Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

The Complexion of Comics: Step Ya Game Up

This image by Jason Reeves may be a bit of fan fic, but the return of Milestone is very real...
This image by Jason Reeves may be a bit of fan fic, but the return of Milestone is very real…

What’s happening, fam…

I’m not gonna lie to y’all… I’m a little shook.

Just reached out to Mr. Reginald Hudlin today congratulating him for the announcement made at the San Diego Comic Con this past weekend and, hopefully, put a little bug in his ear…

“Hello, Mr. Hudlin!

As a huge fan of both your film and comic book work as well as a fan of Milestone, I would first like to congratulate you and the rest of the team in bringing Milestone back to the comic book landscape. You were sorely missed and I’m looking forward to the new adventures featuring the heroes of Earth-M.

As a comic book creator of color, Milestone was influential at beginning of my career and the inspiration for me to create my own property, The Horsemen, as well as my company, Griot Enterprises.

I would love to work with Milestone in the near future. Moreover, I would love to, at some point, have the opportunity for our characters to interact in some form or fashion. A “Fan turned Professional” wish to be sure, but this is a time for all us (Creators of Color) to make the enduring mark on the industry through a sense of unity, something that deferred the dream back in the 1990s.

In any event, I hope this message finds you well and deservedly resting from the event that was SDCC. Please take a look at my website at your earliest convenience and I look forward to the day when we would meet in person.

Cheers!
Jiba Molei Anderson, MFA
CEO – Griot Enterprises
http://www.griotenterprises.com”

We shall we what we shall see…

Milestone officially back in the game is intimidating… Extremely intimidating. People have been hoping, wishing and praying that these brothers and their properties come back in full force. For nearly 20 years since Milestone stopped regular publication, two questions have been asked on a daily basis:

“When is Milestone coming back?”

“Who is gonna be the next Milestone?”

Personally, I’m more concerned that we Indie cats don’t go all Ania and front on Milestone because they had the ability to link with DC from jump.

This is the company that inspired a great many of us creators of color to step into the arena. Milestone Media has truly iconic characters in their stable. Icon, Hardware and especially Static are household names. They have the financial, marketing and distribution power of the “Rabbit” behind them. They are the Silverbacks, the 800lb elephant in the room.

Are the rest of us going to be overshadowed by the Return of the Cool?
Are the rest of us going to be overshadowed by the Return of the Cool?

Fellow creator of color and head of Ravenhammer Entertainment Brian Mark Williams expresses the concern some of us have:

“I feel terrible about this…I like Milestone. And I don’t want to be that fiery indie guy who doesn’t like anything but his own books…but Earth-M? Geoff Johns and Jim Lee? It scares me. I have concerns. Or maybe my worst fears have come true and I am that paranoid black writer who believes nothing is what it appears to be on the surface…”

He’s got a right to be concerned about Milestone’s future developments. They are the giants whose shoulders we stand on.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me sweat a little.

I’ve been rocking Griot Enterprises since 1999. The Horsemen has been in the landscape since 2002. That’s 16 years of being in the game…

And I’m just now getting a little bit of shine.

With Milestone officially back in the game, DC once again has “Diversity” on lock. In this respect, they crushed Marvel as it comes to representation. Yeah, Marvel may have, what, 10 – 16 books featuring characters of color, but only one writer of color working on them…

DC has Milestone… A company owned by four men of color, featuring characters of differing cultures, genders and orientation. They just landed verbal agreements from rising stars/veterans Ken Lashley and David Walker. DC Co-Publisher Geoff Johns is all on their jock and going to write a Milestone project. The artistic demigod that is DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee has been slated to draw a Milestone project.

That, my brothers and sisters, is the ultimate trump card.

Is this a violation? A little bit...
Is this a violation? A little bit…

My man Al “Sugar” Cayne writes:

“There’s no reason why all the major ‘Urban’ and ‘Hip Hop’ websites shouldn’t be posting your works. But more importantly that support needs to be reciprocated. Only then can you create a real infrastructure to create the foundation for growth. In this day in age of “All Things Indie” the support can’t be one sided.”

He’s absolutely correct. Especially for creators and properties of color, trying garner attention from Comic Book Resources, Newsarama or Comics Alliance is not nearly enough; especially because of the stigma of being the other. In addition, many fans of color simply do not check for independent comics.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but that BGSS is a real condition.

