This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

Colorlines Screenshot of (L to R) the variant “Invincible Iron Man #1” comic, feat. (L to R) RiRi Williams and Ariell Johnson; and a picture of Ariell Johnson, taken from Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse’s Instagram on October 25, 2016.

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Ariell Johnson, the founder of Philadelphia’s Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, is the only Black woman to own a comics shop on the East Coast.  Johnson opened Amalgam Comics to tremendous fanfare in January. Now, her important contributions to geek culture and entrepreneurship for women of color has been immortalized in the most appropriate way possible.

Johnson appears on a store-specific variant cover for Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1,” enjoying a meal with another Black woman trailblazer: RiRi Williamsthe new Iron Man. The comic goes on sale next month, with this alternate cover being available only at Amalgam.

Johnson told ABC News that her colleague Randy Green spearheaded the project. “When the email went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details],” she said. “I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It’s really exciting.”

“When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures,” she said to ABC News. Had she not been introduced to X-Men character Storm, she said, “I might have grown out of my love for [comics].”

To read full article, go to: This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil Team Up With Greg Berlanti for ‘Black Lightning’ Superhero Series at Warner Bros. TV

DC Comics super hero Black Lightning (image via shadowandact.com)

article via shadowandact.com

According to DC Comics Universe lore, Black Lightning (real name Jefferson Pierce) – created by Tony Isabella and Trevor von Eeden, first appearing in “Black Lightning #1” (1977) –  is a super-hero with the ability to generate and control lightning. Originally he was a high school principal and Olympic-level athlete who became a vigilante to take down organized crime in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum.

Eventually he would become a member of Batman’s team of Outsiders for many years, although he retired briefly to become secretary of education underneath president Lex Luthor. Returning to crime-fighting, he has also been a member of the Justice League. His two daughters operate as the super-heroes Thunder and Lightning.

And now a live-action series based on the superhero is set to come to your TV screens – The CW specifically – in a collaboration between Mara Brock and Salim Akil and Greg Berlanti, the man behind all of the CW’s DC universe series.

Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil will write and executive produce the series with Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, for Warner Bros. TV (recall the Akils inked a 3-year deal with Warner Bros. after exiting BET last year; “Black Lightning” will be their second project under the new deal; the first, announced a week ago, will be a comedy series titled “Documenting Love” which will center on a modern-day power couple navigating life, love and family.

To read full article, go to: Mara Brock & Salim Akil Team Up With Greg Berlanti for ‘Black Lightning’ Superhero Series – Shadow and Act

New Jersey Educator Naseed Gifted Launches STEM Comic Book, “P.B. Soldier”

Naseed Gifted (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Nat Cummings is a talented computer hacker using his skills to pay his college tuition. A covert operative, he is well-versed in hacking, hand-to-hand combat, blade combat, and stealth.All is well with Nat until he is listed as a
n International Terror Threat,­ Code Red.

The newly formed government/paramilitary organization called The Establishment gives him a simple choice, either work with them to become a highly trained assassin or be terminated. Nat is the protagonist of a new science fiction comic book series, P.B. Soldier. The series not only promises an exciting story of an African American antihero, but it is designed to teach STEM skills.

P.B. Soldier is the brainchild of PBS Media, an independent comic book publisher founded by Naseed Gifted.

Gifted is not only the comic’s writer and creator he is a long-time math teacher, was an engineer, and is currently an administrator for the Pre-Academy division of the New Jersey Public Schools system.

Today, PBS Media is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,500 for the production of episode 3.0, the sixth installment of a 13 book arc. Funds will go toward payment to line artist and colorist Abel Garcia, and the actual production of the book, including printing and distribution.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Central High School Pre­Engineering Academy in Newark, New Jersey, where Gifted has taught and led for the past 13 years.

To read full article, go to: New Jersey Educator Launches STEM Comic Book

“Bad Feminist” Author Roxane Gay Becomes 1st Black Woman to Ever Write Marvel Comic Book

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

article via theroot.com

Roxane Gay is set to write a new Marvel comic book in the World of Wakanda, which delves into the lives of the women of the Black Panther comic book series universe. It will be released in November, the New York Times reports.

The Purdue College professor and “Bad Feminist” scribe will team up with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates who has written his Black Panther series set in the fictional African nation.

