About a year ago, I told you about a Kickstarter for the full edition of Amiculus, a long-form print comic about the last child emperor of Rome and the fall of the empire. That campaign shot a little higher than it could achieve. But Travis Horseman, the author and father of this work, has regrouped and is back with a scaled down Kickstarter campaign.
The new plan is to offer all the fantastic art (by Giancarlo Caracuzzo), compelling plot, and subtle character interaction of the first one but to only print the first third of the book. The current campaign for Amiculus is less than a week away from its Kickstarter deadline and just over 2/3 funded. It’s still within reach for this project, so do you think you could help out?
If you’re not convinced yet, let me tell you a bit more about this. I read the manuscript, before Travis had connected with Giancarlo, and was completely sucked in by it. The script opens with a battle scene, the Barbarians losing Rome to the Eastern Roman army of Byzantium. The victory has the new Roman victors in a nostalgic (and strategic) state of mind; they send the historian Procopius to find out what happened all those years ago when the boy emperor Romulus ceded the empire to the Barbarians so that they can ensure it never happens again.
Procopius arrives at an island monastery off the cost of Neapolis, the last known whereabouts of Romulus. He speaks to the old monks there and is shown a book that contains the full story of the empire’s fall in Romulus’s own words.
As Procopius reads, he’s pulled into a world of political deceit, manipulation, murder, ghosts, and betrayal. As the empire loses one city after another, tales spread of a cloaked figure that appears to help the Barbarians, appearing suddenly during the battle exactly where he is needed and disappearing just as quickly when his work is done. He’s known only as Amiculus, although no one seems to know who he is, where he comes from, or what his motivation is. As the story continues, the Barbarians close in on the last refuge of the child emperor Romulus, his father General Orestes, the Senate, and the remains of their army…
After reading the full script, I was incredibly excited to see this comic become a reality. And then Travis showed me the artwork that Giancarlo was working on, and I’m just that much more excited. You can see a bit of it here (if you’re local to Columbus, you can view Giancarlo’s finished work in the preview edition of Amiculus, which Travis funded himself, at Laughing Ogre).
Amiculus is not going to be one of those indie comics, drawn in marker and photocopied at Kinkos. I have a very soft spot in my heart for those comics, but Amiculus is a professional-grade book. Full color, glossy pages, proper binding, and industry professional artist, colorer, and letterer.
I once saw Ken Eppstein break down the cost of producing a print comic and then compare that to how many comics you have to sell at a reasonable price to break even—it was more than 2,000 copies! Bare bones, affordable price, even with personal relationships with printers and creators… still more than 2,000 copies just to break even. (It probably doesn’t need to be said, but this is why I do an online comic!)
So, if you can, please support the Amiculus Kickstarter (within the next week!) and help this comic come to life. It’s too much for one person to support on their own—it takes a community. Be part of the community! And you’ll get some really cool rewards if you do!
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