“442”: New Mobile Story from Stela Shines Light on Famous Battalion and Courage in the Face of Racism and Turmoil

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Only premium visual story app releases new series detailing the brave exploits of Japanese American soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WW2

Stela LLC, providers of outstanding visual content native to mobile devices, today announced a new premium series “442”, available exclusively on the Stela Unlimited app. Based on historical events, “442” tells the harrowing story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit of its size and length of service in the history of the United States. Made entirely of Japanese Americans, these brave soldiers fought valiantly for their country even as their families were confined behind barbed wire in government internment camps.

Amidst an unyielding current of war and political and personal turmoil, the men of the 442nd rose above, and were tasked with the daring rescue of a Texas battalion lost deep behind enemy lines. Created by an award-winning team of Japanese American writers and artists, “442” is a story of the past entirely familiar in the atmosphere of today.

“442” is available exclusively on the Stela mobile app, the first and only app that delivers a library of premium visual content including graphic novels and illustrated books, all created specifically for mobile devices. Like all the content in Stela’s library, “442” was created with the best mobile reading experience. Simple scroll and read – no flipping, zooming, pinching, or panning required.

Readers can enjoy “442” on the Stela Unlimited app, available on the Apple App Store or on Google Play. The app is free to download, with preview content available. Subscriptions are available for $9.99/month, which unlocks Stela’s entire content library, including the entirety of the “442” series.

Family, History, and Sacrifice

“442” was created by writer and producer Koji Steven Sakai, playwright Phinneas “Phinny” Kiyomura, and writer and artist Robert Sato. The trio wanted to create a story that paid homage to their Japanese American heritage and shine a light on bravery and sacrifice of the Japanese Americans solders during WW2. “Having spent almost 13 years at the Japanese American National Museum, including tenure as Vice President of Programs, I’m incredibly passionate about telling the Japanese American story,” said series creator Koji Sakai. “The rescue of the Lost Battalion is especially meaningful because 1,600 Japanese American soldiers sacrificed their lives to save their fellow soldiers - 225 men. And the crazy thing is that many of the soldiers had relatives in the internment camps.”

The story is especially personal for series artist Robert Sato, whose grandfather S. Sgt. Roy H. Sato was in Company A, 100th Battalion of the 442nd Regiment. Drafted while imprisoned at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas, Sgt. Sato fought in Europe while his parents and four siblings remained incarcerated, putting his life on the line for a country that stripped his family of both personal property and freedom.

“This story feels like it's in my bones - I grew up with it shaping a major part of my world view,” continues Sakai. “How could it not? Over the course of creating 442, I've been disturbed to find how many people have either never heard of Internment, or have a dim, unformed idea of what it was, why it happened, and what it means.

“My goal is always for my illustrations to be of good and that they help tell a story as well as possible. In this strange period where history and the lessons it can teach seem to be slipping away either through neglect or deliberate attack, I hope that our work on "442" can help to provide further context, discussion, and help keep alive the incredible story of what happened when my grandfather and 120,000 other human beings, in the name of national security, were swept up in the tide of war and racist hysteria. It's a profoundly American epic.”

For more information visit https://stela.com/.

About Stela Inc

Stela Inc.’s flagship mobile visual content app, Stela Unlimited, is the first and only app to offer graphic novels and illustrated stories created specifically created for the mobile reader. With a library of unique and exclusive content by award winning creators, Stela delivers the ultimate binge reading experience. With content spanning a variety of genres, topics, and lifestyles, Stela offers stories that transcend the traditional graphic novel mold. Read to your hearts content and interact with a community of content creators and visual content enthusiasts with Stela Unlimited. For more information, visit https://stela.com/.

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Media Contact: Lisa Wang, lisa(at)firecrackerpr.com, 1-888-317-4687 ext. 703

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