Alyssa Milano has been working on a comic book, called Hacktivist , a story of what-ifs. What if the founders of a popular social media network were also elusive hacktivists? What are the repercussions of that?
“I became really fascinated with what was going on in social media and activism and how social media was becoming a tool to assemble and organize protests throughout the world,” says Milano. That led to an interest in the computer-savvy activists known as Anonymous. She was intrigued with the concept of Anonymous, essentially, the lack of personal identities associated with them. Milano wondered, “What if Anonymous was one guy who was using an organization as a front?”
From there, more questions arose. “Who would he need to be? What skills would he need to have?” she says. “Obviously, he would need to code and program, but also have an incredibly compassionate heart to want to affect positive change in the world. What would that guy’s day job be? What would that guy do during the day?”
Milano was inspired by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is also her son’s godfather. “He’s the only person I could think of who could possibly be that guy,” she says, “who started a hugely popular social media site, using that as a front to be the greatest hacktivist that the world has ever known.”
She brought the idea to Archaia, the L.A.-based publisher who previously released acclaimed works like Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand. Writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, along with artist Marcus To, helped bring Milano’s concept to life. Hacktivist will begin its four issue run in January.
See also: Archaia Brings ‘Lost’ Jim Henson Screenplay to Life with A Tale of Sand
On Saturday, Milano turned up at Stan Lee’s Comikaze to promote the forthcoming release. The day before that, though, the actress had some fun with Twitter. Odd messages followed by the hashtag #sve_Urs3lf appeared on her feed. “Everyone thinks it was hacked, but really it was me sending all those tweets,” Milano says. The fake hacker tweets contained clues to help fans identify the login for a preview of the story. Milano came clean during her Comikaze panel.
That Milano pulled a Twitter stunt to preview the comic doesn’t come as a surprise. Says the current star of ABC’s drama Mistresses, about social media and social activism, “It’s hard to separate the two for me.”