Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies.

7 Apr

April 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies.

With an appearance at Harvard’s prestigious Hutchins Center Friday, April 10th in support of the show “Blokhedz: Music Magic & Mayhem”, Team Concrete Park is taking their “Earth Tour 2015” to college in Cambridge.

Los Angeles, CA – April 7, 2015 –

Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, creators of the award-winning new sci-fi graphic novel series, Concrete Park, will appear at Harvard University’s Hiphop Archive / Hutchins Center For African & African-American Research Friday, April 10th, as part of the show “Blokhedz: Music Magic & Mayhem”. The show celebrates Blokhedz, the independent graphic novel series created by the Madtwiinz, Mark and Mike Davis. Alexander and Puryear will topline a panel at the show called “Visual Translation: Crafting Sonic, Signifying and Visceral Imaginary In Graphic Novels” along with the Davises.

Concrete Park is published by Dark Horse Comics. Its creators’ appearance at Harvard is a key stop on their “Concrete Park Earth Tour 2015”, a tour that will  take in traditional Comic Cons, as well as high schools, colleges and book fairs.

The show begins with a gallery tour at 5PM, followed by the panel discussion at 6PM. The Hutchins Center is located at 104 Mt. Auburn Street, 3R Cambridge, MA 02138. http://www.hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu. The event is free and open to the public. The gallery show will debut a new Blokhedz animated short as well as featuring the entire Blokhedz animated collection, digital graphic novels, urban vinyl toys and art.

Erika Alexander said “We are so honored and proud to have been asked to participate in this program featuring the groundbreaking Blokheads series and its creators Mike and Mark Davis. That The Hutchins Center at Harvard is recognizing their work combining music, animation, and storytelling in a world of color is a testament to their imaginations and to their vision.”

“Blokhedz is not only ambitious and genre-bending,” said Puryear, “it’s also a lot of fun. Like Hip-Hop itself, it’s not just meant to be admired, it’s meant to be danced to. Seeing the Davis’s work at Harvard is a tremendous validation for comics creators of color like us, and we couldn’t be happier to support and honor them there.”

About Concrete Park
Set in a disturbing near-future, Concrete Park is a gritty science-fiction epic that deals with issues of race, poverty and exile. The ongoing series was co-created by actress Erika Alexander (Living Single, DejaVu, Elsa & Fred) and her husband, the screenwriter Tony Puryear (Eraser, Fahrenheit 451) and her brother, writer Robert Alexander. It is published by Dark Horse Comics.

Concrete Park first appeared in the Eisner Award-winning Dark Horse Presents, edited by Dark Horse Comics founder and Publisher Mike Richardson, from 2012 to 2013. It was selected as one of The Best American Comics, 2013 and appeared in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book of that name.

Concrete Park appeared in its own monthly Dark Horse series, Concrete Park: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, in 2014. A hardcover collection Concrete Park Vol.1: You Send Me, was published by Dark Horse Books in October, 2014. The series’ second hardcover collection, Concrete Park Vol.2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, will be released on April 29th 2015.

Concrete Park tells a dark and provocative near-future story that takes place in a turbulent city on a distant, desert planet (think Cairo or Rio in space). Young human exiles from Earth must fight to make a new world there. They are “young, violent and ten billion miles from home”. Amid the struggle to survive this harsh urban environment there is also hope and beauty. Erika Alexander co-writes and Puryear co-writes and draws, inks and colors the book.

About the Concrete Park Earth Tour 2015

The Earth Tour http://www.concretepark.com/EARTH-TOUR/EARTH-TOUR-2015-1.html will take “Team Concrete Park” – co-creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear, as well as other special guests – to locations on the planet both real (Harvard, various ComicCons and in-store appearances) and virtual (podcasts, radio stations all over the world, etc.) to promote the release of their upsoming new hardcover collection, Concrete Park Vol2.: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Each stop on the tour will be marked by appearances, signings, panel discussions, swag giveaways (swag is a must) and local promotion. Past stops on the tour, which began in 2012, have included a now-legendary radio appearance in Karachi, Pakistan, and a whirlwind tour of every high school and university in the Central American country of Belize.

About Blokhedz
Blokhedz is an independent graphic novel series created by The Madtwiinz, Mark and Mike Davis. Since the release of Issue #1 in 2004, the 4-book comic series has developed a small but dedicated underground fanbase. It is characterized by a gritty style, and its unflinching look at the harsh realities of inner city life.

In 2009, the creators announced a partnership with Gatorade to create an animated web-series for Blokhedz.[2] You can watch the trailer and webisodes on Gatorade’s Mission G website. Talib Kweli plays the main character, Young Blak. Lauren London plays Essence, Blak’s love interest. Bobbito García plays Eatho, the smart Puerto Rican b baller. Gary Sturgis plays Biskit, the leader of the biker gang, Wild Dawgs. Dorian Harewood plays King Tubby, the Rastafarian store owner technician.

