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Hi there! We're a couple of budding comic book creators living and working in Malta... one of the smallest countries in the world, and one which has never had a serialized comic among its produce. At least, not yet.
We're working to change that with our own series, Mibdul, which will be out in 2017 from Merlin Publishers. But while we slave away at this six-issue series, and bearing in mind that Malta's aforementioned tininess is also reflected in print runs and budgets, we're here to ask whether you'd be willing to support us on this journey.
All support towards the project would be most appreciated -- if you're not up for a monetary pledge, we would be thankful for you spreading the word -- and remember, you can cancel your pledge at any time.
This project is a first for all of us -- the publisher included -- which makes it a high-risk venture, even if its publication is all but guaranteed. And so, while we won't be asking you to help fund the end product, we will be asking you to help us along the way. In return, we promise to supply you with a generous array of multimedia goodies.
What is Mibdul?
Mibdul is a six-issue comic book series set on the titular alien world that encompasses science fiction, horror and a heroic coming-of-age story where political machinations are blended in with ancient family history. It set for a late 2017 release, and will be published by Merlin Publishers.
It's also got monsters, lots of them.
But since you're here to get a feel of the process behind this upcoming release, you'd want to know who's behind it, right?
Who We Are
Teodor Reljic is a Serbian-Maltese writer and journalist who continues to earn a living and something of a name for himself as the culture editor and film critic for MaltaToday – a local Sunday newspaper. He also has a couple of degrees of varying – erm – degrees in English Literature, but let’s not use that against him. And in 2014 he took one small step towards his ultimate dream – that of being a full-time fiction writer – by publishing the novella TWO through Merlin Publishers. TWO is a story of a young boy dealing with a sudden family tragedy by delving into a fantasy world that feels as familiar as it is alien, and so in some ways is thematically similar to what’s in store for Mibdul. But it’s also thanks to Mibdul that Teodor is delving into his first love: a love for comic books, which he struggled to cultivate against all odds in late-90s Malta, joining a rag-tag but labour-of-love-enabled ‘comic book club’ which plied us with comics before he had access to a credit card… to say nothing of Amazon and other such providers.
Inez Kristina is a Maltese-Norwegian illustrator and likes to keep her text short and straight to the point. She's been drawing since forever and enjoys every part of the process, and loves experimenting with different styles and media. She works a lot with Shadeena, and also does storyboards and visual development for films and games. She drinks extreme amounts of coffee, which sometimes aids her drawing and sometimes just keeps her up all night in the company of random YouTube videos.
A Word From Our Publisher
Pictured here in more innocent times before the idea of costings was even a (dark) glimmer in his eye, Merlin Publishers Head of Publishing Chris Gruppetta tells us why he took on a ‘risky’ project like Mibdul, and why Patreon may just serve as an essential tool in Mibdul’s journey from dream to reality.
Merlin Publishers Website
“Publishing in tiny Malta is nothing if not, uhm, interesting. Less than half a million inhabitants, most of whom wouldn’t – for a set of complex historical reasons – be caught dead with a book actually written and published here in Malta. So when Teodor first contacted me about a comic, serialised no less, with layers of weird piled onto layers of pulp, let’s just say it wasn’t the safest of bets. We’re talking a few hundreds of copies of each issue, with a very low selling price if we’re to have a fighting chance of selling them. But what’s publishing without some uber-exciting projects to be working on? So I took it on – Teodor then brought in Inez, and her fresh, vibrant illustrations sealed the deal.
“Sadly if we were going to make this kamikaze-project work, we were going to have to be realistic about costings. I’m adamant about artists being paid their fair share on each project, but the fair share of tiny is tiny, so a concern from day one was that the royalties on Mibdul were never going to pay for Teodor and Inez’s Caribbean vacation.
“Which is why I’m really excited about Teodor and Inez’s decision to pitch their Mibdul work-in-progress on Patreon. These guys are working really hard at putting together something exciting and innovative for Malta and beyond, and I really hope you’ll help them along this journey.”
So What We’re We’re Really Asking For Is…
While we actually neither expect nor even deserve a Caribbean holiday (thanks, Chris), we're counting on your support while we try to make this unlikely but *terribly* exciting project work. We’re confident that we can deliver a great product either way, but the financial realities may just put an unpleasant strain on that ambition – and who knows how things may end up, when push comes to shove? So we’re asking you to give us a helping hand while we do our utmost to deliver a product that you’ll love, and look forward to having in your hands each month. Things is, we all love to bitch about how stale and homogenous contemporary pop culture is becoming… and rightly so. So how cool would it be to have a comic book series from one of the smallest island-nations in the world out there, adding its own unique weave into the mix? On that note…
Here’s What We Promise To Deliver
Here’s the thing – like we said earlier, this Patreon is about the journey more than it is about the destination. And as Chris also explained above, Merlin have bravely pledged to see this process through to the bitter end – so what are hopefully the first six issues of something that may or may not become a bigger thing will, in fact, be published.
But what we can offer you as you help us along is a detailed, sustained and interesting peek behind the curtain as we burn the midnight oil to make it all happen. The tiers will explain it in more detail, but essentially, let’s just say we won’t be giving you mere scraps and teasers.
You’ll get original artwork, and some of it may be custom-made just for you. You’ll get multimedia goodies, and analytical insights into some of the key artistic influences and thematic pressure-points of the Mibdul project. You’ll also get to interact with our team in a very real way.
At the end of the day, our Patreon allows you an insight into the creative process of three people who are attempting something unprecedented in all their fields: a first for our writer and artist, but also for our publisher.
Quite often, excitement + sheer terror = raw adrenaline. Wouldn’t you want to be part of that?
Thanks for your support <3