The World Food Programme is a UN based agency that is tasked with helping the world’s trouble spots, human made disasters of famine and pestilence. A Level-3 emergency is the worst possible level. There are currently six Level-3 disasters in the world: Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Southern Africa, Syria and Syrian Refugees and Yemen.
Comics writer Joshua Dysart traveled to Iraq with the World Food Programme a few years ago and created an online comics called LIVING LEVEL-3: IRAQ.
Last spring, he spent ten days traveling the length of South Sudan for research for the sequel, LIVING LEVEL-3: SOUTH SUDAN, which went online today.
Dysart writes: “I made the comic book with my fellow Unknown Soldier alumni Alberto Ponticelli on art and Pat Masioni doing the colors (he is a Congolese gentleman living in Paris, and was an artist on some fill-ins of Unknown Soldier). Thomas Maur lettered it and it was edited by Cristina Ascone.”
The 48-page comic was commissioned by the WFP to get more attention for the emergency in South Sudan. Mashable has more details and interviews with the project head.
These characters are all based on real people the WFP staff met on a May 2016 trip to the cities of Juba and Aweil. Head of television communications Jonathan Dumont, head of graphic design and publishing Cristina Ascone, and LL3: South Sudan’s writer Joshua Dysart traveled to the region and stayed for two weeks. They gathered an enormous amount of footage, images, and interviews to act as a backdrop for the story, and then spent months putting it together.
Last September at Mashable’s 2016 Social Good Summit, WFP debuted a short film from that trip featuring a South Sudanese man named Apu Riang and his family — the very family LL3: South Sudan’s main characters are based on. By using a real family as inspiration, the organization hopes readers will become more interested in their stories and understand that people affected by hunger are not faceless.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.