Independent comics firm Red 5 Comics has struck a deal to publish “Mystery Brothers,” an Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) science fiction adventure comic book hatched by filmmaker and author Quentin Lee (“White Frog”). The deal was unveiled Friday at the 2021 Special Edition of San Diego Comic-con.
Separately, Lee’s literary debut and first novel “The Secret Diary of Edward Ng” will be published by Troublemaker Press on Cyber Monday next week.
The terms of the comic book deal see Red 5, known for its work with Amazon’s Comixology platform, acquire global publishing rights. Lee’s Margin Films retains all media ownership to the property.
Set in New York, “Mystery Brothers” is a science fiction universe about two Chinese American 13-year-old half-brothers – one of whom may or may not be completely human – battling to save their parents and protect humanity from a robot domination future.
The comic book is a first collaboration between Lee and Argentina-based artist Elis Zill, in which Lee wrote the words, while Zill hatched the pictures. Zill is represented by Argentina’s Altercomics Studio.
“When Quentin brought ‘Mystery Brothers’ to us, we immediately knew it fit with our mission to deliver stories that are fun for everyone,” said Red 5’s Scott Chitwood. “ ‘Mystery Brothers’ brings back feelings of nostalgia for movies of the 80’s where kids face extraordinary situations with a sci-fi twist.”
Red 5 produces a combination of creator-owned and internally developed titles, and recently optioned titles “Afterburn,” “Haunted,” “Riptide” and “Spook.”
“Mystery Brothers” is expected to debut in July of 2022 with an exclusive edition at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. Concurrently, Margin Films is in final negotiations with Spores Network to distribute non-fungible tokens of “Mystery Brothers” in synch with its publication schedule.
NFTs are authenticated digital assets that can be traded and tracked using blockchain, but not copied, and have taken the art world by storm. But unlike many real-world artworks NFTs generate additional revenue for the original creator every time they are bought and sold.
Based in Vietnam, Spores is a metaverse media company that leverages NFT marketplaces and games publishing platforms to empower content creators in the art, games and entertainment sectors.
Lee was born in Hong Kong, raised in Canada and educated in the U.S. at Yale and UCLA. Identifying as gender non-binary, Lee is co-lead of the AAPI working group within the Producers Guild of America and is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association. Lee’s film works include “People I’ve Slept With” and the currently in post “The Last Summer of Nathan Lee.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Red 5 on my second comic book and I’ve been enjoying working with the uber talented Elis Zill as the co-creator,” said Lee. “While I’m equally excited to be working with Spores Network on the NFTs side of the property, I’m grateful to veteran producer Allen Dam for brokering the deal between my company and Spores Network.”
“Quentin represents the kind of storytellers we want to support through innovative NFT financing, merchandizing, and marketing. We will partner with him to build his presence in the new Metaverse,” said Duc Luu, executive chairman of Spores.