Gabriel Adibe has big dreams and big ideas. This weekend, as San Diego Comic-Con, one of the largest local events of the year, takes over the downtown convention center, the 2012 University of San Diego sociology graduate doesn’t have a ticket for the sold-out venue, but this Changemaker still has a plan.
“We have an arrangement with Murray Digital Entertainment Systems that allows us to promote our comic in their store,” said Adibe (pictured, right), referring to his digital social justice comic, Anomaly. “This works out great because while we’re there, the new Call of Duty game developers will be there to promote their game and we’ll get more attention, too. We have a life-sized cutout of the Anomaly character that’ll be displayed in the store. We’ll be playing music from the comic’s soundtrack and our promo ladies will be wearing Anomaly tank tops, handing out fliers and taking photos with people for the website.”
Adibe’s comic, expected to launch in September, will be accessible as a digital application via iTunes. There are plans to offer a limited-time free trial, followed by a one-time fee for the app and fee for each Anomaly issue (pictured, below left). The digital comic is one of several products Adibe, an active duty U.S. Marine, is running through his company, Altruistic Behavior and Innovations Group, LLC.
Comic-Con is big summer business in San Diego and draws an international audience during this week. This year’s event, which runs through Sunday, July 15, attracts people of all ages. It’s a whirlwind of comics, comic culture, media platforms (TV, film, digital entertainment) and celebrity sightings, panels and autograph sessions. Comic-Con gives all attendees a good excuse to dress in costume as their favorite comic superhero or heroine, pop culture icons and more.
“This is our big chance to make a great first impression with the public,” Adibe said of this weekend’s appearances, slated for noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Murray Digital store in downtown San Diego at 437 Market Street. “We’re promoting peace in our own way. A new way!”
Adibe gained attention at USD last year when he and Romulus Dieujuste created THINK, a student club whose purpose is simply to provide an inclusive space for USD community members to express their views and learn from others through weekly social-issue discussions. “It’s an open forum for people to meet, eat pizza, talk about issues and get to know each other better. When we do that, it helps us build a stronger community,” Adibe said.
His THINK video was an online voting sensation. Adibe earned a student speaking spot at last February’s AshokaU Changemaker Conference in Tempe, Ariz., with more than 3,000 votes. He’s published a book, THINK: How Dialogue Becomes Action: The Pursuit of Positive Social Change that’s available on iTunes.
Adibe’s products and marketing efforts are many, but the company operates with one mindset: “It’s founded on the principle that all people matter. Our core values are based on human dignity and positive change, socially or otherwise.”
The Anomaly comic is one pathway to education and awareness about social justice in a modern format.
“Aside from promoting and getting noticed, we want people to see that technology and innovation nowadays is an excellent mixture for successful peacekeeping. More people are picking up Kindles, Nooks and iPads, and similar technology to keep up with their active, busy and unpredictable lives. Issues concerning peace and justice prevail because there might be disconnect, an inability to reach the intended audience,” he said.
“We hope to enlighten people, inspire people and inform people that there’s something that does fit into their schedule. Many people don’t want to read a journal about peace and solving problems. They’d rather read a comic book, novel or other forms of written entertainment. We’re introducing media that addresses the issues and puts it in a way that people will enjoy, relate to and, hopefully be inspired.”
— Ryan T. Blystone
Anomaly comic photo courtesy of Gabriel Adibe