MANIA is an epic new comic franchise that asks the question: what if superpowers developed from mental disorders?
In MANIA, technology and psychology clash, resulting in individuals with superhuman abilities. MANIA explores a wide variety of themes; from mental health and its portrayal in media to augmented reality and the rise of artificial intelligence.
The original inspiration for MANIA was to create a story that would empower people to view neuroses in a different light. MANIA also draws from the science fiction genre, playing on specific tropes to construct a world where the discussion of mental health would be more imperative than ever. The world of MANIA is based upon real life experiences, medical research, and traditional fiction.
Ultimately, MANIA hopes to be an entertaining and inclusive comic that advances interesting discussions and challenges its readers to think critically. As of now we have plans to complete 6 issues for an eventual trade, MANIA: Infancy.
New Renard, the automated city. A city built upon the promise of harmony between man and machine. Thirty years have passed since the introduction of the Augmented Reality Chip (ARC), a personal operating system meant to help individuals regulate their lives. The ARC is implanted directly into the brain to allow citizens to control their own augmented reality. Since its adoption, crime rates have dropped by over 90% and unrest in the population is virtually gone.
For a select few however, the ARC has had unintended consequences. In rare instances individuals with mental disorders or neurodivergence have reported their ARCs breaking; causing changes in their physiology. Those affected develop enhanced super-human abilities as a defense mechanism against the ARC’s interference with their minds. Feared for their powers and often divergent minds, these individuals were dubbed “Supermanics” by the media.
Fahrenheit Corp, the company behind the ARC, was desperate to neutralize the concerns of the public and launched an unrelenting campaign to find, regulate, and eventually “cure” all “Supermanics” within New Renard. Now they live in fear of the police, the government, and their own neighbors.
Jumpstart began as a stand up comedian until his endless battle with depression conflicted with his ARC’s directive. The end result gave him the power to manipulate gravity around him, creating one of the most powerful and potentially dangerous Supermanics in the city’s short history.
Midna is the most famous criminal in all of New Renard, and has a vast record ranging from petty theft to acts of domestic terrorism. Midna’s narcissistic personality demands the attention of all those around her. Her livestream garners millions of views as she reveals her destructive crimes in uncensored detail. Midna’s most powerful weapon is her unique ability to hypnotise anyone she sees into falling in love with her.
The inventor of the Fusion Generator and a brilliant physicist, Iris was shunned by the public for her outspoken hatred of Fahrenheit Corp. Iris’ career collapsed during an intense fight with her former partner, resulting in Iris’ OCPD overwhelming her. In that moment Iris gained the ability to manipulate matter’s physical state, allowing her to escape and go into hiding.
A robotics expert and head of the R&D division of Fahrenheit, Prism is the former partner of Iris. The two developed the Fusion Generator together but after a falling out, Prism was recruited by Fahrenheit. Guilt sent Prism’s ADHD into a destructive spiral; her thoughts threatened to overwhelm her. As a result, she obtained the ability to offshoot her thoughts into machines, bringing them to life.
Jack is one of the oldest and most feared “Supermanics” in New Renard. Jack is an enigma; some argue he doesn’t even exist. In reality he serves as Fahrenheit’s Enforcer and Infiltrator. Little is known about Jack’s past, but the multiple personalities he is known to jump into are infamous in the automated city; his powers allow him to physically alter his body to suit each new personality.
The founder and CEO of the Fahrenheit Corporation, Reitag is the man credited with the creation of the ARC. Reitag’s meteoric rise to power is paralleled with the creation of New Renard, his crowning achievement. Reitag views the Supermanics as a personal offense to his shining city and will do anything to see them destroyed.
A mysterious hacker, little is known about the man known as Alex. Alex wishes to see Fahrenheit dismantled and holds a special hatred for the ARC. He has used his incredible knowledge of computers to save both Iris and Jumpstart, recruiting them to his cause. His identity, appearance, and even his powers are shrouded in mystery.
Here's our latest Pencils and Paints for Issue 003: The Faces. Backers will receive the latest updates on our production progress.
Check out some pages and promotional art from Issue 001: The Shift and Issue 002: The Light!
MANIA is produced by A.L.Ex Studios, the premier Mindful Entertainment module of the Art and Learning Expedition (A.L.Ex). A.L.Ex is a community of Artists who believe in changing the old rules of business with a new paradigm of Passion and Abundance. “Mindful Entertainment” encapsulates the idea that we do not have to turn our brains off in order to have fun. A.L.Ex is founded on the belief that creativity and personal betterment are intrinsically linked, and Mindful Entertainment is that belief in action. We encourage feedback and hope to always stay in constant conversation with our audience.
A.L.Ex Studios has been established for a little over a year now, and this is the first time we have created a campaign on Kickstarter. Out of a sense of pride, we never wanted to ask for anybody's help, and through hard work and determination we've already published two issues of our first comic franchise, MANIA. But as we look to the future and want to make MANIA the best it can be, we think it's time for A.L.Ex Studios to level up. So we're asking for your support to publish the next issue and beyond!
Project Goal Breakdown
- The majority of our goal is for printing costs, which will be a minimum of $3500, and may be more if demand is high and we decide to print more issues. (40%)
- The next largest cost is for rewards and shipping; printing posters, getting shirts made, and shipping them all out to you, the backers! (30%)
- Then, production. It takes time and money to make good art! (25%)
- And finally, we've included a little cushion to account for Kickstarter fees. (5%)
- $8,000 - MANIA sticker pack! If we reach $8k, everyone who pledged at the Jack of Many Faces tier or higher will get a special MANIA sticker pack with their reward.
Risks and challenges
This is the third issue of MANIA, so we’ve had a few runs to get the kinks out and streamline our process. We are confident that we can complete Issue 003 with little to no problems. However, with any production there is always the chance of unforeseen delays with printing and delivery.
Our first responsibility is to the backers, so in the event that there are production hiccups you can be sure we will keep you updated and work to fix them as quickly as we can!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)