Tag: African-American comic book characters

Virginia Commonwealth University Acquires Rare Copy of “All-Negro Comics No. 1”

all_negro_comics_coverarticle via jbhe.com

Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond has more than 175,000 volumes in its Comic Arts Collection, including more than 125,000 comic books. The university recently acquired a rare copy of All-Negro Comics No. 1, the first comic book written and drawn solely by African American writers and artists.

The 48-page comic book was published in 1947 and features characters such as police detective Ace Harlem and Lion Man, a college-educated scientist and superhero. All-Negro Comics No. 1 was published by Philadelphia newspaperman Orrin C. Evans.

A letter from the publisher in All-Negro Comics No. 1 reads: “Dear Readers: This is the first issue of All-Negro Comics, jam-packed with fast action, African adventure, good clean humor and fantasy. Every brush stroke and pen line in the drawings on these pages are by Negro artists. And each drawing is an original: that is, none has been published ANYWHERE before. This publication is another milestone in the splendid history of Negro journalism. All-Negro Comics will not only give Negro artists an opportunity gainfully to use their talents, but it will glorify Negro historical achievements.”

It was the first and only published comic in the series.

African-American Comics Company Milestone Media Reteams with DC to Revive Its Black Superheroes

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Icon!comic movies7

Or is it Hardware rocketing through the skies, or Static Shock surfing on his big, floating garbage lid?

These three Black superheroes soon will return to a comic book store near you. If all goes well, cartoons, television appearances, movies and toys will follow.

That is the message that Milestone Media and DC Comics has been leaking out, by dribs and drabs, all year long.

hardware-comicIndustry professionals Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Dwayne McDuffie and Michael Davis planned Milestone in the early 1990s as an independent, African American-owned and controlled comic book. It launched instead as an imprint of one of the “big two” publishers, with a special arrangement between Milestone and DC. It was hailed as a pioneering event in the comic book world.

Milestone would have total creative control over its comics, retain the copyright to all of its characters and have the final say on merchandising and licensing deals, according to the deal. Marvel and DC, the Coke and Pepsi of the comics industry, had dabbled in creator-owned projects before. But a deal of that size and scope was unprecedented.

The arrangement was “very unique in that it allowed Milestone access to a complete system of distribution and promotion while still maintaining a great deal of independent control over the content of the books,” Jeffrey A. Brown, Bowling Green University professor and author of BlackSuperheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans, said to Urban News Service.

maxresdefaultThe agreement “proved beneficial to both DC and Milestone,” Brown said. It “facilitated the Static Shock animated series,” which ran for 52 epi
sodes on the WB Network from 2000 to 2004. It also “kept the characters alive with occasional appearances in the DC Universe after Milestone closed down.”

Milestone’s comic book line launched in 1993 and went on hiatus in 1997 after giving readers hundreds of individual issues. Why did it shut down? “The various titles published by Milestone had a very dedicated fan following but the glut of new publishers over-saturated the market,” Brown said.

Despite rapid expansion, the American public’s interest in comics waned in the late 90’s, partly due to fascination with the still relatively new internet. Dozens of comic book companies and thousands of comic-specialty retailers went bust.

Now, thanks to television, social media and stronger story lines, comics are in another growth phase. The number of shops has risen and other distribution channels have emerged and improved. You can buy individual issues at comic book stores, digital comics for your tablet — via Amazon or ComiXology — and graphic novels are now seen as a legitimate genre of literature.

Continue reading “African-American Comics Company Milestone Media Reteams with DC to Revive Its Black Superheroes”

“Raising Dion” Comic Book Trailer about Black Single Mom Raising Superhero Son is a Must Watch (VIDEO)

(YouTube)
(Photo via YouTube)

While several superhero narratives feature parents (dead or alive) who serve as a guiding force for their protagonists, Raising Dion brings a fresh new perspective to the genre.

