BLACK COMIX RETURNS - African American Comic Art & Culture
Created by Neurobellum Productions
A hardcover collection of art and essays showcasing the best African American artists in today's vibrant comic book culture.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
More coverage! Plus BCR spotlight on Ronald Wimberly, Dawud Anyabwile, Malik Shabazz, and Uraeus!
over 2 years ago
– Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 05:52:50 AM
This update is late -- we meant to have this up on Friday to stick with our regular weekday posts, but life happened, things got busy, and... you know how it goes. But it was all good kinds of busy! Did you see the great interview John did with Bleeding Cool?
As mentioned above, this is our FINAL WEEK -- the clock ends next Sunday! And we've still got lots of talent to spotlight! So let's not waste any time or space and get on with it!
Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and narrative. He is also an accomplished cartoonist, having designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. His most recent works of note were the critically-acclaimed Prince of Cats and the cartoon essay “Lighten Up” for The Nib on Medium.
Emmy Award Winner Dawud Anyabwile is the creator and illustrator of the Brotherman Comics series which was conceptualized in 1989 and introduced at the NYC Black Expo in May 1990. He and his brothers teamed up to produce the Brotherman comics series which is recognized as the spark for the current, modern day Black Comics/Superhero movement. In 1992, he was nominated for a Will Eisner Award for Best Comic Book Artist, and in 2008 won an Emmy for a PSA for the Dalai Lama. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in 2015, followed by Glyph Awards for "Best Artist" and "Story of the Year" for REVELATION: BROTHERMAN - DICTATOR OF DISCIPLINE.
Malik Shabazz is just a guy from L.A. who loves to tell stories and draw. He is the creator of science fiction and fantasy comics like The Sword is My Lady/The Lady is My Sword, and the erotic web comic If you seek Amy.
Richard G. Tyler II is popularly recognized, under the pseudonym "Uraeus". He is a graduate of the Morgan State University Fine Arts Program, where he matriculated with a B.A. in Illustration/Design. Named in 2004 to the prestigious Chancellor’s List, honoring “America’s Outstanding Graduate Students,” he is an accomplished writer and visual artist whose works were first nationally exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC at age 14. That same year, he completed his first study mission to the Nile Valley, Egypt in conjunction with The American University in Cairo, which catapulted him into a career in storytelling through comics. Richard has worked as a designer, publisher, editor, and art director for the past decade. He is the creator of the Black Heroes Matter movement, which promotes heroes of color; as well as his own award-winning, creator-owned projects; spy-fi franchise, INDIGO: ESSENCE OF THE ASSASSIN (in development with Skydance Productions); and the action/adventure franchise, JAYCEN WISE: HERO AT LARGE. Alongside Master Artist Mshindo Kuumba, he forms BlackOps, which specializes in the development and propagation of gold-standard, multimedia content. He is also a member of Wesley Snipes’ Ninja Team of artists and creatives.
BCR Spotlight - Afua Richardson, Ben Passmore, Abdul H. Rashid, and Jason Reeves!
over 2 years ago
– Sat, Feb 25, 2017 at 01:52:06 PM
This train is not slowing down, and we're finalizing a bunch more names to add to the final lineup, now that we know we've got 200 pages to play with. We'll announce some of those new additions shortly, but in the meantime, we're just as thrilled to shout out these amazing talents who've been on board since day one!
Afua Richardson (also known as Lakota Sioux) is an artist known for her work on Top Cow's 2008 Pilot Season winner, GENIUS. Richardson is self-taught as a comic artist. She cites Alan Moore's SWAMP THING and Hiroaki Samura's BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL as the comics that showed her what comics could be, and wanting the same feel in her work.Her first published comics work was a ten-page comic in the erotica magazine SIZZLE. She was originally published under the alias Lakota Sioux, in honor of her Native American heritage. Her client list includes Marvel, Image Comics, NBM Publishing, Humit, Pulse Music, Rhythm Bank Entertainment, and MBK Productions. Her work on GENIUS was nominated for the 2009 Glyph Awards for Best Story, Best Artist, Best Female Character, Best Cover, and Fan Award. She also works as a singer/songwriter, a seasoned musician, graphic artist, and a voice actor.
Ben Passmore is a comic illustrator and writer living in New Orleans. He’s done some work for some people that was kinda good. Recent comics are DAYGLOAYHOLE, a comic about a porn addict during the apocalypse, and GOODBYE, a comic about friendship, self-consciousness, and polyamory.
