The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya is a two-volume, historical graphic novel originally published online. It was recently nominated for an Eisner Award, the most prestigious award in the comics medium.
I’ve been writing and illustrating The Carpet Merchant since 2016. During the last 3 years it’s become the love of my life. Now, thanks to Unbound, Volume I - all 336 pages of it - is coming to life as a gorgeously printed hardback!
ABOUT VOLUME I
A FRAGMENT OF A TURKISH TALE
Set in 17th century Istanbul, during the Ottoman era, Vol I is about the relationship between the main character Zeynel, and fellow carpet merchant Ayşe, starting from his introduction to the world of carpets as a teenager and ending at his unwilling transformation into a vampire (a djinni) in middle-age.
The story is told through a visual style inspired by Ottoman illumination and miniature, and heavily incorporates Ottoman era decorative arts plus carpet designs. Every page is a visual funfest, and best enjoyed as a book, flipping through the pages.
Vol I is comprised of two books:
BOOK ONE - THE CARPET MERCHANT
Ayşe is an Anatolian girl from a tiny village but with big dreams. Unfortunately history and geography are not entirely in her power, so she seeks marriage out of practicality. 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 achieve it, he is insecure and pressured to live up to the expectations and desires of other people. Perhaps there is more to their meeting than just chance.
BOOK TWO - THE VAMPIRE
25 years later, Zeynel is the husband of an amazing and successful businesswoman, and he could see nothing but joy in the vistas of his present and future. One evening 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 new vampiric curse, and make sacrifices to protect the people he loves, but that also means learning to let go.
This comic is available in its original form, as a free webcomic: reimenayee.com/the-carpet-merchant
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Every supporter who pledges to this campaign will have their name printed in every edition of the book.
The book itself is a hardback, containing 336 full-colour pages. All the story and art are completed. The only things left to do are pre-press and another round of editorial.
For those who like goodies, there are rewards available.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
Exclusive merchandise: enamel pin, bookplate, letterpress postcard, and special print by Katie O’Neill (aka strangelykatie, creator of Eisner-nominated Tea Dragon Society)
Postcard and bookplate in detail.
Exclusive bookmarks. Currently two are available, one by myself, and another by choo (aka choodraws). Other designs are unlockable at certain funding milestones.
Special tiers include: signed copies, signed copies + doodle, commission slots for portraits (pet and person)
Portfolio for portraits: reimenayee.com/bespoke
Video animation by Natalia Mercado nataliam.squarespace.com
Music composed by Eli Rainsberry elirainsberry.com
We just reached another milestone -- 20%! So close to being a quarter of the way in. Thanks so much to everyone who has backed the book and shared it with their friends/family/pets. Please keep the momentum going!
We've unlocked a NEW bookmark design. Presenting....
You can now choose this bookmark as your desired design if you pledged to the 1 Bookmark tier, or have…
How cool is this - we've already reached 10%! Thank you so much for becoming a part of this campaign and backing the book. Your contribution, no matter the amount, is what allows this book to become reality. It's like magic! Beat that, Houdini.
This is just a simple update; I wanted to talk about The Carpet Merchant as a webcomic and a literary project in general, especially…
These people are helping to fund The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya.