Need a little assistance this month. So, I’m selling the print-ready PDF of the The Horsemen: Plant Your Feet image for only $5.00 exclusively through my Square store and PayPal (email@example.com).
“The Horsemen is the story of seven ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, as the gods of ancient Africa possess them. 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.”
I’m looking to raise $1500.00 by July 31 to help with the production of not only The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven #4, but the first volume of The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven trade paperback as well. As a bonus, when you purchase the poster, you’ll get a FREE PDF of The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven #1 illustrated by yours truly and written by my man and fellow Sci-Fi soldier Jude W. Mire.
Help us keep giving you what you need… Cheers, fam!
This is a public service announcement for all of those working to get into the game.
I have, officially, been a working artist since 1994.
I’ve actually been getting paid for making art since I was a teenager. I was getting paid for my craft since I was, about, 13 years old. For real, my parents were among my first clients, paying for my services because they understood that this was going to be my profession, not a past time.
But, as a professional, I’ve been making money off of my talent since I received my bachelor’s degree lo those many moons ago.
I’m not saying this to brag. This is just a simple fact. Indeed, my fellow creatives will tell you that making a living in this business is hard work… Extremely hard work. A lot of blood, sweat, tears, money and time went into getting to this point in my career. The fact that I can live a lower-middle class lifestyle off of this art game is a success in itself.
With that being said, if you want to guarantee that I will never work with you on a project, say these two words:
If I had a dollar for every time someone uttered those words to me for a possible collaboration, I would be a rich man.
Let’s build comes from a cat that had an idea for a comic book after smoking the finest while watching Meteor Man or Steel and said to himself, “I could make some coin off of comics, son (swupp, swupp). I’ma make a comic book the first comic book with a real Black superhero and get paid, yo.”
Let’s build comes from that dude who I meet at parties, finds out what I do, and says “Yo, I got a dope idea for a comic book. I don’t wanna tell you my idea, ‘cuz I’m worried someone will steal it like ‘ol girl who wrote The Matrix. But, you could help me make it, yo, and then we’ll both come up.”
Let’s build comes from my man who one of my boys told him about me, showed them my work and says that they should get in touch with me to get advice on how to get into the business and they approach me like we shared Pampers back in the day.
Yeah… Good luck with that, fam…
Let’s build is probably the most unprofessional phrase in this business. It’s downright insulting. It’s the assumption that I am just a dupe waiting for someone of “brilliance” to come and bless me by exploiting my talent to make his half-assed, half-baked dreams come true.
I learned to avoid the hook up because 9.5 times out of 10, those cats were not as serious as I was about the game.
Notice how I kept my examples male-specific, because no woman has ever come to me with this phrase. They understand the need to get paid.
I’ma let my comrade Damon Alums throw some dimes into the conversation.
“The folks that didn’t give you the time of day made the shift to the professional lane, and it paid off for them. Going back to the ‘lemme see if I can get the hook-up’ lane would be a step backward, and that’s not what life is about. Not that they forgot where they came from, not that they’re crabs in the bucket, trying to stop your shine, it’s just they’re at that higher level, and looking to work with folks who are at that same level. A reflection of being at that level is having cash up front. That’s just business talking. Not personal. Whether that money comes from street corner hustling, a bank loan, or quarters saved from movie theater floors is immaterial. That much I also know.”
Thank you, Brother Alums. We now return to our regularly scheduled program…
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’ve never collaborated with another creative or creatives. Indeed, some of the best work I’ve ever done has been in collaboration with others. Shoot, my advertising days were nothing but collaborations. Griot Enterprises started as a collective of artists and writers trying to put themselves on in the comic book industry. The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven is in collaboration with my comrade Jude W. Mire. I’m currently involved in collaborating on an anthology, Artists Against Police Brutality, created in part by my brother-in-arms John Jennings.
The fact is this: I don’t need to collaborate with them. They don’t need to collaborate with me. Neither one of us is dependent upon the other to build our repertoire. We have all had some success, built some notoriety because of our own merits. All of us have developed our craft on our own and we recognize the talent, drive and dedication in each other. We’re like-minded in focus. Because of this, we want to work with each other, thereby building collectively on the foundations that we individually established.
