Timed to Filipino American History Month, Clover Press And Kwento Comics Launch a Kickstarter for a Graphic Novel Inspired by Philippine Mythology
THE MASK OF HALIYA: HEIR TO THE WARRIOR MOON is A YA Urban Fantasy,
by an International All-Asian, All-Female Creative Team,
With An All-New Cover by Haining!
(October 12, 2023) Timed to Filipino American History Month, Kwento Comics, the trailblazing Filipino-American comic book publisher, is partnering with Clover Press for a Kickstarter campaign to publish a graphic novel inspired by Philippine mythology, THE MASK OF HALIYA: HEIR TO THE WARRIOR MOON. This 200-page deluxe hardcover is a young adult urban fantasy which follows the journey of a troubled Filipina-American teen who discovers a mysterious mask at her great-grandmother’s wake. The story is written and illustrated by an all-Asian, all-female creative team from around the world and the 200-page deluxe hardcover edition features a brand new cover by superstar comic book artist Haining (Spirit World, DC vs. Vampires: All Out War), and an optional slipcase. The Kickstarter campaign is now live and runs throughout Filipino American History Month.
Kwento Comics was founded by a mother and daughter team, Cecilia and Waverley Lim, who were inspired to create a solution to the lack of Asian American representation in media. Their goal in launching the company is to create lead Asian female characters on the page, while also highlighting the talented Asian women artists and writers in an industry that is heavily male-dominated.
“We realized that Asian – and specifically, Filipino – characters, roles, and mythology were not seen in film, television, or comic books,” said Kwento Comics Co-Founder Cecilia Lim, “We wanted to be part of the solution and create stories that introduce Filipino and other Asian mythos to a wider audience.”
“We knew that the creation of these characters starts with women who look like us, who can share our stories and shared experiences in an authentic way, and in doing so, highlight the wonderous world of Philippine and other Asian mythology in our graphic novels,” said Kwento Comics Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Waverley Lim.
THE MASK OF HALIYA: HEIR TO THE WARRIOR MOON is the first release from Kwento Comics and is intended to be the first in a series of books published by Clover Press. The book engages with topics like mental health, intergenerational trauma, and corruption, with a major emphasis on its female characters, through the lens of female creators. THE MASK OF HALIYA: HEIR TO THE WARRIOR MOON’s creative team is comprised of writer Kaitlyn Fajilan (Fruit Fly, Madeira), artist Renoida Renovilla (Creative Connections and Commons, Inc.), editor/art supervisor Jenapher Zheng (Oblivious, Borrowed Light), colorist Charlyn Duy, and co-founder/COO Waverley Lim (The Women’s Project).
In THE MASK OF HALIYA, seventeen-year-old Marisol Reyes is in need of a do-over. After getting kicked out of one too many schools for strange and unsettling behavior, Mari’s overbearing mother sends her to the Philippines for a fresh start. The promise of a normal life is dashed, however, when Mari attends her recently deceased Lola Talia’s wake. For it’s there she discovers a mysterious wooden mask that unlocks frightening visions… and terrifying abilities. So begins THE MASK OF HALIYA, where Mari must forge new allies and battle new foes, all while finding her place in a world on the brink of darkness. In the heart of Cebu, an ancient power awakens…The Mask has chosen its new heir.
“After meeting the Lims and reading their comics, I knew we wanted to publish THE MASK OF HALIYA,” said Clover Press publisher Hank Kanalz. “Filipinos have played a huge part in comics’ history, and I’m personally thrilled to assist in our representation on the page as well.”
The supernatural, multi-perspective saga THE MASK OF HALIYA will be funded on Kickstarter. Visit the campaign here: The Mask of Haliya Graphic Novel
For updates, follow Kwento Comics on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and follow Clover Press on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About Kwento Comics: Kwento Comics is a pioneering Filipino-American comic book publisher committed to amplifying diverse voices and celebrating the rich heritage of Filipino culture. Kwento Comics is the first all-women, all-Asian comic book company highlighting Filipino and Asian mythology through the medium of graphic novels. With their compelling stories, stunning artwork, and unwavering dedication to representation, Kwento Comics aims to inspire and entertain readers worldwide. For more information, visit www.kwentocomics.com.
