AfterShock Comics is teaming up with Women of Color Unite to publish the graphic novel Animus as part of its mission to promote diverse voices.
indy comic publisher Aftershock Comics has always dedicated itself to putting out a wide line of books from a diverse stable of creators. Now the publisher is taking that mission one step further with a new partnership. Together with the social action organization Women of Color Unite (WOCU), AfterShock has announced a new comic book project titled ANIMUS.
Co-founded in 2015 by Joe Pruitt and Mike Marts, AfterShock Comics has made a name for itself in the comic industry by publishing a wide range of original titles. Using the network each of them has built up over the years working in comics, Pruitt and Marts have recruited some big name writers to work with AfterShock such as Steve Orlando, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, and more. Likewise, Women of Color Unite is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that seeks to rectify inequalities in the entertainment and media industries. According to their website, they stand for, “hiring parity, fair treatment, and providing resources to Women of Color content creators industry-wide.”
The project is being helmed by writer/producer Aron Eli Coleite, whose credits include the series Locke & Key and Star Trek Discovery. He pitched the idea to AfterShock while working with the #StartWith8 program, a Women of Color Unite initiative where entertainment professionals mentor women and non-binary people of color. The setting of ANIMUS is in a world similar to our own where psychic powers such as telepathy and teleportation exist. The twist is that only women get these powers, never men. These women range in a variety of jobs and careers. Some are heroes, others are villains, and some just want to get on with their lives.
The series will showcase works from LC Cruell, Manon de Reeper, Natasha M. Hall, Stephanie Johnson, Diandra Pendleton-Thompson, Joël René Scoville, and Michelle Wilen among others, who will be working under the mentorship of Coleite. The title is being heralded as groundbreaking for having a creative team exclusively assembled of women of color. With the project only just announced, the partnership seems to be off to a great start.
“One of the core principles of our mission at AfterShock Comics is to cultivate a broad and diverse spectrum of creative talent – which is why ANIMUS is the perfect project for us to develop,” remarked Marts, who serves as AfterShock Comics Editor-in-Chief.
Women of Color Unite Founder, Cheryl L. Bedford, said, “I am so excited for these mentees and hope that #StartWith8 Hollywood Edition serves as a blueprint for what is truly possible in the entertainment industry as a whole.” No release date for this Aftershock Comics project has been announced.
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