It also doesn’t hurt that we consider each other not just friends, but professionals.
True collaboration comes when all parties equally bring something to the table. I can’t ask someone to do something that I can’t do myself.
It’s not predatory when an artist or a writer asks for compensation for their time and their talent. It’s actually more predatory to talk collaboration than to hire an artist. Illustration is incredibly time-consuming and creating work on faith with no compensation just doesn’t make fiscal sense especially when drawing is how you put food on the table.
As a businessman, which professional artists are, you’ve got to make sure that you’re gonna eat and that the people you work with are on the same page, the same level as it were.
You know how many times those artists got burned in their career? You know how many empty promises cats have had to swallow like horse pills with no water to wash it down? Trust, if you had to deal with that level of janky hustlin’, you would be mad cagey as well.
It’s not about being greedy; it’s about protecting your talent and making sure that you keep a roof over your head.
Peep game: I’m in the process of finding funding for a Horsemen project, Lumumba Funk, that will include the talents of Arvell Jones, Larry Stroman and a few of my fellow Blaxis agents like Hannibal Tabu, Damion Gonzales, Quinn McGowan, Jason Reeves, Ashley Woods and many more.
Now, though they made the verbal agreement to be down for the cause (and, I truly appreciate the love), I’m not gonna ask them to draw, or write, page one until I have that funding in hand to pay my brothers and sisters.
Trust, they’re as impatient to get started, as I am to get them paid. But I know when I’m ready, they’re ready. And, they know that I’ll keep my word as a professional to get them squared away…
That’s beyond hustle… That’s gangster… And with gangster shit, we all eat.
The entertainment industry has many innovators. Unfortunately, it has a greater number of imitators. Griot Enterprises respects its audience and our strong sense of commercial viability. We remain true to our vision and our work while creating a financially viable product.
Griot Enterprises is dedicated to producing product that is at once familiar to the current comic book community, but is not afraid to tackle new concepts and format to reach an audience outside of the typical comic book realm.
Comics foster reading comprehension and can be an effective delivery system for lessons and concepts in all subjects. Griot Enterprises is dedicated to the use of comics for education.
We take no shorts. We create innovative concepts, establish new trends, and produce high-quality products.
This is how we get down:
THE HORSEMEN: DIVINE INTERVENTION Created, Written and Illustrated by: Jiba Molei Anderson 120 Pages, Full Color
The Horsemen is the story of seven ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, as the gods of ancient Africa possess them. 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. ISBN: 978-1941958001
THE HORSEMEN: THE BOOK OF OLORUN Written and Illustrated by: Jiba Molei Anderson 120 Pages, Full Color
Time has passed since the arrival of the Horsemen. Others with extraordinary abilities have appeared. They are not Orisha, not Deitis, but something else. Which side will they choose?
And who controls the Eight Immortals but the number Seven? ISBN: 978-1456478292
THE HORSEMEN: MARK OF THE CLOVEN Written by: Jude W Mire Illustrated by: Jiba Molei Anderson 32 Pages per issue, Full Color
Africa is now the new frontier and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. However, controlling the world has always been a “Family” business…
And, the bastard children of the Deitis want in… ISSUES ONE – THREE AVAILABLE NOW!
OUTWORLD: RETURN OF THE MASTER TEACHERS Written, illustrated and created by: Jiba Molei Anderson 64 Pages, Full Color
The Annexation is at hand. After years of conflict, the Utopia is finally on the brink of bringing the Outworld back into the Collective’s fold, The Master Teachers are all but a fading memory…
… And in the celestial wilderness, the Second Revolution is about to begin.
They have been outlawed and hunted to the brink of extinction. The Diaspora, once devoted to peace and diversity, has become the Utopia, dedicated to war, subjugation and destruction. However, a rag tag band of rebels holds the key to the Diaspora’s liberation and will ignite a revolution that will bring justice to a galaxy. ISBN: 978-1503207516
JIGABOO DEVIL: THE DEVIL’S DUE Written and created by: La Morris Richmond Illustrated by: Jiba Molei Anderson, Barton McGee, Andrew Mitchell Kudelka & Seitu Hayden 96 Pages, Black & White
He rose up against those who oppressed his people. Using an image meant to denigrate a race, he united a people and created a mighty nation. Now, he must rise again to save the nation he created from the corruption within.