That’s why I approached sites like Afropunk to promote my work. In that respect, comic books become more of a cultural artifact, and art piece that people, who normally don’t read comics, become aware of and are attracted to. We become special. We become unique.

Concrete Park co-creator, Tony Puryear puts it all into perspective with this statement:

“I’ve said this here before and I guess I’m gonna say it again: Isn’t this a time? Isn’t this a time to be making comics that reflect our experience, our sadness, and our beauty? I think it’s a helluva time and I think it’s about time. Let’s go!”

Get it Ronald Wimberly...
Get it Ronald Wimberly…

That is the realest of talk right there.

Mr. Puryear is absolutely correct. Despite whatever “Doom and Gloom” I hear about the state of representation in the comic book industry, despite whatever reservations or insecurities I, as an independent creator of color, may feel about the return of Milestone, this truly is a new Golden Age of diversity. The Indie game is strong. It’s powerful. Fans are tired of the same old, same old and aren’t taking any shorts.

Think about this:

At SDCC, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights activist and creator of the autobiographical graphic novel trilogy March, cosplayed himself… recreating the march to Selma with young children on the convention’s floors.

Ronald Wimberly (Prince of Cats) announced not one, but two projects: Sunset Park and the highly anticipated Slave Punk: White Coal, which will be published through Image Comics.

... I said GET IT!
… I said GET IT!

Meanwhile, Mark Waid and J.G. JonesStrange Fruit published through Boom Studios, falls under an eye of scrutiny. The mini-series, which feels like the “Ultimate” version of Icon, is criticized for well-tread tropes and a lack of authenticity.

This image has earned a particular level of side-eye... Especially because of recent events in the past few weeks. Talk about timing...
This image has earned a particular level of side-eye… Especially because of recent events in the past few weeks. Talk about timing…

Interestingly, if Strange Fruit were published in, say 2000, it would be considered groundbreaking

Oh, and Marvel’s Hip Hop Variant Cover month coming in October gets fronted on as another case of Columbusing rather than seen as an earnest homage to the musical and cultural art form.

That’s why I came up with the #4Pages16Bars concept… It’s the best of the best in a “Heavy Metal” format where fans can sample the great work out there… Not to toot a horn, but if I could get half the cats that complain about representation promoting and buying a project like this, things will change.

Fact is: there are those of us in the indie game that go toe to toe with what the Corporate Two puts out. The only thing we don’t have are the funds for big marketing campaigns. What we do have is passion, drive and chutzpah. What we need are the fans who do dig us riding hard to bring awareness to those who still sip the Kool-Aid.

Don’t get me wrong; we do a lot… A whole lot. But, we need the people who keep bitching to get their heads out of the sand, put their money where their mouth is, do a little research (we’re everywhere on social media for Heaven’s sake), and spread the word.

If all y’all do is complain and don’t contribute, shut up and continue to give them your money… #VoteWithYourDollars

Ready for battle... We ain't goin' nowhere...
Ready for battle… We ain’t goin’ nowhere…

Indeed… We’re the vanguards of the Next Age!

http://www.griotenterprises.com

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Kicking and Screaming Towards The Light

2014 was a year of great change…

No, that’s incorrect. 2014 was a year of great revelation.

2014 was the year that we witnessed a man thought to be the definition of fatherhood brought low by indiscretions and heresy proclaimed guilty by the court of public opinion.

You got caught out there, sir...
You got caught out there, sir…

2014 was the year that we saw injustice happen every 28 hours, the year that African American lives were terminated with extreme prejudice and that their murderers saw no repercussions for their actions.

The United States of America, 2014
The United States of America, 2014

2014 was the year that those who were charged with protecting and serving their public committing the greatest sign of disrespect by literally turning their backs to the ones that they must answer to.

2014 was the year that we, as a country, had our rose-colored glasses severely smudged, that the fallacy of superiority was just that, a straight-up fabrication; the ultimate marketing tool if you will.

2014 was a year of great denial in the overwhelming face of truth; a year where many people willfully shoved their heads into the sand clinging desperately to an ideal that never was.

This is what they think about you...
This is what they think about you…

2014 was the year that the majority realized that they were not the cool kids anymore.

