There are few offerings of black-themed comics and video games. Arthawk Entertainment has a number of them they want to bring to the public. And now the company wants to kick its business up a notch and to do so it has launched a Kickstarter campaign. They will use the funding to help develop their platform The AEON (short for The Arthawk Entertainment Online Network), beginning with the first of five transmedia series, BLACKJACK: The Adventures of Arron Day. Transmedia is using different forms of media to tell one story.
If you don’t know about the Blackjack character, he is an African-American soldier of fortune from the 1930s. He must face danger, ghosts of his past and bigotry. Under the new development plans, users will be able to see animated episodes, read comics, and play games, all of which tell different parts of Blackjack’s tale.
“Coupling both the free to play and transmedia models, with premium original content, by professional creators, available on any internet device, on a global scale, will give viewers an experience they can’t get anywhere else!” founder and CEO Derrick A. Richardson, tells EURWeb.
“The AEON will be free to view, free to read, & free to play. We’ll generate revenues through in app purchases and advertising.”
“As far as we know, this is the first time these various mediums have been combined in this way. It opens up wonderful possibilities for creators, and will give viewers a level of depth in storytelling that is unique,” adds Editor-In-Chief, and Blackjack creator & writer Alex Simmons.
Also in Arthawk Entertainment’s portfolio are three more series: sci -fi thriller Space Station Orbiter: Cloud 99, I Am Power Unlimited, Action Angels International as well as numerous children’s series.
This will be a much-needed boost to the comic book arena especially. There is a major void of black participation in the industry. “The lack of black writers is especially odd given that comics have a huge minority readership,” reports Comics Beat. “Marvel, in particular, has always had a strong crossover with the rap community—even when Marvel was suing them. Storm and The Black Panther are arguably the best known black superheroes, aside from the TV-only John Stewart Green Lantern. DC has made many attempts at diversity, as with the now vanished Mr Terrific book and even VOODOO—even if the execution of these concepts has often drawn criticism. But behind the page, it’s almost impossible to sustain a career as a black writer in comics.”
The lack of diversity is also evident in the gaming industry, even though African Americans are among the biggest consumers of gaming product and a The Kaiser Family Foundation study found that African American youth between the ages of 8 and 18 play games 30 minutes more per day than white youth, reports The Grio.
Arthawk’s beta site debuts June 6.