Kwento Comics, an all-female comic book company focused on Southeast Asian stories, has launched its first graphic novel inspired by Philippine mythology, The Mask of Haliya.
The Mask of Haliya is a young adult urban fantasy that follows the journey of a troubled Filipina-American teen who discovers a mysterious mask at her great-grandmother’s wake. The story covers topics including mental health, intergenerational trauma, and corruption.
The Mask of Haliya series is written by filmmaker Kaitlyn Fajilan, with artwork by Philippine-based women who’ve worked for projects like Netflix’s Castlevania animated series.
Founded by creator Cecilia Lim, Kwento Comics aims to showcase stories that introduce Filipino and other Asian myths to a wider audience. She said: “Our stories aim to inspire young women everywhere as they follow our female heroines who learn to spark the warrior goddess within.
“We definitely need a Filipina heroine. I am just hopeful that young girls everywhere will be looking at our comics, reading our stories, and getting inspired to speak out and to rejoice being a Filipina or Filipino American. We shouldn’t be hiding, should let our stories out, and be excited about who we are.
“Our hope is that our readers will be inspired to face the future with hope, compassion and grace born from an understanding of the past and the struggles of our ancestors.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about entertainments and storytelling of all kinds.