Tag Archives: comic books

STILL RIDING HIGH

As Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), John Jennings examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, and comics and graphic novels. He is also the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color.   His research interests include the visual culture of Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and politics, Visual Literacy, Horror, and the EthnoGothic, and Speculative Design and its applications to visual rhetoric.

Stories are the first technology and humans live in metaphor. It’s through our myths, our folklore, our culture and our religion that we build an understanding of the world. Long before any type of mediation or distortion of those stories there was the human voice; the power of oral  tradition. There was nothing “lost in translation” because the story, the meaning, the poetry, and the narrative were incarnated in the griot.

The griot is the warrior poet; dedicated to telling the stories that bind us together as a people. It’s for that reason, I feel that the company that Jiba Molei Anderson started two decades ago was aptly named. Griot Enterprises is a shining example of what’s possible when the spoken word becomes the actual and one of those primary actualizations is the amazing comic book series: The Horsemen.

The Catalyst flips the script!

Jiba, like myself, was raised on the enticing and exciting offerings of what was becoming American popular culture. A child of the African Diaspora growing up in the Motor City: Detroit, Michigan, Jiba was surrounded by positive images and ideas around Black stories, music, literature and philosophy. So when he was pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, it only made sense that he would fuse his love for the medium of comics and graphic design into a beautifully radical story world.

If comics are our “modern mythology”, then why do we only show a small sliver of culture in that space? Despite our love for characters like Superman, Thor, Hercules, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman they only show so much. The African Diaspora is an amazing spectrum of gods, spirits, and stories that not only translate well into super hero comics but also educate the masses about the rich history of Africa and the diversity of Black identities in the world.

The Trickster gives no fu%ks!

Imagine a team like The Justice League of America, The Avengers or The Uncanny X-Men, but instead of beloved but well-trod paths of adventures focused on primary white protagonists, you get a coalition of characters based on the pantheon of Yoruba gods and goddesses that have chosen “horses” to possess in order to save the world from itself. I’d been researching Voudou when I came across Jiba’s work I had just finished reading  the book The Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti by dancer Maya Deren. So, the notion of being “ridden” by ancestral spirits was fresh in my head. I was immediately sucked into the world just by that wonderful connection. 

Jiba’s concept, character design and story arc was truly compelling from day one and now we’re here with The Horsemen being a cornerstone of the Black Age of Comics and the Black Comix Movement! With an unmistakable style and grace, Jiba has taken the power and culture of the Diaspora and reified it into a legendary story that not only pays homage to the ancestors but also celebrates the love for comics culture in ways that have never been explored before. Combining impressive design with clear and engaging storytelling, The Horsemen is a vital part of the global Black Speculative Arts Movement, a part of culturally diverse comics culture, and I am very glad that this book is out there educating the masses.

So please pour some libations and give thanks to this groundbreaking series! Happy 20th anniversary, Jiba, and thanks so much for showing us how to build new worlds through our own culture!

Salute!

The Mermaid reveals her secrets!

With 41% funded, we’re officially at the halfway point in our campaign thanks to our 38 backers to date. Help us get to the 50% line this week when you pre-order The Horsemen: Birth of the Spark today!

THE SLOW BURN

Check out this review of The Horsemen from Wingless Entertainment president Brian J. Lambert!

The Avenger is charged!

Jiba Molei Anderson’s The Horsemen is classified as a superhero comic but make no mistake what we witness is the rebirth of gods.

For those that are new to these deities, while they are given a new treatment, they are well within the constraints of their traditional mythology. Not only that, but Anderson also alludes to their deep history in an easily accessible way.

The Creator triumphant!

The tales weaved before us have multiple layers but they never seem to get bogged down. We enter the world of our story after events in the past have changed the course of history. Evil forces have controlled the world after the war that saw our Horsemen leave the first time.

Their resurgence means that we are at a crossroads. There’s a duality to the story that feels real. The gods are fighting for peace, which itself is a dichotomy. The ruling class attempts to keep the status quo, they fight the prophecy that is born from it. It’s interesting to see gods with subtle gradations of human nature.

The Architect destroys to build!

Another piece of this puzzle that Anderson nails is the shifting narrative. It’s used in movies to great effect and usually less so in comics. But there are jumps from character to character as they are all interviewed and spin one overall story. While doing so, it doesn’t get jumbled or forgotten.

