The Unacknowledged History of Black Creators and Black Characters in Comic Books

The Unacknowledged History of Black Creators and Black Characters in Comic Books


>>From the library of
congress in Washington D.C.>>Larry Sarratt: Good afternoon
everyone, I’m Larry R. Sarratt, President of the Daniel A.P.
Murray African American Cultural Association here at the
Library of Congress. I want to take this
opportunity to welcome each of you here at the library. You’ve heard the saying, “it takes a
village to raise a child” and today, it has taken a village
to put on this program. And I just want to welcome
each of you in behalf of the Daniel A.P. Murray African
American Cultural Association of the Library of Congress. Blacks in government — the
Library of Congress chapter, Office of the Equal
Opportunity Employment, Equal Office of the Equal Employment
Opportunity and diversity programs, serials and government
publications division and prints, and photographs division. So, we want to welcome you. And what if — and we want to
welcome each and every one of you on behalf of the divisions
and the organizations here at the Library of Congress. Again, we welcome you and we hope that you will enjoy
this wonderful program that has been prepared
for you today. Again, we welcome you, and at this
time we’ll have Mister Pinckney come and give his presentation.>>Kevin Pinckney: Good morning,
my name is Kevin Pinckney, and in June of this year I
went to my first Comic Con, there was too much to
see and little time. So, I chose what two items I
wanted to see at the program. One of the programs was this
one called the — here we are — the unacknowledged
history of black creators and black characters in comic books. And as you see, as Mister Goza
has already stated there is a lot of information, and he
barely had enough time then, to give his presentation. And he’s already started ahead of
time, and I’m sure by the time — times up, he’ll have
even more to go. He said five or six
hours, so — Yes, exactly. So, Darrell goes ahead
of creation — creatives script graphic comic
books, affirmed specialized in commercial art and design,
he’s a well-known author of African-American comics, and who
has explored the American history which shaped the comic book history. David McLane [phonetic]
to the far end, is co-owner of Graphic,
Rhythmic Productions. Mister McLane is a cartoonist and
illustrator, he does create his work in New York City metropolitan area, and has been in the graphic
arts business since 1970. Katrina Oxner [phonetic]
sitting to my left, and those — made digital systems and
social media integration for Goza Creative Script
Graphics comic books. Miss Oxner works on creative
resources for the firm, and provides costumer engagement
and investigative capabilities to strengthen their brand. And I was going to talk — ask about
Stan, but he’s already startled by that, because that’s the
concept that I was thinking about when he was giving
his presentation in June. The other group that was
briefly mentioned was the Library of Congress professional
associations, What If, Science Fiction and Fantasy Club. And I’m going to leave
it to Mister Goza now, to pick up where he left off, I got the script ready,
and we’ll go for that. Thank you.>>Darrell Goza: Thank you. My name is Darrell Goza, I represent
Goza Creative Script Graphics. Initially, when I first
started doing work in comics, I used to do a lot of
shows, and when I was in college a gentleman met
me at a show on Neil Adams, and he said he liked the work
that I was doing, he said, “Come work for me, you can
learn more about comics with me, that you’ll ever learn in school”. So, within two weeks I was at his
studio on New York, and I work there for nearly 15 years —
actually, more like 20, OK? I ended up leaving it, because
I looked out and I realized that as long as you are working for
somebody else, in that capacity, you don’t get to spread
your own wings, is always about having his
wings been [inaudible]. And Neil has some big
wings, trust me. He’s very good, he
has one of the most — well, I call it the most devastating
work ethic on the planet. I’m trying to have one
even better than his. He’s a guy that during
his formative years, only had to do 10 comps
in his class. He wanted to be the
best in his class, so he did 100, and
picked his best 10. It took two years before the
students in the class with him, realized they needed to do that,
if they wanted to beat him, OK? So, coming into that with
this, I looked and said, “If I’m going to do
a comic book line, what’s the one big problem
most comic book lines have?” Is that they produce a
book, put into the market, hope it makes money, and then
they try to make the next one. And then, they hope
that makes money, and then they try to
do the next one. So, I looked at my team, when
I started assembling my team, and said, “We don’t want to do that. We want to have 50 books in the camp
before we launch” So, this way — then it’s just a question of
getting in into the market. And we found that that’s going to
be the best way for us to do this. Now, I’m going to tell you
something about creatives; they are notoriously
— like Batman says, that criminals are
notoriously cowardly lot, well, most creatives are
notoriously lazy lot. How do I know? I used to be one of them,
until I met Neil, OK? Once that happens, and you
start working with creatives, you start to find out
they have two ways in which they operate
with their work. One, you stroke their ego
and make them feel good, and maybe they’ll work, or you don’t
work with them at all, because, ultimately if you have to stroke
the ego to get them to work there, they’re not committed
to their work at all; they’re committed to their ego. And I’m not against them
being committed to their ego, but in this industry, you need
someone that can do the work, because you have to do a
minimum; minimum one page a day, complete one page a day, if
you can’t do one page a day in comic book art, you’re
in the wrong industry, you’re in the wrong field. And I know this from experience,
and I know from every other person and about the most people are trying
to do more than that Jack Kirby, who helped Stan Lee build
the Marvel universe, he used to do up to
five pages a day. And that’s why he got be
known as phenomenal — to be the phenomenon that he was. Today, we’re going to talk about
some of the unknown creators out there that were just as
diligent doing what they did but they didn’t receive the
accolades for what they did. But, before we can even begin
that conversation we have to start with the conversation that says,
where do the images of us come from in the first place, how did
they come about, what created them, and what made them so resistant
on getting away from them — so resistant, or resistant to
us overall, and to do that, we have to go back when they
first started, all right? ‘1950s; birth of a nation. Affectionately called the classmen
marked the time in our history, when we weren’t allowed
to even play ourselves in popular media productions. Instead, they were white actors
that took [inaudible] on black, in their face for the playouts,
and were even more than not, more stereotypical than
they were realistic. And here’s an interesting thing; the
gentleman you see in this picture, his name was Bert Williams. He was a Jamaican, who had to put
caulk on his face to get work. Think of that concept, a black
guy has to put caulk on his face to get work as a black guy, OK? This is why I have laughed for
the most part, about how stuff with us worked, back in the day. Now, if you take a look for
the down, you’ll see Al Jonson, on the Jazz Singer, and
this also became a very, very stereotypical image of
black people back in the day. And quite naturally,
since most comic book art, or most art in general
reflects the sign of its times, it you look right underneath
it, this was from a comic strip of Mickey Mouse, where they
actually mimicked that image. And I want you to take a look on the
image on the bottom lower right — well, your right, my left. That’s a character called Little
