I cannot quit this character.
Jigaboo Devil, or JBD for you politically correct types, was the project that I lost my cherry. He is Doc Savage, Captain America, and Malcolm X rolled into one. Created by LaMorris Richmond in 1995 (what up L-Dilla!), JBD was everything that people didn’t want in a Black comic book. It was angry. It was political. it was controversial, and I loved it from the minute I saw the promo images.
Peep game. LaMorris took the “Sambo” image, much in the same way NWA took the word “nigger,” and transformed that negative image into an empowering one. White people were scared of the concept. Black people couldn’t handle the thought. I learned a lot working on that book. It’s where my true style emerged.
It was rough, but looking at the artwork recently, I took chances and came up with some decent page designs, something that I felt was sacrificed in the pursuit of becoming a better illustrator. I’m trying to incorporate what I did then into my work now.
I can’t let JBD go. There’s some serious unfinished business here. I feel too much for this character. He has so much to say, so much more to give the landscape.
Yeah, I’m feeling nostalgic. JBD represents a good time in my life. It’s the beginning… And the right beginning of my career. He’s my pulp hero before I graduated to superheroes. JBD is my “learning curve,” my final exam before I graduated to The Horsemen. And though The Horsemen is my mature discourse on the world, I still wanna react from time to time.
Yes, I am older now; more seasoned and less reactionary. Yes, the politics seem a little dated to me because of my supposed maturation. To some, JBD may be a concept that is past its time in the post-Obama America…
But it is exactly because of this America, where the nomination of an African American man dispelled the American lie of racism, yet pulled back the underbelly of the still-seething tension lying just below the surface, where people are being convinced to vote against their best interests in the goal of making this great nation a plutocracy, where there are a greedy few actively working to pacify the masses, to stop critical thought and social progress that we need a JBD. Perhaps now, more than ever, we need to remind ourselves of the outrageous discourse that truly stimulates thought,
creativity and action…
It’s time for the Devil to return and get his just due.
So, beginning in January, look out for ALL-NEW JBD flash fiction on this blog. LaMorris Richmond will be writing and I’ll be drawing covers for this FREE pulp-novel series. For those who remember the Devil, welcome back. For the rest of y’all, I hope you join us for this wild ride.