‘Box of Bones,’ An Endorsement

I am a new convert to horror. I was firmly in my comics, SF, SpecFic, fantasy bag for decades until I read Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep. After that, I was all in… on horror literature. However, so-called ‘horror comics’ weren’t scary to me. Not even a little. And as a comic fan, it was disappointing. That was then. Now, there are tons of wonderful horror books that speak to my cultural and aesthetic specificity. There’s Image’s Killadelphia and Bitter Root, which just had a huge announcement. And Vault Comics is doing it big.

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Welcome to Solid Comix

As a comic book writer I have been fortunate enough to work for such incredible publishers as DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, Boom, Dynamite, and Lion Forge. I’ve also had the opportunity to write some of my favorite characters and work with some of the best artists in the business. Now it is time to embark on a new adventure… Solid Comix.

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‘Bitter Root’ #1: An Endorsement

The Harlem Renaissance. Black life. Root work. Jazz. Diesel Funk (shout out to Tim Fielder) Monsters and monster hunting. Family. Action. Challenging of gender stereotypes. Camaraderie. Mysterious villains. A world adjacent to the world of the normals. Bitter Root delivers all this, and more. It also asks some very good questions.

One of the problems I’ve always had with horror and horror-adjacent material is that very few things are more frightening than being Black in the world. If we can’t be safe in Kroger’s, in church, being stopped by police, walking with our loved ones, going to school, where can we be safe? This book tackles this head on, without flinching, without apology.

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10 Ways to Really Support Diversity in Comics

We have reached a crucial crossroads when it comes to diversity in comics, and I fear that if things don’t change, we will lose ground. It is not enough to demand diversity in comics, we must support what’s out there now, or there won’t be more in the future. Money talks, and those that want diversity in comics must learn to use the system currently in place, while also creating a new system of sales and promotion.

To that end, here are ten lessons in Comics & Diversity, via twitter.

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DCTV Classics Remembers Dwayne McDuffie

On February 21, 2011, the world lost a legend. Dwayne McDuffie passed away at the age of 49, leaving behind a towering legacy in comics and television. McDuffie was one of the founding fathers of Milestone Media, a prominent writer for DC Comics, and the brains behind DC TV Classics like Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Static Shock. His influence on comics and superhero storytelling reverberate to this day. One writer who was inspired by McDuffie is David F. Walker, currently writing Occupy Avengers for Marvel and has previously written Cyborg for DC. David joins Keith and Desiree (Britney is out this week) to remember the life and times of Dwayne McDuffie.

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Five Reasons You Should Pick Up Cyborg #1

[Full Disclosure: David Walker is a good friend of mine and I told him that I would only write something, if I liked the book.]

I’m a Teen Titans fan from since Raven first got the team together. Cyborg (Vic Stone) was never my favorite character, or a character I particularly liked. I mean, how many damn times were you going to use X amount of decibels from your white noise generator? Not to mention that Cyborg is the most dehumanized superhero of color in all of comicdom. Folks are mad that Vic is beginning to look “more human.” I have a question: Why were you okay with him being a walking and talking negroid PS3?

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Get Cyborg #1 by David Walker in Stores Today

We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and it’s finally here. Make sure you head to your local comic shop as soon as it opens so you can cop the historic first issue of DC Comics’ Cyborg by our very own David Walker!

Then, as soon as you have a copy in hand, take a selfie with it at the shop and tweet it using the hashtag #CyborgWednesday.

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Join the N.O.C. at Comic-Con in San Diego

Can you feel it in the air? It’s officially Comic-Con week, and we are happy to announce that for the first time ever, the N.O.C. will be in full effect in San Diego! In addition to seeing many of our guest contributors on panels and at booths during the show, we are also co-hosting a meet up with our friends at Black Girl Nerds on Saturday night! So check out everyone’s schedules and we’ll see you at the con!

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Old Film Reviews: One-Armed Swordsman

Originally published at BadAzz Mofo

The Shaw Brothers studio in Hong Kong was responsible for producing some of the greatest Wushu martial arts films of all time. In the 1970s kung fu flicks flooded American drive-in theaters and grindhouses, and some of the most memorable films came courtesy of Shaw Brothers. But the style and genre of film most Americans associate with Shaw Brothers was relatively new to the studio, part of a new generation Wushu films that was ushered in during the 1960s with titles like the seminal classic One-Armed Swordsman.

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No 52: The New Era of DC Comics Looks Promising

Can it be? Am I actually excited about DC Comics? Again? I’ve made no bones about my aversion to the company-wide reboot of 2011, but it seems that starting this summer, DC is dropping the The New 52 branding and starting fresh with all-new books, and a diverse and wide-ranging roster of talent, including — full disclosure — several friends and alums from the SIUniverse! So maybe I’m a little biased.

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BCAF 2015: Report Back

This past weekend was so much more than a con for me. I’ve been to over one hundred cons in my life, and I have never felt like this two days later. Most con experiences are a blur — panel after panel, film premiere, then hundreds of dollars later I go home and the memory of the con evaporates. I read all the books, rock the shirts, find choice places to display the exclusives I copped, and then it is on to the next. But BCAF was an entirely different convention. Convention is too limiting of a word for the inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival that happened in San Francisco over this past the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. Church? Still too limiting. Black Sacred Space is closer, but it still falls short. BCAF was less a convention than it was a reinvention, commitment, and celebration of the black image in fantastic space. It was a form of resistance.