Ape Boy [phonetic] keep him in mind. Next slide. In the 1930s, Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse did
those kind of things. In 1934, there was a comic strip
called Mandrake the Magician, and there was a character they
introduced that they called Lothar. This was one of the first attempts
to actually humanize black people in this country, and what they
did was that they brought him in, and he was the king
of seven nations, or the prince of seven nations. Now, think about this. I’m a magician, I come to your
land, you’re in line to be king of seven nations, and you decide
that you wanted to be my sidekick. Shouldn’t that have been
the other way around? So, for all antics
and purposes, though, they drew him fairly humanistic, OK? And that was a good thing
that was a good thing. Lee Falk understood something that
even back then, about the nature of human beings and what people
looked for out in the world. You’ll also notice that on
the lower right-hand side, there’s a character called
Wacko, because back at that time, Marvel was also looking
at these things, because when people were doing
stuff, they don’t work in a vacuum. So, if I create a Star
Wars; I can guarantee you, there’s going to be 15
rip-offs of Star Wars. So, if I created a character
like that and it turns out to be a popular thing,
you’re going to get people that are going to also do that. Next slide. 1936, Jackie Ormes; the thing
that’s really interesting about her, her name was Zelda
Jackson when she was born, but she took on the name
Jackie Ormes, and she was one of the first females
and it’s largely on — she’s largely perceived,
and largely received as being the first female — the black female, African-American
cartoonist. In 19 — when she did her strip, she would actually
engage in social issues. She would actually
engage in social issues. Now, early on, she did them fairly
benign, but when this strip came, when she — when they
brought it back on the ‘1950s, she actually went full tilted head
on, and took on social issues, such as racism, such as poverty in
the actual comic strip itself, OK? Next one. But, as it is in the
world, no good deed goes unpunished. So, what happens is that at that
time, when people actually started to portray us in comic as being
human, then there was a backlash, so people decided that
what they were going to do, is that they were going to go
back to the old, original ideology and iconography of who we were. Note Little Ape Boy, not only did
they do comics strips like this, when they gave us the big head,
the dark skin, the big lips and the big eyes, they put on
planes, and took it all the way around the world, because
they wanted the entire world to see us that way. Now, I want you to understand
something; I do not fault for being who they are, at the time, when
they don’t know any better. Back then, most people
did not know any better. Remember that birth of a clan
— that birth of a nation film, it basically set the
standard for a lot of things, and the way that people
looked at things in the world. Did most of you know
that the burning cross that most clansmen began to use,
wasn’t even originally theirs? It was done in that
movie, and they adopted it. What a brilliant film, I
quote, 13 done by Ava DuVernay. If you get an opportunity, see
that film, rent it, download it, go on Netflix and watch that film. Because, she explains the
history of that, and she’s very, very succinct in how she does it. OK, next one. Now, as I said, if you remember,
even Stan Lee at the time, and this was when —
before Marvel was Marvel, when they were known
as Stan Lee Comics. Stan Lee Comics, they did
a book called Young Allies, and in Young Allies they created a
character called Washington Jones. And by the way, Washington
Jones was his name, but what they called him
in it, was White Washed. His name was Washington
“White Washed” Jones. And for the most part, what
he was used as is the guy that always had to be rescued. He always had to be rescued,
he always had to be saved, he was always the one getting
in trouble, and for all intents and purposes he was
used for comic relief. I don’t want — I’m trying to
figure a nice way to say it; there’s no nice way to say it. Comic Relief. And for the most part, this
is how characters were treated over that time frame. Now, I want you to
take a look at the one at the upper right, all
the way on the side. That’s the Spirit. Underneath you’ll see a
character called Ebony White. Ebony White was drawn exactly like, or in the same iconography
stereotypical way as White Washed Jones, there was
one difference though, the artist, the creator of The
Spirit, Will Eisner; he had a different ideology
about his character. So, whereas he drew him like that, he actually had a character
being more human, in the way that he was
interacting within the story. And I had a 45-minute conversation
with Will Eisner out of show, because I wanted to
ask him about that, I said, “Will, you’re a hip guy. How could you even do that? Why didn’t you rail against him, why didn’t you showed them
what it should have been?” he said, “Sign of the times”. Those were his exacts words that was
a quote, those were his exact words, it was the sign of the times. He said, “But, I did
at least, to my credit, at least have him be heroic”, even in spite of the way
he was visually portrayed, and that was true. This gentleman’s name is
Clarence Baker, this guy — I never knew he was black
throughout his entire career; I never really knew he was black. But, what he did was,
is he specialized on what’s known as good girl art. Because, he knew that if you do good
girls, people would buy your books. So, they put him — he didn’t
even start on Phantom Lady, but he was the one that
changed her, and modified her. So, that she was as
sexy, as she is now. Now, here’s the sad part
about that; at that time, and let me give you the
date, because I want to make sure that you know this. Now, we’re in 1944, what happen
was that there was a gentleman by the name of Fredric Wortham, who was writing a book called
Seduction of the Innocents. And in Seduction of the Innocents,
what he was trying to do, was say that comic books
led to juvenile delinquency, because they had juvenile
delinquency problems in America, or at least they thought they did. And so, what he did is that he
wrote a book called Seduction of the Innocents, and in that
book, he said, that comic books by a large, cause people — young kids, to become
juvenile delinquents. He had no scientific data to
back that up, it was all based on his own supposition in
it, and you end on his part. But, the Phantom Lady; that’s on the bottom left, all
the way to the side. That was one of the images
that he put in his book to say, that this is one of the reasons
white kids are juvenile delinquents. Because they see women
half naked in a comic book. Go figure, go figure. Next one. Now, we’re in 1947. Now, this is what I think — again, remember; things go
in cycles with most people. You may start off one way with
an image and a stereotypical way of seeing things, and as you
put that out on the world, people will rebel and they’ll do
something totally the opposite of that. So, early we started with us
being global savages, then, we became like Lothar; not really
that super intelligent yet, but at least, we looked
at least human. Then, they went back to the other
stereotypical image, and now, they say, “Well, wait a minute. There have been black that have
done a lot of things in the world”, but again, we’re not necessarily
heroes, but what they decided to do, is that they decided
that what they would do, is that they would
actually start the show — people that were real
life and out in the world. So, now they started doing
comic books about sport figures or science guys, and things along
those lines because they were safe. And basically, that’s exactly what
it was; it was all about being safe. You probably should view comic
books with more positive portrayals of black characters than they did. Paris Magazine Institute published
Negros Heroes, in the spin of 1947, but the title would
only go two issues. There was not enough
people that was buying them. And it was for reference, after that
