A city of glistening providence, ruled by the mind of the man who made it. With a stable, sound economy, its citizens take comfort in their segregation from a surrounding, unknown world. They flourish and thrive without effort or concern. They are educated and wealthy. And above all, they are safe.
An encircling, deadly border, the "Divide" was built to make things better. A never-ending barrier, protecting its people by sealing them inside. This city has promised its loyalists everything they could ever wish to become, provided they dismantle any memory of choices that were long ago revered as irrevocable rights, but today are little more than ghosts.
Phillip is a genius. A brilliant politician who took a divided nation and transformed it into a single, unifying whole. His morality unquestioned, he sits in a chair that sits in a tower that sits atop the common crown which all his people wear in thought. If you were you to take everything he has away, he could rebuild it all tomorrow. And even though his staff would log you in administered reports; outing your war crimes, publicly incriminating whatever is left of your reputation, forever connecting the uniqueness of your name with the dismemberment of his legendary empire... yours would not be a name he would bother to learn.
You wouldn't be exiled. You wouldn't be punished. You wouldn't be known or remembered at all; best to let an enemy kill itself with dreams that affect nothing than to waste a modicum of motion on a single eye-roll as to validate your arbitrary moans.
Phillip does not seek power or revenge. He does not yearn for money or magic or romance or war.
Phillip seeks happiness. Not for himself, but for the world.
Ends justify means, he thinks. Global serenity for all.
And he would come very close to attaining this, were it not for the bombings that began.
Who is she? What does she want? Where did she come from? Lemuria. Lemuria, likely. God... Lemuria. That unruled, leaderless land, expressing itself with disordered, wanton actions that are cacophonous, at best. Lemuria, with its directionless rebellion. Its unbridled anarchy, disguised as what the underfunded would label feebly as "revolution." So obviously jealous of Akadian decency. So obviously doomed to its own narcissistic view of a world that ceased to exist so very long ago.
So obvious. So obvious.
How dare she? This little nothing, seeking to disrupt a balance that took years to establish. Years of planning, of sacrifice, of a virtue no one using bombs or guns or mystery could ever make. Striving desperately to undo all that is already done, to undo a system already working, already feeding those that subscribe to the laws their leader sets for them.
He has seen the security footage. The grace with which she moves, with which she leaps, with which she executes his men. The elegance. The smile.
He has seen her smile.
She is so interesting.
Looking at the monitors, he knows something must be done. Very soon now, this problem will need addressing.
Meridian is a new spy thriller from Ken Krekeler, creator of Westward, Dry Spell and The Colodin Project. The story plays against a futuristic dystopia of political deception and the complex moralities of opposing philosophies.
Meridian #1 is a 28-page, full-color comic book that launches a new limited series, distributed through Diamond with a slated release of February (or possibly March, pending funding) of 2018. Kickstarter backers will receive advanced copies two months before that. The fate of Meridian is dependent on any backers who are generous enough to help make it a reality. The printing costs of a color book is significantly higher than that of black-and-white. If successful, any money received from this Kickstarter will be put toward its printing, shipping and promotion. I've been shopping around to find the best quality for the best price, and any funding raised beyond the initial goal will unlock stretch goals, such as alternative covers and original artwork.
Hi there, my name is Ken Krekeler, and I'm the author/illustrator of Meridian. I'm 35 years old. I graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in 2009 with a major in illustration. Since then, I've published two full-color graphic novels ("The Colodin Project" and "Dry Spell"), as well as a 10 part black and white steampunk series called "Westward," which was successfully funded by Kickstarter over the course of 8 campaigns. All of these were distributed through Diamond, and "Dry Spell" especially has received high praise. It was later re-released by Action Lab Comics in 2014.
These next few images are of the interior artwork. The book is complete, but I've turned off the dialogue layers so as to not reveal too much of the story. Meridian is intended to be a sort of mystery/action/thriller, and I don't want to give too much away yet. I've also included few shots of the art going through the different stages of progress.
Production on Meridian started nearly two years ago, after writing the script. Dozens of character concepts were developed, along with environmental concepts to shape the world. During this phase, I tried some experimenting with a more stylized look.
I've never done a futuristic/cyberpunk story before, so I researched a lot of techno-anime, drawing heavy inspiration from works like Ghost in the Shell and Aeon Flux. (I have to admit a strong resemblance to the artwork of Peter Chung, I have always been a big fan of his. The visual style of Meridian is undoubtedly influenced by him. However, in the world of Meridian, things are not always what they seem, and never what you expect.)
After the script and characters are fine-tuned, the next step is thumbnail layouts. It's important to keep in mind how much area I really have once the dialogue has been added, and I'm fairly wordy with my scripts, so I tend to leave a lot of negative space in the composition to compensate around this.
Risks and challenges
Well, the good news is that all the content for the book is already done.
I've been working on this project for the better part of 2 years, and I'm quite happy with how this first chapter looks. I've done a few graphic novels before, and in that time I've learned which printers to use for which project and why, how to submit contracts to Diamond for approval, how to ship the books to them for distribution. I've even done a few successful Kickstarter campaigns before, so I already know exactly where backer rewards are coming from, and the quickest way to ship them out.
The bad news is, I've never been that great at marketing. Just getting the word out means so much. If you don't decide to back the campaign for Meridian, I completely understand; but if you think it's worth sharing with someone you know, A simple Facebook or a shoutout on Twitter could make all the difference.
You can find the Kinetic Press Facebook page here:
I'm also going to make more time for updates this time around, too. So I've been working with a social media expert to get advice on what kinds of photos to post and share. It's very encouraging to hear feedback from backers, and I'd like to try some new approaches to make that happen.
As long as the Kickstarter campaign is funded, everything should be smooth sailing. A huge, huge thanks to everyone in advance who decides to take the risk of backing. I'm very excited to share this story.