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.Continue reading “‘Box of Bones,’ An Endorsement”
Every once in a while, there’s a stand-alone graphic novel that is an event. It’s an event because of who made it, who released it, and the artifact itself. After the Rain is one of these events. Adapted from Nnedi Okorafor’s “On the Road” from her short story collection, Kabu Kabu, it is, if I’m not mistaken, her only outright horror offering. And it is truly frightening.Continue reading “‘After the Rain’ Graphic Novel Review”
There are some people who like comics. There are others who love them. Then, there are those who live and breathe comics. Not as a way to keep copyrights up-to-date for further cinematic use, but who see the comic form as important; as a worthy and necessary part of our collective artistic and cultural life. Professor, scholar, and creator, John Ira Jennings, embodies the latter.
Happy New Year to you all. I hope everyone is well and doing what they need and want to do.
I wanted to share a few things with you.
Maybe we should let them have it. Why do so many of us expend so much energy to be included in spaces that routinely omit us, populated by people who deny (and are angered by) our existence? Do we even have to go into how the corporations that produce and distribute the things we love are usually silent when the fandamentalists go on their racist, homophobic, misogynist tirades? Oh yeah, and the death threats.
When I heard Abrams was developing a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred I was of two minds. I wasn’t sure if one of the most important books in the history of literature could be accurately represented in the graphic form. Even though I’m a rabid comic book fan, I felt a comic version of the novel would somehow cheapen it. But it was John Jennings and Dr. Damian Duffy, and I trust them implicitly. They have a decade plus relationship and have put out some of the most interesting and innovative comics work during this time.
They’re geniuses, and this isn’t hyperbole. This book here illustrates the genius of their partnership.
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.
Like the rest of the nation, I woke up this morning to an unfathomable reality. Despite our best efforts, the country has chosen hate and division. Those dystopian science-fiction novels don’t feel so far off anymore. Still, we at The Nerds of Color must soldier on. I’m doing that by participating in CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian’s pop-up Culture Lab on imagined futures this weekend in New York City. Though, to be honest, I’m having a difficult time imagining the present, much the less the future.
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!
If you’re in the Boston area on Thursday, January 14, then I hope you have a chance to stop by Northeastern University. Starting from 9:30am, fellow NOC and celebrated artist and scholar John Jennings will be kicking off a day-long conversation about the politics of race and identity representation in comics.
In honor of Black History Month, I will allow three days of free online screenings of the documentary Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century.
From Sunday, February 1 at 12:00am (EST) through Tuesday, February 3 at 11:59pm (EST) you’ll be able to watch the documentary free of charge!
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.
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.
The final cover for Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements has been sent to the AK Press production designer. The book is available for pre-order here. See the full hi-res cover after break.
In lieu of the injustice that was carried out in Missouri last night, we will not be updating with any new posts today. Instead we are re-posting this powerful image by artist John Jennings that was initially published in August. Continue reading NOC Rewind: If Captain America Were in Ferguson
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.
One of the biggest stories in comics and pop culture over the summer was from Marvel Comics showing their efforts in creating diverse characters. Much to a lot of fans’ dismay, they made Thor a woman and Captain America a black man. Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) is now officially Captain America.
While working today through my anger at the Ferguson, MO story — which is still unfolding — I wondered what Sam would do if he were a real person.
So, I did this image to deal with the madness.
Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo
Okay, so I got back from the San Diego Comic-Con a few days ago, and I really wanted to share some of my experiences and thoughts, before they are lost in the jumbled mess of my mind. Let me start by saying that I’ve been going to SDCC since 1998, and in that time there are only two years I’ve missed. Some years have been great, and other have been not-so-great. This year was one of the best years for Comic-Con — especially considering where my life is at on a personal level (which I won’t bore you with). Professional things are going well, but because of a series of non-disclosure agreements, I can’t talk about what I’m working on (nor could I talk about these various projects at the con itself).
So the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) has come to an end, at least for me. This year, I helped put together the poster show which was a LOT of work. More than I expected, to be perfectly honest. But it was worth every sore muscle and second that was put into it.
As usual Goran, Rufus, Samuel, James, and Grady put on an amazing event. It was just so much fun to be a part of. I’m just going to let these pictures do the talking for me.
Brave New Souls is a documentary I wrote, produced, and directed that explores the thoughts, goals, and inspirations of a new generation of Black creators in graphic novels, television, cinema, literature, and digital media. It was a very tough shoot as I did the camera work, sound recording, lighting, and directing ALL BY MYSELF! While the movie will be released on DVD in two weeks — on July 15 — for those that want to watch it via their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and home PCs, you can stream or download it as a high-quality, digital video right now at Gumroad for $7.99!
I wanted to take a moment to thank all the creators I worked with during the production of the documentary and share a few things I learned:
You may recall back in April, we let you know about the Old School Kung Fu Film Fest in New York City. To coincide with the films shown, the festival’s organizers commissioned the homey Jerry Ma — of Epic Proportions — to curate a little art show with world renowned artists interpreting their own movie posters for each of the films shown.
Well, this weekend, those pieces of art (and more) are going to be presented at Lincoln Center as part of the New York Asian Film Festival! Featuring the work a slew of NOC-friendly artists, including Larry Hama, Bernard Chang, Jef Castro, Ken Knudtsen, and John Jennings!
Check out the official announcement after the jump.
On Friday night, I had the honor and privilege to attend the opening gala for the latest exhibit at the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. Curated by Milestone Media co-founder Michael Davis and Tatiana El-Kouri — with John Jennings consulting, the exhibit “Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond” was a showcase for the artists who make up the African American pop art experience. Representing a true cross-section of popular culture, the pieces on display spanned decades and demonstrated the vastness and diversity of African American artistic expression.