Nikola Tesla’s amazing life’s work has long been a source of controversy as this brilliant inventor was shunned by the establishment and left to die alone in penury at The New Yorker Hotel (as an aside, at the legendary disinfocon in 2000, artist Paul Laffoley held a seance in Tesla’s old room at the hotel). Now Ravé Mehta is releasing a graphic novel about Tesla with plans for far more, reported by Dean Takahashi for VentureBeat:
The first project is a graphic novel-like non-fiction story, a 150-page comic book called The Inventor, about the life of late 19th-century scientist Nikola Tesla. If The Inventor takes off, it could become a game world, an app, and possibly a movie; in effect, it could become a “transmedia” entertainment property.
“We are testing the concept to see if it will catch on, and then we will take it across multiple platforms,” Mehta said. “It’s a personal passion of mine because Tesla is one of my heroes.”
Tesla is known in Silicon valley as one of the greatest engineers who ever lived. A contemporary and rival of Thomas Edison, Tesla came up with innovations such as short-range wireless communications and alternating current electricity. But in contrast to Edison, whose work led to the formation of the great company General Electric, Tesla’s contributions fell into obscurity until recently.
These days, Tesla has seen a resurgence in popularity among engineers, and Mehta wants to ride that wave. He notes that there are more than 2.75 million Google searches a month about Tesla, compared to about 3.25 million for Justin Timberlake.
Larry Page, chief executive of Google, has mentioned Tesla as an inspiration, and VentureBeat’s own innovation award at its MobileBeat conference is named after Tesla. Nvidia named its graphics card division after Tesla. Mehta thinks Tesla ought to be more popular, and he wants to contribute to the resurgence.
The Inventor comic book doesn’t have blood and guts. Rather, it is a more adult tale that highlights the tension between Tesla and Edison as well as financier J.P. Morgan…
[continues at VentureBeat]