point that they started doing it, and then they started doing
more stuff along those lines. Well, it would actually be stuff
that was already being printed in newspaper, and they would compile
them and put it into books, OK? Next one. In 1950 —
oh, let me go here. In 1950, [inaudible] did a
book called Negro Romance, which was the other side of that. But, on June of ’47, a bunch
of creators that was working for a newspaper called the Record,
decided that what they were going to do, is that they were
going to produce a comic book that featured not only all
black writers and artists, but all black characters. And this book was called All Negro
Comics, and it was published in June of 1947 as the first comic book to
be published by Black Americans, to feature black characters
and black creators. And may also be the first
independent book ever produced. African-American journalist
Orrin Cromwell Evans, decided that it was time that
black people had a comic book. So, he produced this book; he got a
bunch of his people from newspaper of like mind, and they
produced the comic book. One of the things about this
comic book that I find to be very, very interesting, is
that some of the — they actually had super heroes
in it, they had detectives in it, they had one little cute history,
with these little cherub — little kids, that had
little wings and it was kind of really, very, very nice. That’s one of those
really like kid-say things. And when I was reading it, it was
funny, because when I first find out about this, you couldn’t
find this book anywhere. I heard of — I’ve seen
one writing upon it, one sentence on a paragraph, and I started searching
on the internet for it. And it actually took me
over a year and a half, to find any imaging from it. And then, I found some imaging from
it, because somebody had an issue that they were trying
to sell online. So, now with a guy that has
scanned the entire book, and he’s now got the
entire book online. I downloaded it right away,
the entire book, because I want to have a history and a record of
all the books that have been done by African-American creators,
and African-American people that features African-American
characters. I want to actually create
an archive where we have that entire thing laid out, where
people can go and they can see it in historical context, of how it
goes from year, to year, to year, to year, and this is something
I’m pretty sure I really am — I’m going to have to dedicate my
life to, because I had no idea that there was as much out on
the world as there is, with this. Now, thank you, next one. This book. This book is called Treasure
Chest the Fun in Fact. Most people may not
know, have never — may have never heard of this book, don’t mind me I’m just a little
bit nervous, it’s been in moments since I’ve given this lecture. So, I’m trying to remember
all of this stuff, and the research that I did. Because, I’m doing
research, far beyond this now. This book; the most
interesting thing about is, this book was an anthology title. So, in this book they were
usually about 8 to 10 stories. This was one story called 1966. So, remember was done in
the ‘1950s, this was 1956. So, they were postulating
20 years into the future, where the presidential
campaign would look like. In that presidential campaign
the opposing character, you never saw him, and his
name was Pettigrew [phonetic] and you never saw him. They would always have
him hidden behind the tree or a lamp, or a post. So, for the entire 10
issues that it ran, you never saw that it
was a black candidate. So, think about this, catholic
charities in 1957 thought by 1976 we would have black
people running for president, or running for the nomination. How outrageous is that
in this day and age, where we actually now have
had a black president. Even though it was from
57 — therefore I remove. So, does that mean, if you’re a
catholic school kid you’re going to be ahead of your
time, progressive. Well, let me tell you, I was a catholic little
kid, so I’m saying yes. OK In it, they just showed
him winning the nomination. And they left it opened
ended as to whether or not he would have
actually won the presidency. So, now we know it’s a day
that we can actually have when it comes under presidency. OK, thank you. Along with that, also in 1965; we’re going to skip ahead
for this a little bit. This was the first actual comic book that actually featured a black
character in a lead role, and as the lead of the book. Up until then, you had a lot of
characters like Wacko for instance; ran in the back of some issues. So, you have a lot of it with the
characters that they would put in as a part of an anthology
story, or annual story. Now, this was the first
book, that actually outside of All Negro Comics, where they
actually had a lead black character in the book. The thing that’s very interesting
about this also, is that it was done by what was considered at
that time a major publisher. Dell used to be a major
player in the book place, in the publishing place,
in the paperback space and in the comic book space. And this is something
I didn’t know either. When I was a kid, we used
to laugh at the Dell books, they had painted covers, and then
they had some story on the inside, we looked at that and said,
“That’s nice, that’s cute, but we’re going to Marvel and D.C.” But, I had no idea about the story
of Dell until I saw this book, and I saw it reading up on what Dell
did, and what else did they produce, because [inaudible] producing this. Do they have black females,
do they have Hispanic females, do they have — so, I’m trying
to see everything that they have, and unfortunately this
was it, all right. But, this was for all intents
and purposes the first book to feature a black character. So, I love you people who thought
— who Cage was it, you are wrong. For those of you who know who Luke
Cage is from Marvel, all right? Next one. Now, when
that book came out, I’m going to tell you one quick
aside — when that book came out, the general print out
on that book was 200,000 which was a standard print
for dell at the time. Those books were sent out, and most
comic book companies are working three months in advance. So, they basically worked on the third book before
the first book comes out. This, when they put
out the first one, and then they started
working on the second. When they — way they looked at the
numbers and the returns; the sales. They would notice that the
books were not selling, and why the books are not selling? And back in that day, they had
what was known as returnable. In other words, you ripped of
the cover, sent the book back and you’d get credit
for your next purchase. So, what happens was the
books were coming back with the covers ripped off, and they
were wondering why isn’t this book selling, this book should
be selling like hotcakes. And what happened was is that
it would get to the retail out, and the retail outlet guys would
at the book, “I’m not selling this. I’m not selling that; it’s a black
character, I’m not selling that”. Now, here’s what I’m thinking, me
— well, again, known to who I am, if someone sent a book to me like
that, I would’ve looked at them, and said, “If it’s a chance for
the soul, let’s put it out and see if it does”, if it does
— what I’m making? I’m making money, you understand? I’m not trying to not make
money, I’m wanting to make money, but they were not going to forward
a black comic book character. So, they were sending
the books back. So, by the time they
got by the second issue, they finished the second
issue and a friend of mine actually purchased it, he purchased a copy
of the second issue. And again, I scanned
the crap out of that, so I now I have that on my archive. OK. The first one and second
one are archived already, and because they sent those books
back, the publisher said, “Listen, nobody is buying this, so we’re not
going to continue to put out money for 200,000 prep runs, and
nobody is going to buy it”. So, that’s why it has
only two issues, and that was the end of that. The fact that they
actually got the book to the stand made an
impact on the industry. So, now what happens is Marvel