Abdul H. Rashid, a native of Flint, MI, is an illustrator, creator, and developer of intellectual properties in the genres of superhero, sci-fi, action-adventure and horror concepts. As CEO/Founder of AHR Visions, LLC, a trans-media pop-culture studio, he looks to inject a new catalogue of fresh, diverse and exciting titles that reflect the very colorful society we live in everyday. Rashid’s work has been featured in a number of independent works as well as MARVEL distributed series. He is currently collaborating with an assortment of other incredibly talented studios and artists in New York, California and other locations on original creator-owned properties…including actor/creator Terry Crews. He is currently based in NE Ohio and looks to add to the generating Mid-West entertainment hub.
Jason Reeves is a Los Angeles based comics creator/publisher of the imprint 133art. The LA studio is comprised of a small group of freelance professionals including Alverne Ball, Luis Guerrero & Gi Martins & Sara Ferreira a.k.a. START TWO, collaborators on the award winning 'ONE NATION', F-00 FIGHTERS (as seen on USAToday.com), and KID CARVERS. Reeves is also a freelance illustrator whose clientele includes Esquire Magazine, HASBRO, USAToday, Arch Enemy Ent., and Heavy Metal.
Thanks to Brigid Alverson and Calvin Reid for the coverage! Let's hope it catches some eyes and pulls more folks to the table!
As I wrote this very update, we hit the next stretch goal, meaning --
THIS BOOK WILL BE HARDCOVER.
Which means we're gonna check that off and move onto the next stretch goal... but this next one is sorta different and special. While the previous chart hinted at "Foil cover logo and ribbon bookmark", we're just gonna do that as part of the hardcover. Done. (And again -- at no extra cost to you!)
So what is the next stretch goal, you ask? Here's what we're thinking...
With that declaration made, the next stretch goal is going to be really cool, actually. We're going to do TWO THINGS from this point on. But before we explain, take a quick look at this excellent Kickstarter project that just launched this week:
Craig Rippon and his family-run production studio Headlight Filmworks have been putting together a really sharp documentary film about the same independent African American comic scene that we're focusing on with BLACK COMIX RETURNS, and we thought the two projects would really complement each other in so many ways. There are a lot of familiar names and faces participating in both BLACK
COMIX RETURNS and BLACK INK, and we think the two projects together will make for a
very special package.
So we wanna help them out. With your help.
And here's what we're gonna do:
1: For every dollar over $18k we earn from this campaign, we'll donate 15% of it to BLACK INK to help them finish their film. So by continuing to support BLACK COMIX RETURNS, you're also helping to support BLACK INK!
2: If we can hit a new stretch goal of $21k before the campaign ends, we will not only help them fund a DVD (or Blu-Ray) run of their finished film, but we'll make available a special, limited edition of BLACK COMIX RETURNS with a physical disc of the film bundled into the back cover of the (now hardcover) book! This will be a very special limited edition, no more than 250 copies, signed by John, Damian, and Craig, that we will make available for you to either upgrade to or pre-order separately. This very special edition will also include a limited edition cardstock print of the book cover art (maybe signed by Ashley Woods, dunno yet, we haven't asked her yet, this just came up in the last 24 hours...). If we can hit this new goal, this limited edition will retail for $50, so you'll be able to upgrade your book-level pledge to this version for only an extra $20!
Please, do yourself a favor and check out their campaign, and help spread the word to help them as well! We think you'll really dig what they're doing, too!
And now... onto today's talent spotlight!
New York City native, Shawna Mills (a.k.a. Lazymills) is an artist, designer, comic artist, and animator. Throughout her young career she has designed logos, graphic designed, concept designed, and has been a solo producer/ one woman production studio on animated music videos developed for musician MC Frontalot, SYOR RebelYouthSocietyLLC, JA RULE, SHY and more. She has worked for Titmouse Inc. Her works are featured ... nationwide. Her works can be found in BlackComix and the Street Fighter Tribute book -- both in stores and in her own book of art published in 2012, titled N.A.P. Shawna's published books also include her own title, Violator Union. She has painted live in a number of events surrounded by NYC night-life, both high end private and public. With a portfolio range that extends, she has taken on Fashion Design, Sculpting, Writing, and Voice acting. She has recently started working at CartoonNetwork as a Storyboard artist. Shawna Mills is a proud affiliate of A Squad studios, The Magnum Opus Projects, Mugen Studios, and a 2D game designer/Director at Squat Designs/Fantasticards in NYC.
