Project image
)}
S$ 1,337
pledged of S$ 5,888pledged of S$ 5,888 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2019 1:31 PM UTC +00:00
S$ 1,337
pledged of S$ 5,888pledged of S$ 5,888 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2019 1:31 PM UTC +00:00

About

Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight by Ryan Mennen is a superhero buddy cop story that puts LGBTQ+ minority characters at a forefront. The 20-28 page one-off is meant to retain the qualities of good superhero storytelling whilst portraying two queer individuals and their lives, realistically and tastefully. 

Scalemail and Ixora are both individuals in Singapore, where the LGBTQ+ community continually suffers from the trickle-down effects of a law that criminalises male homosexual intercourse. This comic explores two kick ass individuals' struggles with social life, education, and superheroism

Is this GIF overused yet?
Is this GIF overused yet?

Empowered by a mystical force, Hallie and Eric couldn't be more different than the other in just about every way. But when they are both chosen by said mystical entity granting them the power to fight bigotry, they're forced to find common ground and stand by each other.

Set in Singapore, a country still ruled by a backward government that maintains laws criminalising sexual contact between males, the presence of LGBTQ characters in media, homegrown or imported is rare.

Scalemail & Ixora #1 portrays but an example of the discrimination and unjust treatment the LGBTQ community faces in a supposedly first-world country. While the story itself is still a true blue superhero tale, the trails and tribulations of our heroines still craft them into the heroes they are.

Scalemail is a brawler with a deadly talent for watching Tony Jaa movies.
Scalemail is a brawler with a deadly talent for watching Tony Jaa movies.

While most teens dream of being da shit, Erica "Eric" Chan-Chandran just doesn't give a shit. Freed from the bondage of social norms thanks to her "untrendy" interests, Eric's taken the opportunity to be open about her pansexuality, and has since enjoyed life more than most of her peers.

With an active interest in bettering the world, with a passion for embodying the heroes she reads about, Eric's always been a superhero just in need of powers.

Ixora's been kickass all her life... and now she gets to kick some actual ass!
Ixora's been kickass all her life... and now she gets to kick some actual ass!

Hallie Simon on the other hand has had the misfortune of being the most popular girl in any room she enters. The girl who's had everything but the freedom to be, Hallie's recent outcast status might end up being a blessing in disguise.

Finally granted the opportunity to find who she really is, Hallie finds herself on the path towards becoming a defender for those like her.

They got each others' backs...
They got each others' backs...

Representing the two ends of their island-city's personality, Hallie and Eric are the reluctant and over-enthusiastic (respectively) defenders of the oppressed as Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight!

Witness the meeting of Eric and Hallie as they come together to... well, mostly disagree with each other, but still somehow save the world!

Just a good ol' superhero story, featuring an everyday, diverse, buddy cop duo!
Just a good ol' superhero story, featuring an everyday, diverse, buddy cop duo!

No world, fictional or real, is complete without Diversity 

80 years of superhero awesomeness and still the world is starved of variety concerning tales featuring LGBTQ, or female, or characters of colour, or all of the above! 

And it's all that more tougher in a country like Singapore where archaic laws still criminalise sexual contact between people of the same gender, and the media watchdogs censor any kind of content featuring non-heterosexual relationships.

The Astonishing X-Men volume featuring Northstar's marriage was plastic sealed and rated M, the issue of Life with Archie (#37) in which he dies, taking a bullet for his friend, was banned here in Singapore... 'cause his friend was gay. Rocketman is rated R21. The scene of Phoebe kissing Rachel in Friends was cut. And don't even get me started on what they did to Buffy Season 6.

In all, the Singaporean media climate perpetuates a constant sense of oppression to enforce what they deem to be "the norm."

Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight are here to challenge and change that.

Featuring characters created for the shared universe of my previous comic, Crimson Star, I decided that it would be of greater function to have these interesting individuals anchor their own title instead. All art of characters is concept art. 

The simple response would be "why not?"

But to elaborate: comics, or media in general, that choose to feature characters of colour or gender, or non-hetero sexualities are often questioned regarding the relevance of their race/religion/gender/sexuality. Yet no one bats an eye when another Caucasian dude puts on his spandex and proceeds to recruit adolescent sidekicks to beat up clowns.