2014 was the year that, despite complaints to the contrary, diversity reared its glorious head.

Do your thang, gurl!
Do your thang, gurl!

2014 was the year of Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, a Muslim Ms. Marvel and Storm taking the comic world and turning it on its ear.

Fly high, Sam... Fly high...
Fly high, Sam… Fly high…

2014 was the year we saw Sam Wilson flying high in The Winter Soldier and taking the shield as Captain America.

2014 was the year that we would cheer for a talking raccoon and his walking tree.

2014 was the year that a woman held the hammer of Thor.

Looking forward to checking you out, Big Guy...
Looking forward to checking you out, Big Guy…

2014 was the year they announcement that in 2017 the King of Wakanda will arrive on the big screen and our Hero for Hire will have bullets bouncing off of his chest on Netflix.

The Multiverse is diverse...
The Multiverse is diverse…

2014 was the year that the Multiversity of the DCU showed the potential for diversity in the DCU.

Two of the best shows on TV right now...
Two of the best shows on TV right now…

2014 was the year we would see that Barry Allen was raised in a male single-parent African American household with strong moral values to help him on his journey to become the fastest man alive and that Oliver Queen would depend upon and support a brother in his time of need who’s only secret identity is that he has a good job, good credit and a gym membership.

She's a bad mamma-jamma...
She’s a bad mamma-jamma…

2014 was the year that the history of Gotham City became a little more interesting with the introduction of mob boss Fish Mooney.

He's coming to television... Soon...
He’s coming to television… Soon…

2014 was the year that another vision of Milestone Media would be realized with the announcement of a live-action Static Shock project.

Independents are where REAL comic books live...
Independents are where REAL comic books live…

2014 was the year of the independents taking real chances with books like Low, Black Science, Velvet, Lazarus, Ragnarok, Sirens, Day Men and East of West.

2014 was the year of the creator of color flourishing beyond the Corporate Two. Writers and artists of color produced amazing, groundbreaking work beyond the sphere of the mainstream.

A small taste of the flavor Indie Black Comics brought to the game in 2014...
A small taste of the flavor Indie Black Comics brought to the game in 2014…

2014 was the year of Genius, Concrete Park, Midnight Tiger, Rat Queens, Cannon Busters, Watson & Holmes and the Legend of the Mantamaji.

Sheena C. Howard flipped the script... Congratulations, sister!
Sheena C. Howard flipped the script… Congratulations, sister!

2014 was the year that a sister would win the Eisner Awards for her book Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation.

2014 was the year that our Stan Lee, Dwayne McDuffie, would have an award named in his honor.

DMC... Tougher than leather!
DMC… Tougher than leather!

2014 was the year of DMC.

The man is truly back!
The man is truly back!

2014 was the year of Shaft.

The Future of Entertainment... You Better Recognize...
The Future of Entertainment… You Better Recognize…

2014 was the year of Griot Enterprises, Action Lab, Lion Forge, and the operative.net.

2014 was the year that the world of comic books became way more interesting.

So, what does that mean for 2015?

It means that the gloves are off. It means that we will not be held back. It means that our voices will not be silenced. It means that we are once again realizing our power

It means that the world done changed.

Hope you got your ticket…

The train has left the station…

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Dreams

He's a comin'... I SAID, HE'S A COMIN'!
He’s a comin’… I SAID, HE’S A COMIN’!

“Thunder only happens when it’s raining…”

– Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

Brothers and sisters rejoice… The Jackie Robinson of Black superheroes is coming to the big screen…

And, he will be played by Jackie Robinson…

If you’ve been living under a rock with no Wi-Fi, the comic book industry was pleasantly rocked by the news from Marvel Studios. Not only has Benedict Cumberbatch has been tapped to play Doctor Strange on the big screen, not only will Marvel give us the first comic book movie with a female lead in the upcoming Captain Marvel film, but…

Wait for it…

The King of Wakanda is coming to big screen Nov. 3, 2017... About damn time...
The King of Wakanda is coming to big screen Nov. 3, 2017… About damn time…

The Black Panther is coming to the big screen in 2017, and Chadwick Bosemen (42, Get on Up) will be the King of Wakanda.

