Tyra Banks Wants You to Join Modelland

Tyra Banks Wants You to Join Modelland

In the process of turning her published story into a graphic novel, Tyra Banks is calling upon real models to fill the pages of her new book.

In the process of turning her published story into a graphic novel, Tyra Banks is calling upon real models to fill the pages of her new book.

Text: Julian Wright

Tyra Banks is building herself a "model" empire. It started first as a book; Banks released her 576-page Modelland book in 2011, the first installment of a trilogy. But Banks's vision didn't stop there. Earlier this year, Banks announced she was building a 21,000 sq.-ft. amusement part in Santa Monica Place with the same name. Though its unveiling date has yet to be announced, we do know it will feature retail shops, dining destinations, and interactive entertainment. Now, to be released alongside the park, we know Tyra is working on one more "Modelland" project: a graphic novel.

Banks has been hinting at a "massive secret project" for a while now, but Thursday, she shared the details in an Instagram post. “It’s a graphic novel, Modelland’s graphic novel that will tell the story of Modelland through amazing characters... And get this, this is not your average graphic novel. This is high-fashion, meets comic illustration.” Aside from promising a diverse array of characters, Banks revealed another cool feature - she's looking for real-life models to be depicted in her graphic novel.

The casting process is being conducted through Instagram. Those interested can enter the running by posting a full face shot, profile shot, and full body shot on their own Instagram pages with the hashtag “Modelland,” as well as the character they wish to be cast for. Explaining the rationale behind this decision, Banks stated, “We wanted to do a graphic novel because we feel like the audience is very visual, so we want to tell the story with visuals in a medium that they can connect with. I’m not sure if my core family of fans and the future Modelland family of fans are comic book readers so I said let’s flip it on its head and use real people who will be used in the graphic novel, through a combination of photographs and drawings.”

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