Anderson’s love of music permeates his stories and there’s a rhythm to the tale that easily translated through his words. As the story progresses, we also see how the god-like power of our protagonists ripples throughout other lives. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that heavy is the head the wears the crown.

The Light shines!

Anderson’s art is bold and powerful like the characters it represents. There are strong lines and the intensity of the battles (both mental and physical) is translated through the illustrations. You can tell this is a project that Anderson holds near to his heart, not just because of the time he’s dedicated crafting it, but also because of the painstaking way the details are rendered and the story is told.

Jiba Molei Anderson’s Horsemen is a story that opens the door to mythology and comics in a way that’s only been seen recently with the resurgence of Thor from Marvel Comics. Anderson’s fresh and true to culture take on The Horsemen is a breath of fresh air.

35 Backers. 37% funded. Help us get to 50 backers this week when you pre-order The Horsemen: Birth of the Spark today!

THE PERFECT BEAT

Welcome to the eighth volume of 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape! Thank you to all of the Visual MCs, Literary DJs and Crowd Controllers who saw the vision and decided to enter the Cipher. Y’all have shown where the true diversity in this comic book industry exists and came through with straight bangers!

And to think, all of this started with a casual conversation…

Started from the bottom, now we here!

In 2007, I was at the WizardWorld Chicago Comic Con. I happened to run into Sanford Greene (Bitter Root, Power Man & Iron Fist). Both of us were taking a much-needed break from manning our respective booths. At the time, we were both working on Hip Hop-related projects with Sanford creating the artwork for the Method Man graphic novel while I was writing a book called (at the time) Hip Hop Chronicles.

Since we were both in a “break dancing & wall tagging” state of mind, we started reminiscing on the direction our respective careers were taking. We talked about the sketchbook and how that reminded each other of the mixtapes DJs and rappers would create to sell their skills directly to the masses.

Vol. 01 – The Symphony established the Vision…

Taking the sketchbook/mixtape metaphor further, the Comic Con became, in essence, the equivalent of selling a mixtape at a swap meet or out of the trunk of your car. The sketchbook reflected the stage of the creator’s career.

The analogy breaks down like this…

When you start out, you probably don’t have a lot of money. But you could go to Kinkos and, using the copy machine, print up about 20 – 50 of those sketchbooks right quick to give the audience a taste of your skills.

Vol.02 – Raise It Up avoided the “Sophomore Jinx…”

As you grew in the business, hopefully, you had gotten some credits under your belt and some coins in your pocket. Maybe now, you could afford better quality paper for your next sketchbook. Maybe now, you could afford a color cover. Maybe now, you could afford full-color interiors.

The full-color experience let you know that the artist was ballin’ and making power moves… They done come up!

Vol.03 – Doin’ Our Own Thang found us getting into our rhythm…

In any event, the whole idea is that as one levels up in their career, their presentation evolves as well. One develops their professional persona and define their swag. The sketchbook then becomes the avatar of one’s “drip, “so to speak. The sketchbook, in our summation, is a visual mixtape.

You picking up what was just laid down?

While Vol.04 – Check The Rhyme got into a stone groove

I’m a child of the 70s who came of age in the 80s. The mixtape, in my time, was a carefully curated work. One didn’t just slap a bunch of songs together on a cassette and send it on its merry way. Nah. You had to come up with a theme. Your mixtape had to have a narrative, and a raison d’etre or reason for being.

Maybe you were nursing a heartbreak. Maybe you were trying to shoot your shot with that special someone. Maybe you wanted to get the party started with the perfect selection of tracks guaranteed to get the crowd amped up. The mixtape was a form of personal sonic expression where one could become the DJ, the Bard, or the Griot they felt they were meant to be.

Vol.05 – Dedication showed that the Brand was strong…

Track selection was an extremely important aspect of making a bomb mixtape. Again, one could be basic about it; just take the hits everyone heard on the radio, slap them together and off they go. But anyone could turn on the radio and listen to the hits. You might as well buy a volume of Now, That’s What I Call Music and call it a day. To make a dope mixtape, one had to go off the beaten path and “dig in the crates” a little bit.

Vol.06 – The Feel found that the Cipher became an institution…

Track arrangement was the secret sauce of the mixtape. It’s one thing to have the dope music. It’s another thing to arrange those tracks and assemble a tale that hits the emotions of the listener. A great mixtape was the soundtrack to a film that people wished they could see. A mixtape was all about mood and intention with the goal to take its intended listener on a journey into the creator’s psyche.

