The Mask Of Haliya - An Exclusive Look At The Heart-Rendering YA Asian Diaspora Tale

In celebration of Filipino American History Month, Kwento Comics and Clover Press are partnering for a Kickstarter campaign to launch "The Mask of Haliya: Heir to the Warrior Moon," a new young adult graphic novel that will explore lore and mythology originating from Philippine culture. 

The story of "The Mask of Haliya" follows Filipina-American Marisol Reyes, a rebellious teenager with a track record of school expulsions. The loss of Marisol's great grandmother, though, takes her life to unexpected and dangerous places, when she finds herself in possession of the titular wooden mask. The mask unleashes incredible new abilities and sets her on a supernatural journey of self-discovery where she'll find herself on a journey she never could have imagined. 

"The Mask of Haliya" will explore themes of mental health and intergenerational trauma while spotlighting its female characters. The book comes from an all-female, all-Asian group of creators comprised of writer Kaitlyn Fajilan, artist Renoida Renovilla, editor and art supervisor Jenapher Zheng, colorist Charlyn Duy, Kwento Comics co-founder and COO Waverley Lim, with Haining providing the cover art. 

As explained by Lim in an exclusive press release to Looper, "'The Mask of Haliya' serves as a vessel through which the intricacies of Asian identity are explored, celebrated, and brought into the global spotlight. We strive to imbue our stories with the rich cultural, historical, and emotional threads that define the Asian experience."

First look at The Mask of Haliya

"The Mask of Haliya" wil be the first graphic novel release from Kwento Comics, though the publisher has already outlined plans for future books that it hopes will expose a wider audience to Asian stories and storytellers. "We hope that readers from all walks of life will find resonance in the characters' struggles, triumphs, and growth, fostering a greater understanding of the shared human journey," Lim said. "Kwento Comics is committed to inclusivity and authenticity, where diverse voices are amplified, where the beauty of the Asian diaspora shines brightly, and where narratives have the potential to bridge cultures and inspire change."

Unfortunately, besides the stunning cover art, we've yet to see any more of what "The Mask of Haliya: Heir to the Warrior Moon" will have to offer. That said, we do know the graphic novel will debut as a 200-page deluxe hardcover with an optional slipcase. Regardless, the combination of creativity, authenticity, and an own voices creative team makes this one of the most exciting comic book projects on the horizon, and high-profile comic book projects like "Good Omens" have had great success with Kickstarter in the past. 

No release date has been announced, but the Kickstarter for the project will go live later this month. Be sure to follow the campaign for any future updates.