Life Imitates Art


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I’ve always felt as if my upcoming graphic novel, American Terrorist, was pretty relevant in terms of its take on the current political climate in the U.S., but now, one week before it’s release, it seems more relevant than ever.

The mass protest, Occupy Wall Street, is amazingly similar to the events in my graphic novel, especially the last chapter which features a protest march through New York City. The more I learn about Occupy Wall Street, the more similarities I see with the themes of my book. In fact, even the way I’m finding out about the protest, mostly through internet and Facebook since the mainstream media isn’t really covering it, aligns with the way the characters in my story tell their story to the nation. They use technology to circumvent a biased media.

It’s actually kind of eerie for me to think that at the same time I will be releasing American Terrorist at New York Comic Con, practically the same things that transpire in my book will be occurring in real life just a few blocks south of the convention hall.
And I don’t mean to overinflate the importance of my graphic novels in all of this. I’m not saying it’s somehow responsible for inspiring this mass uprising or predicted it in some way. The connection has more to do with a tenet of good writing. I wrote this script because it was something that I felt strongly about and it was something I would want to read myself. When you do that, chances are there will be other people who feel the same way. And that’s exactly what Occupy Wall Street is, a lot of people feeling the same way I did when I wrote American Terrorist.

And my graphic novel is really about people taking responsibility for themselves and not waiting for a leader to come around and change things. It’s about coming together to counterbalance the political weight of the powers that be. A democracy should be about serving the majority of people not the majority of wealth.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to show any more images of my graphic novel before it’s release, but I couldn’t resist showing some of them next to actual images of Occupy Wall Street to illustrate the similarities.

But even with all of this, I can’t say I’ve been doing a whole lot to tailor my marketing around this connection. I don’t know quite how I would do that, or if it would really matter. After all, if anything needs more coverage, it’s the protest itself not my book, which is one of the reasons I bring it up here.

Mostly, I’ve been sticking to my original plan for marketing. I’ve been sending out press releases and review copies and setting up some interviews. I’ve also created a Facebook event page for the release. It’s a public event, so feel free to RSVP is you’re going to be at NYCC or even if you’re not. I’ll be at Small Press table 2542.

Lastly, I’ve updated my website to finally have a Store page, something I’ve neglected to have except for the links to where you could by the issues digitally. Now I have a Paypal checkout system set up so anyone not going to NYCC can still get a copy of American Terrorist.

That’s pretty much all I can do. For me, it’s exciting enough to finally have this graphic novel out. I’ve been promoting it at shows for so long, it’ll be good to finally have something to put in the hands of the fans who’ve been stopping by my table for so long, patiently waiting for the release. Now that time is finally here.


Tyler Chin-Tanner started his own publishing company, A Wave Blue World, where he wrote and drew layouts for Adrenaline, its flagship series, Adrenaline and wrote its latest graphic novel, American Terrorist.
© 2011 Tyler Chin-Tanner.  All rights reserved.
Email: tyler@awaveblueworld.com



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