And Vol.07 – Mass Appeal lived up to its name

This philosophy is the methodology behind 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape. Each volume has been carefully curated with each entry chosen and arranged to take the reader on a journey through the diversity of creators, and content, that is present in the comic book industry. We go deep; finding the best cuts and the illest tracks to craft an eclectic experience that can only be found in the indie comic world.

Grab a suit and get it tapered up for 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape Vol. 08 – Change Clothes!

And now here we are; eight volumes in serving up the crème de la crème of Black Comix, in particular, and Indie Comics in general. This village has definitely become a nation.

This volume features the next crop of Visual MCs and Literary DJs who decided to grab the mic! Aries Art (Cover Artist and Visual MC), Michael Watson (Hotshot), Raudric Curtis (Dambe), Milton Davis (Changa and the Jade Obelisk), Andre Roberts (The Dog Years), Terry Huddleson (Visual MC), Malachi Bailey (Her), Akinboye Olasunkanmi (Weju), Juan Arevalo (Oya), Brett Hillesheim (The Book of Gylou), Curtis “Specks” Thompson (Legacy of the View), and more enter the Cipher!

4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape Vol.08 – Change Clothes is available now, DIGITAL FIRST for only $9.99!

So, sit back and relax, kick your feet up, get into this playlist we put together for you, and remember…

Comics are Hip Hop!

Buy 4 Pages 16 Bars Vol.08 – Change Clothes

FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

This is a public service announcement to all of the artists and writers who are considering entering this wild world of comics.

Ok, so what I’ve been seeing in these internet streets is that some neophyte writers think that artists are interchangeable and should be happy with whatever rate they are offered. They believe that artists are just sitting around and twiddling their thumbs waiting for these neophyte writers to bless them with their ideas.

These so-called writers are also upset because other artists, who’ve been in the game longer than most of them, are telling younger artists, no matter where they reside, to know their worth and not get jacked by people who don’t value nor respect their efforts.

And yet, some of these writers… Excuse me… “creators” want to play victim when they aren’t willing to respect the artists they hire and pay them what they’re worth?

GTEFOH.

You want this flavor? You gotta pay the cost to be the boss (art by Asieybarbie)…

As one who handles every aspect of comic book production (writing, illustration, lettering, coloring, design, etc.), I know exactly the amount of work it takes to produce a book from beginning to end.

I’ve also gotten paid as a freelancer for over 20 years working as a writer, illustrator, and designer.

And, I have never let anyone undervalue the work I put into the game nor would I ever undervalue anyone else…

Because I respect their talent. And that respect is shown by paying them what they are worth.

When I see these so-called writers, or “creators,” complaining or trying to justify not paying potential artists what they’re worth, regardless of which country they reside, I see that they  don’t respect the artist.

That is sad because the artist, not the writer is the attraction to the book.

Look, this is comics, not prose. Comic book readers don’t care about words until they open the book. The artist is the part of the collaboration that gets eyeballs on the project.

Let me put it another way: you literally get what you pay for when it comes to art. $20 art will look like $20 art. $200 art will look like $200 art. No matter which artist from which country you deal with, the metric is the same.

You are not gonna get this level of work at a discount. Pay up (art by Sean Hill).

Yet some “creators” act like artists from other countries live in hovels. Because of this poisonous mentality, they employ exploitive capitalist practices (Power to the People) as the model for their businesses while, for the most part, larger companies like DC or Marvel pay their creatives a living wage equivalent for their talents…

And make up that cost by selling books.

UPDATE 01: Here is a link to an article from Creator Resource which lays out the page rates from major comic book companies in 2017.

Some of these “creators” are being cheap as fu*k and their slip is showing. Show some respect and pay the artist their worth.

What is the national average for every country from every artist you work with? And, is that your metric for hiring artists from that region?

If so, that still smacks of exploitation in my eyes.

I would rather pay a bit above their national average, especially if they come from a country whose currency is less than the country where I reside.

I can afford it because that’s showing respect.

But most manga are Black and White… So? Respect your artist and pay up (art by Tradd Moore).

You’re talking to a cat who has told other artists to charge me their real rate as opposed to the “I’m just happy to be here” rate because that’s not only showing respect, but that’s also a guarantee that I’m getting some of the best talent in the business.