looked out at this, and well, maybe there is time, maybe we
need to have a black character out there, maybe we should. So, they reached back into their
archives, and they pulled a book out called Wacko, remember
him from back in the ‘1930s; they brought it back. But, now they weren’t really willing
to give him his own book just yet. So, they said, “Well, we’ll
do it as an anthology title”, and as an anthology title it had
a bunch of different stories, and Wacko’s story was one of them. They put him in there, and
here’s the funny thing; people liked it fine, it wasn’t
as if they ran away from it, or got away from it, or didn’t
like it, or didn’t want to read it. So, they said, “Well, wait
a minute, now I wonder — then along comes a gentleman
by the name of Jack Kirby, who’ve been working for them, would
made Captain America popular — for popular and the Fantastic Four
popular and he says, “You know what? We need to have a black character”. So, he went on to call the
Black Panther initially, he wanted to call him Cold Tiger. Stan Lee said, “Cold Tiger? I don’t think so.” He said, “We’ve got to give them
something that’s a little more powerful, a little more
fantastic”, and so, they came up with Black Panther. And initially, the original Black
Panther costume; the face was open, just like a regular super hero
where you could see the skin. Stan Lee figured, “Well,
let’s not push that. Let’s cover him up, let’s
get people into the story, let’s let people read the story,
and get connected to the character and then they’ll realize who he is. So, that’s why you have Black
Panther; the all black outfit. And when he came out in the book,
it turned out that it was a hit, it turned out to be a very,
very phenomenal book in terms of their selling structure. At that point, they realized
they had a hit on their hands. So, they decided that they
were going to actually start to do some stuff with him. Now, from 1966, and this
book was done in 1966 — in 1969 they decided, now, let’s actually create a black
character people will know he’s black from the very beginning. This is when the Falcon came in. And by the way, the Falcon came
in because he was recruited by the Red Skull, to help the
Exiles defeat Captain America. They put him on an island that
Red Skull used the cosmic cube to steal Steve Rogers identity,
and what he did, he said, “Well, I’ll become Cap, and I’ll put Cap on
this island, and they’ll kill him, and then I’ll just be Captain,
I’ll ruin his reputation, I’ll ruin everything”, they
put him on this island, he runs across Falcon
one day on the island, and he’s like, “Who are you?” and he’s like, “Well, who are you?” And so, they started talking,
and [inaudible] they have me here to kill some guy, and he says, “I
know, I’m that guy”, and he’s, “Oh, I don’t want to kill
anybody”, he said, “But I don’t know what I can do”,
he said, “I know what you can do; you can fight them”, he says, “I
can’t fight, I don’t know anything about that”, so Cap says,
“I do, let me train you.” So, Falcon and Cap were in
secret, were training each other so that they could
take on the Exiles and then, take on the Red Skull. Now, if any of you know anything
heroes and comics, do heroes win? So, did they win? Absolutely. But, in that, when they were
fighting, he said, “Falk, you need to have an
outfit”, and at that time, Falcon already had the bird. Red Wing was his bird and his
friend on the island, so as such, he decided to take on
the name of the Bird, which is a Falcon, so he did. And the interesting thing was
when they fought, he said, “You need to get an outfit, you
need to get yourself a name”, and he said, “Call me The
Falcon”, and there was Falcon. So, they fought, they won,
they got off the island. And again, they had a hit
in the Falcon character, they drawn him back a couple of
times in Captain America’s book. So, from 1969 to 1972, still
no real major black presence in the major comic book industry. But, now it looked up
and said, “You know what? We need to have a dedicated book,
specifically to a black character.” Now, remember none of this
stuff happens in a vacuum. So, outside of that, what happens? You have the black
exploitation films that were happening
too in that time frame. Anybody remembers Sweet
Sweetback Badass Song? [Inaudible] black hand sign, yes. So, now, guess who’s
going to the movies? Black people. Let me tell you —
again, a little aside, when Melvin van Peebles attempted
to take Sweet Sweetback Badass Song and get it into the
distribution that — nobody would buy, nobody was going
for it, there were two little guys, there were two Jewish guys,
I think it was Chicago who had this movie
theater that was failing. And so, when he came to it, he
called me and said, “Listen, since the distributors
aren’t doing — he decided he’s going to
call all the movie houses, to see if he could get it in there. Nobody was listening. These two guys, their movie
theater was failing, they were going to lose it; so, they
said, “You know what? What the heck, we’ve
got nothing to lose. Well run for it, we
can see how it does.” So, they took Sweet Sweetback Badass
Song, put it in that movie theater, and within one showing had lines
around the block, four people deep. So, now of course, Hollywood when they were getting
the numbers back — OK, from the tracking sheets
they said, “Well, wait a minute. All of our movies are flat lines. How come this movie
is doing so well?” So, they sent a representative
about them, and said, “yes, we are running this black
film” So, they said, “Really? Wow”, so the black
[inaudible] of films began. Now, everybody wants to
put a black film, why? Because they realized that there was
a market out there that they never, ever looked at as being a market. And again, to me; smart
business men. When you’re looking at dollars and
cents, you’re not looking at color; you’re looking at dollars and cents. And 15 people in this — if
everybody in here was an elf, and they would pay in to
come here to see this, trust me, I’m making an elf movie. OK. Let’s be real. OK, let’s be real; I’m
making an elf movie. So, that’s what happens. So, Marvel looked up at
that and said, “Maybe, we should make a black
comic book dedicated, with a black lead character. We’ll be the first in history”,
they didn’t remember Lobo, they didn’t remember
All Negro Comics. So, Marvel actually
marketed just like that; the first black character
to have his own book. And the book sold well,
the book sold well. So, D.C., their competitors, looked
at that and said, “Wait a minute. This can’t be possible, that book
is doing well, is doing good.” So, what did they do? They created Black Lightning. And by the way, a friend of mine
named Trevor [inaudible] some of his work is in the
back game, which we found to be very, very interesting. He was the guy that was brought in
to draw that book, and guess what? They just did something totally
unusual; usually they’re looking for people that have
a lot of credit, a lot of history in doing comics. Trevor, wasn’t even 16 years
old when he drew that issue. 16 years old. So, now they had the
opportunity to have a double cue. Number one; they had
a black character, and not only was he a black
character, whereas theirs was drawn by white man, ours is
drawn by a young black guy, and that’s how they marketed it. And what can I say of that? It’s what Trevor told me,
he said, “God bless them”. God bless them, next one. Now, across the [inaudible]
in England, they were looking at this phenomenon in America
called the black exploitation era. They were looking at the fact
that black books were now in the mainstream, and they decided,
“Well, we need to do one too.” So, they decided to do a
book called Power Comics, or actually the book was
really called Power Man, this is a compilation of it, when
they found it they did it again, and brought it back in this form. Now, the character that they
originally had was a character called Power Man, and his
only weakness was snakes. Now, don’t get me wrong,
I have that same weakness. OK, and I’m pretty sure if
— a snake on the floor, a lot of you wished that
you would have it too. But, outside of that he did