This news, on top of DC’s announcement of a live-action Static series is the equivalent of Christmas and Kwanzaa coming early to comic geekdom, in general, but Black geekdom in particular. This is the news that the brothers and sisters have been waiting for. This is the comic book version of Barack Obama being elected as president of the United States. We are happy…

Very happy.

We are dancing in the streets, we are patting each other on the back, and we are acting like we have finally reached the Promised Land.

Quick sidebar: remember that the evolution of the comic book movie began with a little film called Blade.

Don’t get it twisted.

Blade is the template for the modern comic book film. Without the success of Blade, Marvel wouldn’t have made Spider Man, the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios would not have the balls to release Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen…

A comic book film with an African American lead, with an African American viewpoint, got the ball rolling.

You... Better recognize...
You… Better recognize…

As much as Black fandom has to celebrate, as much money as we are about to throw to corporations that already got our dough, a couple of questions should be raised:

Does this news mean that the “Corporate Two” will now increasingly diversify their talent pool by hiring not only more artists, but also more writers of color?

More important, what happens to the independent Black comic book scene?

Yes, the one-two punch of the Static TV series and the Black Panther movie is huge news… huge. But, does that mean that the Black comic book community is satisfied? That we independent creators of color are gonna get lost in the shuffle?

Hell naw!

Miranda Mercury is that next shit...
Miranda Mercury is that next shit…

As independents, we’ve got to stop thinking like creators and start thinking, and acting, like businesspeople. We’ve got to go hard in the paint, study our competition in all arenas, and become truly ready for combat. With all that is at our disposal, social media, Print on Demand, the democratized distribution landscape, we must evolve. We must be prolific, we must market, we must grind. We must make our voices so loud that they can’t ignore us. And, our product has to be so on point that they cannot refute us.

Midnight Tiger is that next shit...
Midnight Tiger is that next shit…

In fact, what should happen… What will happen is that we must, and will, capitalize on this good news. We will use the momentum generated by these announcements to further our cause. We will piggyback with the notion of:

“Y’all about that Black Panther?”

“Y’all about that Static?”

“Well, check out Concrete Park, check out Midnight Tiger, and check out Ajala, One Nation, Wildfire, Witchdoctor, Genius, Miranda Mercury, E.P.I.C., T.A.S.K., Millennia War, DMC, The Almighty Street Team, The Horsemen…”

“We are that next shit.”

It’s already been done. We have our template. Brotherman, T.R.I.B.E. and the almighty Milestone Media showed us how it’s done.

Let’s rock this funky joint.

One Nation is that next shit...
One Nation is that next shit…

Speaking of…

In other monumental moments in Black Comics History: Griot Enterprises, home of The Horsemen, will be distributing their graphic novels and art books through the biggest distributor in the United States, Ingram, Baker and Taylor. You can pre-order The Horsemen: Divine Intervention at your local bookstore or comic book store today.

The ISBN is: 9781941958001.

The Horsemen is that next shit...
The Horsemen is that next shit…

We are beyond Diamond. We are beyond the comic book store. We are officially everywhere. Griot Enterprises is global, baby.

This is how you take it to the next level.

Thunder only happens when it’s raining.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Watching This Art Go Down…

Chronicle: The Art of Jiba Molei Anderson
Chronicle: The Art of Jiba Molei Anderson

Chronicle: The Art of Jiba Molei Anderson is on sale now in digital and a limited print run of 1000 copies at Amazon… Grab both for the low, low price of $24.95… Cop this joint today!

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Dear Dan

I used to be an interesting character pre-52, now I'm reduced to token status??!!!??? I want revenge!
I used to be an interesting character pre-52, now I’m reduced to token status??!!!??? I want revenge!

So, while I’ve been busy this past weekend, almost wishing that I were at San Diego Comic-Con to be amongst the hordes of my fellow lovers of the medium, I happened upon this post written by Khalil Kakarot Asadullah in the Facebook group Comic Nerds of Color. He had written, basically, a “Dear John” letter to the “Corporate Two,” in general, and DC in particular. Here is that letter now in all of its heartfelt glory:

Dear Dan DiDio,

The big two, Marvel and DC Comics have for years been a cornerstone of great ideas and stories that I have loved since my childhood. Some of my favorite characters have been DC Comics characters, Nightwing and the Flash (Wally West). I personally was a little disappointed in the New 52 and the reboot of characters and altering their history. The New 52 was convoluted and seems haphazard with no true direction. In establishing the New 52 continuity, there was no continuity at all. Some stories were not even on the same time frame as some stories were five to seven years in the past while others were present, and the stories that were supposed to be in the past frequently referenced events that were supposed to have happened in the present.

