Four tales about survival, loss and courage; Flavours of Life, a tetralogy, is a journey where we’re forced to rediscover ourselves and learn how to use our passions as a tool to keep on going.
Started more than 8 years ago, it was originally a 12 page short about a mixed queer girl who recently moved to a large city for high school. Flavours of Life has evolved, changed and matured over the years to its form now; a story about people struggling with the choices that they have made, with expectations that have been put on them by society and who have found, in their own unique way, ways to continue on — to walk with purpose and passion.
THE FIRST STORY, SALT 'N PEPPER.
The tetralogy begins with Bee’s (Bethany Shankar) story under the title of Salt ’n Pepper. Bee is a successful photographer who upends her life to escape her problems. She's forced to come to terms with her brother's murder and her own highly abusive behaviour as she hikes across Canada back to her home.
SECOND STORY, KETCHUP 'N VINEGAR.
Story of Renée Bouchard. A sex worker from an established long line of politicians and law enforcement, Renée fights for her life when her right-wing french catholic family finds out what she does for a living.
THIRD STORY, MUSTARD 'N SUGAR.
Story of Asha Shankar. Asha, a Black (-West Indies) trans woman who bonds with a child from her work and falls for the child's transphobic father.
FOURTH AND FINAL STORY, LICORICE 'N MILK.
Story of Tash Achong, a Chinese-Jamaican gender fluid trans woman.
I created Flavours of Life because I wanted to see more accurate representations of not only myself, but of the people I see and care about in the world. People with culturally rich backgrounds and experiences. People who have so much to offer. Growing up, I wanted to read stories that reflect truths and lessons from experiences of the racialized, the sexualized, the stigmatized, the mis-gendered — while getting down to who we are as human beings.
And I need you to make this tetralogy a reality.
It used to be that you needed a comic company to publish and market a comic (and it'd usually only be the ones they'd think would sell). With the internet, things can be uploaded for free for everyone. Which is incredibly great for readers, but is difficult for artists like me who need to support themselves.
I want something that combines the two and hope to raise some funds so that I can focus more of my time, effort and energy towards creating a great online tetralogy. I'm currently the only person going at this big (massive, really) project and I plan to finish it no matter what. I strongly believe in this, and together, we can bring something great into the world.
For only $5, ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE
Get 2 year access to member only updates, never seen before artwork, exclusive created artwork, character hi/s/tories, information and details about the world (and timeline) of Flavours of life, and behind-the-scenes live streams! 2 year access means that will you also have access to the updates for the second story, Ketchup 'n Vinegar, once Salt 'n Pepper finishes and all the rewards have been completed.
For $10, DRM-FREE PDF
Get a DRM-free copy of Salt 'n Pepper when it's finished. The PDF version for backers will also contain the thank you acknowledgements from the $50 pledge level, the backer-inspired side stories from the $200 pledge level and a one-shot from the $450 pledge level! (The PDF version for-non backers will only contain Salt 'n Pepper, the thank you acknowledgements from the $50 pledge level and the one-shot from the $450 pledge level.)
For $100, APPEAR IN SALT 'N PEPPER
Give Bethany a place to crash while she's out west, remind Bethany of her true passions, say something that makes Bethany honestly face herself — this isn't an appearance where you're a random face in the background.
For $150, CREATIVE CHEMISTRY COACHING
In the spirit of rediscovering ourselves and using our passions as a tool to keep on going; you will get a complimentary 60min coaching session where we take your dreams and desires, align it with what you really and truly care about, and come up with actions, projects and strategies to achieve it in a way that feels good to you.
For $200, BACKER-INSPIRED SIDE STORY
Propose ideas and story arcs that will be created as a side story to the Flavours of Life arc.
For $450, SPEND THE DAY WITH THE SALT 'N PEPPER CAST
Appear in a one-shot where the cast of Salt 'n Pepper will personally hang out with you as a huge gesture of appreciation.
Get more information from the Tumblr and the FB page!
Stay in touch through my mailing list and twitter!
PROGRESS SO FAR
Book 1, the first story in the Flavours of Life tetralogy "Salt 'n Pepper", is an approximate 145 page (bar the input from backers) black and white webcomic, and DRM-free PDF. The script of Salt 'n Pepper is finished, while leaving leeway for including appearances from the necessary pledge levels. The story and plot for Ketchup 'n Vinegar is finished. The script will be largely influenced by the discussions and potential collaborations I have with the necessary people (sex workers, full stack developers, etc).
The rough for the story of Mustard 'n Sugar is finished. I'm leaving a lot of flexibility in the plot and script to collaborate with members of the PoC trans (woman) community so that this story more accurately represents their experiences, stories, truths and lessons.
Pivotal elements of Licorice 'n Milk has been concreted, and I'm leaving a huge amount of flexibility at the moment to collaborate with members of the Chinese-Jamaican and trans community. The last story will be the biggest as it not only contains elements of all the previous stories of diaspora, sexuality, gender, mental and physical dis/abilities — but will tie up the Flavours of Life tetralogy.
Risks and challenges
This is my first kickstarter, and as such, I've made a very conscious effort to limit risks to this endeavor by staying away from physical products.
I've seen many online comics that started strong but went into long, updateless dry spells. I've also seen many comics and graphics novels with great potential be cancelled due to lack of resources. As the sole person currently working on Salt 'n Pepper (and Flavours of Life), I've tried to limit risks by making the future website exclusive for backers and monthly members (somewhat similar to a Patreon system.)
My goal is to always have a substantial reserve of completed and unreleased pages to smooth out the release rate of the webcomic updates, with a super transparent release schedule — while working on completing the PDF within the timeline I've given myself.
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