it, and here’s the thing; they wanted to market it
to schools in Nigeria. They were producing it in
England, and Brian Bolland who went in to later — to do Watchmen, was
the artist on a lot of the stories, and they wanted to take him
into the school systems, and into the market
in Nigeria to sell. And so, that’s what they
did, that’s what they did. Next one. Thank you. Now, again, as I said, nothing
ever happens in a vacuum. So, what happens is a lot of black
creators were looking at that time, and they were saying to
themselves, “Now, wait a minute, they’re doing books
about our characters, why aren’t we doing books
about our characters, we aren’t doing comic conventions
where we’re bringing in a lot of black creators, to show
what black creators are doing”, because again, we’re part of
it, we’re part of this us all. So, we’re looking at this
stuff, and what we’re doing; Dave and I were creating stuff
all along that time frame. OK, crude, because we didn’t have
the expertise at the time back then. But, we were looking at all of
that, we were influenced by it also. So, just as we were influenced,
so were a lot of other people, but a lot of other people had
much more experience than us. And because they had much
more experience than us, they were bringing a lot
more heat to the table. And because such, a
gentleman by the name of [inaudible] his career
was touched upon a variety of disciplines of fine arts, applied
or visual art, producing works in painting, drawing
illustration, publishing fashion, most [inaudible] production. So, what he — it was quite
naturally that his attitude was, “Wait a minute, why don’t we create
an entire movement around this? So, that we can actually have
stuff that we can say is our own” and so, that’s what he did. [Inaudible] was for all intent
and purposes the grandfather of the Black Comic Book movement. He started organizing shows
and organizing conventions, and having creators, and
inviting black creators in. So, that they could actually show
the stuff that they were doing, and in doing that, he opened
up and entire well spring of what was available
to everyone here. Now, at some point I’m going — each one of the people
on these slides is going to have their own slide, OK? Because, when I was
doing it back in the day, I realized that they
were very, very small. And you can’t really
see who they are, and you can’t really
see a lot of their work. But, to give you an example, the
guy just a little bit above, lonely, a guy by the name of Jerry Craft, he does a syndicate
strip called Mama’s Boys, which talks about a mother
raising to their young boys, and it’s one of very
few comics that — the gentleman right under that is
Al Simmons; Al Simmons has opened up a connection between
African-American creators and Africa, where he goes over there and he does this thing
called Kids Con, where he teaches young African kids
about comics and how to do them, and the comics that exist on
every other nation in the planet. Here — planet, well,
we’ve only got one planet. But, I’m sure, if he could
get it out to space, he would, because that was the kind of guy,
he was very forward thinking, and he created a character
called Blackjack, which is about a black adventurer in
the ‘1930s, who actually met Tarzan, in the Tarzan syndicate district. Because he got to write
for that format, and so he brought his
character into that, which is very, very interesting. Now, we have Felix, who’s all the
way on the other side of the top, a little small picture of Felix. He does a lot of stuff on the New
York area, where he does conventions for a lot of creative
and independent creators. Primarily Latino in nature. Latino and Hispanic, but he invites
us in because he gives the nod. So, that’s how I met him. Underneath him, in the
far-right hand corner, the gentleman on the
bottom with the head rag on. His name was Mshindo Kuumba,
you may want to remember that. This guy is for all
intents and standards, when I tell people
is the goal standard for what we’re trying to do. If I could draw like
him, right now, you — trust me, all of my work
would be in this building, all of my work would
be in this building. This guy, for all intents and
purposes is what we’re aiming at, that level of quality, that
level of sophistication, that level of coloring; humans
in terms of the way he draws, that’s what we’re aiming at. And he has some stuff that’s
coming out over the next two years, and I can’t say anything
about it unfortunately. But, it’s some of the most beautiful
stuff I’ve ever seen in my life. Are any of you familiar with the
gentleman by the name of Alex Ross? He was Alex Ross, before
Alex Ross was Alex Ross, OK? He’s that good. And so, he’s going
to be bringing stuff to the table and out to the world. Now, he has stuff out now, but
we need to get him in a book, we need to get him into something
that we can get into kids’ hands. Once that happens, the game will be
changed, the game will be changed. Next slide. Now, along this time frame, since
it took only opened up that door, quite naturally is going to be
somebody is going to actually step through it, and say, “You know what? We need to do something else.” This character was the first
statement, where this guy decided that he was going to create a
character that actually spoke to the actual black
dysphoria in America. And this character is
called Brother Man. Now, I’m going to tell you why
I haven’t mentioned his name. Guy Sims is the guy that wrote it. The guy that drew it is named
Dawud Anyabwile [phonetic]. That’s what I’m trying to
not say the name too much. I’m just going to call it Dawud, and
we’ll leave it at that, all right? But, when he drew this character,
he took it to the New York expo, in 1990 and at the New York expo, three-day event, he
sold 70,000 units. What he showed, was that black
comic books could make money, they could sell, and they didn’t
have to come from a major publisher. That was the statement that
he made, in addition to that, this book did so well, that it
was featured on our City Hall, and what our City Hall said
was this, “If this character, that image you see down
there on the bottom left — your bottom right that
was the image he flashed on his screen behind him he said, “They say that the sales are
Superman and not doing well, maybe if Superman looked
like this he’d sell more.” That’s the quote. Next slide. So, now, of course after
that, what did Black Prize do? Wait a minute, if this guy
can do it, we can do it. And here’s the thing, the interiors of the Brother Man book
were all black and white. Just like Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles; Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles black color covers, black and white interiors,
so was that. These guys came along and decided, we don’t need one book,
we need a line. So, they decided they wanted
to create a line of books. And this was called Ania [phonetic] and I forget what the
promotion thing was. Was it all black creators, all
black art, all black, all black — someone tells they put so much black in their first advertisement
that I was like, “Wow. Gee, I guess they’re
a black company” But, here’s the funny thing. They ran it to the same
problem most creators ran into when they were
trying to create products; they produced the first books, they
put them out, and they got a lot of press all across the country. They guy that did [inaudible] — he used to actually dress
up like a Zulu warrior, and he would climb besides the
capital buildings, and have a flag up there to generate publicity. So, people buys his book. And what happens was that
they ran into the problem that most creators run
into, that they think that they’re actually
going to create a book, make money, and then do more. So, most of these books ended up
not getting past the third issue, because the creators
could not keep them. The one book that was an exception
to that was the book called Purge, and that was done by Roosevelt. That book is still being
published today, in fact, he just released a graphic
novel just his past summer, and this past fall. Now, out of this company,
