[UPDATE: New Pledge Tier announced. added as a recommendation]
[UPDATE 2: Added a LOT more Art! Check it out!]
This post has taken a little work to get together, so I hope you all enjoy it.
Michael Sacal, creator of the Knight's Legacy project contacted me the other day with some info about his Kickstarter project. I was disappointed that I had missed this initially, but am glad to have had it brought to my attention now. People who have followed the blog for a while, might be aware of my own delving into Arthurian legend with my character Pendra. So to see another creator embracing these legends is truly a wonderful thing.
Most of the info I would normally post up here is covered below in the interview. So, I'll leave you with some pledge level recommendations. For those that want to help, but can't afford much, you can't go wrong with the $5 level. It gets you a PDF of the first issue, and helps support the project. If you absolutely have to have a physical copy, Michael has just added a limited $8 tier! This tier will get you a print copy with free shipping anywhere in the United States. For those with a little more cash, I'd recommend the $50 tier, that gets you all three issues, in PDF and Print format. A good way to get it all, and for the obsessive collectors, you'll never have to actually touch your printed copies!
Now, on to the Interview!
FRANK: Hello Michael. I suppose the best place to start here, is for you to tell us a little bit about yourself. What kind of background do you have that should inspire people to back you?
MICHAEL SACAL: Hi! Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you and your readers.
My professional background is rather limited now due to spending all my time and effort over the last 16 years developing and perfecting Knight’s Legacy to the point where I was comfortable enough with it to get it published (hopefully not to my own detriment, heh).
Over the last few years, I’ve written stories for publishers such as Orang Utan Comics for their anthology series FASTER THAN LIGHT, and Red Leaf Comics for their series SKY WATCHER, THE LEAF, and RED LEAF COMICS PRESENTS. In addition, I’m a creative consultant for Valiant Entertainment, for whom I provide creative services for concepts such as X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Ninjak, and Shadowman.
Mainly, I’m the President and the founder of Heroic Tendencies Studios and the Creative Director of the Majestic Universe, of which Knight’s Legacy is the flagship title.
FRANK: So, you've decided to go with an Arthurian Legends theme. What drew you to that particular theme?
MICHAEL SACAL: I’ve always been interested in the Arthurian legend, ever since I saw the movies The Sword in The Stone and Excalibur, so when I decided to create the concept that would become Knight’s Legacy I turned to that for inspiration.
The impulse was to create a superhero story that went against the norm of what one finds in those comics. I wanted to tell stories about people that find themselves in extraordinary situations that force them to find the heroes within. At the time, the idea of learning you’re the modern descendant of king Arthur seemed like an extraordinary situation to me, and I still think it is.
FRANK: Can you tell us a little bit about your team? Have we seen their works elsewhere?
MICHAEL SACAL: John Andrey Portilla, the penciller, is a Colombian comic book artist. His first work appeared in Delirium, a comic published in his home country. In an effort to project the national narrative graphics, he has worked as an illustrator designing characters and developing illustrated children’s material for Colombian publishers. His work also includes the Dragon Tamers comic book from Bronco Ink Publishing.
Andrey was one of 12 Colombian authors displayed at the 2012 Fumetto International Comix in Lucerne, Switzerland with his Supinauta underground comic book strip. He is currently working for MTG, a publisher in Spain, on a soon-to-be-released comic book about demons and vampires. His contact email email@example.com
Kevin Leverett, the inker, is an inker/illustrator from Dallas. He has been working in the comic field for about three years. His work appears in books such as Death Fox from What The Flux Comics and Son Chasers from Pilot Press. Kevin has also contributed to various other anthologies. He is a member of Cornerstone Creative Studios. His contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roberto Torres, the colorist, is a freelance illustrator. He’s worked for several indie comic publishers in Florida, like Con Artist Entertainment in Zombie Squad and various inking and coloring jobs, like the cover for Project: Overwatch) and Creature Entertainment in Bubba The Redneck Werewolf as artist/inker.
E.T. Dollman, the letterer, is an alien letterer and writer. He has lettered comics published by Image Comics, AC Comics, Markosia, and written stories for Heavy Metal Magazine, Zuda, and Femforce. His email is email@example.com, and you can find him on Facebook. He likes humans.
Art Gutierrez, the cover artist, is a digital artist and designer from Mexico city. He has a background in architecture having majored at it before realizing his real calling. He has worked on several projects as a freelance concept artist and illustrator and he's currently working on a comic book project called Team Genesis as the lead concept artist. The genres he likes to work with the most are science fiction and fantasy. You can see his work on DeviantArt and Facebook, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRANK: What brought you and your team together?
MICHAEL SACAL: I contacted Andrey after I found his work on DeviantArt to invite him to be part of the team. I told him what the story was about, showed him the material I wrote, and asked him to help me put some art together to create the Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to finance the novel, which I was lucky he agreed to do and for which I’m very grateful.
Kevin and ET I connected with through the publisher, Larry Jarrell of What The Flux Comics, while Art and Roberto I met through Facebook; Art through Cornerstone Creative Studios and Roberto I had known through FB for a while.