Very confusing indeed.

This, however is not the main issue I have been having…

Diversity.

Remember me? I was in the Outsiders AND the Justice League (and yes, this look is STILL hot)!
Remember me? I was in the Outsiders AND the Justice League (and yes, this look is STILL hot)!

I applaud any true attempt at bringing diversity to comic books. The fact that Asian, Black, Hispanic and LBGT characters are under represented in comic books is a travesty in my eyes. Comics should represent the ultra diverse world that we live in, and it is about time that both Marvel and DC set the standard with this new path. There is however a way that this path should be done. Ultimately, I think it first starts with having a workplace where this diversity is celebrated. More capable female, Black, Asian and Hispanic writers and artists would be a big step in defining characters with authentic backgrounds and personalities because they have been written by people who reflect that diversity.

Ummm... Hello? Can a sista get some love up in this piece?
Ummm… Hello? Can a sista get some love up in this piece?

Currently, you have a reboot in progress for the character Wally West. This new reboot has changed Wally from a white character to a black character. I personally have a reservation with “race bending” characters, it shows a lack of originality. It doesn’t show true diversity because all you are doing is giving a character another complexion. But this is not the factor that has me to the point of not giving DC Comics another penny of my money. In four or five issues now, this new Wally West, this new black Wally West, has been in handcuffs in two of these issues. He has been arrested TWICE!

For real Dan? TWICE?

It just seems to me that all you are currently doing is reinforcing a trope about young black men- that we are criminals. I have never been arrested. My brother has never been arrested. My cousins have never been arrested. My male friends who are black have never been arrested. But this is however a statistic that is forced in the minds of young black men. It is seen in televisions shows like The Wire. It is in the news repeatedly. Now, it is in comic books.

Here's the irony: Marvel has actually brought the Captain America legacy full-circle from Isiah Bradley...
Here’s the irony: Marvel has actually brought the Captain America legacy full-circle from Isiah Bradley…

As an educated black man who is also a high school English teacher, my job is to not only educate these young men so that they are more prepared for college and beyond, but it is also to be an example of what these young men are fighting against– stereotypes. I often use comic books and graphic novels in the classroom to change up the pace and to give my students more reference material. Through characters like Batman and the Hulk I have been able to introduce students to characters like Sherlock Holmes and books like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But why on Earth would I introduce a juvenile delinquent to my students? Why would I allow a trope like what your company has created into my classroom?

I am truly disappointed in what DC Comics has done. The feign attempt at diversity is nothing more than stereotypical propaganda that consciously reinforces a racial and social paradigm that is undeserved. Maybe DC Comics (and Marvel for that matter) should study the work of Christopher Priest on The Black Panther. Use his writing as a lesson plan of how to avoid tropes and create stories about a character with dignity, honor and an unwavering moral code that not only young black men can be proud to read about, but also all races can see the goodness that dwells in the hearts of people of color.

... To Sam Wilson.
… To Sam Wilson.

To sum it up, DC Comics has failed. DC Comics has failed to create stories about characters with integrity and characters that do not negatively reflect any particular race, gender or sexual orientation. DC will make their money, and some people will still purchase this “Shazbot,” but it won’t be me. Make mine Indie Comics because I see nothing MARVELous about Marvel or DC.

Well, DC and Marvel, that’s one source of revenue gone. And trust… he’s not the only one that’s fed up. This is what happens when you short-shrift a sizeable portion of your “1000 True Fans.”

So, what are you going to do about it?

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Pick a Color… Any Color You Want…

Oh, wow... A Black Superman. Yet, I'm not excited... I wonder why...
Oh, wow… A Black Superman. Yet, I’m not excited… I wonder why…

Everybody is acting like this race-bending phenomenon is new when they’ve been doing this since, at least, 1989 (Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent anyone?).

Despite current attitudes, we are all down with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. We were introduced to that eventual reality thanks to Bryan Hitch drawing the Ultimates. Actually, Nick Fury was established as being Black in Ultimate X-Men. In fact, the cinematic Marvel U is based more so on the original Ultimate Universe than good ‘ol 616.

