Khyber Knights: Under Siege

A true adventure story set in the lawless frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass during the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the late 80’s. Khyber Knights: Under Siege is the first […]

A true adventure story set in the lawless frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass during the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the late 80’s.

Khyber Knights: Under Siege is the first of a planned, eight volume graphic novel series, inspired by an amazing, true adventure story. An American journalist covering the Soviet war with Afghanistan, is setup by a corrupt Pakistani Police Chief and thrown into a notorious prison. Upon release, his close friend is kidnapped by Pashtun Bandits and our hero must join forces with the Mujahideen in order to find and rescue him, in the lawless frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass.

In 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan revolted against the government in a coup d’état that resulted in a Communist ruling party. More than 27,000 political prisoners were executed. As the country fell into chaos, the Soviet Union invaded the capital – Kabul, staging another coup. A Soviet loyalist was installed as the new president of Afghanistan.

In response, the United States spearheaded a massive economic and covert military aid program, in support of anti-Communist freedom-fighters, or Mujahideen. By the late 80’s, nearly 2 million Afghan civilians had been killed.
More than 3 million Afghan refugees were forced to flee into Pakistan.

This story, based on the adventures of CuChullaine O’Reilly, takes place in the year preceding the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, in 1989. The names and order of events have been changed to protect both the innocent… And guilty.

Khyber Knights Volume one: Under Siege – 60+ pages – November 2017
Produced by: Sanjay A. Sippy
Art: Juan Francisco Moyano
Cover art: Mukesh Singh
Written & lettered by: Terrance Grace
Color: Jay Moyano
Back cover art: Rashed Rahmani

Giving Back
As Sanjay and Terrance began discussing the kickstarter campaign, the thought of somehow supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who remain at risk in the region that serves as the backdrop of the story, came up.
This kickstarter campaign pledges to give back 5% of funds raised, to two organizations on the ground, dedicated to helping better the lives of those who need it most.

Rashed Rahmani is not only an amazing artist, but he is a teacher. He began teaching art classes in 2003 and now, in his small, unassuming gallery in Herat, Afghanistan, he meets several times a week with both male and female students, interested in learning more about art. Most importantly, his focus is on empowering women through these classes. As you can imagine, given the sociopolitical climate in the region, this is not necessarily a safe thing to do. But it’s necessary and we applaud Rashed for doing what he can.

Aware Girls was founded by Gulalai Ismail, who at the age of 16, first initiated the idea of starting a platform where girls can be educated and trained as Agents of Change and Empowerment. Aware Girls is an advocate for equal rights and access for young women to education, health, employment, governance, political processes, and social services. They envision a world where human rights of women are respected, and women are meaningfully involved in social change. One of their goals is to empower young women by promoting HIV prevention among young women and to reduce the stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS.

Terrance Grace (writer, letterer) After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he adapted Maurice Blanchot’s novela The Madness Of The Day into a startling tour de force for Wooster Group actor Michael Kirby. It was awarded the Silver Star at the Sacramento International Film Festival. Mr. Ahmed, starring internationally renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah, was awarded Best Narrative Film at the Atlanta Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival. The Times of India called it “an enigmatic 
masterpiece.” Aside from Khyber Knights, he is currently at work on The Locksmith – a five volume neo-noir graphic novel series; and Spanish Moss – a fantasy/horror graphic novel. Both are adapted from his original screenplays.

Juan Francisco Moyano (pencils and inks) was born in Cordoba, Spain. He has worked in the comic book industry for 10 years. He is known for his work in Dynamite’s Army of Darkness, The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms, Corrective Measures, IDW’s Gate-Way, and Top Secret Press’ Betty Wicked.

Jay Moyano (color) has over 10 years experience in the comic book industry. He has worked with publishers like Arcana, Devil’s Due, Ape Entertainment, Angry Viking Press, Top Secret Press and ComixTribe.

Mukesh Singh (cover art) received a BFA in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai in 1997. Singh has garnered notice as a comics cover artist, with striking covers for titles like Marvel’s All-New Invaders and Indestructible Hulk, as well as interior art for graphic story projects like Dinosaurs Vs Aliens. Other credits include: Grant Morrison’s 18 Days, Shekhar Kapoor’s Devi and Guy Ritchie’s Game Keeper.

Rashed Rahmani (back cover art) started painting in 1996 and is living and working as a freelance artist in Herat, Afghanistan. His watercolor and oil painting show traditional and modern Afghan culture with an amazing attention to light and color. He has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions in Herat and Kabul and was a featured artist for the international exhibition, Kabul Art Project.

Sanjay A. Sippy (producer) graduated from Seattle University with degrees in Finance and Economics. He completed his studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Having come from a family of Bollywood producers, Sanjay works in the financial arena, always looking for product that can be delivered to the global market place. Sanjay met CuChullaine in 1986, when they were both students at Seattle University — working on the school’s newspaper, The Spectator. After CuChullaine returned from his adventures in the sub-continent, he sent Sanjay an early draft of his manuscript. Even though they had already been friends for fifteen years, it would take nearly twenty more, before CuChullaine agreed to an adaptation of his story.

Khyber Knights is a story of survival, love and loss. It is about sister and brotherhood winning over the politics of war. It will test you. It will scare you. You won’t be able to put it down.

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