Mission: Red Rock

Maria Schweitzer


Thesis Mentor: Jeff Lemire
Media/Format: Graphic Novel

Mission: Red Rock is a young-adult graphic novel about two unlikely friends that examines the tension between self-acceptance and social validation.

Richard Wallace had dreams of becoming an American hero, but after a string of failures was dismissed from the US Air Force. Now, decades later, Richard has secluded himself on the outskirts of Las Vegas where he owns and operates Out of this World Souvenirs, the largest alien tourist stop in Nevada.

Rosie Rodriguez is a thirteen-year-old self-declared-professional UFO treasure hunter determined to find the evidence she needs to prove her late grandfather wasn’t crazy. Rosie knows the answer lies in the desert terrain of Red Rock Canyon and won’t stop until she finds what she’s looking for.

When Rosie and Richard discover the existence of an alien and its escape from a secret government agency—the Federal Bureau of Foreign Species (FBFS)—the two want to seize the opportunity and embark on a mission to capture the alien before the FBFS. For both Rosie and Richard, this mission is personal, an opportunity to finally receive the validation they believe they deserve, but their beliefs and their goals will be put to the test as they learn to navigate new obstacles.

Maria Schweitzer

Maria Schweitzer is a freelance illustrator,  graphic designer, and storyteller from Long Island, New York. Maria often incorporates her sense of humor into her work, striving to make topics that might otherwise be weighty more accessible. She uses a combination of both digital and traditional media to pencil, ink, and color her work.

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/riiiischweitzzz
WEBSITE: mariaschweitzer.com


Community Project

Messages 2 Space is looking to bridge the communication gap between Extraterrestrials and Humans on earth. In collaboration with SpaceSpeak, a company making cosmic communication possible by encoding messages as radio waves and beaming them into space, Messages 2 Space will work with kids and young adults to use the universal visual language of art to create imagery that will be sent into the cosmos with the potential to one day communicate with Extraterrestrials.

Who is Space Speak?

SpaceSpeak is a company that will take your message, encode it, and beam it out into space where it will travel the heavens for millions of years. Long after the Earth is gone, photons from your message will still be racing across the cosmos in silent testament to your thoughts.