About Clover Press: Headed by IDW co-founders Ted Adams and Robbie Robbins, along with Matt Ruzicka and former DC executive Hank Kanalz, Clover Press publishes a wide variety of collected and original content ranging from re-mastered reprints of Terry and the Pirates and Dick Tracy, to horror graphic novels, and high-quality art books. Clover Press is working with a wide variety of creators including Kevin Eastman, Craig Yoe, Dean Mullaney, Steve Niles, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ruben Bolling, Timothy Truman, Jorge Coelho, Richard Bennett, Ricardo Delgado, Ray Troll, John K. Snyder III, Stewart Kenneth Moore, Aron Wiesenfeld, Alex Maleev, David Mack, David Nakayama, and more.
About Cecilia Lim: Cecilia Lim is a first-generation American Filipina. Along with working as an attorney and consultant for the renewable energy industry, she is the CEO and co-founder of Kwento Comics. Cecilia has a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois and a JD from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. As a lifelong innovator and strategist, she worked at Florida Power & Light Company, a Forbes 200 company, for over 20 years. Cecilia believes in giving back to the community and through the years, she has given of her time to create and produce several large charity events in Chicago, West Palm Beach and Los Angeles, as well as served as an officer of the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County and FilAm Creative in Los Angeles. An avid fan of fantasy and science fiction, Cecilia now combines her passion for empowering young women creatives and her love of mythology.
About Kaitlyn Fae Fajilan: Kaitlyn Fae Fajilan is an award-winning Filipina-American filmmaker, writer, actor, and musician. In addition to her work on Haliya, Kaitlyn is the head writer of the upcoming television show Dreamwalker: Awakenings, produced by 108 Media and based on the supernatural comic book series of the same name by Mikey Sutton. Past writing positions include being an independent contractor for the television network, ABS-CBN, and Director of Writing for Filam Creative, a Los-Angeles based organization dedicated to the advancement of Filipinx in media and entertainment. Kaitlyn’s directing filmography includes the indie rom-com, Fruit Fly, which won Audience Choice at the 2021 San Diego Filipino Film Festival, and other movies like Madeira (Best Music, 2018 Feedback Female Film Festival), Undie Run (Best Director Finalist, 2019 Women’s Comedy Atlanta Film Festival), and the upcoming One Pine.
About Jenapher Zhang: Jenapher Zheng is a Chinese American actor, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist from Alhambra, CA with degrees in English and Theatre from UC Riverside and an MFA for Acting from CalArts. Her writing has been published on HuffPost and Angry Asian Man ItsReal Magazine, and have gone viral on social media platforms. She writes for a wide range of mediums, be it immersive/interactive shows, video games, short films, plays, short stories, and literary analysis. As an actor, she can be seen on NCIS:LA, in indie games by Niantic and Tender Claws, and in various theatre shows at Geffen Playhouse, Boston Court, La Jolla Playhouse, East West Players, South Coast Rep, and San Diego Old Globe. In her (limited) spare time, she is a game streamer on Twitch under the moniker JenZany.
About Waverley Lim: Waverley Lim is a Filipina-American actress and Co-Founder and COO of Kwento Comics. She recently graduated cum laude from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. While there, she collaborated with a group of all women students to create a devised theater piece entitled, “The Women’s Project,” centered around the experience of being a young woman in today’s society. Seeing a need for more representation for Asian women, she co-founded Kwento Comics with her mother in order to provide opportunities for more Asian women creatives to shine in the arts. She hopes to bring more stories to life that honor the rich cultural landscape and diversity of the AAPI community.