the Soviet Union invaded the capital – Kabul, staging another coup. A Soviet loyalist was installed as the new president of Afghanistan. In response, the United States spearheaded a massive economic and covert military aid program, in support of anti-Communist freedom-fighters, or Mujahideen.
By the late 80’s, nearly 2 million Afghan civilians had been killed. More than 3 million Afghan refugees were forced to flee into Pakistan.
This story, based on the adventures of CuChullaine O’Reilly, takes place in the year preceding the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, in 1989. The names and order of events have been changed to protect both the innocent… And guilty.
“This is no cautionary tale of timid travels. No camera wielding water-boilers nor bleeding heart aid-wallahs inhabit these pages. I know what others have seen and written about Pakistan. But they write like they live, only on the surface of a complex and dangerous place which prides itself on hiding its secrets from the uninitiated.
This is instead a tale of travels that took me from palaces to prisons. Pakistan has molded me, at times almost destroyed me. It has shaped me into the man I am today and still holds the key to the secret parts of my heart. Thus the following fictional account is based on a chronological sequence of actual events…” CuChullaine O’Reilly from his book, Khyber Knights
Juan Francisco Moyano (pencils and inks) was born in Cordoba, Spain. He has worked in the comic book industry for 10 years. He is known for his work in Dynamite’s Army of Darkness, The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms, Corrective Measures, IDW’s Gate-Way, and Top Secret Press’ Betty Wicked.
Jay Moyano (color) has over 10 years experience in the comic book industry. He has worked with publishers like Arcana, Devil’s Due, Ape Entertainment, Angry Viking Press, Top Secret Press and ComixTribe.
Here is an 8:00 video of Juan Francisco working on the pencils for page 42. It's a scene where Sam, after having been discovered on Shaheen's rooftop, tries to escape by auto rickshaw in his burqa disguise.
Terrance Grace (writer, letterer) After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he adapted Maurice Blanchot’s novela The Madness Of The Day into a startling tour de force for Wooster Group actor Michael Kirby. It was awarded the Silver Star at the Sacramento International Film Festival. Mr. Ahmed, starring internationally renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah, was awarded Best Narrative Film at the Atlanta Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival. The Times of India called it “an enigmatic masterpiece.” Aside from Khyber Knights, he is currently at work on The Locksmith – a five volume neo-noir graphic novel series; and Spanish Moss – a fantasy/horror graphic novel. Both are adapted from his original screenplays.
I met Sanjay back in 2000 through a producing partnership on a feature film to be shot in India. The production ended up not happening, but shortly thereafter, Sanjay shared CuChullaine's manuscript of Khyber Knights with me. My first thought was great movie material. But as noted below, it would be several years before an adaptation was possible.
Sanjay A. Sippy (producer) graduated from Seattle University with degrees in Finance and Economics. He completed his studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Having come from a family of Bollywood producers, Sanjay works in the financial arena, always looking for product that can be delivered to the global market place.
Sanjay met CuChullaine in 1986, when they were both students at Seattle University -- working on the school's newspaper, The Spectator. After CuChullaine returned from his adventures in the sub continent, he sent Sanjay an early draft of his manuscript. Even though they had already been friends for fifteen years, it would take nearly twenty more, before CuChullaine agreed to an adaptation of his story.
Mukesh Singh (cover art) received a BFA in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai in 1997. Singh has garnered notice as a comics cover artist, with striking covers for titles like Marvel’s All-New Invaders and Indestructible Hulk, as well as interior art for graphic story projects like Dinosaurs Vs Aliens. Other credits include: Grant Morrison’s 18 Days, Shekhar Kapoor’s Devi and Guy Ritchie’s Game Keeper.
Rashed Rahmani (back cover art) started painting in 1996 and is living and working as a freelance artist in Herat, Afghanistan. His watercolor and oil painting show traditional and modern Afghan culture with an amazing attention to light and color. He has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions in Herat and Kabul and was a featured artist for the international exhibition, Kabul Art Project.
Before we get to the rewards, I want to talk about one very important thing that came up as Sanjay and I began discussing this campaign. The region that is at the heart of this story continues to be mired in conflict. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.
This kickstarter campaign pledges to give back 5% of funds raised, to two organizations on the ground, dedicated to helping better the lives of those who need it most.
Rashed Rahmani is not only an amazing artist, but he is a teacher. He began teaching art classes in 2003 and now, in his small, unassuming gallery in Herat, Afghanistan, he meets several times a week with both male and female students, interested in learning more about art. Most importantly, his focus is on empowering women through these classes. As you can imagine, given the socio-political climate in the region, this is not necessarily a safe thing to do. But it's necessary and we applaud Rashed for doing what he can.
