Jwalk Entertainment is an innovative company known for creating award-winning trans-media content. Now, it is making waves in the realm of Afrofuturism. For those of you that may not know, Afrofuturism is a term coined in 1993 by Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future.” It is when artists incorporate themes and elements of black history and culture in literature, music, art, and film. It has been a rise of Afrofuturism in comic books. One example is DC Comics starring Sojourner “Jo” Mullein in her own comic book series. It made DC comic book history as she is the first black woman to become Green Lantern.
The Pandemic Punk comic book series has won two awards at the Urban Mediamakers Festival (UMF) 2021. These awards are for best Afrofuturism comic book and best interactive Afrofuturism comic book experience awards. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, Pandemic Punk promises to be a trans-media sci-fi adventure.
A deadly XE virus has destroyed the world as we know it, making it an apocalyptic future. A vaccine needed to be taken daily for humans to survive. Vaccines are now the new currency. The rich live a life disconnected from the grim reality of the pandemic. They never have to worry about running out of the vaccine. The poor grind it out to afford their daily doses. That’s the way it has always been. That is until smuggler Man discovers the key to ending the pandemic, codenamed Phoenix, in his hands.
The whole world is in his hands to control, and not everyone likes that.
Pandemic Punk has some beautiful artwork that immediately transports you to this harsh world. This is by Ari Syahrazad, Remus Brezeanu, and Armin Ozdic. While this does deal with heavy themes such as social inequality, there is one thing writer TJ Walker hopes others get out of this. When asked what the message of Pandemic Punk in an interview with Comic Watch, he answered that “The good in humanity will always find a way to shine, even though the darkest and most desperate times.”