The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya

By Reimena Yee

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.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

50% FUNDED! | Bookmarks, news and transcription

Hello everyone!

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 you) who believed in the book and pledged for it. Your support means more than I can convey in words, and I am excited to share this comic's journey from web to print with you all.

You still have an opportunity to upgrade (or customise) your pledge! Get yourself a signed copy, a pin, or the full set of bookmarks. Speaking of which...


As promised: the last bookmark design has been unlocked!

It's a double-sided bookmark, featuring Bree Paulsen's take on the two main characters of The Carpet Merchant. Bree is the writer and artist behind another great vampire comic, Patrik the Vampire. It's about Patrik who loves to knit, bake and help his barista best friend through the ups and downs of adolescence, but Patrik has never always been this sweet. He has a past of which he is trying to redeem himself from. Go read it! It's one of my favourite takes on the vampire genre (plus there can never be enough vampire dads).

At 60%, I'm going to reveal another bookmark. It's going to be an original design to replace the initial bookmark I drew at the start of the campaign. It'll be something nice, unique and reflective of the art direction of The Carpet Merchant.



I'm already working on this, but I'd love to get your opinion on it as well.

Would you appreciate a comics transcript of The Carpet Merchant Vol I?

Comics are a visual medium; they tell stories that only a sequence of illustrations can make possible, and that's what makes them so amazing! Unfortunately, their visual nature can be a barrier to readers who may be hard-of-seeing, or for anyone who would like to keep up with their favourite graphic novels (but just don't have the time to).

I am intrigued by the very new phenomenon of transcribing a comic into words. Comics transcription is so rare that there are only a handful, and all of them are for online comics, or available online for very few mainstream published comics.

I want to create a comics transcription for The Carpet Merchant. Not simply as a straight prose adaptation, but as a unique reading and audio experience, mostly for the hard-of-seeing. Plus, because TCM already has a guidebook detailing the cultural and visual context behind the story and visuals, I'd like to incorporate the information in the guidebook as a narrative device proper, and not as a separate, detached entity.

Basically, I want to make an all-text ebook version of The Carpet Merchant, that is complimentary to the graphic novel. You can read it with a screenreader or by yourself, independently or in tandem, picking up the cultural contexts, learning while enjoying the story.

Here is an example of the transcription I've done. This is pages two and three, and the accompanying transcription for page two.

View this page:

“Look who’s out!” Our tall paramore directs his round friend’s attention to a shadow at the far side of the ship. This shadow is stalking, not a little suspiciously, as if looking for a lost object.


The round man rolls his eyes. “Jesus, he’s lucky he’s our guest…” he says, referring to the shadow. “Or he would have been thrown overboard long ago.”


The tall man chuckles. “Heh..I’ll call him over.”


“HEY!” He yells at the shadow. The shadow turns to face him. Now under moonlight, the shadow is revealed to be a taller, lankier Turkish man. He possesses a scholarly aura, wearing pince-nez glasses pinched over a large and graceful nose, a neat mustache and beard across a soft jawline, and a face in constant thought. Currently, it is a face painted in confusion.


The tall man gestures at the Turk with a big, sweeping motion of the arm. “Come here!” he says.

The transcription will be available after the campaign is 100% funded, to be delivered with the digital copy of The Carpet Merchant and its guidebook, available to all backers.

Until 60%!
Reimena Yee





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Cara Usher
 Cara Usher says:

hey reimena - congratulations on reaching 50% funding!! i'm a big fan of comics/graphic novels but always worry that i miss something when i read them (usually the sneaky references authors make to other works i've not yet read!!), so a transcription sounds like the most fabulous idea, especially the way you've described it as being a companion piece. i love that you're trying to make your work accessible to all readers, not just those of us with reasonable eyesight :) and the new bookmark designs are pretty wonderful too - looking forward to getting my hands on the set!!

posted 5th September 2018

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Ebook Edition

The ebook for Vol I! 336 pages of candy-coloured historical goodness, in an easy to read digital edition (better than the website!). Read it on the ipad or the laptop at your leisure. Comes with a supplementary guidebook, which contains historical background and author’s notes detailing the research that went into the story.
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