With Scalemail & Ixora, the premise is simple: superheroes must certainly come in all forms, be it race, gender, or sexuality--so here are two kick-ass, non-hetero, thoroughly Asian, females who dare to, well, dare.

And by "Asian," I actually mean Asians.

So... they're Knights?

Yes... and no.

Scalemail and Ixora are representations of the two extreme ends of Singapore's personality. 

Eric is an out and proud geek whose fandom inspires her heroism; Art by Zehe
Eric is an out and proud geek whose fandom inspires her heroism; Art by Zehe

Erica Chan-Chandra (call her Eric), an introvert more concerned with giving her friends hell in their twice weekly D&D campaigns than social norms, is imbued with the traits of the shy Pangolin. A native of our now-urban landscape, the pangolin not only symbolises our humble roots but also the tough and durable Singaporean spirit of our forefathers. 

Fierce and fashionable, Hallie's breakout is an explosive force against her naysayers; Art by Zehe
Fierce and fashionable, Hallie's breakout is an explosive force against her naysayers; Art by Zehe

Hallie Simon has it all, except where it counts. Popular but closeted, Hallie's social concerns are put to the test when she is empowered with the brand of the Ixora: the brightly-coloured flower found across this garden city. A symbol of Singapore's bright and meteoric rise, the ixora is nevertheless a delicate flower.

Representing the sword and shield of the Singaporean spirit, Eric's occupied-with-fantasy imagination forges their moniker.

And, no, she wasn't too happy with the GOT finalé either... but she's still planning on making Hallie watch all of it.

Maybe this is a little overthought, but, doesn't that very intrusive cameltoe seem a little much?
Maybe this is a little overthought, but, doesn't that very intrusive cameltoe seem a little much?

Representation is easy when you think it's just a matter of throwing a bunch of characters with different genitals, skin colours, or sexual interests together. But there's a lot more to it than that.

Even in "woke" titles that do offer representation, these "good intentions" often come with their own set of inexplicable stigma. Like how lesbian characters are almost always sexualised or portrayed in ways that appeal more to 14 year old teenage boys with over-functioning hormones, than being relatable to the community these characters supposedly represent.

It's important to not only have characters represent the many communities who read these books, but to also ensure that it is done in a respectful manner that educates those who may not have any other exposure to the many walks of life.

On the flipside, where many indie comics have actually offered proper representation, this often comes with sacrifice to the superhero aspect of the story--which may be a turn off to those seeking traditional superhero adventures.

I mean, remember that stretch of Superman where a bulk of it was him having problems with Lois and Lana popping back up? Sure, it was great to have Livewire join the comics proper, but oh, the drama! I doubt anybody wants another one of those.

Check out our non-advertising reward tiers!
Check out our non-advertising reward tiers!

As you may have noticed, we have more tiers than these. Those tiers offer repeated copies of Scalemail and Ixora, as well as advertising opportunities, ideal for small business owners and independent artists!

Feast your eyes on these! We partnered up with Heckin' Unicorn to bring you THE GAY AGENDA!

The Gay Agenda is a series of notebook designs that contain an LGBTQIA Glossary at the end, with 69 terms describing or relating to the LGBTQIA community. This A5 notebook is ideal for LGBTQIA+ individuals to express their identity! The glossary at the end of the notebook is great for people who wish to learn more about the LGBTQIA community. You could also use it to school someone.

There are a total of 4 designs, each with 50 pages of dot grid paper, and a 10-page LGBTQIA Glossary at the end. The cover is matte-laminated for a high quality finish, and the pages are 80gsm paper.  

Backers can pick from four wonderful designs! We're feeling gay.
Backers can pick from four wonderful designs! We're feeling gay.
A sneak peak at the Glossary section of Heckin Unicorn's The Gay Agenda notebook, with 69 terms!
A sneak peak at the Glossary section of Heckin Unicorn's The Gay Agenda notebook, with 69 terms!

Social Reach Goals Comin' Real Soon

We'll unveil our social goals with some killer badge designs really soon. In the mean time, get yourself and other backers a little closer by partaking in our Facebook giveaway, which will last from 2nd July to 9th July, 8PM (GMT+8)!

Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight: Social Goals
Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight: Social Goals
Giveaway is now live! Click on the image to partake.
Giveaway is now live! Click on the image to partake.