comes this one; this is the company most people
will know as being the eminent and the standard by which all black
comic book companies will be judged from here on out. This was Milestone Media, it
was headed by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle; who worked for Black Enterprise
Magazine, and Ed Davis. Ed Davis and Denys
Cowan; I both know, and I got to meet Dwayne McDuffie,
because when they first thought of Milestone Media and I saw it, I
said, “I want to know about this”, so I went down to the
offices and met McDuffie, and one of the things he said
to me at that point, he said, “There’s a lot of creators that
want to be in this business, but not a lot of them
are very good.” So, that means, you go home,
you work, and you get good. One of the guys that worked there
with us, a guy by the name of — he actually worked with
them, but let me tell you, again as I tell you,
most creators are what? They are a lazy lot. So, they would give him stuff,
because Ernie [phonetic] would come, and he would just do a little bit of
work, and they wanted to push him, to find out who he was, and
to find his artistic voice, and Ernie’s whole thing, when
he would come to our meetings, was like, “Man, they’re
giving me nothing to do. They’re giving me all this crap”, we used to tell him,
“Just do it, just do it. If it’s so trivial, just do it.” Well, he never did, and they
ultimately didn’t use him because of it. But, he would have been in there when they would first
getting started, and he didn’t see what was possible. So, he didn’t do it. But, anyway, when they did this,
they actually set the standard, and they worked out one of the
most beautiful distribution deals with D.C. Comics; they
maintain all the rights to their characters to this day. D.C. distributed it, through
their distribution network, and paid them a fee. So, all they have to do
is produce the books, get them into the pipeline,
make money, right through D.C. And D.C. was being carried by
every major retail in the planet. Not just in this country,
but worldwide. Now, I’m going to tell you a little
interesting thing that happened with that; as with anyone else, when
you start to get a lot of notoriety in this business, when
good opportunities come, you want to take them on. So, what happened? Motown Records at the time decided
they wanted to go into animation. So, what did they do? They reached out to these guys to
help them form Motown Animation, which is why you now have this
static shock animated series. That’s where it came from,
it came from them and this, because they did Milestone. Next slide. Now, in addition to that; everybody
looked at what any did, and then, looked at what Milestone
did, and of course, how could we not do it ourselves? We couldn’t, we had to. We were compelled. So, what I did — there was this guy
who they called, watch out magazine, that’s how I met this gentleman
Dave Bucklay [phonetic] he was good, well, as I watched out
a generation after me. And we were being taught the comic
book industry by the gentleman by the name of Dan Brown
[phonetic] who’s no longer with us. But, he opened a door to
showing us that we too, could do this stuff, all right? Underneath that is a book called
Steel I raise, and to the left of that is a book called MCSquare, this is the first hip
hop comic book ever. And how do I know? Because, they came to
me to have me do it. We couldn’t, we could never
work out the financial thing. So, they got another by the
name of Balufu Bay [phonetic] to do the artwork for them. And until the day that he passed,
he and I were in communication and good friends, all right? The thing that’s really
interesting also, out of that, is that there’s a gentleman
by the name of Dwayne Ferguson that did a book called
Captain Africa. Because, he felt that if you
and have a book about Africans, and featuring Africa-American
[inaudible] somewhere in the title. So, he did a book called
Captain Africa. But, his claim to fame
wasn’t through this book, it was through a book called
Hamster [phonetic] Vice. Which floated in time line
of books called Blackthorn for over two years while they were
forming; his book was the book that people bought, and that’s
why they’re able to do their line of books out in California. Underneath that is a girl
by the name of Rachel Lewis, who did a book called Sandstorm,
and she also worked through us with a company called Bidnip, which
is the fourth book that you see in the upper left with
the green behind that. And the cooper book we have,
we printed copies of it, over in the back for you today. So, that you can take them home,
and you can read a real story, because let me tell you
what we wanted to do; in addition of doing a comic
book story, we actually wanted to do areal novel, we wanted
to say, “What will happen if you put a real novel
in a comic book?” I mean, a real story, something
that when people read it, you don’t just read it and brush
through it, but you actually read it like a novel, but it
just has illustrations. So, that’s what we did,
and in doing that story, we [inaudible] it all
throughout Pennsylvania, we figured Pennsylvania
would be the toughest market for a black guy, in a black company. And you would read on the back of
it, what they said about that book, and how well they liked it, and
so we were all like, “Yes, yes. So, we need to compile all
of this in one big volume. So, that people can get it all
at one time”, the whole story all at one time, so that’s what we did. And underneath it, underneath that,
you’ll see a book called PB soldier, that’s one of my partners, that’s
going to be launching along with me in 2017, his name is Naseed Gifted,
and the next will go over Star Age, which is also going to be one
of the first books that’s coming from our line in 2017 —
February of 2017, actually. Next slide. In addition to this,
I was not satisfied with that just being a comic
book, and by the way I want you to understand this, at a certain
point you start to realize that — again, we don’t work in a
vacuum; because we don’t work in a vacuum the digital
age was upon us. So, we decided that what we were
going to do, is we were going to create some digital
online content that people could read for free. Now, this would operate as
a promotional tool for us. It would also operate
as the thing — but we would have content that we could actually put
on books down the line. And so, that’s what we did. We launched that project in 2013,
and we’ve been doing roughly about 2,000 to 3,000 hits a month. Well, actually it’s a weak, if I’m
not mistaken, but people will coming in — and it’s funny,
because the creators — we have creators, and when each
one of them gets that higher hit, everybody tries to
act like, “Oh, no. It’s not about the hits,
it’s not about this”, until somebody else beats them. Then it’s like, “Wait a minute,
wait a minute”, it’s not really about the hits and it’s like,
“Well, I’m coming for you”. So, we wanted to be competitive,
because that’s how you can better; competition meets excellence. So, if people are competitive,
they will step up in excellence or they will get going,
because that’s the way that this industry works; you
either get people to like you, or you’re leaving because
you’re herd, and that’s how we are very,
very insecure, that way. OK, next one. So, in addition, I want to do some
honorable mentions very quick. Now, this is new, so the people that saw it prior, did
not see this stuff. The reason I wanted to this was because Mohammed Ali had a
comic book, believe it or not. And he fought Superman,
believe it or not. And he beats Superman,
believe it or not, OK? Upper right, your upper left, it’s
a comic book called Black Man. This was the beginning of the black
exploitation theories in films, which was done around the
time that Ania came out, and I put this one in,
because this was the first one that struck my fans, because it had
turned them like this; Black Man. I said, “Can’t beat it” I wanted
that name, believe me I did. But he came out, I was
like, “Don’t go in it” so I couldn’t mess with it. Brother Voodoo was a character,
a Marvel created it was going into their supernatural
