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Tyra Banks
courtesy of Instagram/@tyrabanks

Tyra Banks is casting real models for her Modelland graphic novel

You wanna be on top?

Earlier this year, Tyra Banks announced that she would be opening a modeling-inspired amusement park called Modelland in California later in 2019. Now, the America’s Next Top Model creator is releasing a graphic novel tied to the opening of the space, and she’s casting real people to inspire the characters in it. Comics, but make it fashun – or as Banks says, ‘comic couture‘ – a phrase she claims to have innovated.

Banks announced that she’s putting out an open casting call for the project, which is based on her 2010 young adult novel of the same name, in a video posted on Instagram. Described as “high fashion meets comic couture”, she told People the graphic novel is a way of visually engaging her fans. 

For the open call, Banks is looking for a “diverse cast” and wants to give everyone “the opportunity to be fantasy versions of themselves”. Applicants are asked to post a full face shot, profile and a full body shot onto their own profiles with the hashtag #Modelland and the name of the character you want to be cast for. 

“I wrote a book, Modelland, many years ago and this graphic novel is based on that, but different,” the model and businesswoman told PEOPLE magazine. “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.”

Earlier this month, Banks gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal, providing a bit more clarity on Modelland.

“Modelland is a location-based attraction where you can be a model for a day…and I don’t mean a professional model. I’m talking about families, mamas, daddies, cousins, uncles, sisters, bridal showers, stag parties can come to Modelland and have fun and be the fantasy versions of themselves,” she said.

But will there be some wild ANTM challenge experiences like a Go See-themed funhouse or a pendulum runway? A smash-the-smize funfair game and Covergirl-sponsored rollercoaster? You’ll just have to wait and see. Get applying for the graphic novel though, and you could be top of your cycle.