OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Our proposed goal can be summed as a desire to tell stories about the "Heroes of the Republic", through and making the best use of various forms of media, in order to provide the best experience for a widespread audience.
For us, Storytelling comes before anything else. If you support and pay for any "Heroes of the Republic" material, what does not go for maintenance, supply costs and paying artists goes back into creating more material and trying to keep it most of its content free and open for all fans of "Heroes of the Republic".
This is some of type of content we hope to deliver to you at one point or another:
Chapters advancing the individual stories of "Heroes of the Republic" as well as episodic short stories will be our primary content. Since those require fewer resources, we expect to deliver them consistently and make them our primary storytelling medium.
Either as stand-alone in the form of graphical art to complement the abstract written word or presented in hybrid form as comics and vignettes, we hope to make the experience of the "Heroes of the Republic" richer and more inclusive. These require time, training, supplies and commission of real artists with actual talent - we do not promise to be able to do any of those without any patronage.
Podcasting and audio dramatization:
The only thing standing between us and a regular radio show is a sound engineer and a modest investment. Some form of audio elements were always expected to be part of the "Heroes of the Republic" line, as either a behind the scenes/topical radio show, music or even audio dramas.
No other form of Storytelling can deliver an experience like role-playing: the walls and distinctions between audience, authors and story are utterly destroyed, allowing the creation of lasting, unique moments shared by all involved. We hope to offer Storytelling experiences that allow you to experience the "Heroes of the Republic" on a personal way that no other media can allow; in fact, the mini-game "Historiography" seeks to comment and introduce to the experience of consuming "Heroes of the Republic."
No plan survives contact with the enemy. Keep in mind that this is a very optimistic estimation of what we can do without any new contributions, hiring of artists, patronage and as a part-time work of love.
On a good month, we seek to offer:
- A new tale, about the adventures of one or more "Heroes of the Republic";
- An article on the historical, real and ficitional inspirations for that story, as well as what themes contained there might tie to the modern world;
- An article elaborating a bit more on the world, specially answering questions that might raise from the current tale;
- Share with you some of my amateurish scribbles that I used as my own personal storyboard or hopefully, have some commissioned talent showcase important scenes;
- Build ahead: go into what worked before, what I hoped to do with an older tale, as well as feel the pulse of the fanbase in what they want to see in the future.
Why Romans? Why should anyone care about people that lived and died two thousand years ago? Nothing they did has any impact on my life or that of anyone I know.
The point has been made my people smarter than I am, that even if the Romans cannot directly teach us much, we can learn a lot from the way they interacted with each other and the universe in which they inserted themselves.
What makes the Roman civilization such an interesting Petri fish for the study of human nature – or, to be honest and accurate, our global civilization of the XXI century, - is being of the few civilizations that is close to ours while not carrying the baggage of other civilizations that are too close to us on the grand scale of human development, which we cannot examine on an objective manner.
It was only with the advent of industrialization that many of the issues, challenges and ideas familiars to Romans were once again part of the life of a great share of the population.
However, all civilizations uplifted by the Industrial Revolution are still emerging from a transformation process that are still the aftershock from the First World War, all the preceding century a blueprint for the modern world.
There is a certain modern snobbery that we live in the best of the possible ages, that all those that came before us were ignorant, superstitious and incapable to equal our feats; we deserve this world and do not have to thank anyone else for our achievements. How quick are we to forget that all we have today was built with the blood and sweet of hundred of generations, and that we are not inherently superior to our ancestors. There are no significant biological differences between a human being born today and one from any corner of the world two thousand years ago; we did not evolve as a species just by virtue of the passage of time. If we really ambition to be more than those that came before us, we must contemplate our trajectory and decide how we might become a better people. An honest evaluation of our societies is currently impossible; however, the lessons we could learn from such analysis could serve us right now. Societies, culture and progress can degenerate; something terrifyingly easy to happen if we forget it can happen.
We are fortunate to be able to examine a multi-ethnic, multicultural society that operated at a world scale; a civilization with two millennia of development, with one of the most detailed historiographies of the pre-modern world. A civilization that at the same time it fought for the causes of liberty, social justice, internal and external security suffered major crisis and failed terribly at protecting the same goals it sought to achieve. With a complex plitical world and a strong civic element, whose people always found a way to have their voices heard even if oligarchs and tyrants existed. Another society worried between the balance of power between civil and military authorities, as well as how the two roles interacted. A society whose members cared for things as modern as laws and reforms that divided them in have and have-nots, social security, sexual and racial identity, freedom of the individual and privacy against state security, the legitimacy of ignoring the constitution on pursuit of terrorists, a civilization with an impressive dissemination of letters and culture that shared an intriguing pop culture, etc.
