I’m sorry… I have to say this to anyone who ever has the audacity to say that in order to be accepted by certain people that I, or any other Black creator, has to work for DC or Marvel…
That comment is the exact equivalent of: “Well, if you work for Massa at the Big House, then we’ll accept you.”
And again, I apologize for this next comment due to its brusque language:
Fuck. That. Corny. Shit.
“Colored people have said: This work must be inferior because it comes from colored people.“
“ White people have said: It is inferior because it is done by colored people.”
– W.E.B. Dubois
I’m a college professor in my secret identity and I’ve been training cats on the craft for over 10 years… A number of them work in comics, video games and animation.
When one speaks of these multicultural studios and training centers, what you’re really talking about is school… Art school. And, there are a lot of really good ones out there. In fact: there are schools like the Joe Kubert school, School of Visual Arts in New York, Savannah College of Art and Design, etc. that have degrees in sequential art. I teach animation, game design and graphic design at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago using comics as the root for teaching these disciplines, as they tend to cross-pollinate.
Now, if you can’t afford those schools, there are plenty of books dealing with the subject of creating comics.
What you’re really asking from people who are established in the game is: “How can I be down?” “How can I get into the game?” And, what you have been hearing from those of us who are “in” is that the best way to get into this industry is to do for self, be independent.
You see by the numbers of African American hires (3.1%) that the Corporate Two have all but shut the door and are making funny faces, taunting us through the glass. As the natural hustlers we are, we have said that there are other ways of making bread and we don’t need you to validate us.
Real talk, every creative working in comics (if they don’t have an exclusive contract from the Corporate Two) has two or three hustles happening… Diversifying our bonds if you will. The real question is: “How do I navigate my career in this creative field?”
As said before, I am a college professor and professional that has been teaching people about the craft (Black, white, Latino, Asian, etc.) for over 10 years. It’s all about education… Especially educating the fan on what’s really going on behind closed doors.
The assumption is that Black creators don’t know or understand the craft and that is why they are not working for the “pinnacle” of comic book “perfection”… DC and Marvel…
That perception is incorrect.
For the young hopefuls entering the game, it is a question of quality as they are learning their craft. However, for us professionals in the game, who’ve been around the block truly understand the standard of what makes a good comic book (which, in reality is the entire package; not just writing and art, but coloring, lettering and package design as well), we know, from personal EXPERIENCE, what the game is at the Mouse and the Rabbit.
3.1%… Remember that.
So yes, we are here educating and yes, we are lifting the veils of misunderstanding about the reality of this business and yes we call bullshit on commentary based on minimal knowledge and yes we call bullshit on centuries of ingrained low self-esteem disguised as knowledge of a standard….
And yes, we are independent. Not because we weren’t “good enough” to get into Marvel or DC, but because we understand the business enough to know that the risk of owning your own can come with an even greater financial, emotional and spiritual reward.
So no, we ain’t trying to be slaves… We’re being bosses…
That’s that real Stan Lee shit.
Speaking of, Cripples’ Deluge, the first chapter of The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven drops the first week of November. Words by Jude W. Mire, everything else by yours truly… Cop the book!