Aware Girls was founded by Gulalai Ismail, who at the age of 16, first initiated the idea of starting a platform where girls can be educated and trained as Agents of Change and Empowerment. Aware Girls is an advocate for equal rights and access for young women to education, health, employment, governance, political processes, and social services. They envision a world where human rights of women are respected, and women are meaningfully involved in social change. One of their goals is to empower young women by promoting HIV prevention among young women and to reduce the stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS.
With this campaign, we've tried to keep it simple. The most important component is of course the book. Beyond the amazing interior art by Juan Francisco Moyano, we were very lucky to bring on Marvel artist Mukesh Singh to create the stunning cover art.
I'm also very excited to have found Rashed Rahmani -- an Afghan artist, living in Herat, Afghanistan. His beautiful watercolor is the perfect addition to this historical adventure and really captures the city that is at the heart of this first volume. Be sure and check out the Giving Back section for a special announcement regarding Rashed.
Now, for the rewards...
Special Announcement: ComiXology codes for every backer at the Shopkeeper level and above! The digital edition includes both a PDF and a free code to read the book on your tablet with ComiXology's guided technology.
01 The Shopkeeper and 02 The Journalist pledge levels
This is the no bones about it - I want either the digital or print edition of the book. Bingo. These pledge levels are for you.
If there is some kind of combination you don't see, just let me know and I'll put together a package just for you.
03 The Bandit and 04 The Warlord pledge levels
We are offering DIGITAL prints of both of these amazing artworks at the 03 Bandit and 04 Warlord pledge levels. These high resolution digital files are suitable for printing at poster size.
05 The Corrupt Cop pledge level
If you are at the 05 Corrupt Cop pledge level you can get both of these artworks printed on 8"x12" archival photographic paper, ready to be framed and hung on your wall. PLUS a 6"x9" thick postcard featuring Khyber Knights art by Juan Francisco Moyano!
06 The Lover pledge level
If you happen to be The Lover at the 06 pledge level... Not only do you get everything at the previous level, but also we have these beautiful 4"x4" Character trading cards housed in their own folding case. Six cards featuring character sketches by Juan Francisco Moyano on the front; and detailed character biographies on the back.
The case itself features art by Mukesh Singh and Rashed Rahmani. Below is an example set from The Locksmith issue 3 kickstarter.
07 The Equestrian pledge level
Are you an Equestrian at the 07 pledge level? Then saddle up with everything from the previous level PLUS a beautiful and EXCLUSIVE 9"x12" Somerset Velvet Print of Rashed Rahmani's original watercolor painting
Note that the actual back cover has been processed specifically for the graphic novel aesthetic and specs - this print is as close to the original as possible.
Somerset Velvet paper is engineered to give the highest resolution and color saturation possible. It also has the following features and benefits:
- The authentic "look and feel" of high quality watercolor paper
- Radiant white, velvet surface for rich details and vivid color reproduction
- 100% cotton rag for long term durability
- Acid free, buffered cotton base ensures archivability
08 In the Land of Horses pledge level
If you're at pledge level 08 - then you are truly In the Land of Horses! This limited offer gives you everything from previous levels plus an ORIGINAL detailed character sketch by Juan Francisco Moyano, from Khyber Knights or YOU. It's your choice!
By the end of our 30 day campaign we estimate that we will be right around the 55 page mark (excluding covers). I am expecting volume one to come in around 64 pages of interior art and so that means, 3-4 more weeks of work for Juan Francisco and Jay.
That puts us at the end of January or beginning of February with a print-ready book. The digital rewards will go out immediately upon successful transfer of funds (normally 2 weeks after the campaign closes).
From past experience, our printer in Taiwan required a 3 month turnaround. But, we've just been able to secure a fantastic deal with a printer in the Philippines that can shave 1 month off the delivery time. So then, if all remains on schedule, I am estimating an end of March 2018 delivery for the book and physical rewards.
Risks and challenges
I've had three successful kickstarter campaigns with all rewards delivered as promised. Juan Francisco and Jay Moyano have set an amazing pace -- never sacrificing the quality of art, but always delivering on time, if not early. This will be the third time I've worked with KrakenPrint and so print is covered. The only caveat can be customs clearance for the books -- but since shipment will not be around the holidays, I don't expect delays. However, one must be prepared for the possibility of a 2-3 week window of contingency.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)