There are other civilizations as or more multi-cultural, multi-ethnical or complex than Rome; however, between my personal taste and the rich detailed legacy of historians and artists across the centuries, few ancient societies captivate and stimulate my imagination as much as Rome.
Rome is an idea, an unbroken link between the modern Man and their terrifying and glorious past.
Right. I get why Rome is a good study model. But why super-heroes?
The concept of super-hero is one of the most marvelous fruits of modern pop culture. Heroes and heroism are concepts as old as agriculture, a way to transmit teachings and explore ideas through the two strengths of exaggeration and abstraction; projecting our anxieties and identity on the forms of bigger-than-life figures, we turn the world into something simpler and more narrative, a simulation from which we take life lessons and improve our creativity, morals and empathy. Heroes and super-heroes come in shapes and forms, however, all of them, from Gilgamesh to Deadpool, possess something in common: they are just likes us, but possessing a divine spark, becoming an ideal of what we can, want and try to be – as well as warnings about false paths and dooms.
This divine spark is a concept that, under the light of our modern sensibilities about religion, does not seem to make that much sense, one of those ideas of “primitive” and “superstitious” peoples that no modern or rational person would think twice about. However, we still cling to this idea of the divine spark within, the potential for greatness; instead of declaring the divine ascendancy of our heroes, we attribute their success to the power of romantic love, friendship, sheer determination and willpower, or the simple fact that they represent Justice, True and American Dream.
How different is that from declaring Augustus the descendant of Venus or Hercules the son of Jupiter? The ancients had a more fluid idea of the state of mortal and god, something that we recycled in our supposed egalitarian society in a simple and precious idea: we all can be our idols, if we work enough.
The idea of divine spark is too precious to be rejected in its entirety: Playing around with what we perfect over the last decades about the modern mythology that are super-hero stories, something interesting might be created if we re-examine ancient heroes.
What is important is not to forget the reason why we still tell those stories:
We can live as mere mortals or listen to the divinity within that can make each and every one of us into a hero.
You could not have picked a worst time period for a setting. Between wars in a rare period of peace?
The First Punic War is the most ill-loved of the three, under the shadow of Hannibal and the greed of Cato that guided the other conflicts.
The inter-war period following the First and before the Second? Completely sterile; desolated territory. It is no surprise at all that the Romans called it peace. If the period had that little to talk about, why did I decide to set the Heroes of the Republic during this time?
Part of this choice was one of the essential themes of this study: identity. The Peoples and the Senate, the city and its allies, they all suffered great transformations during this century. Before the confrontation with Carthage, Rome was only the strongest of those regional powers. Dragged to the limelight, the Senate and the Peoples have to accept that they are an emerging super power and learn to deal with the fact or risk destruction.
The transformations of Rome and the risks for its identity. How much can it change and continue to be loyal to itself?
This question puts a mirror against the faces of our heroes, people that must channel their divine spark all while protecting their own mortal identity. It is a parallelism too good to give up, made possible by setting it during this time period.
With Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily falling under the Roman sphere of influence,the city was forced to invent new ways to rule and protect its peoples. The prolonged battles and repeated failures of the Punic War revealed the limits of an army composed of soldier-farmers, casting doubts about the role of the military on the future of politics. The gaulish invasion that interrupted the few peaceful years of the history of the Republic reminded Rome of how fragile its liberty and prosperity were, forcing them to take novel measures in order to create a buffer between themselves and putative tyrants. Even the face of the City changed: during these years the population increased drastically, a cultural revolution brought art and innovation, individual houses gave way to apartments, the famous baths became part of Roman routine.
Ideologically, Rome and Carthage are some of the few democratic governments left in the world: the hellinistic world is dominate by tyrants, China was unified under the rule of a single man and India is undergoing a silver age as the biggest Empire of the world. They should be natural allies, however, differences about the meaning of liberty and their cultures force themselves into conflict: only one can declare itself champion of the free world.
During this unsafe and tumultuous period, the Heroes of the Republic are more needed than ever.
We all know the path that this road leads to.
But the voyage? I want to make a spectacular experience of it.