La Morris Richmond first broke onto the comics scene as a writer on the Real Ghostbusters published by NOW Comics in 1988. From there he went on to create horror stories for Northstar’s Splatter, including 12 Gauge Solution and the controversial slasher comic book Boots of The Oppressor. La Morris spent the next several years working as City Editor and columnist at The Chicago Defender newspaper before returning to his first love in life — comics. After a brief stint as interim Editor-In-Chief of Griot Enterprises, he founded and art directs B.L.A.M. Comics! self-publishing the Kung Fu comedy Canton Kid, and the blood and guts western Purge: Black, Red & Deadly.
Michael Watson is the artist and creator of the Hotshot and The Hotshot Verse (Vigilance/Heroes International) and the creator/writer of Emerald Quest, for Columbus, Ohio comics publisher Legacy Rising. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a focus in illustration from the Columbus College of Art and Design. http://freestylekomics.wixsite.com/fsk2
Shawn Alleyne was born and raised on the island of Barbados, but later relocated to Philadelphia and has lived there since. He is currently working in the demanding field of freelance art, with many clients ranging from the field of comics, to novels, to film. In between working on freelance projects, Shawn constantly seeks to grow as an artist and promote the independent scene - to aid in this he started Artmada, a small crew of artists seeking to express their individual signatures and art styles, as well as the comic book networking group Xion. Shawn’s work is produced under the Pyroglyphics Studios banner, a name roughly translated to mean “Hot Images,” to reflect his gritty self-taught style.
BCR Spotlight - THE ESSAYS: David Walker, Brandon Easton and Brandon Thomas, Regine Sawyer, and Joe Illidge!
over 2 years ago
– Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:03:13 AM
Today we're gonna focus on some of the folks writing essays or articles featured in the book. If you've taken a look through the first volume (FREE download for becoming a backer), you'll see the sort of scholarly discourse we're talking about. These folks know their stuff, and this is just a few of the contributing essayists you'll find in the finished book --
David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. His work in comic books includes Shaft(Dynamite Entertainment), winner of the 2015 Glyph Award for Story of the Year, Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk, Fury, Secret Wars: Battleworld (Marvel Comics), Cyborg(DC Comics),The Army of Dr. Moreau (IDW/Monkeybrain Comics), and Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics). In 2015, he wrote the novel Shaft’s Revenge, the first new novel starring private detective John Shaft in nearly 40 years. He is also the creator of the critically-acclaimed YA seriesThe Adventures of Darius Logan.
Brandon Easton is a professional writer, screenwriter, and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Easton was born in Baltimore, MD and resides in Southern California. Easton has written for television, including Transformers: Rescue Bots, Thundercats, and Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2). He has written multiple comic books, including the Watson and Holmes (for which he was nominated for an Eisner award), The Joshua Run, Roboy, a biographical graphic novel about the life of pro-wrestler Andre the Giant, and the original graphic novel Shadowlaw.
Brandon Thomas has written comics for several publishers, including Marvel, Arcade, Dynamite, and DC Entertainment, and has published over 300 original columns. His first creator-owned project The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury shipped from Archaia Entertainment to widespread critical acclaim, leading to his biggest comics project to date— the sci-fi conspiracy thriller Horizon, co-created with artist Juan Gedeon and published by Skybound Entertainment.
Joseph Illidge is a writer and editor who launched his career working with DC Comics and Warner Bros, specifically at the DC imprint Milestone Media, founded by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. He soon became the regular editor of the BATMAN titles, highlighted by the year-long “No Man’s Land” crossover event. He was also involved in the production of the animated TV series STATIC SHOCK and BATMAN BEYOND, as well as contributed to the production direction of the live-action ARROW and GOTHAM shows. He is now a Senior Editor at Lion Forge LLC, where he is heading the development of a brand new superhero universe, CATALYST PRIME, with eight original titles highlighting the strength of diversity in today’s modern age.
L. Sawyer is the Owner and Founder of Lockett Down Publications, which
has several properties in production, written by Sawyer: “The Rippers”,
its signature series, “Ice Witch”, “Death Mask” and “Chimera”. Each
series is interlocking, focusing on the mysterious reaches of outer
space and the relationships of the characters that reside in it. Eating
Vampires is a new Novel series outside of The Rippers universe. Sawyer
is also the founder of the Women in Comics Collective International,
(WinC for short- Pronounced Wink), an Artistic and Informative
Initiative that began in May of 2012. It serves to educate communities
about the role and merit of Women working in the Comic Book/Multimedia
industries as well as highlight the importance of Literacy through Comic
Next stretch goal -- HARDCOVER! Plus BCR Spotlight on Shawn Martinbrough, Arie Munroe, Bryan Moss, and Fred Noland!