I know what you're all thinking. This is a female superhero story with queer characters. How will this man tell this story? Also... is he queer? 

This is Ryan. Yes, he's wearing a pizza hat. It's not real but a friend claims to have seen him lick it.
This is Ryan. Yes, he's wearing a pizza hat. It's not real but a friend claims to have seen him lick it.

"You don't know how bigoted your country can be until you get turned down at a shop because two of your male friends were holding hands."

Ryan hopes that he would one day find a radioactive beast to bite him. Preferably a tiger... or a dragon... maybe even a unicorn. Definitely an SJW. 

After spending 14 years script-doctoring, Ryan now works on creating global original content from Singapore's media landscape. Previously, he successfully Kickstarted Crimson Star, Singapore's first All-Singaporean superhero comic book. Not Singapore's first comic book superhero, but the first superhero comic book that created opportunities made for local artists, in a country where the arts is not often pursued professionally. 

Ryan's a big comic book reader (literally and metaphorically), and deems Whedon's and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men, Mark Waid's and Leinil Yu's Birthright and Warren Ellis' and Paul Duffield's FreakAngels (an awakening, according to him) to be his dessert island books. As he has very simply chosen to put it, he writes comics "because I love comics?"

And yes, I said "dessert island."

Scalemail & Ixora the Flower Knight were a superhero duo birthed out of a cool concept. They're getting their own story because it's about time that comic book creators began taking conscious efforts to represent the unrepresented in the medium.

Basically, Ryan got mad pissed after particularly jarring interactions with another comic book writer, and many Facebook comment threads spewing hatred for comics and geeky superhero content that represent LGBTQ+ individuals. Being an "SJW" can't possibly be a bad thing. 

For everyone wondering, Ryan is a heterosexual male. But, regardless of gender or sexuality, it is the responsibility of content creators to always be inclusive. Having had a media background, Ryan has had the fortune to be surrounded by people of various sexualities and gender identities, and he's always found it very distinct how the world that he and his friends see are vastly different. Despite living in the same country, despite liking the same things, despite having the same jobs. 

The incidents and relationships that Scalemail and Ixora draw from are often experiences of Ryan's friends. They're all real, they've not been sensationalised - neither for the male, nor the straight gaze - and they're presented respectfully. 

Ryan doesn't know whether he's the right person to write this comic, but he sure as hell hopes he's not the wrong person, and we sure hope he tells our stories well. 

Risks and challenges

To be brutally honest, context alone could shut this project down.

From my previous campaign, the biggest problem faced was involving too many talents in one project. While the intent was to feature as many Singaporean artists as possible, the plan backfired due to conflicting schedules, sudden unavailabilities, and delays with printing.

This time, we're keeping it simple. With the campaign featuring a singular and streamlined approach to publication, we've also secured and settled on our ideal printing partner well ahead of even launching this campaign.

I won't pretend that delays aren't possible, but we're working on a schedule that ensures the completion of the art prior to the closing of this campaign, as well as focusing on a quick and smooth publishing process.

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    Thank You!

    Thank you, you've truly made this a gay day!

    We'll be sending you a digital pack featuring hi-res art of the characters ranging from concept to promotional content.

    But really, what matters is our heartfelt "Thank you." Intangible, but important... we hope.

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    Physical Cover B - Scalemail & Ixora #1

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    Physical Cover C - Scalemail & Ixora #1

    A copy of the comic with a blank cover so you can get your favourite artist to doodle on it! Also included is the digital pack!

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    Early Bird Gets Many Worms...

    An early bird chance to get a hold of all the different covers for only $22! Also included is the digital pack!

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    A Pretty Decently-Sized Package

    Get a hold of all the different covers for only $25! Also included is the digital pack!

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    The Gay Agenda!

    Get everything from the $25 tier
    PLUS A4 Prints of the Concept Art of Scalemail & Ixora!
    AND The Gay Agenda Notebook by heckin.unicorn! (Choose 1 of 4 covers)

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    BUT with ALL 4 covers of The Gay Agenda Notebook!

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    Your Own Edition of Scalemail & Ixora #1

    A full 1000 copy run WITH AN EXCLUSIVE COVER for you to... well, do anything you want with.

    Be credited as a co-publisher and receive this entire stack of comics, or let us know if you'd like to donate it instead.

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Funding period

- (30 days)