Sebastian A. Jones was smitten when he saw teen actress Amandla Stenberg play Rue in the first “Hunger Games” movie.
Stenberg, 17, was exactly how Jones pictured the teen character in his comic book titled “Niobe: She Is Life.” He simply needed to tell Stenberg how much she resembled his character.
“Amandla behaved just as I pictured Niobe at that age,” Jones added.
The comic book is about a teen female black warrior. Jones wanted to work with a teen black girl to tell the story of a teen black girl.
Jones wrote the story for the book. The book is illustrated by Ashley A. Woods. Stenberg provided ideas from a black teen girl perspective. She also helped developed the story with Jones.
“Niobe: She Is Life” follows Niobe, who is half human and half elf, as she journeys to save the world. Niobe was first introduced in the Untamed Comic book written by Jones in 2009.
Niobe, like Stenberg is a biracial teen searching for her destiny.
“Amandla is very smart, kind, and wise beyond her years,” Jones said. “She is brilliant with so much passion. She cares about today’s social climate. Many celebrities don’t stand for anything but Amandla speaks the truth and she has taken a lot of flack for it.”
“I thought about writing the book as prose,” Jones said. “I felt it would be better told as a comic for girls since the market is lacking teen comic books for girls.”
Jones started Stranger Comics in 2009. He used to work in the music industry for many years. His love for comic books and fantasy settings was the germ of an idea that got him into comic book writing.
But it was when he shopped his comic story ideas around Hollywood that prompted the now CEO of Stranger Comics to create his own comic book company to protect his work.
“A lot of bad people wanted my comic book ideas in a bad way,” Jones added. “It gave me the impetus to protect my vision.”
“Niobe: She Is Life” is available for order online.
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