The story is told from the perspective of single black mother who’s trying to raise her “super” 7-year-old son in a world that is out to get him.

The poignant metaphor that plays out in this series – written by Dennis Liu and illustrated by Jason Piperberg – is pretty hard to miss, especially given this country’s current social climate.

According to their website,

Nicole, raises her 7 year-old son, Dion, who has superpowers. Life was hard enough keeping up with the bills, let alone trying to keep track of her son’s invisibility, plasma powers, and telekinesis. In order to study his progress, Nicole films her son 24/7 with the help of her friend, Pat, who is an aspiring filmmaker. But when Nicole starts to notice mysterious men tailing her, and with Dion’s developing abilities constantly changing and becoming more powerful, she must find the courage deep within herself that she can raise Dion on her own.

Check out the cleverly-executed trailer below:

article by Blue Telusma via thegrio.com

Mehcad Brooks Cast in CBS’ “Supergirl” as Jimmy Olsen

Mechad Brooks Supergirl

Days after CBS found its “Supergirl” in actress Melissa Benoist, she has found her love interest. Mehcad Brooks has joined the cast as James “Jimmy” Olsen, Variety has confirmed.Jimmy, based on the DC Comics character, is an attractive photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara Zor-El works as an assistant to Cat Grant (yet to be cast). Recently, Jimmy has been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.

In the “Superman” comics, Jimmy was close friends with Lois Lane and Kara’s cousin, Clark Kent.

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“Supergirl” is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”) and Ali Adler (“Glee,” “The New Normal”), and hails from Berlanti Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Berlanti and Adler penned the hourlong pilot.

Brooks is best known for his roles in “Necessary Roughness,” “True Blood” and “Desperate Housewives.”

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

Black Captain America Leading Comic Book Diversity

Diverse Superheroes

WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society.

The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Barack Obama recently headlined a comic book. Thor is a woman, Spider-Man is part-Puerto Rican and Ms. Marvel is Muslim.

Mainstream comic book superheroes — America’s modern mythology — have been redrawn from the stereotypical brown-haired, blue-eyed white male into a world of multicolored, multireligious and multigendered crusaders to reflect a greater diversity in their audience.

Society has changed, so superheroes have to as well, said Axel Alonso, editor in chief at Marvel Comics, who in November debuted Captain America No. 1 with Samuel Wilson, the first African American superhero taking over Captain America’s red, white and blue uniform and shield.

“Roles in society aren’t what they used to be. There’s far more diversity,” said Alonso, who has also shepherded a gay wedding in the X-Men, a gender change from male to female in Thor and the first mainstream female Muslim hero in Ms. Marvel.

The change to a black Captain America is already having an impact outside of comics.

Continue reading “Black Captain America Leading Comic Book Diversity”

Mike Colter Nabs Luke Cage Role in Upcoming Marvel/Netflix Series “A.K.A. Jessica Jones”

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 3.33.44 PM

According to Marvel Studios, Mike Colter has signed on to play Luke Cage in the upcoming Netflix series, “A.K.A. Jessica Jones,” starring Krysten Ritter, in 2015.

The all-new 13-episode series will follow private investigator Jessica Jones who encounters the enigmatic Luke Cage, during the course of an investigation in New York City. Cage is described as a man whose past has secrets that will dramatically alter Jessica in ways she could never have imagined. After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City.

“Mike embodies the strength, edge and depth of Luke Cage,” said Executive Producer/Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. “We’re excited to have him bring this iconic Marvel character to life.”

“Fans have longed to see Luke Cage and in Mike we’ve found the perfect actor,” said Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer/Marvel’s Head of Television. “Viewers will get to meet Luke Cage in ‘Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones,’ and experience why he is such an important super hero in the Marvel mythos.”

Colter, who has appeared in the critically-acclaimed television series “The Good Wife” and “American Horror Story: Coven”,  is currently starring in the XBox original series “Halo: Nightfall” as Jameson Locke.

“Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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