I treat my collaborators the way I command to be treated in this business.

Here’s another point these so-called “creators” might want to think about if they are going to attempt this mode of artistic exploitation:

Did you ever consider that some artists set the price they set in order to weed out “clients” who they consider are a waste of their time and effort?

To the “creator” who prompted this piece (I’m not giving them the satisfaction of naming them), the claim that American artists are encouraging artists from other countries to raise their rates to price themselves out of their jobs is… ridiculous.

There’s no conspiracy. You’re just cheap. Pay up (art by Cannan White).

Real talk: an artist should base their rate on the time it takes to create the work and their experience level. Newer artists should charge less because of their experience. Artists with a track record can, and should, charge more.

UPDATE 02: There is a site called Litebox which breaks down the rates illustrators have been paid in various industries including comics.

For example, I wouldn’t do a page for a $100 because my CV shows that I’m worth more than that. However, I tell all of my students that they should establish a baseline rate in order to teach them to respect their talent from jump and to never sell themselves short.

Do you honestly think that artists encouraging other artists to know their worth is part of some devious plan to shaft other artists from different countries in order to what? Level some playing field to work with a bunch of start-ups that are just learning the business themselves?

That is hilariously arrogant.

No, what some people seem to be getting upset about is that artists are encouraging other artists to know their worth.

What some people are getting upset over is artists communicating with other artists in order to help the younger cats coming up in the game not get jerked.

Your collaborators are worth every penny. Pay up (art by Hữu Ngân Phạm).

Again, it’s not about pricing themselves out of the market. It’s about self-respect and recognizing their value in this business.

This is where respect comes into play.

As stated earlier, comics are a collaborative effort. Unless you are a true cartoonist and can execute every role yourself, a comic book needs a writer, an illustrator, a colorist (if color book), a letterer, and an editor in order to be a viable product.

A comic book is an exercise is graphic design; a synthesis of image and text coming together to create a message.

No one is more important than the other in this process. If one aspect of the product is lacking, then the entire book falls apart.

So, you need to respect every member of the team. That respect, in part, comes from paying your creative team properly.

That’s not sabotage. That’s called solidarity.

4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape Vol. 08 – Change Clothes drops in May. Enter the Cipher (cover art by Aries Art)

Power to the People.

www.griotenterprises.com

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CREATORS

Success! The Cipher continues!

4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape is Heavy Metal magazine meets fabled Hip-Hop periodical The Source. Each 124-page volume is filled with comics and articles celebrating the true diversity of creators in the comic book industry.

Volume 8 – Change Clothes has a featured article showcasing some of the Visual DJs 4 Pages 16 Bars series curator Jiba Molei Anderson considers to be among the best in the business. Shawn Alleyne, one of the artists featured in the article, decided to draw up Ogun, the Architect from Anderson’s groundbreaking series The Horsemen.

“You gotta have at least 3.5 mic material… Basically, you have to have the equivalent of the Fu-Schickens first album to be in the book…”

“Born in Barbados now residing in Philadelphia, Shawn’s work is… How shall I call it… Sexy A.F. His figures are long and sinewy bursting with a sensual energy that exists in his lovingly-rendered line work. He doesn’t do too much interior work, but his covers for books like The Almighty Street Team and his pin-up work taking his own unique spin on existing properties from the “Corporate Two” are absolutely stunning.”

Next month is the 20th anniversary of The Horsemen and Shawn Alleyne, along with 4 Pages 16 Bars Vol. 08 cover artist Aries Art will be a part of the big celebration!

61 backers. 104% funded. With only SEVEN days left in our campaign, help 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape reach 100 backers by March 30. If we reach 100, all backers will receive the 96-page graphic novel JBD: The Devil’s Due (written and created by La Morris Richmond, illustrated by Seitu Heyden, Jiba Molei Anderson, and Barton McGee) absolutely free!

Unlock the stretch goal by backing The Cipher today!

So, click on the link, become a part of the Cipher and remember…

Comics Are Hip Hop!

RETURN TO THE CIPHER

The long-running anthology featuring the true diversity in the comic book industry returns!

The 4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape anthology series is a celebration of where true diversity exists in the comic book industry. Curated by Griot Enterprises’ publisher Jiba Molei Anderson (The Horsemen), this anthology celebrates the work of BIPOC creators from mainstream to independent, webcomics to graphic novels and everything in-between.

