A project to create a print version of a graphic novel depicting the life of the Italian politician and philosopher Machiavelli has successfully reached its fundraising goals. With still a few days to go, author Don MacDonald has earned over $7500 in donations on his Kickstarter campaign, which aims to create a 160-page paperback edition.
Entirely hand drawn in pen and ink with watercolor washes, the graphic novel tells the story of how Machiavelli rose to fame in the turbulent world of fifteenth-century Florence. The story was first posted online between 2010 and 2012 on his website.
“Putting Machiavelli online has really opened doors,” MacDonald explains. “I mean, there hasn’t been anything like an explosive growth, but over the years, people have managed to find the work and when it turns out they enjoy it, that’s extremely gratifying. And it led to being invited to speak at TEDx Boston and enough of a base of support that a Kickstarter like this is viable. But the format of Machiavelli is not best suited to a HTML page presentation. The most frequent request I get is for a print version or an ebook so it can be read in a sitting without having to click and load all those pages.”
MacDonald adds, “I want to humanize Machiavelli. At the least, I want to give people the sense that Machiavelli was not Machiavellian: that he was not some kind of sinister schemer. I don’t want to whitewash, but in the popular culture Machiavelli is always a villainous presence and I wanted to counter that. Also, analysis of his philosophy is well covered ground. I didn’t feel there was much I could really add to that discussion, but there’s not that much written about his life—at least, its not well-known at any rate—so I felt I could bring a new angle to his work by highlighting where it came from.”
You can still contribute to the Kickstarter campaign until May 14th. You can also also follow Don MacDonald on Twitter @don_macdonald