New Augmented Reality Comic Book Premieres Tribeca Festival & Schomburg in NYC.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Yusef Komunyakaa Pens Innovative Comic that Brings to Life Voices of Enslaved African-Americans and Harriet Tubman using AR and Deep Tech.
New York, New York -- 6 June 2021 - Set in Maryland before the US Civil War -- Jupiter, an African-American enslaved person with the power of immortality, plots with Harriet Tubman to smuggle run-away slaves through the underground railroad. The comic book, Jupiter Invincible and the augmented reality exhibition will premiere at Tribeca Festival in New York City and available worldwide on June 9, 2021 on multiple platforms. Followed by a presentation at Schomburg Center Literary Festival on June 17, 2021.
Written by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and illustrated by renowned artist Ashley A. Woods, the story was researched at Hampton Plantation in Maryland, USA and at Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jupiter is a horse-breaker and coach driver, and was born into slavery. During a freak electrical storm, he is struck by lighting which gives him the power of immortality, and makes his scars translucent. Jupiter continually puts his life on the line to help others knowing he cannot be killed. Can Jupiter use his powers and wisdom to change the course of history to rectify racial injustice and inequality?
A major part of the comic and exhibition is the use of augmented reality (AR). By scanning the pages with the Artivive APP, readers can view animation, real-life stories, and other interactive elements pop-out of the pages. Includes deep-tech photos that bring to life stories of former and forgotten enslaved African-Americans archived at the US Library of Congress.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s work has focused on images of the South and its culture, of Black resilience, and of musical forms such as blues and jazz.“I grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana reading Dick Tracy, intrigued by his futuristic thingamajigs, and also Flash Gordon in his cool getup, but this is the first comic book I have written,” states Yusef Komunyakaa. “I hope Jupiter Invincible renders a slanted gaze into that brutal institution where rather obscene wealth and privilege rose out of, and has been passed down generations. Jupiter is naturally defiant because he says, ‘My heart is not a slave’.”
“When I was in school in New Jersey -- Slavery and narratives about African-Americans were never taught to me,” said producer and AR designer Ram Devineni. “The only time that I learned about Slavery was when my teacher showed us the TV mini-series Roots by Alex Haley. That was it, and it was never talked about or mentioned again. Americans are uncomfortable or do not know how to talk about Slavery which is one of the reasons its aftermath continues to effect us today. I believe bold new stories and narratives like Jupiter Invincible are needed to create a cultural shift and challenge perceptions about race in America. The comic book is designed for young people and we hope to get the comic book distributed for free in schools and libraries.”
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Chicago-native Ashley A. Woods adds, “As a Black woman working in the comic book industry, I never thought that my work would be tied to a series as profound as Jupiter Invincible; I am honored and grateful that I am able to contribute to the conversations about race in America.”
The entire comic book will be dramatically presented by the Stella Center for the Arts on July 8, 2021 with renowned professional actors. The Stella Adler Center is a prestigious cultural center and acting conservatory based in New York City. The production is directed by Melissa Maxwell and features Lorenzo Jackson as Jupiter.
The series is created by New York based media house and publisher, Rattapallax, which produced the popular augmented reality comic book series, Priya’s Shakti featuring India’s first female superhero hero and rape survivor -- Priya. Named a “gender equality champion” by UN Women, the path-breaking comic book series has been acknowledged by over 26 million people worldwide through multiple platforms, books, and exhibitions. Jupiter Invincible was developed at the Merriweather Art District in Maryland, and funded by the US National Endowment for the Arts.
Find JUPITER at www.powerofjupiter.com and all social @powerofjupiter