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My name is Travis Horseman. I am the writer/creator of Amiculus: A Secret History, a developing three-part graphic novel series telling a lost history of Rome's fall, seen largely through the eyes of the last western emperor, a 12-year-old boy named Romulus.

This series spans roughly 100 years, from A.D. 445-545, spanning the late Roman/early Byzantine period, yet mainly covering the fateful year of A.D. 476. While solidly based on the accounts of contemporary Roman and Byzantine writers, it takes a bit more of a conspiratorial bent than the official history that has come down to us. Romulus's story is made of vast conspiracies and intimate conflicts, brutal betrayals and loyal sacrifices, final, fiery collapse and new worlds rising from ruin. At the center of it all is AMICULUS, a mysterious cloaked figure manipulating the fates of kings, generals and all of western civilization.

I am currently conducting a campaign to produce the first volume of the series. If this is something that you think would be of interest to your members, you can view the project proposal here:

Amiculus: A Secret History

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


Personally, I have never been able to like graphic novels, but I think your story sounds interesting. I also think it is pretty cool that you are trying to do this via crowdfunding. I'm curious how crowdfunding will develop in the future, not only for fiction but especially for history books or academic articles. I think there is a lot of potential there if someone could figure out how to do it properly. Best of luck.
Greetings Travis!

Were you at ComicCon last week?

There were a couple of different graphic novels there set in the ancient world, including a very extensive volume on the Trojan War.

My own area of interest lies in that 200 year period from the Late Republic to the rise of the Empire and the end of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. That said, your project does look interesting.

Another place you might consider posting your link is the Roman History Reading Group on Face Book. The moderator is not a huge fan of graphic novels, however she might allow you to post your link on the Group's page, and I have a feeling that several of the members there would be interested in your project.

Best of luck with your novel.



Though I'm more into the Republican area and the fall of Rome comes close to being postmodern history to me, I'm very interested in this, and have thus made my pledge (the username there is Syltorian).

I wonder whether you could create a small flyer for this? I'm secretary for an association looking after a Roman site in Luxembourg (, and might be able to leave them around for our visitors. We're not an English-speaking country, nor do we get that many visitors, but it might be worth a try. Don't hesitate to contact me on this.
Kickstarter is an amazing way to fund projects such as these, put it needs a lot of publicity or an established fanbase, and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks for the feedback!

I admit I am personally more of a fan of the Late Republic/Early Empire myself, but the idea for this story compelled me to learn more about the late period. The complete transformation of the Roman Army over the 3rd Century Crisis fascinated me, especially in revealing that many military conventions of dress, armor and tactics that I would have ascribed to early Medieval "barbarians" were in fact Roman innovations. I remember reading that the Tetrarch sculpture of Diocletian and his co-emperors was originally thought to have been medieval, and I could believe it at the time! That was part of the joy of researching this series, in that the definition of what it meant to be Roman underwent an evolution I'd never really appreciated before.
This looks pretty good, if its going to cover 445 to 545 I'd imagine you could start the darker plot with the deaths of Attila and Aetius, which began the final decline of the west.

I could see this "Amiculus" convincing Petronius Maximus and Valentinian III to kill Aetius, and then he turns on his conspirators to cover his tracks. (Val III in 455 and Petronius Stoned to Death a few weeks later) :whistle:

Barring my nonsensical imagination, good luck with your graphic novel.
An interesting project! And I can see how the person of Romulus could take you into the 6th century. But.. if you start in 445, don't you think that the Western empire had already been brought to its knees? Or are you taking the story into the East?
The Western Empire was hardly on its knees in 445. There was still hope of re-taking Numidia and Proconsularis, the Army had suffered severe cuts in size but was still highly effective under Aetius' Leadership, and was very experienced, most of the Barbarians within the empire were vassal states (barring the Suebes and Vandals), and the new laws had increased tax income (although the West was still in debt). There was a re-vitalization of the Agricultural Industry in Southern Italy, and the government was controlled by the Gallic Aristocracy who actually managed to make effective reforms. The Danube frontier was still nominally intact, and the Rhine frontier was secured by a (forced, later voluntary) alliance with Franks and the recent reconquests of Trier and Cologne.
Ok, ok, a bit too soon. 455 is a better year for such a statement. :-)
Quote:Ok, ok, a bit too soon. 455 is a better year for such a statement. :-)

