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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

“Warrior Saints”, The Graphic Novel by Roger Kupelian

Roger...

This is the ultimate passion project. It is about a group of truly remarkable people who stood their ground and held onto to courage in the most difficult of times. It’s a story I am compelled and honored to tell.

As some of you may know, I am a seasoned VFX artist for various Hollywood films (and indie projects). I love what I do, but I also wanted to tell the stories that were special to me.
A while back, I did a little fundraiser event and promised three things: that I’d pitch the feature film project to someone famous (did so), that I would film the documentary (filmed and in Post Production as I write this) and that I would put out the Graphic Novel Series. WAR GODS the first volume (301 AD) , was indeed published! Readers demanded a sequel, so we got to work.

And now, after some long hours of painting away, WARRIOR SAINTS, (451 AD), is ready to go to print ! You can help get this over the line and get a bunch of cool rewards we are offering.

I worked really hard with a great team of mentors, fellow writers, and editors ** to get the graphic novels this far and now it’s time for the final stretch. Whether you donate a small sum, or pre-order a book, or even get the word out to your friends, all is appreciated. The fans of the work have always driven this forward, and for them, and all those diehards who stand for something out there in this crazy world, this is for you.The art is a painstaking mix of all the techniques I have developed over the course of my professional life. I wanted to give a more natural feel to the imagery so it seemed as if the reader was gazing onto a fresco in some lost forgotten chapel. Although the story is based on real people and real events, re-imagined for a modern audience.
The East of Byzantium project started  in New Zealand in 2002, while I was there working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There were these historic adventures I had been taught from childhood that were burning to get out, and I finally met artists, historians and re-enactors that could help me bring those amazing stories to an audience.

From the Edge of Rome to the Gates of Persia, from the end of one era to the birth of a new, came a story of Emperors and Kings, Christians and Pagans. This was the world before the Dark Ages, and a precursor to the Crusades and what would come after.

It was decided that we would  go for a documentary first, and the process of research and art production began in earnest. Over a decade later, all that art and research was pulled into a graphic novel series as well as a strong visual pitch for a feature version. Last year we were on location shooting the reenactment documentary, which is now in Post Production. Along the way I met many amazing individuals, (not least of all, my partner for life, Alina, who designed many of the costumes worn by the models who posed for the art of Graphic Novels).
Many of those who began the journey with us are still here, joined by the ranks of new fans and ardent supporters. It is through their encouragement and support that this project keeps going, despite great  challenges. And the more support we get, the more opportunity we have to keep telling the stories of War Gods and Warrior Saints.
The risks are very low. WARRIOR SAINTS is complete and printer-ready. While I’ll be working on the post production of the East of Byzantium Documentary project as this campaign rages, the Rewards will be ready to go to Print as soon as we get funded. Obviously a tremendous Kickstarter outcome will free me up to create MORE material regarding these characters and stories in the future. It’s an amazing rich history full of Romans, Persians, Armenians, and Huns, and it shaped the very world we live in today.

According to Serj Tankian (Composer, Writer, Activist and Lead Singer of System of a Down) the War Gods Graphic Novel is an amazing display of Roger Kupelian’s artistry and storytelling abilities. It’s like a film popping up from the colorfully crafted pages of Armenian history.”
Travis Horseman, (Creator and Author Amiculus: A Secret History) “Kupelian demonstrates the raw, epic history of the Armenians in beautifully-rendered, photo-realistic art that captures an ancient land trapped in a crucible of war yet never quite broken by it. I highly recommend checking it out.”
Dan Panosian (Comic Book Artist, Image, Marvel, DC) “Merging history and compelling drama is no easy task when it comes to provocative storytelling, particularly on a graphic level. Roger Kupelian’s War Gods is an experience like no other. An array of strong characters face impossible odds in a rarely explored, beautiful and terrifying world…”
Peter Lyon (Swordmaker The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Medievalist, Historian) ““In his East of Byzantium and Warrior Saints graphic novels, and the forthcoming television documentary, Roger Kupelian draws on the history of this period to bring to vivid life the characters and events of this time, that culminated in the battle at Avaryr in 451…”
Dr. Garabet Momdjian : (Historian, Commentator) “Kupelian et al have done a masterful work in terms of taking the historical context from Armenian history and transforming it into a graphic novel that has cinematic overtones. From a historian’s point of view, I can say without hesitation that the small changes in the general history of the period are not imposing. As a matter of fact these twists have enhanced the story line for the better!”
Hovig Tchalian- (Editor, Critics’ Forum)“Volume 2 does not disappoint – great stuff.”

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