Honestly, if at the end of Iron Man, if anyone, Black or white, other than SLJ was wearing that eye patch, the entirety of fandom would have been pissed because the “reality” of Nick Fury being Black was established in the comics so much so that Marvel had to incorporate elements of the Ultimate Universe into the 616 universe.

Oh... Right...
Oh… Right…

Yet no one, I mean, no one cared that Kerry Washington played Alicia Masters…

Why? Because Alicia Masters is one of the last characters that you worry about in FF canon (really… how many people have clamored for an Alicia Masters solo book?)…

But Jessica Alba as Sue Storm? Don’t tell me y’all weren’t fronting on that decision…

I mean really?
I mean really?

It’s an interesting contradiction. I had called shenanigans when Jessica Alba was cast as Sue Storm yet was down with Michael Clarke Duncan was cast as the Kingpin (maybe, in my opinion, the only bright spot in the otherwise abysmal Daredevil movie). Both were examples of “Colorblind casting” rather than “Race-swapping.” One worked, the other didn’t.

The BEST thing about Daredevil... You know I'm right...
The BEST thing about Daredevil… You know I’m right…

Another great example of “Colorblind casting” is Sin City. Say what you will about “Uncle Frank,” but Robert Rodriguez is the man. This is the cat that makes sure that, at the extreme least, one Hispanic or Latino actor is in a lead role. Gail and Nancy Callahan were not Latino in the books, but did that matter with the casting of Rosario Dawson and the aforementioned Jessica Alba in those respective roles?

Yes, she was...
Yes, she was…

Now, let’s look at this in the reverse, specifically, the casting of Liam Nesson as Ra’s Al-Ghul and Marion Cotillard as Talia Al-Ghul in the Nolan Dark Knight universe.

We understand Talia Al-Ghul and Ra’s Al-Ghul to be Middle Eastern solely on their last names. Was it ever established really where Ra’s came from? In fact, one story depicted that Talia’s mother was a Chinese hippie in the 60s (Birth of the Demon… Look it up, that story does exist).

Now, on the Nerds of Color blog, they made mention of how they felt that Ra’s Al Ghul was more of a title than an actual person (which made sense as they were trying to avoid the more fantastic elements of the character i.e. the Lazarus Pit). That made sense to me when seeing Ken Watanabe playing Al Ghul in the beginning of the film when he was really the Sensei of the League of Assassins.

Nobody complained about this casting choice...
Nobody complained about this casting choice…

So, with that line of thinking in the Nolan Batman universe, if the title was passed from Watanabe’s Al Ghul to Nesson’s Ducard, the casting of Cotillard makes more sense. And, in the Fanboy of Color universe, if the outrage of Nesson ultimately being cast as Al Ghul had been present at the time, the displeasure of Cotillard’s casting as Talia would make more sense as well.

In addition, Marion Cotillard had a “look” that could work for a vaguely Middle Eastern character. If Talia were a blonde or a redhead, then a situation would have been created in where one would have heard outrage from fanboys.

...And you weren't mad at this one either...
…And you weren’t mad at this one either…

In other words, we don’t know. Hell, most people call Kim Kardashian a white girl with a big ass when she is, in fact, an Armenian girl…

With a big ass.

Look, did any of us call shenanigans when Liam Nesson’s Ducard was actually Ra’s Al-Ghul? No, no we did not. And honestly, none of us cared when Cotillard was revealed to be Talia, either.

Why? It’s because every time a POC is portrayed as someone in a position of power, especially one that had been traditionally “reserved” for a white man (let’s be 100% here), it’s one more instance of reality that skin color, or gender, or sexual orientation does not automatically put you in the power position…

And, a number of white fanboys don’t like that…

Now, we have switching race for the sake of switching race as some half-hearted attempt at “diversity” when, in reality, they are just tryin’ to get as many dollars as possible with the least amount of effort. From Michael B. Jordan’s casting as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot to making Wally West bi-racial in the New52 Flash comic, we are being insulted, and assaulted, left and right.

Truth be told, the “Corporate Two’s” Fans of Color don’t want Superman in Blackface.

They want Icon.