Actually you hit the nail on the head there. The death of a Nations leader usually meant an automatic nullification of treaties for most Barbarian Groups. That's one reason why the Vandals took the opportunity to sack Rome. Furthermore, Marcellinus and Aegidius had both left with the Illyrian and Gallic Field Armies, respectively (Marcellinus in 454, Aegidius only supported Emperors he considered legitimate and Petronius Maximus was not one of them). The Italian Aristocracy had once again gained control of the Roman government, furthering the gap between the Itallic and Gallic provinces. The Visigoths had begun their invasion of Spain, and the Vandals took most of the Mediterranean and Tripolitania. Britain had left by the 440's, so whatever support they may have given Aetius was gone. Armorica left around this time, and the Army was still weak after the Invasions of 451/452 and the Siege of Arles in 453, in which Aetius was unable to attack Thorismund and break the siege (he didn't loose, he just didn't have the forces to attempt an assault). Luckily the Empire had an Ally in the Visigoths who put Avitus on the throne, one of Aetius' lackeys. Majoran took over afterwards, who was an excellent General, and one of Aetius' Lackeys, and almost got the chance to re-conquer Africa. He re-took much of Spain, but it was too late for the empire to be saved by the time Ricimer killed him.

Ricimer... he was just an all out ***hole.
To be more specific, most of the action revolves around the fateful (and, admittedly, somewhat arbitrary) year of A.D. 476. Romulus Augustulus and his father, Orestes are the focal figures, but the story pulls in many historical characters, including Justinian, Procopius of Caesarea, Theodosius II, Theodoric the Great, and, yes, Attila. Attila appears in a segment from Orestes's past taken from an account by Priscus about an attempt on the Hun's life by Theodosius.

The other significant portion takes place from A.D. 538-545, in the Eastern Empire's initially-successful but ultimately ill-fated (and totally wrong-headed) campaign to reconquer Italy from the Goths.
Sorry, did I forget to mention Belisarius? Oh, and Ricimer does get a mention as well.

Thanks for all the insights!
Hello Travis,
Do not get discouraged,there are still many people who love both the late Roman era and comics(I dont like term "graphic novel") like me and are eager for every new work on this theme they might get.
Also I have some suggestion of what the story direction might lead to:I think it would be great if a giant fire throwing dragon appeared as part of the finale...maybe also some surprising fact as Romulus being father of king Arthur should be revealed...Im just joking...or Am I not :evil: ?
That would be a good period to do.

Gilles Chaillet had done one in France of a pervious era in Roman History.

There is one I had seen published possibly online called La Casque Gris or something like this
title in French not sure what era maybe of the Gallic campaigns.

I would love to work on a Roman Comic of the Imperial era have the time and ability
but have other things getting in the way at the moment. I had wanted to get involved in
Roman Reenacting to learn more about Ancient Rome and the Campaigns as well as reading
and military Roman Era roll playing games by

There are things I experienced in the military I had wanted to convey in my characters how they
deal with situations coping strategies and concerns to make the characters appear human.

Good luck to you;

Geoffrey Ives
I was wondering when someone would mention "The Last Legion..." at least, I think that's what you were referring to? If not, it was a 2007 film about Romulus that was about kind of the same scenario you gave.

No , there won't be any treks to Britain in highly-anachronistic Roman armor in this book, if i can help it.

Speaking of that, that was one of the things I both enjoyed and hated about the 2004 movie "King Arthur." It was a mishmash of Romanity from across about 400 years wedged into an entirely recreated Arthur, but there was still something kind of cool about seeing it in something of a sub-Roman context for the first time.
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