VOLUMES 06 & 07 SHOWED THE WORLD WHAT TIME IT IS!

Vol. 06 made it real again…

The Kickstarter campaigns for the last two volumes were a huge success! People flocked to see what creators like Sheeba Maya, Crystal Gonzalez, George Gant, Javier Cruz Winnick, Jamal Yaseem Igle, Kofi Bazzell-Smith, Jahni Kwatrae, Alan Saint Clark, Moana McAdams, J.M. Hunter, Ronnie Dukes & Elvira Carrizal-Dukes, Dedren Snead, Mason Easley, Tony Kittrell, Albert Morales, Michael Norton Dando, and Amber Denise Peoples brought to Vol. 06 – The Feel.

Vol. 07 was fascinatin’ while it was updatin’…

People like Vol. 06 so much, they came back for Vol. 07 – Mass Appeal which featured works from Blossom Blair, Newton Lilavois, JayDee Rosario, Bradley Golden, Keef Cross, Marcus Roberts, Ryan Francis, Lance Tooks, Corey Davis, Daimon Hampton, Brian J. Lambert, Giselle “FunkyPunkNYC” Bradshaw, and Sean Hill!

GRAB A SUIT AND GET IT TAPERED UP FOR VOLUME 08: CHANGE CLOTHES!

Cover by Aries Art… We are not playing!

Vol. 08 – Change Clothes promises to keep the party going! This volume leans hard into fantastic visions of the Motherland with this next crop of Visual MCs and Literary DJs who decided to grab the mic! Aries Art, Michael Watson, Raudric Curtis, Milton Davis, Andre Roberts, Terry Huddleson, Malachi Bailey, Akinboye Olasunkanmi, Juan Arevalo, Brett Hillesheim, Curtis “Specks” Thompson, Marc Blair, and Marco Lopez have all decided to enter the Cipher!

Say hello to the Class of ’22!

TELL THE WHOLE WORLD THE TRUTH IS BACK!

4 Pages 16 Bars: A Visual Mixtape is more than just an anthology of great comics. Each 126-page volume is a portable gallery featuring the past, present, and future of comics’ finest creators of color. It’s an academic document recording the evolution of the medium… It’s living history!

The stage is set and we’re back with another banger. The Cipher returns February 28, so click on the Kickstarter link, sign up to be added to the guest list, join the party and remember…

COMICS ARE HIP HOP

Ubuntu!

Kickstarter Pre-Launch Page

www.griotenterprises.com

IT BEARS REPEATING…

The Horsemen is the culmination of the journey to find my voice as an artist and storyteller.

I’ve been a student of mythology since first seeing Clash of the Titans in 1981. I read the Greek myths, the Norse myths, Egyptians and so on. Around the age of 16, I started studying the myths and folktales of Africa and decided that I wanted to create a series of illustrations based on the gods and goddesses of various regions.

The conflict between the gods of myth was established at the beginning…

I created a concept called The Race in 1993. The Race were the descendants of the heroes and demigods of mythology. These descendants had a recessive gene that, when activated through either proximity or severe trauma, would gain super powers. They were pawns in a war between two gods, Exodus and Othello. Whosever side they joined would tip the scales of the war in either god’s favor.

Also during that time, I created another concept called Jom & Aida based on not only African mythology and African cinema, but also the opera Aida as performed by Leontyne Price, which was the story of an Egyptian princess. I wanted to use the idea of death and rebirth as the central theme.

These concepts never came together…

…Until 1997.

The children of gods and monsters. B/W vs. the Color art for the “Birth of a Nation” chapter in The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny

I was developing my graduate thesis at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; writing, designing, and illustrating a book on the history of African American super heroes and their connection to the gods and goddesses of Africa. I had taken a class on Afro-Caribbean art and rituals, which exposed me to religions like Vodou, Santeria, and Candomblé. It also exposed me to the African root faith systems of these religions, most notably the Ifa faith of Nigeria.

Finally! This was my chance to do those African god illustrations I had always wanted to create! The book was going to be called The New Mythology. I used the names of seven Yoruba gods, the Orishas, and their aspects as the chapter titles for the book. But when I got around to actually developing my depiction of the Orisha, I realized that I couldn’t illustrate them in traditional African dress.

