New Keron Grant Project!!!

Keron Grant is the best artist you never heard of. okay, sure... he's been making comics for a minute. he's worked on comics for the Matrix, X-men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Son of Vulcan and Century (at the defunct and surprisingly DOPE Awesome comics, founded by Rob Liefield) (click the pic to the left to peep art from the never-published, woulda-been a smash Century).

so why isn't the jamican sensation a household name among we comics nerds? a name we breathe out slowly and reverently? beats the heck outta me! so peep his website, and tell 'im i sentcha over. seen?

meanwhile... i just checked an article about him taking the reigns to an book called Zoom Suit... now that i know, YOU know (isn't that lovely?) i haven't read it, but if he's gonna be drawing it, i know it'll be pretty good!

holla!
samax.

Illustrator Tutorial!

Brian Denham, artist on Killbox for Anarctic Press in san antonio, has a killer blog, with a
tutorial for making comics with Adobe Illustrator

(the links section is pretty fresh too, for all you comics heads out there...)

check him out, a'ight?
holla!
samax.

Hip Hop Invades SXSW

i didn't go, but apparently, the organizers of South By Southwest discoverred hipHop this year. isn't that lovely? read about it here.

peace.
samax.
www.samaxAmen.com

no respect in '87. '88 ya kneel...

not for nothin'... but i am soooo feelin' old school stuff right now. my favorite song of all time is So Whatcha Sayin' from the second album (Unfinished Business) of the classic heavyweight crew EPMD I don't pretend to know whether it would sound good to modern rap fans, but i can say the years have not eroded my love of this cut.

peep a mySpace profile starring Erick and Parrish here, or go to my page and listen to my favorite cut.

peace.
samax.

De La Soul means "From the Soul"...

any idiot can make a list of "great" artists that influenced hip hop. actually, i do it all the time! but who the heck am i, anyway?
but perrenial rap veterans De La Soul caught the attention of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who named the daisy-age classic Me, Myself, and I as one of the 500 Songs That Changed Rock and Roll.

no, i didn't read the list (so don't ask), i read an article by another music geek who went to the venerated Hall recently. But yeah, the De La cut is a undisputed classic, from their classic album 3 Feet High and Rising. De La Soul, and their massive Native Tongues familia (which includes such pioneers and greats as Tribe Called Quest, Black Star, and Common) is responsible for setting so may trends i don't even wanna think about it!

i'm currently colaboratin' with my man Khalid to do ceedee package design for a Native Tongues/SpitKicker "re-mixtape" by DJ balance and (De La's own) Posdonus (aka plug one), so i'm 5 degrees away from the R+R hall of fame... or something.

holla!
samax

Dilated...


okay, so my man Khalid bought me a ticket to see Dilated Peoples and Little Bother and Defari for my born Day (thanks 'Leed)...
man! what a great show! i always thought Dilated was decent, but live these cats are off the radar!

similarly, littlle brother was tight, too. one of the better shows lately.

holla!
samax
www.ghettoManga.com
her name is Alkhemi Jones (pronounced AL kem ee, y'know, like "alchemy"...). i ran into this emcee's profile on mySpace, and listened to her shtuff and lemme tell you, she's pretty fresh.

her music's good too.

nah for real, she can spit a little somethin'... While we're on the subject, i'd just like to say, i will never recommend a female rapper (or a male one for that matter) just because they are cute, rock nice jewels or have nice lookin' groupies in their videos. i will say someone is dope if-and-only-if in my opinion they really are! that is my commitment to you. ("samaxAmen, the name you can trust")


she is fly tho'...


so anyways, check her music profile here. and tell her who sentcha...

holla!

samax.

2HekTik in Denton this weekend...

i have it on good authority that seattle-based artista 2H will be in the denton/dallas area this weekend... one of my goals for the weekend is to get a minute to build with the self-professed dentonite before he returns to the house that starbucks built.

don't know if it'll happen, but at least a nigga's got goals. anyways, he's bananas! one of the really cool artists i've found online... peep his mind-bendy art here.

holla!
samax.

www.samaxAmen.com

Locke is Chillin'...


okay, so i've been thinkin'... who should i hip you to today? oooo, i know:

i met Locke at a convention a few years ago, and i gotta tell you, he's one of the most phenomenal talents i've ever seen! he lives in san fran, i think (i'll try to track him down for an interview...), and is obviously nuts (look at his work and you'll see what i mean), but in a good way...

here's a sample of BEND, one of his many comics you can peep online... i forgot how sick he was, but i went back and checked... EGAD!

holla!
samax.