space, he ultimately ended up becoming the sorcerer supreme, which is what Doctor
Strange actually is. And now for — because of the movie,
they brought Doctor Strange back, and he’s the regular
Doctor Strange again, OK? Next, do you see classics
illustrated — in the beginning they were doing
books a lot like the books back in the ’50s, where they
were doing benign characters of society’s sport figures and along
those lines, which was kind of nice, on the complete left, the two books
on the bottom; these were books that were based on animated
characters, Cosmic Kids, Column Globetrotters, and
there’s a whole bunch of them, I just put two up, but
there’s a whole bunch that were done based
on animated things. Because, they knew that kids were
watching the animated series, that they had automatically
had a locked in audience. And so, they would actually
produce books based on that. X-Men; I’ve put this on, and only
because people kept telling me, “You mentioned all these
black characters nobody knows, but you never mentioned Storm.” And I said, “OK.” The Storm; that was her first book,
that’s how they introducer her, OK? In X-Men number one,
they introduced her, they introduced the
Russian character, and introduced Nightcrawler. Mister Miracle; the
reason I put this one in, it’s because the character that Mister Miracle trains
was called Shilo Norman, he ultimately ended up becoming
the next Mister Miracle, and then, when they killed off the entire New
Gods line, they brought him back, and now you have the regular
Mister Miracle again, go figure. Underneath it, you
have Star Spangled War, which is the first time
or not the first time, but there was a character
known the Unknown Soldier. Now, throughout the
history of that book, the Unknown Soldier was
always a white character, until they did the front, they did
a series on him, and in the front, he was a black character fighting —
helping to fight the war on Ruanda. So, I was kind of interested
in that, and so I ended up getting the series
because of that, and it turns out it
was a black character. Next dude is Wonder
Woman, and by the way, the woman you see here fighting? Her name is Nubia, she’s black,
and she’s Wonder Woman’s sister. Now, the reason I say it, it’s
because her mother created two; she created Wonder Woman,
and then she created Nubia, she made her with a
different clay, that’s all. All right. Underneath it, you’ll also
see Spider-Man in the prowl, at night a conversation
with a gentleman eerily by the prowler character. All right. Next tool you see on static
shock, the comic book and then, you’ll also see Static
Shock the DVD. Dave, next one. And, here are two trail blazers
that I wanted to mention. Kyle Baker was one of the first
illustrators in the world, by my knowledge, to
actually say, “You know what? Comic books are nice” and I
had a conversation with him at the New York Comic Con, and
he said to me, “Comics are nice, but that comic book space is owned
by Marvel and D.C.”, he says, “But, they’re not the only
publishers in the world.” So, what he did, he started taking
his concepts to book publishers, and that’s what he did; he ended up producing graphic
novels for book publishers. Now, I’m going to tell you
something that’s really interesting about all of these books. They’re all very well
done, they’re all very — they’re elected, they’re not
done like comic books per se, as they use that as a format, but
he’s drawing them in all kinds of ways, and using all
kinds of techniques to draw. But I want you to note that Matt
Turner book; he did something so phenomenal, in that Matt Turner
book, even today my mind is blown. That book is done with nothing
but illustrations, no words, which means it can
go into any audience, because anybody can
read the pictures. So, an Asian person can read it,
a Hispanic person can read it, a Mongolian person can read it, an American person can read
it, and still get the story. That’s what made that
book phenomenal to me. Larry Stroman, on the other
hand, the reason I put him in, it’s because I’ve also
worked with him. But, his claim to fame while all the
books are the upper part of that, even Black Panther, but the book
that gives him the claim to fame for me is the book on the
bottom, with the black cover, with the silver encasing; that
book was called Tribe Number One. That book sold over a
million units for image. According to Rob Liefeld,
and again, my attitude is that if I sell a million unit of
any of our books, I guarantee you; I’m going to hire so
many black creators, that you’re all going
to think that I’m crazy. You’re all going to see so many
black, and Hispanic, and Latino, and white and women and everything;
I might have the United Nations in my comic company, if I sell
a million units of anything, OK? All right, thank you. Next, OK. Now, for those of you
who don’t understand why we need to have a black comic book, and a
black comic book line this is why; most of the people in
this are black people, dressing up as white characters. It’s not like we don’t have black
characters, we don’t have what any of that are out there — they’re powerful enough that a black
person wants to dress like that and say, “I’m a black
character”, OK? Outside of Falcon. So, you’ve got Black Aquaman, you’ve
Black Robin, you’ve Black Superman, and by the way; for those of you
who don’t know, there’s an actual — there is an entire race
of black cryptonians, that was written in
the Superman story. And I’m trying to find out what
they’re going to do with that, because I want to write something
and propose it to D.C., and say, “Listen, you do know you
have a bunch of Superman on your planet that
are black, right?” now, I want to see what
they’re going to do with that. But, I have a story
in mind for that. But, again, whether they take
it or not, I don’t know; but, I’m definitely going to write it,
definitely going to draw it, OK? Thank you. And, we’re again — no
one works in a vacuum. So, we have African brothers
that are creating entire lines of comic books right
now that they’re putting out to the market place, even
more — and again, more of them. And I just want — would like
you to see some of the diversity, and some of the stuff that
they’re doing out in the world. Next one. And, for those of you
who’ve got phone, you might want to take a photo shot of this,
because these are places you can go to find a lot of information
about what’s going on online, right now with black creators and black stuff —
how much time we have? Right. This should be it. And the end — this was
opposed to what I did, coming writing this kind of stuff. Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. [ Inaudible ] Sorry about that. And here’s a funny thing, normally
I would be the guy sitting there, writing it down, I would still
not text Abby with this — then it says, “Wait a
minute, wait a minute, I got to say — let me use it”. So, this is what we’ll do, to make
everybody know, so that you can go. And if you go to these
things, you — a lot of the stuff that you’ve
seen here today, you’ll see. And a lot of the stuff
— international. I didn’t get the chance to go
on to South American heroes, Deepak Chopra, the guru; he
had a line of comic books of hind characters from India. Like the real India, not
Indian-American; India. So, I hope this has been at
least fairly informative, and remember there’s a lot more I
could’ve put on this and brought to the table, but again, we’d be
here much, much longer already than — show me the time. All right, thank you very much.>>Darren Jones: Good afternoon
everybody, my name is Darren Jones, and on behalf of all
of the organizations that sponsored this program today,
we want to thank Mister Goza, for that excellent history of
black characters and creators. Let’s give him another hand. More to come, and he and Miss
Oxner, and Miss McLain are going to take some questions in a
minute, but before they do that, I want you to say Le Month
before you leave the room. Le Month raise your hand; he’s
selling some books in the back. We also have Georgia Highly
[phonetic] back there, who is with the serial
government publication division, we have some comic books,