It was a book about super heroes and the Orishas had to be illustrated as such. I delved into creating these super heroic interpretations of these gods. Jack Kirby’s reimagining of Norse mythology was my inspiration. As the thesis took shape, I realized that I did not want to let these designs exist only for a thesis only a few people would see in a graduate exhibition and nothing else. These characters would become my official entry into the comic book industry.

Ogun, the Lord of the Forge! B/W vs. the Color art for the “One Day War” chapter in The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny

But, what do I call them?

I remembered the title of a book that I had to read for the Afro Caribbean Art and Ritual class; The Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren. I dropped the “Divine” and the rest, they say, is history. As for the book’s premise, thank DJ Krush. On the title track of his album, Meiso, Black Thought of the mighty Roots Crew said these fateful words:

“Who controls the eight immortals, but the number seven, in this continual maze?”

The eight immortals became the Deitis, with Exodus and Othello among them. The Race (now called The Manifest thanks to Mark of the Cloven writer Jude W. Mire), Jom, and Aida folded into this new universe, this New Mythology.

The New Mythology Saga. Retailers and readers can grab the entire series for their bookshelves when they donate to campaign!

66 backers. 78% funded. With only 7 days left in our campaign, we are a mere $1050.00 from reaching our goal. Help The Horsemen reach their Manifest Destiny by donating to our Kickstarter today!

www.griotenterprises.com

LIKES ARE GREAT… BUT…

Wow.

Since the beginning of this campaign, The Horsemen creator Jiba Molei Anderson has been getting a lot of “likes” for the artwork on social media. This may be the largest number of “likes” for his art that he’s received in recent years.

Thank you. Sincerely. Thank you for the warm reception.

But you know what would really show that you like the art, and the concept, of The Horsemen? If you pledged to the Kickstarter!

Look at what you’ll get when we exceed our goal!

For as little as a $10 pledge, you help ensure that the heroes YOU want to see reach the public. And, if we exceed our $5000.00 goal, all backers receive TWO 24” X 30” print-ready PDFs featuring the heroes and villains of The Horsemen Universe.

You know what else you’ll get? Wait for it…

Five digital comics from the members of The Blaxis! That’s over 160 pages of content for only $10.00!

Likes are great, but backing this campaign shows real love. So help The Horsemen reach their Manifest Destiny by backing our Kickstarter campaign today!

www.griotenterprises.com

A PIONEER OF AFROFUTURISM?

I was asked this question recently:

“How does it feel to be an Afrofuturism pioneer in the comics space”?

It feels a little weird honestly. When I created The Horsemen way back in 1997, I was looking to fill a hole and make my mark in the comic book industry. I was inspired by the pioneers of the Black Age of Comics in the 90s. Milestone Media, Brotherman and Tribe showed me the value in carving a space that didn’t really exist before. It just so happened that I was influenced by science fiction, politics and mythology. It just so happened that I wanted to infuse the world I was creating with a West African / African American sensibility.

The Consonance. The Horsemen, The Manifest. Three generations of heroes sharing one destiny…

The Horsemen reflects my worldview. I wanted to show a very modern Africa, I was extremely tired of the “famine and underdeveloped” narrative that the continent is saddled with in this country. I also wanted to address the problems that Post-Colonialism left behind on the continent as well.

I wanted the world of The Horsemen to feel real, free from the mythology of Afrocentrism and its adherence to Egyptology.

I’ve always been a fan of alternate dimensions and, mythology is great tool in exploring that concept. Unlike the Marvel Universe, which treats the gods of myth as aliens from other planets, I prefer to think of mythological beings as realized potential if certain roads were traveled as opposed to others. In the broadest of strokes, you could link my work to Jonathan Hickman (East of West) or Rick Reminder (Black Science) even though The Horsemen precede both of those titles by a good number of years.

The Horsemen was Afrofuturism before the term was coined.


The Hordes of Ragnarök, The Deitis, and The Cloven. They are set on ruling the world… Or bring about its destruction.

The word Afrofuturism didn’t really enter my radar until 2005 though it had been around since 1995 or so. I was just doing my thing. I even tried to separate what I was doing from what I thought was a certain aesthetic. Eventually, I had to admit to myself that I was an Afrofuturist, which didn’t happen until, like, 2014. So, even though one could call me a “pioneer,” it’s still taking some time for me to accept that appellation…

But I’m getting used to it.