About the Show at Harvard’s Hutchins Center:

Blokhedz; Music, Magic, & Mayhem is an interactive exhibit featuring art, animation, and urban vinyl figures based on the graphic novel. Blokhedz fuses American graffiti with Japanese anime aesthetics and draws from a world that seamlessly blends sci-fi with magic and draws from traditional African, Afro-Latin and African diasporic spritual mysticism, Hiphop and science fiction.

About Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander has the kind of life story that only happens in the movies. The child of two orphans, Erika grew up in the mountains of Arizona. Through an amazing series of “discoveries” by a who’s who of film, theater and television she was propelled into a remarkable career.

Famed producers Merchant and Ivory “discovered” her in a basement theater in Philadelphia and cast her as the lead in My Little Girl. “Discovered” again by theater legend Peter Brook for his epic Royal Shakespeare Company production, The Mahabharata. Public Theater founder Joseph Papp “discovered” Erika and cast her in his last play, The Forbidden City. As if this weren’t enough, TV icon Bill Cosby then “discovered” Erika, and created the role of “Cousin Pam” for her on The Cosby Show. Alexander starred for five years as fan favorite “Maxine Shaw”in the hit series Living Single, winning two NAACP awards for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Erika’s recent film work has been equally distinguished. She co- starred opposite Denzel Washington in the late Tony Scott’s Deja Vu. She also starred in director Steven Soderbergh’s independent feature, Full Frontal with Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. She appeared opposite the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in Love, Liza and starred with Benjamin Bratt in La Mission .

On stage, Erika has starred in six plays at New York’s Public Theater, most recently garnering accolades in The Story opposite Tony-winner Phylicia Rashad. The New York Times called her work “a nervy, spot-on performance.” Another highlight was her appearance in the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park production of The Taming of the Shrew.

Erika was a National Surrogate for Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign, and a 2008 William J. Clinton Foundation delegate to Africa. She is an advocate for at-risk youth and for women and girls.

Erika recently recurred on the AMC drama series, Low Winter Sun and she can currently be seen  on the ABC Tim Allen comedy, Last Man Standing. She stars alongside Oscar-winners Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Marcia Gay Harden in Elsa & Fred, directed by Michael Radford.

She is co-creator and co-writer of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Concrete Park, published by Dark Horse Comics. www.concretepark.com.

She is represented by Jennifer Levine at Untitled Entertainment and     Michael Greene at Greene & Associates.
She is married to Concrete Park co-creator and screenwriter Tony Puryear.

About Tony Puryear

Tony Puryear is a screenwriter, an artist and designer, and the co-creator of the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel series Concrete Park.

Tony grew up in New York City, attended The Bronx High School of Science and majored in Art at Brown University. He worked in advertising at J. Walter Thompson, NY under its then-creative director, the novelist James Patterson. Tony directed hip-hop videos for such legendary acts as EMPD, K-Solo and LL Cool J.

In 1996, Tony became the first African-American screenwriter to write a $100 million-dollar summer blockbuster with his script for the Arnold Schwarznegger film Eraser. The film went on to gross nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Tony has written sci-fi and action scripts for A-listers Mel Gibson, Oliver Stone, Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith.

He was honored as a designer when his 2008 presidential campaign poster for Hillary Clinton was added to the collection of The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

With his wife, the actress Erika Alexander, Tony co-writes and draws Concrete Park. This sci-fi adventure series was selected as one of The Best American Comics, 2013.

Contact:     Tony Puryear tony@concretepark.com
http://www.concretepark.com  310-913-1245

BlokhedzPanelSmall

Photo of Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander at the 2012 SDCC panel "Dark Horse - Powered By Creators" by Nicole Sixx

Photo of Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander at the 2012 SDCC panel “Dark Horse – Powered By Creators” by Nicole Sixx

Concrete Park co-creator, co-writer and artist, Tony Puryear

Concrete Park co-creator, co-writer and artist, Tony Puryear

Concrete Park co-creator and co-writer, actress Erika Alexander

Concrete Park co-creator and co-writer, actress Erika Alexander

Concrete Park Vol.1 You Send Me

Concrete Park Vol.1 You Send Me

Concrete Park Vol.2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Concrete Park Vol.2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T is in stores April 29, 2015

Team Concrete Park Rocks Harvard April 10th, 2015 as part of their Concrete Park Earth Tour 2015

Team Concrete Park Rocks Harvard April 10th, 2015 as part of their Concrete Park Earth Tour 2015

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2 Responses to “Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies.”

  1. meccacon April 7, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Reblogged this on MECCAcon Weekly.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their World To The Ivies. | Message In A Bottle – The Official Concrete Park Blog - April 7, 2015

    […] Harvard Discovers New Universe: Concrete Park Creators Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Take Their W…. […]

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