The controversial mini-series is now at Griot Enterprises. Jigaboo Devil is a pulp hero for a new millennium… Give the Devil his due!
CANTON KID: VAMPIRE DOGS AND IRON MEN Written and created by: La Morris Richmond Illustrated by: Larry Chy 114 Pages, Black & White
In 1847, Buddhist monks, aided by members of the heroic Ling Family, fight a pitched battle to rid China of monsters that are feeding on the populace. Today, members of the heroic Ling Family fight a pitched battle to rid Chicago of monsters that are feeding on the populace! What’s the difference between then and now? Canton Kid — And the Kid kicks A$$!
Set in a neo-futuristic Chicago, Canton Kid is a thrilling combination of classic Hong Kong Cinema action and tongue-in-cheek action!
PURGE: RED, BLACK & DEADLY Written and created by: La Morris Richmond Illustrated by: Roberto Goiriz 118 Pages, Black & White
Welcome to Stagnation, Oklahoma 1872, where in this notoriously wild, wide open town of ill repute, a murderous rampage has set in motion a chain of events with devastating consequences. Thrust into this chaotic fray is U.S. Marshal John-Nathan Axelrodd, who must take control of the volatile situation and use it to bring down the territory’s most feared outlaw horde — The Riftkind Gang!
CRATES: THE HIP HOP CHRONICLES Written by: Jiba Molei Anderson & Christian Beranek Illustrated by: Dennis Calero, Klebs Junior, Chris Moreno & Chris Soriano 120 Pages, Full Color
We see this world through the eyes of the poets that live in it… and from the legends that left their mark on it.
The best of those who use the voice of Hip Hop aren’t called rappers. Nah, playboy. They’re called MCs. You can’t ignore the MC. The MC doesn’t speak to you. They preach to you. They are the storytellers.Sometimes, it’s about the party. Other times, they’re giving props to their hood. Some have their fists raised in protest while others educate the world through real talk, in a language that people can understand. Cats like DMX, Tupac and Rakim, they deliver the truth and their words have changed the world.
These are the Hip Hop Chronicles … and it’s Crates’ duty to share this knowledge with you. ISBN: 978-1503113817
Griot Enterprises is the future of entertainment… You better recognize…
We have seen many great African American superheroes in comics, but we never saw an iconic African American superhero team. We didn’t have our Justice League, our Avengers. We, as comic book fans of color, young and old, didn’t have a universe where our heroes reside…
… Griot Enterprisesfills that void.
In other words, we’ve made our own and these are our heroes. Check out the future of entertainment at our new website…
This was written by my good friend and collaborator on The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven Jude W Mire… Peep game.
I’m behind deadline on Issue Four. Part of it is due to visiting relatives, busy summer schedule, and the day-to-day of trying to write around running a business and having three daughters.
Another part of it goes a lot deeper.
To fill you in, in case you don’t know, I’m working for Griot Enterprises on writing a serial novel set in the comic book world of The Horsemen created by Jiba Molei Anderson. It’s a black comic (not an African American comic. If you don’t know the difference, message me).
Now, in this comic, the Horsemen, a group of super-heroes from Detroit, imbued with the powers of Yoruba gods, destroy a portion of Nigeria, unify Africa, and start building a technological utopia there. The U.S. has become repressive, outlaws emigration, and is basically a police state.
Where do they build this utopia? Right next to the crater of the city they destroyed to wake up Africa. A place they considered the epicenter of the continents problems and wiped out; Abuja. You know Abuja? Of course you don’t. What Americans really know the names of cities in Africa? I’ll give you something you do know though.
Bring back our girls.
We put our fictional city that represents hope; literally, on the same place that Boko Haram militants went and stole almost 300 girls from their school. When the news came about what happened I recognized all the places. Where the school was, where they’d been taken, where the military was ineffectually responding from, all because of my researching the region for the book months earlier. And now, while I was writing about an idealistic dream for Africa they were simultaneously being raped, beaten, and sold into slavery. The dream and the reality are so very, very far apart. It was excruciating. More than half the characters in the Horsemen are women. Brave, intelligent, funny, amazing fictional women, meant to inspire girls, specifically black girls. Like the ones that were taken. Girls not so different from my own daughters.