Are you a Defender of Creation? Or do you pledge you allegiance to the Agents of Oblivion? If we exceed our initial goal and raise $6000.00, all backers will receive these 24” X 30” print-ready PDFs featuring the heroes and villains of the Horsemen Universe. We’re 35% funded with 16 days left in our campaign. help The Horsemen reach their Manifest Destiny by pledging to our Kickstarter today!

www.griotenterprises.com

THE HORSEMEN RETURN TO FULFILL THEIR MANIFEST DESTINY

“The gods have chosen them to protect humanity from itself…whether humanity wants them to or not. They combat those who control the fate of the planet. Through their actions, the world would never be the same.”

The New Mythology saga

Created by Jiba Molei Anderson, The Horsemen is the saga of seven ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, as the gods of ancient Africa possess them.

With the release of the Divine Intervention first issue in 2002, The Horsemen became a pioneer of the Afrofuturism movement in comics by using the Orishas as the basis for the superhero mythology.

 “I wanted to work with a different faith system, a system that when The Horsemen was created, no one, I mean no one, was thinking of.  No one was thinking of using the Orishas as a launch point for a comic book world at that time.”

– Jiba Molei Anderson

The Horsemen would go on to become a critical success and has generated a cult following. Its fan base would include Hollywood talents such as Tony Todd (Candyman, Star Trek DS9) and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things) and comic book royalty like the late Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League Unlimited, Milestone Media).

Also, The Horsemen has made an educational and historical impact being included in a long-running exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art as a small example.

The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny (standard cover)

The next installment of The New Mythology, The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny is a 64-page journey of three tales that continues to chronicle the past, present, and future of the Horsemen Universe!

Ogun: Season of Ice (written by Kofi Malik Boone)

Written by Kofi Malik Boone, Ogun: Season of Ice tells an early tale of the Master of Iron as he defends a newly – freed people from the wrath of the sinister Mbwari!

The Horsemen: The One Day War

Witness the psychic death of a nation’s mythic identity as The One Day War tells the story of what happens to those who choose violence against The Horsemen!

The Manifest: Birth of a Nation

In Birth Of A Nation, a new race rises from the ashes of an apocalypse. They are not Orisha nor are they Deitis. They are the Manifest and they are all that stand between Creation and the forces of Ragnarök!

Géroux Noél-maxence Aurèle. Kenjji Jumanne-Marshall. Sean Damien Hill. These are the three premiere artists in the Black Comix community, along with series creator Jiba Molei Anderson, who will be providing exclusive variant covers for this Kickstarter. Check out this cover from the good Mister Hill to show you how we do things!

Kenjji Jumanne-Marshall (WitchDoctor, Teen Wolf) lends his skills to creating a cover for The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny!
Rising star and Mega Universe architect Géroux Noél-maxence Aurèle AKA Neon Pen will grace us with a cover as well!
The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny variant cover by Sean Damien Hill (The Hated, The Crossing, Luke Cage)!
This variant cover by Jiba Molei Anderson will also be Griot Enterprises’ first NFT available in the “Consonance” tier of rewards!

Check out some of the good will the book has generated over the years:

“The characters of Shango, Eshu, Ogun, Oya, Oshun, Yemaya and Obatala are beautifully drawn and characterized according to their personas in the Ifa pantheon. The scenes featuring enforcers of divine will is exciting and action filled, with little dialogue on their part which adds a welcome bit of mystery to them.”

– Ra’Chaun Rogers

Griot Enterprises is a proud member of the Blaxis. All retailer rewards will receive a poster featuring members of the New Standard in comics!

“The Horsemen series is a slow burn. It’s something to be enjoyed over time as a true epic should.”

– Brian Wycoff

“Anderson’s tale however is no superhero story created with the goal to ‘merely’ entertain his readers but to challenge them to a battle. If one engages in Anderson’s battle and in turn recognizes The Horsemen’s Hip-Hop aesthetics, the ‘mere’ superhero comic unfolds a variety of layers of meaning.”

– Lisa Kottas

With Manifest Destiny, our goal is to take The Horsemen to the next level from cult classic to wide audience hit. Come along for the ride when the Kickstarter campaign for The Horsemen: Manifest Destiny, written and illustrated by Jiba Molei Anderson (with Kofi Malik Boone), and become a part of The New Mythology on August 17!

www.griotenterprises.com