About – The Books, The Authors, The Story, The Genre

The Books:
Concrete Park is an independent graphic novel series written by Erika Alexander and co-written and drawn by Tony Puryear. It has been published by Dark Horse Comics, the leading independent comics label (Hellboy, Sin City, 300), since 2011. Concrete Park was selected as one of The Best American Comics, 2013.

The Authors:
Co-writer/artist Tony Puryear is a veteran screenwriter who became the first African-American to write a $100 million+ action movie with his script for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1996 blockbuster, Eraser. He has written scripts for Oliver Stone, Mel Gibson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith.
Writer Erika Alexander is a 2-time NAACP Image Award-winning TV and film actress best known for her portrayal of “Cousin Pam” on The Cosby Show and “Max” on Living Single. Concrete Park represents Puryear and Alexander’s first work in the graphic novel field.

The Story:
Concrete Park tells a story of exile, of young humans from Earth shipped off to a prison planet from which they will ever return. The main action of the story tales place in “Scare City”, a city of gangs. Will these young exiles reproduce the tribalism and violence they left behind on Earth, or will they make something new, or even something beautiful? Despite the grim premise, Concrete Park is a story of hope and redemption.

The Genre:
With its near-future, extraterrestrial setting and extensive world-building, the series is best described as science fiction or speculative fiction, but it has strong political undertones as well. Concrete Park addresses issues of race and class, and its colorful, multi-ethnic cast of characters continually upends genre expectations. Built into the very idea of Concrete Park is the authors’ mission to show a sci-fi future that includes people of color.

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