FRANK: You are obviously a fan of the Arthurian Legends. Any particular adaptation or interpretation of those legends that you find to be the best? Any particular version that you find most inspiring.
MICHAEL SACAL: John Boorman’s Excalibur, for sure -- I think it grounded the story while retaining the mystical aspects one associates with it. I do think the Camelot TV show on Starz a few of seasons ago was very creative with the lore; I particularly like their version of Excalibur and the Lady of the Lake.
I’ve seen many Arthurian adaptations, from the BBC’s Merlin, King Arthur & The Knights of Justice, and First Knight; at the same time, I avoid them because I don’t want them to influence my work, or to see something in someone else’s work that looks like what I came up with, can be very frustrating.
I rather remain ignorant of similarities between what I do and others have done, so in case my work looks like theirs, I can say it’s a coincidence. Because of this, I have missed out on several adaptations I’d like to have read or seen.
FRANK: Tell us a little bit about the set up of your story. Any little tidbits that happen prior to the story that you can let us in on, or perhaps a little way your Arthurian tale deviates from the familiar story.
MICHAEL SACAL: Knight’s Legacy is the story of the modern heirs to the legacy of the Pendragon: Laurence Grey and Ethan McBride.
Laurence is a soulless man whose lack of self makes him indifferent to the suffering his tyranny causes the people of the European Union, while Ethan is a selfish man whose determination to find out where he comes from drives him to only act expecting a reward for his efforts.
The series opens with the sudden appearance of Avalon, the final resting place of king Arthur, off the coast of Ireland. Its surfacing propels Ethan and Laurence on parallel journeys across the world of magic and world of man, where the former searches for where he comes from, and where the latter searches for his true self.
Knight's Legacy: Awakening of The Pen Ddraig is a comprehensive Arthurian saga that gives previously accepted facts about Arthurian lore a fresh interpretation, which allows it to stand on its own merits alongside other tales inspired by the same source material. Everything everyone knows about the lore is open to reinterpretation, from Merlin’s role in Arthur’s birth, training, and coronation, to discerning who the heroes and villains in classic Arthurian tales really were.
Knight’s Legacy: The Essential Guide contains more information about the world and characters in Knight’s Legacy.
(Frank's note here: A PDF of the file he mentions above should be available HERE let me know if this doesn't work)
FRANK: I notice on the Kickstarter page that this is part of a larger universe... Do I need to know all the other parts to get this story? How accessible is this to a newcomer?
MICHAEL SACAL: Each of the seven series in the Majestic Universe has a unique beginning, middle, and end. It is not necessarily to read all of them to get their complete story. However, the Majestic Universe is a shared world with a rich history that forms a complex tapestry presented in these seven series. Reading all of them presents the reader with a bigger picture.
It is a place of heroic knights and oppressive sorcerers, frail mortality and painful afterlives, captivating tyranny and illuminating freedom, rampant science and fatal phenomena, blood-thirsty revenge and heart-wrenching redemption, vengeful Gods and forgiving mortals, and peace-seeking warriors and warmongering fanatics.
The Majestic Universe has been a passion project ever since I conceived the original concept in 1998. Since then, I've worked tirelessly with writers like Ryan McLelland, Trey Wickwire, Aaron Thall, Adam Ferenz, and Robert MacDonald in developing the characters, their arc, and their story until I felt ready to pursue its publication. Without them, or artists
like Glenn B. Fleming, Andrey Portilla, Kevin Leverett, Roberto Torres, and Art Gutierrez, and graphic designers like E.T. Dollman and Mark Corpse, or publishers like Larry Jarrell, none of this would be possible.
I’m sure I’m missing several names, for that I apologize.
The success of Knight’s Legacy will herald the beginning of the Majestic Universe.
FRANK: Being a comics guy, are there any comics you absolutely love? Anything you would recommend as must read items for our readers? Perhaps a favorite character?
MICHAEL SACAL: My three favorite characters are Superman, Green Lantern, and the VALIANT version of Solar. I’d recommend people read the Modern Age version of Superman (1986 to 2004), the Modern Age version of Green Lantern (1989 to 2008), and the Modern Age version of Solar (1991 to 1996).
Current comics I’d recommend are X-O Manowar from VALIANT Entertainment and Witchblade from Top Cow. I really like what Venditti and Marz have respectively done with them.
FRANK: I know when I'm writing, I need a little music or something in the background to help me stay focused. Do you have any particular trick you use to keep focused on your projects?
MICHAEL SACAL: Music helps me a lot too, heh. I have a playlist of over 1,000 songs from the late 60’s to now that I constantly listen to while I work.
FRANK: Finally a question I love to ask of anyone... Do you have any advice for prospective comic writers?
MICHAEL SACAL: Don’t copy what other people do, whether it’s plots or characters. Be original. Find inspiration outside of comic books. That’s what comes to mind.
FRANK: Thank you, Michael for taking the time to answer my questions. If anyone is interested in checking out the project, please head over HERE and back it!
There is so much art to include... Here is a gallery of everything I haven't included yet!