The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya is an online graphic novel about vampires, God's compassion, love and loss. It recently completed its first volume, and is on its way to becoming a real life book that you can hold in yours hands and treasure always.
ABOUT THE COMIC
Set in 17th century Istanbul and 18th century England, it tells the story of a Turkish vampire - an ordinary man surrounded by the extraordinary - and how he overcomes difficulty through strength of faith and love for his friends and family. The comic is separated into two volumes, each comprising of two chapters.
Vol I comprises the Istanbul half of the story. Below are the chapter summaries.
Chapter 1 - The Merchant
Ayse is an Anatolian girl from a tiny village with big dreams. Unfortunately history and geography are not exactly in her favour, so she decides to seek marriage out of practicality. This is when she meets Zeynel, the son of a highly-esteemed scholar family, who is already accomplished himself. But while she is sure of herself and knows what she wants and how to get it, he is insecure and at the mercy of living up to the expectations and desires of other people. Perhaps there is more to their meeting than just by chance.
Chapter 2 - The Vampire
25 years on, Zeynel is the husband of an amazing and successful businesswoman, and at this point he could see nothing but joy in the vistas of his present and future. One day while on a business trip he plays the Good Samaritan to a mysterious traveller… which turns out to be a mortal mistake. Forced into an unfortunate circumstance he must learn to reconcile his old identity with his vampiric curse, and make sacrifices to protect the people he loves. But that also means learning to let go.
Sample Pages from Chapter 1
Sample Pages from Chapter 2
Vol I is in essence a love story. It is about the relationship between two mature people, and how their deep love for each other becomes a struggle to let go upon the (almost) death of one. It is about how one's love for God, and their knowledge of God's love for them, brings strength and courage to endure tragedy.
The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya features positive Muslim representation, and a weaving of several Islamic themes - love, compassion, endurance, gentleness - not commonly recognised in media, particularly comics. The religious element of the comic is not its sole design, but instead acts as a central medallion in a narrative rug of other patterns.
ABOUT THE KICKSTARTER
The comic is seeking funding to print Volume I. The physical book contains 334 pages of story plus bonus content.
- 348 pages + cover + endsheet
- 7" x 10"
- Full colour, full bleed
- Inspired by Ottoman and old school bookbinding
- Original goal: Perfect bound softcover
- Gold foil stamping on front cover
- Clothbound hardcover, gold foil stamping + debossing on front cover and spine
- Bookcasing included
- Limited edition Nightingale & Rose enamel pin
Gold-plated, black, 2.5 ", backing card
- PDF artbook
Concept art, story outline, research, process
- Carpet bookmark
Specialty bookmark sourced from Oriental Carpet Creations
- Letterpress postcard
Printed by The Alphabet Press (Kuala Lumpur)