over 2 years ago
– Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:09:06 AM
WOW, THANK YOU! Thanks to your support and growing interest, we've unlocked the 200 page stretch goal. That's 56 more pages than originally planned -- and at no extra cost to you! Plus, as promised in the last update, because you helped us get there over the weekend, all physical reward tiers get a free, bonus 4x6" cardstock print! Unfortunately the way Kickstarter works, we can't change the Reward Tier descriptions to make note of that, but know that all tiers above $20 will get this bonus freebie. (And if you're currently at a lower tier, you're always free to increase your pledge and step up to one of the physical reward packages!)
(And just between us, we're not saying this for certain until the final score comes in, but we may even end up somewhere north of 200 pages... with all the talent already lined up, and the in-depth essays planned by a few great writers and scholars, we may need to add a few more just to keep from squeezing things uncomfortably. Could be 208, 216, 232, or even 256... who knows until the race is over and we lock things down to a final pagination. But it won't be less than 200 now!)
Next up is the real meat-and-potatoes goal: turning this thing into a gorgeous HARDCOVER. Let's face it, the softcover will be nice, no doubt, but a hardcover will be IDEAL. And we're only $2500 away from that goal, with 12 days left to go... who haven't you told yet? If each of you brings in one other person to the project, we'll have this thing set up right in no time flat!
Now let's spotlight some more contributing talent!
Shawn Martinbrough’s client list includes Coca Cola/POWERade, The Hershey Company, Cricket Wireless, Fast Company, Playboy, Vibe, Bad Boy Entertainment, Penguin Books and McGraw-Hill, but the bulk of Shawn’s work has been done for Marvel Comics, Vertigo and DC Comics. During his critically-acclaimed two year collaboration with novelist Greg Rucka on BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS, Shawn co-created characters that were featured in the “Batman: Gotham Knights” animated companion to the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films, and currently appear on the FOX television series, “GOTHAM”. How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling, an instructional art book based on Shawn’s high contrast, noir style was published by Random House and has been reprinted in several languages. Shawn is the artist of the graphic novel series,THIEF OF THIEVES written by Robert Kirkman and Andy Diggle. Shawn has given lectures on his career creating graphic novels and the business aspects of the comic book industry at the Society of Illustrators, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, The University of Michigan, The Savannah College of Art and Design, Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, the BEA/Book Expo of America and The 100 Black Men of America Conferences.
Arie Monroe is a caricature artist, animator, comic artist and so much more. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Monroe received a BA in Studio Art from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon Graphics where she studied Character Animation and Comic Book Illustration. She says, “I love drawing and creating! I been chasing this life as an artist for as long as I can remember. I believe in doing what you love and are passionate about in life and being yourself while doing it. As an artist and as an individual I also believe in putting myself into my work. I love to draw African-American characters. I love to draw women of all sizes and shapes. I love sci fi, horror and comedy and you know what, I want to put all that stuff into a story.”
Bryan Christopher Moss says, “As a comic creator, my intentions rely in serving those who haven't a voice, those who are marginalized. My work in the comic medium is to communicate those oppressed, and often-times, silenced voices. My goal for this would, of course, be to further continue this narrative - serving as a conduit for these communities and their experiences - but working larger and working louder. My paintings are certainly more parallel to my personal experiences, but are not directed to any specific audience or age demographic. There is definitely a fine line between what I do as a comic book artist and what I do as a painter. There is potential to overlap the two.”
Fred Noland draws from a deep well of inspiration ranging from the Expressionists to Underground Comics. His illustrations have appeared in the SF Weekly, LA Weekly, Tennis, Bike, Nickelodeon, Canoe and Kayak, Illinois Times, XboX Magazine, TokyoPop, Santa Fe Reporter and more. His sequential art has been featured in the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Oakland Museum at the OAK installation. He has also taken part in group shows at San Francisco's SOMARTS and Amaru Galleries and RPS in Oakland. As a cartoonist, he has produced a series of increasingly innovative and eccentric minis. His current comic project, BLACK SHEEP, features his most ambitious work yet, with the six-part "Neighborhood of the Beast" exploring the darker side of suburbia. Other highlights include the Southern Gothic MIDNIGHT CREEP and his self-proclaimed "jam comic from hell" MANTEQUILLA DEL PATO (with the incomparable Trevor Alixopulos). Fred resides in Oakland. When he's not working, you can find him cycling through the East Bay hills.