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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The Cause of Black Panther & The Crew’s Cancellation

This weekend news broke that after two issues, Marvel’s Black Panther & the Crew has been canceled.

The series revolved around Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Manifold who band together to take on a dangerous wave of street-level threats in this new ongoing series by co-writers Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me and Marvel’s Black Panther) and Yona Harvey (Black Panther: World of Wakanda) and legendary artist Butch Guice!

The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a mystery that will reveal surprising new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past and set the stage for a big story in the Marvel Universe’s near future. Fear, hate and violence loom, but don’t worry, The Crew’s got this: “We are the streets.”

Anyone who thinks the cancellation has to do with “poor sales” and not the comics’ themes of racial justice and unapologetic blackness can line up and purchase some beachfront property I own in Wyoming.

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Know Yourself: One Happy Parent

As a long-term comic head, I have become enamored of every type of comic book. I have horror, Classics Illustrated, science fiction, traditional superhero, and tons of international comics in more long boxes than I can count. The one comic lane I could never get in to: educational comics. I love the old Civil Rights, How Toons, and history comic books. What I could not stand were the ‘this is how the digestive tract works’ or ‘let’s wind our way through the eyeball’ offerings. This would seem to be in direct opposition of my cheerleading the use of comics in educational settings. Hey, I’m complex. As a parent, my dislike has curdled to disdain.

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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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John Jennings & Damian Duffy’s Kindred is now a #1 New York Times Bestseller

Last week, Abrams Books finally released the highly anticipated graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic novel, Kindred. Created by our friends John Jennings and Damian Duffy — collectively known as J2D2, the book has already shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover graphic novels! To celebrate this momentous occasion, revisit my conversation with them recorded last summer during San Diego Comic-Con. The conversation is also available via podcast from Soundcloud (embedded below). Please remember to subscribe to Hard NOC Life on YouTube or iTunes and leave us a rating and review so folks can find us there! And don’t forget to get your own copy of Kindred.

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Hard NOC Live from SDCC 2016: John Jennings & Damian Duffy

This January, Abrams Books will be publishing a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic novel, Kindred. At San Diego Comic-Con, we had the opportunity to talk with the creators behind the graphic novel, John Jennings and Damian Duffy — collectively known as J2D2, as they were signing galley copies of the book!

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Hard NOC Live from SDCC 2016: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

The creative team behind the critically acclaimed Image Comics series Monstress — Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda — made a rare appearance together at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 and we were able to spend a few minutes with them for a special Hard NOC Life chat!

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N.O.C. One-Shot: Why Wanting Diverse Comics is Not Enough

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is a powerful hashtag and message. But we can’t just want these books. We have to support the ones that are already out there too. The latest One-Shot from Shawn Taylor (@reallovepunk) gets at some of the reasons why.

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Superhero Romances, Princesses, and Ponies with Jeremy Whitley

Prolific comic writer Jeremy Whitley (@jrome58) steps into the Hard NOC Life this week to talk about his latest books, including his short story in Marvel Comics’ romance anthology Secret Wars: Secret Love and issue #2 of Princeless: The Pirate Princess from Action Lab Entertainment, both in stores next week.

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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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Special Edition: NYC Panel will be Celebrating #BlackComicsMonth

Entering its second year, the New York Comic-Con offshoot comics-only show — known as Special Edition: NYC — is this weekend. With a guest list that includes everyone from Greg Pak to Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, SE:NYC officially kicks off con-going season with a star-studded line up. Coincidentally, those two stars I mentioned will be featured on one of the panels the NOC is most looking forward to. Hosted by our friends at VixenVarsity, the #BlackComicsMonth panel promises to be the highlight of the weekend. Check out the official PR after the jump.

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Get Ready for MECCAcon 2015 This September

Comic conventions are like traditional meals. They are either wonderful and make you feel like you’re at home, or they are so terrible they induce nightmares and have you screaming, “You had the ingredients and the recipe. How did you screw up so badly?” From what I’ve been told, MECCAcon is home for a whole lot of people.

This September, Maia Crown Williams — the founder of #MECCAcon2015 and all around comic-culture badass — is making Detroit, Michigan the center of the universe for comic-culture for and by folks of color. While there has been some geeklash about how events like this, BCAF, OnyxCon and others are “exclusive” events; the overwhelming majority of people see the necessity of these events.

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Does Anyone REALLY Care About Diversity in Comics?

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

I’m starting to feel like I’m going crazy — as if there is something seriously wrong with me — when the sad truth of the matter is that it is not me at all. It is you. And by “you” I don’t necessarily mean you, the person reading this, but I do mean someone other than myself — the crazy person running around pointing out the truth that You (though not necessarily you) don’t want to face. And the truth that I’m talking about is the simple fact that for all the complaining about the lack of diversity in comics — specifically as it relates to black creators — You don’t really want diversity. Instead, You want to sit around, writing blog posts and articles and leaving comments here and there about how few black creators are working in comics, and how You are so righteously indignant to the plight of struggling black creators who aren’t being given a chance to work for major corporations like Marvel (owned by Disney) and DC (owned by Warner Brothers).

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Where the New Black Comics Writers Are

The other day, one of our favorite websites, Bleeding Cool, posted a column by Devon Sanders bemoaning the lack of black writers in comics — or more precisely at the Big Two (i.e., DC and Marvel) as well as the mid-major publishers like Dark Horse and Boom. Since its publication, the article has been making its way around the comics blogosphere and message boards sparking some much-needed conversation about the lack of diversity in comics.

The question posed is focused primarily on the lack of black comics writers, and not artists such as Shawn Martinbrough, Jamal Igle, Kyle Baker, or Rob Guillory whose mainstream comics work have all developed quite a following. In the article, Sanders says:

This is the writer’s name, the one you see above everyone else’s and when you count black writers actively working for Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc. it comes down to less than the number of digits on Nightcrawler’s hand.

Now while the thesis of the article is the lack of black writers at the big publishers, the column’s title posited the question “Where are the New Black Comics Writers?” The answer to that particular question would be to look beyond the Big Two. Just ask our own Brandon Easton who recently received an Eisner nom for his work on the spectacular Watson and Holmes.

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The Army of Dr. Moreau is Available Digitally

Last week, David Walker threw down the gauntlet for folks who say there isn’t enough diversity in comics but may not buy — or even know about — comics and graphic novels by writers and artists of color. If you feel like supporting creators of color and publishers who aren’t “the big two,” you can start with a digital-only book by Walker himself. The third issue of David Walker’s digital mini-series The Army of Dr. Moreau comes out today exclusively on ComiXology.

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The Lack of Diversity in Comics: What’re You Doing About It?

ImageIt seems like every day I read something, somewhere, about the lack of diversity in comics (not to mention various other pop culture mediums). Sometimes these pieces focus on gender, other times on people of color, and sometimes both. At the recent Image Expo, sixteen comic creators took the stage, with only two being women, and none being of color, and in the aftermath we are once again having this conversation. (Read about it here on Bleeding Cool.) To be absolutely clear, this lack of representation in the creative forces that produce comics is problematic. There needs to be greater diversity on many levels when it comes to comics, both on the creative side, and within the stories that are being produced. But that is only one problem, and not the problem I want to address.

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