Ninja Assassins, Katana Fights, and Deep Personal Regret – Swords & Sorrows Comic Launches on Kickstarter

Connor Bartel writes,

In June of 2017 I launched a successful Kickstarter for Vol. 1 of Grimwood Crossing and in January of 2018 I launched a second campaign for the second and final volume. With my artistic collaborator, Atagun Ilhan, we created a 150-page supernatural western epic and raised around $8,000 to fund it. After it was all said and done, we both said the same thing: "Next book is going to be shorter". As a writer, I knew if I was going smaller, I was going to make it more intimate and personal. After Atagun told me he wanted to make a ninja comic, Swords & Sorrows started to piece together in my head.

Ninja Assassins, Katana Fights, and Deep Personal Regret – Swords & Sorrows Comic Launches on Kickstarter

Swords & Sorrows is a japanese inspired one shot comic about an assassin called Rat, who wants out of the life of contract killing. However, if you want to leave "The Guild" you must fight your master to the death. At a young age, Rat decided he would train to be the best killer he could be, so that one day he may survive when he challenges his master. When Rat learns that his Master shares his sorrow, fighting for his freedom starts to weigh on his conscience.

A self-contained oneshot, Swords & Sorrows is made of 22 gorgeous black and white pages illustrated by Atagun Ilhan. When it comes to the action, Atagun took inspiration from Kurosawa films, particularly how characters are positioned in a shot to convey emotion. When drawing Grimwood Crossing, Atagun did extensive research on the culture of the wild west to portray the setting accurately and Swords & Sorrows got the same treatment. From the architecture and furniture to the clothing and posture- everything is designed with feudal Japan in mind.

Ninja Assassins, Katana Fights, and Deep Personal Regret – Swords & Sorrows Comic Launches on Kickstarter

When I started writing the script, I planned it as a short story about an assassin fighting his master to the death in a bid for his freedom. But as the writing went on, the characters started to come to life and I found myself inserting dialog that hints at a complex relationship between the two. Before I knew it, it became a full-sized one shot. Not about a duel to the death, but about two men who handle the same regret and guilt in very different ways.

Ninja Assassins, Katana Fights, and Deep Personal Regret – Swords & Sorrows Comic Launches on Kickstarter

A five-page preview is available on the Kickstarter page if you want to give it a shot. Every physical comic comes with a free art print of the cover. There is a Sketchbook Edition with all kinds of extra art, penciled pages, the script, and more. We also have custom art commissions available if Atagun's art tickles your fancy. If you are a comic creator, take a look at the tier that comes with a "Script and/or Portfolio Review". With that tier, you can have me read your script and give detailed feedback or have Atagun do the same for your art portfolio. Also, you'll have a chance to pick up Grimwood Crossing if you missed our last campaigns.

Check out the campaign here.

On the first day of the campaign we are giving 20 physical copies of Grimwood Crossing Vol.1 with a purchase of the Sketchbook edition so act now!

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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