Local ‘Guardians’ Comic Book Funded on Kickstarter

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Slowly but surely, Hawaii comic book fans are finding home-grown superheroes to cheer for. And while multi-billion dollar franchises struggle with diversity, the “Aumakua Guardians of Galaxy” are starting out with a multicolored palette.

“It’s a group consisting of heroes with ethnic and cultural diversity,” indie comic artist Christopher Caravalho tells me. “Our island is a melting pot of nationalities so I wanted to create heroes that the people especially the children could have characters they could identify with, such as Hawaiian, Samoan, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese and Filipino.”

Caravalho was one of the local artists featured in today’s Mini Con in McCully, and he’s not alone in adding an island-style twist to familiar stories. On Thursday, Jackie Claxton, created by Jeff “Katts” Katsutani, who was celebrated in the first-ever Claxtonfest (and Katts has already announced plans for next year). And Pineapple Man, created by Sam Campos, recently raised over $6,000 on Kickstarter for a full-color, 48-page graphic novel.

Caravalho is also crowdfunding the third comic book in his “Aumakua” series.

“I ran two successful Kickstarter campaigns and — thanks to family friends and fans — managed to make two issues of the comic,” he explains. “The third installment focuses on two characters of the Aumakua Guardians of Hawaii team: Sistah Shark and Geckoman.”

His latest campaign just met its $4,500 funding goal, with a little under three days left go raise more funds.

Caravalho plans for this third issue to be his first double feature, including two separate stories: “Deadly Waters” will tell the origin story of Sistah Shark, a female superhero from Waimanalo. “One Small Deed” will follow Geckoman on a 24-hour adventure.

Across both stories, Caravalho will introduce a number of new characters, from Sistah Shark’s mentor Honu, a shape-shifting spell caster, to the “Fox Unit” team of mercenaries for hire.

 

“I’m very excited to share some background stories for the Sistah Shark and Geckoman of the Aumakua and I am very sure you will get a kick out of it,” Caravalho wrote yesterday when announcing that his fundraising goal had been met. “Mahalo for believing in me and believing in Heroes from Hawaii.”

The script is already written, so the fund raised will go toward paying fellow artists to illustrate the story, printing and shipping the comic book, as well as supplies and other costs. Caravalho says he hopes the double feature to be complete by March 2016, and any funds raised over the goal will go toward funding the next issue.

“I am pouring my heart into this comic — it is my passion,” he writes. “With your support, my dream will be a reality.”

It’s not too late to back “Aumakua,” with rewards starting at $10 for a signed copy of the finished comic book with a shoutout printed inside. You can check out the Kickstarter campaign page, or connect with the “Aumakua” team on Facebook. You can also check out Caravalho’s own comic imprint, Mana Comics,

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Images courtesy Christopher Caravalho/Mana Comics.

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