Milestone Relaunch: Press Conference with Denys Cowan and Reginald Hudlin

Milestone is back! Again! But… seriously, this time! Hey, it’s Kuya P, long time Milestone fan and I know we’ve been here before with Milestone and DC Comics but it is finally happening folks! I recently had the pleasure of attending a virtual press conference with Denys Cowan and Reginald Hudlin to discuss the release of Milestone Returns #0: Infinite Edition, the history of Milestone and some of the new talent working on the titles and more! Originally, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, so I called on fellow NOC, Jamal Michel to attend and as it turned out, we both had the luxury of talking and speaking with the Milestone team. Check out our thoughts coming out of the conference along with some of the information that was shared!

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Hard NOC Live at the Smithsonian #CrossLines: Shawn Martinbrough

Last week, we had the opportunity to be a part of CrossLines, a pop-up culture lab on intersectionality presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. In addition to hosting a Reading Lounge/Book Swap and live mural by artist Matt Huyhn, The Nerds of Color was invited to conduct live recordings of Hard NOC Life. The first of these live podcasts featured comic book artist Shawn Martinbrough.

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Why Dwayne McDuffie Was Better Than You

One cannot discuss black excellence (specifically in speculative fiction) without discussing one of the most gifted and progressive storytellers, ever to walk this earth, the late Dwayne McDuffie.

As expected, many discussed the amazing work he and his team did with making Milestone Comics a success, others mentioned his phenomenal work with fellow phenom Bruce Timm creating over a decade of superb animated series and films.

Of course people pointed out that McDuffie paved the way for black storytellers in a way too vanilla-centric medium that is the comic book industry.

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The Most Watched Hard N.O.C. Life Episodes

We’re continuing the celebration of our two-year anniversary week with another look back. This time, we’re going to count down the top ten most watched episodes of Hard N.O.C. Life, our (semi-)weekly YouTube series where I talk to folks about various topics.

When the site first launched in 2013, the idea for a YouTube show utilizing the Google Hangout format was going to be one of the main pillars. I had just come off a stint appearing on a similarly formatted show about basketball (more specifically, about Jeremy Lin) created by Terry Park for Asian CineVision and thought the format would be great for talking comics, movies, and TV. And thus, Hard N.O.C. Life
was born!

So just like we did yesterday, we’ve combed through the archives to find these, the ten most viewed HNL episodes over the last two years.

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Icon and Rocket: Redefining the Superhero Sidekick Paradigm

If there’s one trait that always distinguished Milestone Media, it was its consistency in delivering a brilliant new take on an old idea.

A primary example of this can be found with two of their flagship heroes, Icon and Rocket. The superhero pair is a fascinating case of the superhero sidekick paradigm being redefined.

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From Invisible to Inevitable: Why We Need Diverse Books

by Gene Yang

[Ed. note: Over the weekend, Gene delivered the following speech at the National Book Festival gala in Washington, DC.]

I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic-book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like Justice League and Ben 10.

Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.

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The Invisible World of Black Comic Creators

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).

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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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Remembering Dwayne McDuffie, Part 2

Three years ago today, we lost the beloved Dwayne McDuffie. In person, Dwayne towered well over six feet tall, which lent itself to a larger-than-life image that was really the opposite of how he carried himself. You could always spot Dwayne in a crowd, but you couldn’t necessarily hear him over the crowd. With his intimidating size, Dwayne knew how to not be intimidating in his demeanor. His work spoke much louder than he did. That’s part of the reason so many people miss him, and part of the reason people like me, who were only casually acquainted with him feel the loss so greatly.

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Denys Cowan’s Art Has Been Found

Quick update on the artwork that UPS “lost” en route to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. It appears that all 28 pieces have been returned to Denys Cowan. Unfortunately, they have not been returned in the same condition in which they were shipped. Still, it’s good to know that this injustice has been rectified in some small way.

Cowan took to social media to deliver a special message to his fans and all involved in holding UPS’ feet to the fire. His message, as posted on Michael Davis’ website, is after the jump.

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UPS Loses Valuable Denys Cowan Artwork

I recently wrote about the wonderful time I had at the opening gala for the “Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond art exhibit at the Geppi Museum in Baltimore. Unbeknownst to me at the time, there was some very unfortunate news amidst the happiness inside the museum.

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Making ‘Milestones’ at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum

2013 12 13 (10)
Legend Status (L to R): Michael Davis, Kyle Baker, Denys Cowan

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.

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20 Years: A Milestone (Comics) Anniversary

In this landmark live-streamed episode, the founders and creators of Milestone Comics join Keith (@the_real_chow) for a special retrospective of one of the most important companies in comic book history. The show’s panel consists of Milestone founders Denys Cowan and Michael Davis, editor/writer Joseph Phillip Illidge, artist Shawn Martinbrough, and production manager/writer Erica Well.

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Remembering Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne McDuffie is one of the most important figures in the history of the comic book industry. Perhaps that’s hyperbole, but I don’t think so. I know that his work has left an indelible mark on me, and the world is a lesser place without him in it.

I didn’t know Dwayne McDuffie personally. I only met him once. Briefly. It was in San Diego in 2009. The fellas (Jerry Ma, Jeff Yang, Parry Shen) and I were at Comic-Con to promote Secret Identities. Dwayne was on a panel moderated by Jeff, and the five of us were able to chat for a bit afterwards.

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Comics are for Children

I don’t remember the wonder anymore.

As a child, I did not collect comics weekly. At ten, I lacked the funds and access to a friendly neighborhood comic book shop. Travel to the closest store required leaving Black suburban safety, crossing highways and railroad tracks, and strolling through an alien White community three miles away to feed a Cable and Nightwing habit. No. Besides, graphic novels offered complete story arcs, so to read new comics I would cajole my mother into forking over twenty dollars American (not including sales tax) each time I wished to depart Waldenbooks in Chesapeake Square Mall with the Spider-Man Clone Saga, or Batman: Contagion.

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Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Milestone

This Thursday evening, the co-founders and creators of the groundbreaking comics company Milestone Media will be the guests on a special episode of Hard N.O.C. Life, bringing together a panel of some of the most talented voices in comics to discuss the legacy of the company that revolutionized the industry two decades ago.

UPDATE: The special episode is now available for viewing here.

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Larry Hama and Joseph Illidge Join Hard N.O.C. Life

In this week’s very special episode, Keith (@the_real_chow) welcomes guests writer/artist Larry Hama (@iching63) and former DC Comics editor Joseph Illidge (@JosephPIllidge) on the show to discuss their histories inside the comic book industry. Also on the panel are N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch) and William Bruce West (@williambwest).

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