“Provide positive activities for community members while expanding on/filling in the gap for local art programs. We’re launching Prison Flip Comics, our innovative graphic novel series for troubled youth.”
Our Graphic Novel Series
We are creating, Prison Flip Comics, a graphic novel series that captures the stories of our youth leaders from our pilot program who were kicked out of school, had juvenile records and had troubles at home– the ‘unholy trinity’ of risk factors– but who found the courage to flip their personal prisons. These comics will also offer a new format that could replace ‘out of touch’ pamphlets lying in the waiting areas of the NC Dept. of Public Safety’s Division of Juvenile Justice Offices in our 100 counties. The same facts and information found in these pamphlets will be contained in the pages of the comic but the story will be told through real life accounts of 18 year olds to whom the youth being served by Juvenile Justice can relate. This graphic novel series will 1) capture the attention of adjudicated youth, 2) allow our youth to tell their stories in conjunction with veterans working in our model, 3) acculturate these hard to reach populations to the concepts of CBT treatment, 4) generate interest in pursuing treatment while providing all necessary contact information to advance their own treatment, 5) connect these individuals with a larger online community–organized around the web postings of the comic journey, 6) allow for the youth featured in their personal story of transformation to put a stipend into a college/education fund and 7) impact the larger system to reform how it views and treats troubled youth. As each youth deals with specific issues like gang involvement, drug use or family chaos, the comic will focus in on that subject and provide web links and smart codes that will connect the user to vetted web resources in real time.
We have not found a similar approach. We plan for this model to generate some of its support as we sell the editions to state departments/organizations that can benefit from its use (detention centers, health departments, social services, schools, etc). As our series gains support, we will open the story line up to other groups supporting transformative work with troubled youth advancing their stories, achieving a national impact. In this way, we can serve every communities around the country. We estimate the first edition costing $45,000. This would provide for the creation, printing and salary for our award-winning graphic novelist and Marine Combat veteran as well as the educational stipend for our featured youth as well as administrative cost.