Chapter Three, which I wrote during that crisis, was incredibly hard to write. The sadness, the desire for the world to be different, to change things, was difficult to deal with. I pushed through it and Jiba and I made the best issue of the series so far. Then I moved into Issue Four.
Eshu and a Chicago cop partner up to deal with a problem with the Underground Railroad leading to Africa. So in the previous issue, I was writing in Abuja when the girls were kidnapped. This issue, I was writing a white cop protagonist when Ferguson explodes. And I’m transfixed. What the fuck is going on? To say that I’m stunned is an understatement. Jiba and I created a proto-military America as an exaggeration! A goddamned example of an extreme to illustrate a problem. But for some reason, here it is, happening for real. Reality just caught up with our doomsday vision of America. Oh sure, not entirely, but here, in the microcosm of Ferguson, I’m watching what we created as the terrible future manifest itself. The same horrible thing that the Horsemen created hope in Africa to counter. And again, the dream collides with reality.
As an author, I want to create things that mean something. Jiba likes to say, Everything I create is protest art. As a black man surrounded by a white industry, he’s absolutely right. I, on the other hand, don’t automatically create protest art just by creating. I’m not a woman, or a minority, and there’s no shortage of guys like me creating all manner of stuff all the time. I’ve got to do it intentionally. While many of my short stories are “fluff” and lack themes, overall, the work I’m most proud of are the stories that illustrate the human condition, make a statement, or reveal something about ourselves. It’s one of the things that has always drawn me to horror writing. Much of the human psyche is governed by fear and horror allows a writer to poke the uncomfortable areas. It inspires self-introspection, growth, and awareness. It’s why, despite being very different subject matter, I was drawn to the Horsemen. It does the same. For some reason I thought it would be easier than horror. I was dead wrong.
For as difficult as they are to write, at the end of the day, horror stories are personal. The difference with the Horsemen is that it’s personal and cultural and global. A personal fear or issue is yours to control. Cultural? Global? That shit is out of your hands. Those horrors remain. They’re real. They stand in the world and point guns at you, steal your children, and fire tear gas. The best you can do is band together with others and hope to god you gather enough of you to fight them, because alone? Alone, they swallow you. They bury you. They end you.
It can really make you want to quit. It feels futile, hopeless, like tossing pennies into the Grand Canyon to make a bridge. It is so small in the face of the real world. Next issue has to do with prisons. I don’t even want to guess how the real world intersection might happen there because the American prison system is already a terrible thing.
But no matter how small it is this book Jiba and I are writing is fantastic. It promotes diversity, inspires hope, busts stereotypes, and all of that is good. Seriously good. Whatever comes, Jiba and I aren’t stopping this project. This protest. It doesn’t matter how big the tide of darkness reality swells over us or how wide the canyon is that needs crossing. You don’t stop fighting just because your opponent is bigger than you. This world makes me sad and angry and vengeful and the tools I have to combat it are tiny but you can bet your ass I’m going to use them. How do I keep going when the beasts of mass rape, police murder, and civil injustice smash your hope? You get stubborn.
I just keep telling myself; “How do you eat a whale?”
The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven is in full swing with the third issue of the illustrated novel by Jiba Molei Anderson and Jude W. Mire out now! Here’s a little re-cap of what you might have missed…
America is in the grip of a crippling depression. Africa has become the land of opportunity. The bastard children of the Deitis want to take what the Horsemen have created. They want to leave their mark, the Mark of the Cloven, on the world.
Chapter One: Cripples’ Deluge
A favor for Eshu goes wrong and Yemaya comes face to face with a trio of dangerous foes… The next chapter of The New Mythology begins here with this nine-part illustrated novel!
Chapter Two: Plague’s Ransom
New enemies threaten the African Union as Ogun faces a threat that will take more than muscle to defeat.
Chapter Three: Divinity’s Knell
Oshun has an old love interest return with ties to a cult that worships the Horsemen. When the cult splits into two rival factions, nothing is what it seems and Oshun must discover the truth behind a dangerous plot.
