This March we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Action Comics with its milestone 1000th issue along with the superhero it’s best known for introducing: Superman!
But here, in Singapore, we just may have something more to celebrate: the birth of Singapore’s very own superhero comic series… with a Singaporean superhero to boot. And the best part? It’s created, written, and illustrated by an all-Singaporean team!
Empowered by the power source of a fallen hero, Fandi bin Ishak deliberately returns home to quiet Singapore to escape having to live the life of a super-powered being. Unfortunately, as Singapore gains prominence globally, more eyes turn to the island-nation… and not all of them are particularly benevolent, forcing Fandi to embrace his potential and become Crimson Star!
Much of this character’s inspiration comes from the rapid globalisation of Singapore, according to writer/creator Ryan Mennen. Set in the 1980s, the series reflects Singapore’s impressive evolution from modern port-city to business powerhouse in all of a decade—and Crimson Star offers an analogous perspective on this growth.
If the title sounds familiar, it’s because Ryan had first launch another Kickstarter in September 2016—an effort that ultimately failed.
“There were many components to that failing. The most obvious would be the ironic lack of art—because I was trying to raise funds to ensure that the artists would not go unpaid. Another common feedback was that supporters were willing to pledge, but my single, $2 tier didn’t offer much choice.”
Over a bulk of the last year, Ryan and his team worked on recruiting artists while also creating awareness of the character.
As part of his unique effort to boost local artist’s presence in the Singaporean comic book scene, Ryan has written the series in a 3-issue arc manner (wherein every 3 issues is a complete story) and plans on featuring a different art team with each arc. This could allow up to 60 Singaporean artists the opportunity to work on this series and be counted as professionally published talents.
This year, Crimson Star is back with an all-new campaign and all-new rewards promoting a special collector’s edition Ashcan of the first issue!
An ashcan is typically a copy of a book produced for legal purposes. However, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, ashcans of of certain comics gained value with collectors wanting to own anything even remotely related to their favourite heroes.
Keeping in line with the era in which Crimson Star is set, this campaign will allow supporters to receive a one-time print edition of the ashcan which would be exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign.
And to make it all that more attractive to collectors, the ashcan comes with a variety of covers (a regular, a variant, and a blank variant) of which, two recollect iconic Superman covers, paying tribute to the legendary superhero’s 80th anniversary, as well as the 1000th issue of Action Comics.
At the point of writing, the Kickstarter campaign is slightly over $1’300 (70%). With many affordable tiers, I personally believe any Singaporean who has ever wished for some quality local content—especially if they were superhero fans—should support this effort.