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Markosia to publish Contraband


Contraband, the breakout tech sci-fi graphic novel which forecasted today’s malignant world of social media mayhem, is being published by top UK indie label Markosia this spring.

Written by TJ Behe and illustrated by Phil Elliott, Contraband is an intense, dark foreshadowing of today’s tech-driven paranoia and online political chaos. When a hacker shifts real-time ownership of a wildly popular social app to each creator of its top-viewed video, rampant violence, misinformation, and privacy invasion ensues – as people everywhere chase the money, fame, and power of being ranked #1.

The story centres on a self-styled citizen journalist forced to hunt down an activist sabotaging a ruthless entrepreneur’s dark web social app, Contraband.  His search leads him into a voyeur underground where profit-hungry youths prowl city streets secretly inciting, staging and filming violent events to satisfy society’s accelerating demand for sensational content.

Published by Slave Labor Graphics in 2007, Contraband was one of the first social media-centric tech thrillers. Contraband’s chilling collection of ideas in this earlier era may have seemed outrageous – but are now rampant in 2021. Dark web communication apps secretly serving criminals banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other big-name social apps. Rampant “happy slapping” with credibility-hungry kids filming violent, exploitive acts.  Professional citizen journalists empowered with mobiles chasing down video stories to gain their own online fame.

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