Complex reports that the new series will involve several black women as writers and illustrators in addition to Gay. Alitha Martinez is the illustrator, and Yona Harvey and Afua Richardson will co-write and illustrate, respectively, a special “backup” story that will appear in the series’ debut issue.

Gay’s story will feature two members of Black Panther’s all-female security team—Ayo and Aneka—who fall in love. Harvey’s first story will revolve around Zenzi, a female revolutionary introduced in the first issue of Coates’ Black Panther series.  “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” said Gay to the Times.

Coates recruited both writers because he thought it important to have a woman’s perspective. “The women in Black Panther’s life are very, very important,” he said.

Read more in the New York Times and Complex.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Black Panther’ Is 2016’s Best-Selling Comic So Far

Ta-Nehisi Coates (photo via colorlines.com)

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Add “Black Panther” to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ list of best-selling titles.

The culture critic and “The Atlantic” journalist’s first foray into comic books was not only the top-selling comic last month, but according to Vulture, it’s the top-selling comic of 2016 so far.

Less than a year after the success of his memoir, “Between the World and Me,” the first issue of Coates’ reboot of the classic Marvel character’s story tops the list with 253,259 orders from North American retailers. While that number doesn’t account for actual sales (or orders from oustide the continent), Vulture notes that it “is the only industry statistic available and it’s generally a good indicator of interest in a comic.” The closest runner-up, the inaugural issue of Marvel’s “Star Wars: Poe Dameron,” received just 175,322 orders.

Source: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Black Panther’ Is 2016’s Best-Selling Comic So Far

Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Star with Chadwick Boseman in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

Lupita Nyong'o Black Panther

Lupita Nyong’o (BILLY FARRELL/BFA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK BILLY FARRELL/BFA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is in talks to play the love interest of Chadwick Boseman’s superhero in Marvel’s “The Black Panther.”

“Creed” helmer Ryan Coogler is on board to direct the film.  Kevin Feige is producing the movie, which stars Boseman as T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda, who must take over the mantel after his father’s murder. Marvel unveiled the character in “Captain America: Civil War” before the standalone film hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Nyong’o most recently lent her voice to “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” as Maz Kanata and “The Jungle Book” as Mother Wolf Raksha. She can be seen next in Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” opposite David Oyelowo and is also attached to star in DreamWorks’ “Intelligent Life.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/lupita-nyongo-black-panther-1201772781/

The Return of Black Panther: A Look at the Revival of Marvel’s 1st Black Superhero

Marvel / The Atlantic

article by Ta-Nehisi Coates via theatlantic.com

Last year I was offered the opportunity to script an 11-issue series of Black Panther, for Marvel. The Black Panther—who, when he debuted in an issue of Fantastic Four, in 1966, was the first black superhero in mainstream American comics—is the alter ego of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, a mythical and technologically advanced African country.

By day, T’Challa mediates conflicts within his nation. By night, he battles Dr. Doom. The attempt to make these two identities—monarch and superhero—cohere has proved a rich vein for storytelling by such creators as Jack Kirby, Christopher Priest, and Reginald Hudlin. But when I got the call to write Black Panther, I was less concerned with character conflict than with the realization of my dreams as a 9-year-old.

The September 1976 cover of Jungle Action, the first Marvel series starring the Black Panther (Marvel Entertainment)

Some of the best days of my life were spent poring over the back issues of The Uncanny X-Men and The Amazing Spider-Man. As a child of the crack-riddled West Baltimore of the 1980s, I found the tales of comic books to be an escape, another reality where, very often, the weak and mocked could transform their fallibility into fantastic power. That is the premise behind the wimpy Steve Rogers mutating into Captain America, behind the nerdy Bruce Banner needing only to grow angry to make his enemies take flight, behind the bespectacled Peter Parker being transfigured by a banal spider bite into something more.

But comic books provided something beyond escapism. Indeed, aside from hip-hop and Dungeons & Dragons, comics were my earliest influences. In the way that past writers had been shaped by the canon of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Wharton, I was formed by the canon of Claremont, DeFalco, and Simonson. Some of this was personal. All of the comics I loved made use of two seemingly dueling forces—fantastic grandiosity and ruthless efficiency. Comic books are absurd. At any moment, the Avengers might include a hero drawn from Norse mythology (Thor), a monstrous realization of our nuclear-age nightmares (the Hulk), a creation of science fiction (Wasp), and an allegory for the experience of minorities in human society (Beast).

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