They call him Genie the Gene and he was created to help teach children about illnesses.
“He loves learning, he loves knowledge and that’s really what they focus on, the absorbing of knowledge and the absorbing of learning,” says Michael Dolce, Junior Partner at Innovative Network Solutions.
When football legend Boomer Esiason learned his son had Cystic Fibrosis, he decided to do something about it.
“He and his son had no idea what Cystic Fibrosis was when they first were diagnosed and he had to really learn,” says Dolce. “Not only did Boomer have to learn, but the he had to teach his son what kind of disease you have and that can always be a really difficult thing, so he had this idea for this cartoon character.”
That’s where Dolce and Stamford-based IT firm, Innovative Network Solutions came into play.
“It was through a mutual partner of ours, his name is Darren Sanchez,” says Dolce. “Darren was hired, Darren’s company is After Hours Press and what they specialize in are creating story universes.”
The collaboration birthed Genie the Gene, an educational character launched as an online comic book.
“It’s so difficult; how do you explain to a child what’s going on with their own body and make it in a way that’s not overly adult and overly technical and in a way that’s difficult to kind of grasp,” says Dolce.
Although the comic was initially created for kids battling cystic fibrosis, the creators hope Genie can touch the lives of all children.
“One of the things that Boomer had said to us initially when he proposed the idea was, this is not just limited to Cystic Fibrosis, this is something that can be for anything,” Dolce says.
Dolce says the online comic launched last August and was introduced at New York’s ComiCon in October. There are currently three issues available on the site and Dolce says the focus now is on expanding the brand.
“They’re really right now in the process of trying to figure out how best to utilize this brand thats been created, so the comic book was really an essential way to just kind of establish everything,” Dolce says. “The sky is the limit with it, it could be a really great tool for kids.”
To find out more about Genie the Gene, visit www.geniethegene.com