Created by Alyssa Milano
Written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Illustrations by Marcus To and Ian Herring
Out this week from Archaia and Boom! Studios comes the HACKTIVIST Hardcover from Alyssa Milano. Collecting all four issues of the graphic novel series, the story was scripted by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly with illustrations from Marcus To. HACKTIVIST follows friends and business partners Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft, the co-founders of YourLife which is the worlds largest and most popular social networking site. Unbeknownst to all, the CEO and CIO also moonlight as a notorious group of activist hackers whose goal is to provide information on a global level to those who may not have access to it, in hopes of creating positive movements around the world.
Milano has stated in interviews that her inspiration for the story came from Twitter creator and co-founder Jack Dorsey and Anonymous, the international group of hacker activists. The story brilliantly integrates modern-day social and political elements, and with the popularity of social networking sites along with the recent controversial events surrounding the NSA, the plot should be familiar to many readers.
There are many reasons why HACKTIVIST is as compelling as it is. For starters, the relevancy that this story brings was absolutely amazing and coincidental. If the Edward Snowden like similarities that unfolded well after the script was already in place was not enough, more recent events have included a government ban of Twitter in Turkey in response to the Turkish people using the popular social network site to expose government and political corruption.
It’s not just the timing but the pacing of this series that is working so well. Lanzing and Kelly are scripting a tale that feel much bigger than a comic book, and with Marcus To illustrating and laying out the panels in striking and impressive fashion, this could well be yet another graphic novel that finds its way to a television or big screen film by way of adaptation.
The inclusion of social network posts or timelines mixed in with the story, in this case the YourLife status update feed; brings a social and technological element to HACKTIVIST that gives it a certain authenticity that rings true to most readers. Call it what you will, a brilliant concept or a smart design; it brings with it a familiarity that just flows well with the action and overall narrative. HACKTIVIST delivers a powerful message about both the possibilities and dangers of technology and our information age.
You can pre-order the hardcover edition of HACKTIVIST on Amazon.
Check out the official solicit from Archaia and a twelve page preview.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Alyssa Milano is a successful actress, producer, entrepreneur, and activist, so we weren’t really surprised when she also brought us an amazing comic book idea. Alyssa’s love of activism and the world of emerging technology only added to our love of the project.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: A story about friendship and freedom in a time of war, stunningly illustrated by fan-favorite artist Marcus To (Cyborg 009, New Warriors, Red Robin) and Eisner Award-nominated colorist Ian Herring (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, Cyborg 009, Ms. Marvel).
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft are the young, brilliant co-founders of YourLife, a social networking company that has changed the way the world connects with each other. But they are also “sve_Urs3lf,” the largest black-hat hacking group on the planet. When their operation is discovered by the U.S. Government, and their company is taken over by military contracts and the CIA, Ed and Nate must face the real world beyond the code and choose between friendship and what they believe to be right.