and we have [inaudible] at least he has presentation on the
back for prints and photographs. So, see those things
before you leave today.>>By the way, anybody that
purchases any of the books of ours back there, do
let me sign it please. That’s what will give it value in
the future, we want all of our books to be worth $10,000 in 10
years, just letting you know.>>So, we’re going to turn it
over to the panel right quickly, and take a few questions
before we leave today. OK. Questions?>>All right. OK. [ Inaudible ] Oh, you do? [ Inaudible ]>>I hope we get time. OK, I don’t know if we can
get to that today, but if so, I’m will definitely come back. I might get a car today,
I already talked to my man about how I got to get a car today. [ Inaudible ] Vixen — they never really gave her
a title per se, for the most part, what they did, is they
did it with women. They did this really weird
thing that I never understood; they gave them these short runs,
they gave them like a six-issue run. That to me is not really
giving a person an issue, if you believe your
character is good; give him a book, give him a book. Let the audience decide
whether or not they’re one. Even Wonder Woman had to fight with
Wonder Woman to keep her out there. And I don’t understand that at all,
given that there are more women in this country than men. But, they never promote her. If you look at the Avengers
movie, when they did the marketing for the Avengers movie with
the toy line and the dolls and the action figures, they didn’t
have a Black Widow action figure. You know how many girls would
have wanted that action figure? Again, I don’t understand the
whole non-woman, nonblack people, non-thing when there’s
money to be made. See, I’m never going to
understand that as a concept. I’m never going to understand it. Yes. With who? Kumite? [ Inaudible ] Oh, you wanted to know if
we’re familiar with — yes. Kumite. Actually, some of his books. But, I never really engaged
or gotten involved enough to know enough what’s
he’s doing yet. Anybody else? [ Inaudible ] That’s Milestone that was Milestone. And the question, is that you
want to know where Milestone went? With the Icon character. Well, what happened was that Dwayne
McDuffie started writing upbeat pieces about the fact that blacks
are not represented in comics. So, they quickly took him off that
book and stopped published Icon. Icon was slated to become one
of the JLA, and that ended in — within that two-year time
span, Dwayne McDuffie passed. And so, once that happened, they
said, “Well, nothing to really going to do with it”, remember,
Milestone owns those targets. Yes. So, D.C. really can’t
do anything without them, unless the Milestone
people want them, and if the Milestone people say
them, that “Yes, you can use them”, guess what Milestone people
are going to say to them. Yes. [ Inaudible ] Did the Brown Hornet
become a comic book? I think they did a one off, if I’m
not mistaken, but it never was — it didn’t become a series per se. It’s again, one of those things
where you run it up the flag pole, and if enough people
don’t generate interest, then that I got to
show off the money. Because in this industry,
you have to print first and hope you make it back. So, a lot of people, they are not
going to take that kind of a hit. Yes, anybody else? Don’t be shy. This is your time to ask all the
questions you might have had. [ Inaudible ] Well, that’s what we’re doing
— what we’re trying to do. Well, she’s asking if
about educational outreach, one of the things we’re trying
to do in educational outreaches, is that we want to be
able to tie directly to school’s core curriculum. See, we can do a book about science,
or we can do a book about math, but if it doesn’t tie in
to the school’s curriculum, then the school can’t
really utilize it as well. Not that they can’t use it, but we
want them to buy the book from us. OK, we want to produce the actual
physical book, and we want them to buy it from us, and the way
we’re looking at is if we work with the education, in any
particular school system in developing that curriculum, as
a comic property, what happens is, as their characters are going
through the book and doing things, they’ll be learning based on that,
and because they’re learning based on it, we — Our assumption
is, quite naturally, that their grades will do better. If you have watched a
kid that actually learns, and when he learns
something he’s Superman; you can almost see
the S on its chest. And he’s like, “Yes”, and I
just looked it on YouTube, where a kid got beat up,
because he got an A. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I would want to go into that
classroom, I would want to go into that classroom with those kids,
and say, “That kid that got an A, he was showing you the way, now,
let me show you a better way”, because if you have an A, your
life is going to be the much — better than a kid that’s
afraid to have an A. [ Inaudible ] Well, you’re going to
have to connect them with the creators that are doing it. Like I said, I donated my
time to foundations, schools, and across the spectrum; colleges,
high schools, grandma schools, because that’s the only way that
they’re going to exposed to it. The thing about anything in this,
you have to expose people to it, once you exposed to them — no. Now, the other thing
is, that you might have to actually go to some comic shops. Because, if you go to a comic
shop, particularly on a Wednesday when the books are released,
you will find creators in there. You just ask the comic shop owner, how many people coming
here are artists? And then, you have your
son day that day, and say, “I want to bring my son, I want
to meet some of your audience”. Trust me, they will connect
your son with artists, and once they’ve connected them with
the audience, that artist will more than likely want to help
your son do this stuff. [ Inaudible ] Well, yes. [ Inaudible ] Well, the mission book that we
do is written by Kelly Williams, the star — the book that I showed
you with of the Cheetah’s book. Sandstorm that was
written by a female. Did so well, that she was
able to get over $100,000 from a video company, to
produce it as a video game. And here’s a funny
thing; she’s a doctor. She went to school to be
a doctor, she went back and got a doctorate,
to be an actual doctor. And I told that, said —
went about the Comics. So, she said, “You
know, it was fun.” OK. And we would love
to have her back, because her books actually
sold in the market place. A friend of ours, one of our
artists, when he used to go on the park on New York
and on the weekends, he would actually sell
her books at there, he said, “They’re a big seller”.>>We’ll take one more question. [ Inaudible ] Hudden Brothers [phonetic],
Hudden Brothers; no, I’m not. [ Inaudible ] Well, here’s the most interesting
thing about all of the black people that are doing stuff in this field. Like I told you, there’s
so much stuff out there, I try to catch as much
of it as I can. But, I’m sure stuff is
flowing through the cracks, I’m absolutely sure stuff just
fallen through the cracks. But, that won’t be
the case all the time. This for me is like being
on a journey now, OK? The gentleman started
me on this past, OK? They’ve started me on this path of finding the historical
side of this, OK? It opened my eyes, and once my eyes
— I felt like I was in the Matrix. They unplugged me,
and I was like, “No, I can’t go back, can’t go back now. There’s just too much out there”. I’m so curious about everything now. I’m not even locationally
afraid anymore. I want to find out what people
in other countries are doing. I want to find out what the
little kids Burmese jungle — what kind of — what is he drawing. What kind of story is he telling? So, I’m hoping that at some point,
we’ll have an international — what I was saying, an international
nations of comic book creators, where everybody is involved,
and everybody is engaged; that is my hope that
is the dream I have. All right, I want to thank you. [ Applause ] This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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