The Monkey King: A Chinatown Odyssey is a new graphic novel launching its Kickstarter to support AAPI Heritage Month and #STOPASIANHATE this May. Taiwanese American creator Jerry Ma (EPIC PROPORTIONS, VIBE Hong Kong) is bringing one of Chinese literature's most enduring characters, the Monkey King, to modern-day New York in THE MONKEY KING: A CHINATOWN ODYSSEY, which will be launching May 3rd at 11 AM EST on Kickstarter.
In this STRANGER THINGS meet COWBOY BEBOP original, Jerry Ma hits home as he shows his native New York City falling apart with the Empress of Chinatown turning her back on the City. Tripitaka, the monk, must locate Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy to help her make the journey west to Chinatown San Francisco in hopes of finding enlightenment to then go back and save New York from itself!
Creator Jerry Ma says, "Every year, we see multiple reboots of the Monkey King. Each one [is] more action-oriented than the next. But, the actual story was meant to find enlightenment through Buddhism, which would be discovered through their journey West to India. I'd like to rediscover the adventure and magic that the story was supposed to be about. And rather than making their armor shinier, I'm giving them sneakers that will match their hoodies better; I'll have them dive into Chinatown New York in a way I don't think we've seen done before."
Ma adds back in March, "I had donated just under $2500 with proceeds from my online sales in two weeks, to the GofundMe/AAPI to help combat the rising anti-Asian sentiment. As amazing as that was, it felt a bit hollow as I wasn't able to actually see any help being done. After talking with the amazing group of people helping me with this campaign, Geof Darrow, Allan Dorison, Jim Cheung, David Soto, and Lisa Y. Wu, through our Stretch Goals, we'll be donating money to small businesses in Chinatown New York. I'll quite literally be walking into small businesses and handing over $250 in cash to X amount based off of the success of this Kickstarter campaign to small businesses myself. I know it isn't much, but at least this way, I know these businesses will be receiving the money directly from me. My family has a small business ourselves, an art store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called Janoffs. So, I know all the hurdles these businesses are facing. I only hope that this will be the beginning of others doing the same."
Fellow creator and contributor Jim Cheung (SPAWN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, YOUNG AVENGERS), says "Monkey King has always been a childhood favorite of mine from watching the classic 1960s cartoon to the tv show from the 70s. I loved the mythology and have enjoyed seeing how it's evolved and transformed through the years in various adaptations. When I learned that Jerry was putting his own spin on it, I was excited to see where he was going to take the character. I didn't expect the new odyssey would start in present-day New York Chinatown, though, and that food and fashion would be featured in the storyline, but given Jerry's penchant for both, how could it be otherwise?! When he asked if I wanted to contribute a cover, it was an easy decision. Getting to work with a friend and help launch Jerry Ma's THE MONKEY KING: A CHINATOWN ODYSSEY adventure was a pleasure and honor!"
Geoff Darrow (SHAOLIN COWBOY, BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT, HARDBOILED, THE MATRIX) agreed," Jerry Ma asked, and I have deep respect for him, and I also love THE MONKEY KING." He added that "THE MONKEY KING, in the Journey to the West, is, in my opinion, the first great superhero."
Readers will also get the opportunity to own this title for only $20 during this Kickstarter which ends on Friday, June 4. Along with the book, readers will be able to back these money-saving rewards and help unlock stretch goals that will help increase the amount given to local New York City Chinatown small businesses:
Once a backer, Jerry, and his friends will need your help in getting the word out to unlock stretch goals that will influence generations to come.
This all-ages book will help people get back to their roots and give back.
Back THE MONEY KING: A CHINATOWN ODYSSEY Kickstarter Now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themonkeyking/the-monkey-king-1?fbclid=IwAR3mnjYdK_K7Uq1LcjoxxYVfu2d1TTXUBIN5y8FMMtrHKsWgkR7YorWXPbw