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Celebrate Black Comic Art From Coast to Coast

Get ready. This weekend is going to be a huge one as our very own John Jennings has organized two comic art festivals on either coast that will celebrate Black comic art and artists with day-long events featuring panel discussions, film screenings, and more.

Festivities kick off in New York City on Saturday, January 17 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for its third annual Black Comic Book Festival. The scene then shifts to San Francisco on Sunday and Monday for that city’s inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival — which John announced in October. Both events are free and open to the public.

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Regarding the Cover to Shaft #2: Dedicated to Darrien Hunt

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

No doubt, there will be people debating over the meaning and motivation behind Sanford Greene’s cover to Shaft #2, which came out this week. For the record, the idea for the cover came to me long before the grand jury hearing in the case of Mike Brown, and is not in response to that particular case. If there is one recent ripped-from-the-news incident that really inspired the cover, it was the 2014 killing of Darrien Hunt, the young cosplayer from Utah. Every death that I read about whether it is Mike Brown, or Eric Garner, or Trayvon Martin, or any of the other tragedies that have been playing out with far too much frequency, destroys me a little bit. But there was something about the death of Darrien Hunt that really got to me. You see, if I’m going to be honest, on the path of my life and my career, there was a reasonably good chance I could have met Darrien some day.

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Today’s the Day! Shaft #1 is in Stores Everywhere

We’ve seemingly been hyping this day forever, and now it’s finally here. Dynamite Comics’ Shaft #1 — written by fellow NOC David Walker and art by Bilquis Evely — is currently on the shelves of your local comic shops. And to celebrate the occasion, we’ve rounded up all of the the times we’ve just been talkin’ about Shaft since the first announcement.

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Preview the First Issue of Dynamite’s Shaft

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the debut of Dynamite’s Shaft series by writer (and NOC) David Walker and artist Bilquis Evely. If you didn’t preorder the book already, you should find it on the shelves of your favorite comic shops on December 3. (That’s only two weeks away!)

To whet your appetite, Dynamite has released the first few pages of the book to give you a taste of David’s words and Bilquis’ pictures. Just click on the image below for a preview of Shaft #1.

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Shaft #1 is Only a Month Away! Preorder Now!

In exactly four weeks, the hotly anticipated Shaft #1 — written by our own David Walker — will finally be available at comic shops across the country. If you haven’t yet pre-ordered your copy of the book — first of all, what’s wrong with you? — the last day for pre-orders is this Wednesday, November 5.

If you still need convincing about ordering Shaft — again, what’s wrong with you? — David’s been making the rounds promoting the hell out of the book at fine outlets all over the internet. After the jump, we’ve rounded up some of these interviews. In the meantime, if you’re headed to your favorite comic shop tomorrow, just print out this handy form (complete with Diamond codes for each variant cover) and secure your copy of Shaft while you still can.

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Announcing San Francisco’s Inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival

I’m extremely pleased and honored to be a co-organizer of the inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival with the NorcalMLK Foundation of San Francisco! Our committee has put in a lot of work over the last few months to make this happen. Starting in January 2015, in conjunction with the city’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations, the first ever Black Comix Arts Festival will become an annual event.

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Shaft’s David Walker is a BadAzz MoFo

Last week, we told you our own David Walker (@DavidWalker1201) had been named as the writer of Dynamite Entertainment’s new Shaft comics. Luckily, Keith (@the_real_chow) was able to talk with David about how he came to write the book for Dynamite — and the state of diversity in the comic book industry more broadly — in this special one-on-one conversation.

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John Shaft vs. Sam Wilson: Rewriting the History of Black Comic Characters

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

I’m about to stir it up. I’m about to talk some shit, ruffle some feathers, and remind those that know me, how I break it down. Some of you will get pissed off, and that’s okay. Righteous indignation is a wonderful American tradition. Run with it, my friends.

As many of you know, in the world of comics, Sam Wilson, better known as Falcon, has assumed the mantle of Captain America over at Marvel/Disney. This has been a much-hyped story, that I have weighed in on (read HERE and HERE), but couldn’t go into as deep as I wanted because of a secret that I needed to keep. That secret was made public last week, when Dynamite Entertainment announced that I was writing their upcoming Shaft comic book.

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That Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz Shaft Cover

Yesterday, we brought you the exciting news that the top secret project David Walker has been cryptically tweeting about was none other than Dynamite Comics’ upcoming Shaft comic! To learn more about how this collaboration came about — and what you can expect from the series — check out Albert Ching’s exclusive interview with David at Comic Book Resources.

Speaking of collaborations, one of the things I’m most excited about are all the variant covers for issue #1 — especially the one by living legends Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz! After the jump, you can see the cover everyone has been raving about (featuring beautiful colors by Ivan Nunes). We’ve also attached — with Denys’ permission — a version with just the original pencils and inks as well!

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