An Eisner-nominated graphic novel set in 17th century Istanbul, centered around a carpet merchant and his relationship with faith, love and home in the aftermath of his death by a vampire.
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. All bookmarks are now available!
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
Update | Supporter List Closing & Easter Sale
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Just a reminder to double check your name before the supporter list closes this Sunday. Details are included in an email sent by the Unbound production team on April 8-9th. Make sure you catch any misspellings!
Unbound is holding an Easter sale. Get 10% off new pledges using the code EASTER19. Offer lasts until Monday. If there's someone who you think would like this book, now's…
Update | Letterpress Postcard Preview
Friday, 25 January 2019
They are here! And they are gorgeous!
Letterpress is the art of printing impressions on paper, creating a unique textural experience. The inks of this drawing are pressed down onto the paper, and it looks super fancy! I am so happy how this came out.
Limited quantities are available as rewards for preordering the book. Upgrade your pledge, or email email@example.com to request…
Thursday, 17 January 2019
I finished remastering all 334 pages of the book! Hooray! They are being sent off for editorial now, and hopefully soon we will get into the design phase.
The Dropbox folder looking real fresh.
Other tiny updates:
- I've gotten the quotes for all suppliers for the rewards.
- I've sent off the order for the letterpress postcards, and will soon do the same for the bookmarks and print…
101% | FUNDED!!! (insert exclamations here)
Monday, 10 December 2018
WE'RE FULLY FUNDED!! To all 599 backers -- thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I'm so eager to finally get the book into production. Very soon, this will come to life in its ideal form (a gorgeous, full-colour tome) and be delivered right into your hands to the gratitude of your eyeballs. How cool is that!!
As the holiday season is fast approaching, the process of book production will only…
90% | THE HOME STRETCH!!
Saturday, 1 December 2018
Hi everyone, it's the first of December and guess where we are at right now -- 90% funded!
Thank you for sticking with The Carpet Merchant since June. Your trust and patience are valuable to me and I appreciate them in ways that cannot be worded in any language.
I don't have any notable book-related updates in particular. However! Since we're 10% of the way in, I'll like to give an overview…
80% | Getting Close!
Monday, 19 November 2018
Only 20% left to go. We're getting there!
I have two small updates this milestone:
- Unbound just finished publishing the first two books of their Graphic Novels line: Grafity's Wall, and Reel Love. Look at how wonderfully produced they are. It makes me excited for what The Carpet Merchant will look like as an actual book. This hasn't changed since the beginning but I'm even more confident…
70%| Giveaway & Book Updates
Thursday, 8 November 2018
Hooray! We're nearly 3/4 there!
I've recently announced the winners of the Giveaway in a private post so as to maximise backers' privacy. Just in case some of us didn't receive that update, if you're Laura M. (who backed in June), and Brian M. (August), please drop me a line.
If no one claims the prize within a week, I'll do another draw.
65% | Halloween Offer Code, & New Book Announcement
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
The Carpet Merchant Vol I is 65% funded, with 445 backers. Hooray! We still have 5.7k in English money to raise. It looks like a lot, but we've already raised 11k. We can totally hit the goal.
Here are a couple of updates:
HALLOWEEN OFFER CODE
As part of Unbound's Halloween special, use the offer code UNBOO to receive 10% off on all new pledges for The Carpet Merchant. Offer…
60 % | New Bookmark, Retailer Tier, and Raffle!
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
YES!! We're 60% funded.
As promised, here is the brand new bookmark, and with it the finalised set.
A closer look, to appreciate the details.
These bookmarks are exclusively made for The Carpet Merchant Vol I in limited quantities, so be sure to get your hands on them! You can upgrade your pledge anytime.
Libraries, retailers and bookstores…
50% FUNDED! | Bookmarks, news and transcription
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
It has been awhile since my last update (when the campaign was 25% funded). I was in America in the last month, meeting friends and seeing the graphic novel/comics industry in person, after years of only experiencing it through Twitter dot com. It was fun. I ate a lot.
Anyway, THE CARPET MERCHANT IS HALFWAY FUNDED! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone (all 342 of…
25% | Eisner Award Ceremony | Brief Update
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Hey everyone! Brief update this time.
I’m currently in America for a month. I came here to attend the Eisner Award ceremony at San Diego Comic Con, which is what The Carpet Merchant is nominated in (for Best Digital Comic). It didn’t win! But I am happy all the same knowing how much the comic’s story and characters meant to so many people.
Anyway! The campaign’s at 27% and really close to reaching…
20% | New Bookmark Unlocked
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
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…
10% | A Thank You to Backers | About TCM
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
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.