New comic book makes cybersecurity fun
Fighting cyber crime isn't always as glamorous as the public thinks it is — there are no Indiana Jones-style quests or high-speed car chases.
- But inside the stories of a forthcoming, cybersecurity-focused comic book anthology, anything can happen.
Driving the news: Tech experts Allan Liska, Anjuli R.K. Shere and Emily Crose are crafting the first comic book anthology made by cybersecurity professionals about cybersecurity professionals.
- Their new organization, Green Archer Comics, is accepting story ideas for the anthology until Feb. 15.
- Anyone in the cybersecurity community can submit a potential story — and some illustrative assistance is available for those who need it.
Why it matters: Getting non-techies interested in cybersecurity is a tough job (I'd know!). Experts tend to speak in highly technical terms or acronyms that the average person glazes over.
- Creating comics about cybersecurity could make the topic more approachable — and fun.
Catch up quick: Green Archer Comics is starting the anthology after the success of Liska's own comics released in the past year.
- Liska, an analyst at cybersecurity company Recorded Future, started with a cyber-focused, comic version of the old radio serial "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar."
- In the original version, Johnny Dollar was a private detective fighting murderers and mobsters. Today, he's investigating ransomware crimes.
- Johnny Dollar was so successful that Liska started a second comic series, "The Clock." Between the two, he was able to crowdfund more than $12,000 to make his projects a reality.
What they're saying: "To me, this is a way to give back to the cybersecurity community that has really supported me in this venture," Liska told Axios.
- "When I hear other people say, 'Oh, I wish I could write a comic book' or 'I've always wanted to do something like this' — well, great, here's your chance."
The big picture: Liska started exploring his creative side last year after attending a panel at the RSA Conference about how cybersecurity professionals can tap their creativity.
- Liska couldn't draw, but he knew he could tell a story. So he enlisted the help of a few illustrators to bring his vision to life, including independent artists Marc Oliver and Dale Ray Deforest.
Details: Those interested in being part of the Green Archer Comics' anthology must submit an abstract and six panels from their script.
- The anthology will only accept submissions that are between two and five pages, and artwork is not necessary for the initial submission.
- Submissions also should fall into one of the eight content categories listed in the call for submissions, such as touching on a cybersecurity professional's daily life or providing "cautionary tales."
- Accepted submissions will receive $100 per page.
Between the lines: Green Archer Comics has received a "handful" of submissions in the week since it opened applications.
- "If you think your submission sucks, send it anyway," Liska said. "We want to work with you and help build a fun and interesting comic to share with the rest of the community."
What's next: If ideas are accepted, final submissions will be due March 10.
- Liska told Axios that the anthology is scheduled to be released at the annual SleuthCon in May.