The Milestone Universe is an untapped cash-cow resource...
The Milestone Universe is an untapped cash-cow resource…

They don’t want a bi-racial Wally West.

They want Static.

...With a PROVEN track record of crossover, mutlimedia appeal... But, y'all don't hear me though...
…With a PROVEN track record of crossover, mutlimedia appeal… But, y’all don’t hear me though…

In other words, they want the characters of color that do exist and run rampant in the “Corporate Two” to be treated with the respect that they deserve.

Instead, the “Corporate Two,” DC in particular, have gone fetishistic in the comics and the films. It has gone from “Colorblind casting” to “Race swapping.” In other words, fools are lazy. Sure, there’s been a modicum of laziness in the past, but fools are straight-up sloth-like these days.

Laziness breeds apathy, apathy breeds racism.

That’s the real problem.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

The Final Straw

Yeah... THIS is out there...
Yeah… THIS is out there…

“If this book doesn’t sell, then DC and Marvel won’t put out any more books with colored people in it… Gotta keep the plantation going!”

“Wow… A banana? Really? They went deep into the racism crates…”

“They just told you how they felt about the book and the people who will buy it.”

This… is some bullshit.

This comes from a company that hasn’t hired and African American writer since 2009. This comes from a company that is promoting a book whose cast is composed of people of color and women, yet the creative team does not show that same level of diversity.

Fine, it’s a prank. However, does knowing that it’s a prank negate the truth about the Corporate Two’s hiring policies and treatment of characters of color?

The fact that this exists is unacceptable. The fact that, despite this image existing, fools will still fight to support this book is unacceptable.

This is what tokenism in comics looks like, ladies and gentlemen…

Our beef is not that people buy DC and Marvel. It’s that y’all keep complaining about DC and Marvel not acting right by you while completely passing by those books that you’re truly looking for in the independent sphere. It’s the comic book equivalent of being a battered spouse and sticking with the partner that beats you.

For example, why not hire artists of color to do a variant. What about Olivier Copiel, Sanford Greene, Afua Richardson, Brian Stelfreeze, Jason Pearson or so many other talented brothers and sisters doing the artwork?

What we are saying is that we, as consumers, should and do demand more from the Corporate Two. What we are saying is that, as creators, we have taken our frustration and creative viable alternatives to the level of disrespect that the Corporate Two has shown us.

BTW, none of us who speak to these frustrations have ever denigrated the people that we want to buy our books. That’s just stupid. However, when we do bring up the alternative, those who find out about us have this reflexive negativity about not being up on what we do, which manifests as excuses as to why they won’t support the work. It is their insecurity which sparks these confrontations.

Here’s the thing: OUR COMMENTS AIN’T ABOUT YOU. We just happen to see the marketing behind the Corporate Two’s efforts and we ain’t drinking the Kool-Aid… We prefer mixing flavors than just sticking with grape or red…

THAT’S where we’re coming from. If you’re satisfied with what you buy, buy it. If you’re waiting for DC and Marvel to truly give you what you want as a fan, don’t hold your breath. Ultimately, it’s your decision.

The Blaxis exists to expose people to the diversity of people of culture, ethnicity, gender and orientation in the comic book industry, the characters and the people behind the scenes who create this work. It is composed of fans and professionals in this game. Now, the pros in this business started off as fans. In fact, the reason why we are in this game is because we are fans of the medium.

Now, as fans of not just DC and Marvel, but of COMICS, we expose ourselves to books outside of the Corporate Two, specifically because of the fact that the Corporate Two do not respect us as consumers. We have had the same frustrations you have about representation of ourselves in comics. However, instead of bitching about it and accepting our fate, we did something about it and created our own properties.

Not only did we do it for ourselves, but we did it for an audience demanding change. Yet, when we present this change to the demanding audience, that audience turns its nose at us and still laments that the Corporate Two hasn’t served their needs….

How would you feel in that position?

Look, at the end of the day, do you. Buy your books. Enjoy your life. As a producer of books, my goal is to market to anyone who would buy my product regardless of culture, ethnicity or gender. If you are not one of those who would take a look at mine, or any other product not of the Corporate Two, then so be it. There’s a whole world to expose this work to and, I am confident, will buy and appreciate the work that I, and so many of us in The Blaxis, create… Ubuntu!

http://www.griotenterprises.com