Fa Sheng: Origins, From Rylend Grant, Dexter Wee, Omi Remalante, Jr. and Immortal Studios Is Now on Kickstarter
Featuring Variant Covers from Mona Finden, Gene Ha, Megan Huang, Don Kramer, and Yishan Li
(May 3, 2022) Immortal Studios is launching a Kickstarter campaign for Fa Sheng: Origins by writer Rylend Grant and artist Dexter Wee. The six issue mini-series, about the humble beginnings of a great Shaolin Master, is created by Peter Shiao and written by Rylend Grant, a screenwriter, author, and Ringo Award-winning comic book creator who is also an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist monk. Fa Sheng: Origins is illustrated by Dexter Wee (Outlaw Territory, The Führer and the Tramp), colored by Omi Remalante, Jr., lettered by AndWorld Design, and edited by Brian Cunningham (Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman). Issue 1 will feature a main cover by series artists Dexter Wee and Omi Remalante, Jr., as well as variant covers by Mona Finden, Gene Ha, Megan Huang, Don Kramer and Yishan Li.
Fa Sheng: Origins is the latest comic book series from Immortal Studios, a Los Angeles-based publisher that is creating the first comic book-based shared universe of Wuxia martial arts-fantasy stories. Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is spearheaded by the company’s Founder and CEO Peter Shiao, who is collaborating with a team of comic book storytellers, to bring a modern sensibility to the Wuxia genre that has influenced contemporary pop culture, from Hidden Tiger, Crouching Tiger to The Matrix and Star Wars. The Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is inspired by the storytelling of one of the foremost authors in the Wuxia genre, Peter Shiao’s father Shiao Yi, whose novels have been adapted into film and television more than thirty times, including films by the Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest.
“We’re 100% bringing the heat with this comic,” says Rylend Grant, a screenwriter who has written for directors like JJ Abrams, Ridley Scott, Justin Lin, F. Gary Gray, John Woo, and Luc Besson. “This is a book about a shaolin master, so readers will get a healthy dose of philosophy and spirituality, but rest assured, the pages explode with widescreen, ass-kicking action.”
Created by Peter Shiao, the character of Fa Sheng is a death-cheating, mind-bending Shaolin Master, who first appeared in Immortal Studios’ flagship title The Adept. “Wuxia is a fantasy genre of transformation and romanticism from the East that also has its roots in real history,” said Shiao. “It is the story of the commoner who becomes extraordinary, the outsider wandering hero, who is compelled by circumstance to stand against injustice and champion the common person. There’s never been a better time than now for people to discover what makes Wuxia so excitingly relevant and it’s a thrill to honor my father’s legacy, as one of the pioneers of modern Wuxia. And the best way for me to do that has been to create this interconnected Storyverse inspired by his work, and to pick up the pen myself. What is different this time is our decision to make our modern world with all of the challenges and opportunities, as the backdrop while returning the genre to its founding roots in spiritual transformation, which explains our decision to begin with Shaolin.”
Rylend Grant says, “You’re not born into enlightenment. It’s earned. It’s fought for, tooth and nail, over time. It is too often a byproduct of tragedy and strife. In FA SHENG: ORIGINS, we watch as our titular martial hero is forced through the meat grinder of the Boxer Uprising, of China’s Warlord Era. He witnesses unspeakable evil and is dealt horrible defeat, but he rises, in the end, from the ashes of the carnage, a changed man, a better man, an enlightened man with a mission, deputized by the powers that be in the fight against all that Dharmically ails us.”
Set in the latter days of the 19th century, Fa Sheng: Origins reveals how the confusion and carnage of China’s Boxer Uprising forces a young Fa Sheng to reevaluate his purpose in life, by dedicating himself to helping those in need. All that stands between him and his goal of empowering the masses are cowardly charlatans, backstabbing power grabbers, and ruthless adversaries. The story is written by Rylend Grant, an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist Monk in the lineage of Brad Warner and Gudo Nishijima who can trace his lineage directly back to the Shaolin temple.
Artist Dexter Wee said, “Having grown up watching martial arts films from The Shaolin Temple to Once Upon A Time in China, the story of Fa Sheng reminded me of those selfless heroes whose acts of kindness and boldness inspire people to be their better selves. To choose what is right. And act out of love and not of hatred. It is my hope that the reader will not only be entertained with Fa Sheng’s journey, but also be inspired in how he is able to overcome the trials and tribulations that he had faced over the course of the story. I believe in these trying times Fa Sheng is one hero that we could look up to.”
“The aim of Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is to create dynamic stories of heroism, fantasy action, and empowerment set in the modern world, where technology and the contemporary world co-exist with the legacy of classic Wuxia storytelling,” said Immortal Studios Head of Publishing, Hank Kanalz. “For Immortal, Wuxia offers a resonant calling for our time and generation where meaning is missing from much of our popular entertainment.
ABOUT SHIAO YI
Shiao Yi is one of the foremost authors in the Wuxia genre known for his impact on Chinese culture and has been adapted into film and television 30+ times with more than 60 published stories. Shiao Yi is the first Asian author to have a permanent collection at UCLA and he has been inducted into the Contemporary Chinese Writer’s Museum in Beijing. We are committed to continue his legacy.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Immortal Studios is an independent, comics first, content studio that is building the world’s first interconnected, comics-based Wuxia (martial arts-fantasy) storyverse with the aim to Awaken the Hero in Everyone with its uniquely empowering and elevating “essential Wuxia” ethos where Everyone is the One.
The Company has created its own “radical fan engagement” playbook and is developing, funding, marketing and distributing content in concert with its users.