I think that it’s very telling about the state of the game. With the corporatization of DC and Marvel (based on the success of comic book films), it’s been more so about promoting the properties than the individuals that create them.
I would look at Image as a reason why. When the Magnificent Seven (Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino and Whilce Portacio) bounced from Marvel in the early 90s to form Image, Marvel lost a lot of readers who flocked to the new company.
It has become easier to promote the writer within the “Corporate Two,” since there are fewer writers on multiple books than artists. Plus, they learned their “lesson” from Image: if the artist is better known than the property, people will follow the artist no matter which book they work on.
So, even though some artists still get shine (not as much since the demise of Wizard Magazine which really fomented this current state of personality with their monthly top 10 writers and artists lists), in corporate mentality, that’s not a good look. From a corporate standpoint, you don’t want the workers to get more shine than the product you’re selling (i.e. the property). Remember, the bean counters at DC and Marvel 9 times out of 10 are not creatives, much less fans of the business that they are in.
Thing is, comics are equally visual as well as literary. The artist is not the back up to the writer. They are on equal footing in the creative process. Indeed, the artist, in some ways, are more important to the selling of the product as their efforts are the first thing the consumer experiences which will entice said consumer to buy the merchandise.
Unless the writer and the artist are the same person, the proper combination of both makes for a memorable experience (a la Lee/Kirby, O’Neil/Adams, Claremont/Byrne, etc.). If the “Corporate Two” aren’t careful, they may be shooting themselves in the foot long term well after the allure of the movies fade.
Real talk? Independent comics are the future of this business. DC and Marvel are the McDonalds and Burger King of the game now.
If you’re looking for nutritional value from your reading material (i.e. proper representations of a character that is not a heterosexual white male), it ain’t coming from them.
If you are looking for the next big influential creator (i.e. the next Dwayne McDuffie, Fiona Staples, Afua Richardson or Robert Kirkman) that will change the game, it ain’t coming from the Mouse and the Rabbit.
Books like Saga, Watson and Holmes, the above Rocket Girl, Midnight Tiger, Black Science, Velvet, The Horsemen (shameless plug), and many more, are supplying the vitamins and minerals, the essential nutrients that your comic book diet is missing.
Here’s another little tidbit of information from Heidi McDonald over at The Beat:
When you support Indies, you’re not giving your dough away to a faceless corporation that doesn’t give a s$%t about you. You’re supporting the creators who are grinding day in and day out to give you what you need… What we need.
Get out of your comfort zone. Jump into the deep end of the pool and see what’s out there.
The solution exists… You just gotta take a leap of faith.
Following the events of The Book of Olorun, America is in decline while Africa rises as the new frontier of opportunity. A favor for Eshu goes wrong and Yemaya comes face to face with a trio of dangerous foes… And a plot to destroy the African Union before it even begins. The next chapter of The New Mythology starts here!
Cripples’ Deluge, the first chapter of the illustrated novel The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven written by Jude W. Mire and illustrated by Jiba Molei Anderson is on sale NOW in print for $4.99 and digital for $2.99. Click below to order your copy today!
Join us for the release of The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven, a nine issue illustrated novel written by Jude W. Mire and illustrated by Jiba Molei Anderson at Forte’ Framing and Gallery 2301 W. North Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647!
America is in decline and Africa has become a new frontier of opportunity. The bastard children of the Deitis see this as an opportunity. Controlling the world is a family business… And they want in. Heroes inhabited by ancient spirits, a pantheon of god-like villains, it’s sociology, politics, science-fiction, and superheroes, all rolled into one!
The Mark of the Cloven looks like a comic book on the outside, but open it up and you’ll find the first chapter of the novel accompanied by awesome illustrations! It’s comic/novel fusion! You’ll be able to pick up Issue 1 – Cripples’ Deluge at the event, and then issues roll out every other month all through 2014!
Join us for drinks, snacks, music, live readings, and and some serious party time to kick The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven off to a fantastic start!
And, if you can’t be there in person, you can boogie with us in spirit with Welcome To Lumumba, the official soundtrack to The Horsemen: Mark of the Cloven for FREE by downloading here.
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!