What if the smartest person on Earth was born into poverty & slavery? Meet Aria Monfort, from the world’s poorest nation: America.
The Hawaii-based creative team of Jon Lewis and Spencer Toyama are independently releasing a 30 page preview of their graphic novel; Home of the Brave. Home of the Brave begins with the story of Aria Monfort; a 13 year old girl who works 14 hour days, and just learned how to read a year ago. She’s also the youngest person in her country to be accepted into a prestigious university, learns trigonometry during her lunch breaks, and may cure some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Aria was just sold into slavery in the poorest country in the world; America.
“We really wanted to do something that brings awareness to global issues such as poverty and human trafficking in an exciting way, which is why we set our story in a fictional America suffering from poverty. I know that people want to act on these global issues, so we are collaborating with the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery to introduce campaigns to bring legislation addressing Hawaii’s human trafficking problem.” remarked Toyama, referring to the recent investigations of Aloun Farms and the recent news investigation of 350 Ward Ave. “Our book is fictional, but dealing with injustices that occur every day in Hawaii and other parts of the world. It’s really an honor to be part of this movement, and I’m hoping we can help to shift awareness and contribute meaningfully to a change in this world.”
Their Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign is set to begin in the first week of October, with a fundraising event at R/D on October 6th at 7:15 pm featuring cheesecake from Otto Cake. The Kickstarter launch will also be introducing a campaign to drive awareness for new bills being introduced into the State Senate with the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, focusing on safe harbor for human trafficking survivor and provisions for law enforcement to better address Hawaii’s human trafficking problem.
The campaign ends on November 10, 2012, so be sure to check it out soon! For $1, you’ll be treated to a PDF preview of the comic, as well as digital art wallpapers for your computer and phone. A $10 donation will add on a full digital copy of the comic. $25 will get you a hardback copy of the comic, and the rewards go on up to $4,000 (which nets you a trip to Hawaii to meet the creators).
To learn more about child trafficking in the Pacific area, check out TraffickJamming.org.
To help end the detention of trafficking victims and instead give them they help they need, check out this petition to change the laws in Hawaii.