On My Birth Certificate it Says:


A STAR IS BORN!

"go fanboy! it's ya birfday..." I'm turnin' 33, the same age Jesus was when he was crucified. so, i'll either Die, or Multiply!

Come Holla Atcha Fetus and cop a FREE dj nature mixtape wednesday night at Rubber Gloves, suckaz!

jeauh!

samax.

is your junk newsworthy?

(UPDATED March 2008)
ghettoManga Quarterly -the print version of ghettoManga- is looking for submissions! send me your stuff (art, comics, music, etc) and if i think it's fresh, you'll get in print. simple as that!

what we're looking for:
  1. Finished (black&white or color) Comics- if you want to submit your comic, please send me at least 5 pages of story. you know the drill, people: no pin ups, unfinished art or prose proposals... just legible comics pages. we print at 8.5x11 around here, so either reformat your work, or i will!
  2. Strips- comic strips are cool too, by the way. black and white or color.
  3. Articles, Reviews, Videos- comics, hiphop news art, culture... that's what i want to hear about. and i don't like whining ("so-and-so is wack... why isn't there any good hip hop, DC and Marvel suck really bad..."), so don't send me any of that! i wanna know what's Good. i mean, what's What's REALLY good!?! don't send anything that you don't want printed with your name, email address, and/or web address on, cause i don't wanna hear it if you get your ass whipped.
  4. Artists (pencillers, inkers, letterers)- i know lots of writers who need help, so send me samples of your work. also, let me know what kind of story you wanna draw... i'll hook you up with somebody!
  5. Photographers- I need pics BAD! anything you got that fits the theme.
  6. Illustrators- i know i said no pin ups, but i'll take really good illustrations of rappers, politicians, actors, or whatever. when used, it will be to illustrate articles and stuff.
  7. Press Releases- if you create fly stuff or know about someone who does, get at me and i'll check it out! could wind up in gM Quarterly!
feel free to pass the news about gM Quarterly to your friends who make the stuff listed above and have them contact me.

any questions? wanna help? get at me!
more info to come...

samax.

Rosario Dawson gets her own comic...

Sin City costar and self-confessed comics fangirl, the extremely hot Rosario Dawson will co-create and star in her own comic... well, sorta.

Sophia Cruz-the lead character of Occult Crimes Taskforce- is based on Rosario. A friend of Rosario's family, David Atchison approached her about writing a comic loosely based on her. Dawson jumped at it, out of her love for comics, not her love for herself...

"I know that the way we were able to get interest in this book was that my face was literally and figuratively attached to it," she said. "But this is not about me. The world that we're creating is the really cool part of this book. Believe me, this is a whole lot more than my making myself a sexy superhero just to feed my ego."
Occult Crimes Taskforce (a 12-gauge comics production) will be published by Image Comics.

holla!
samax.
www.samaxAmen.com

Brooklyn Keep On Takin' It...


i know i'm not the only person who gets mad every time Mos Def and Talib Kweli drop a new collab under the name Black Star...

not that the joint ain't hot... just the opposite! these cats are what i always want hipHop to be but am consistantly disappointed that it isn't. the anger comes not from the fact that they did a new track but from the fact they're giving us only one!

they got a new cut on Chapelle's "Block Party" soundtrack called "Born and Raised", which is of course an ode to the mecca of hipHop:Brooklyn. as they tend to do, Mos and Kweli mix in tons of knowledge, ill wordplay and assorted sickness into the five minutes of funk, leaving at least one person hungry for more, and yes, angry.

come on ya'll, do me a EP or somethin'...

peace, love... whatever.
samax.

Movie Review: V for Vendetta

i could hardly contain myself... there are plot twists in this movie that follow exactly what was in the comic. my boy, khalid, had never read the graphic novel, and i hate to give anything away... so contain myself i did.

i went into this afraid that i would hate it. i always try to ignore the fact that a movie is adapting a comic i love (as i did V), but ultimately the letdown is often too much... thankfully, this was not one of those times!

V for Vendetta was AWESOME!

no, it was not the best movie i've ever seen. and no, it wasn't as good as the comic. but it wasn't clumsy, unbelievable or boring. if i could say that about every comicbook adaptation, i'd be a much happier camper!

there were plenty of opportunities for the movie to turn corny, but it didn't. the wachowskis wrote the screenplay, and took the opportunity to take jabs at the Bush administation (as Alan Moore did at Thatcher in the 80's graphic novel), and the religious right a little more overtly than in the Matrix films, but it was all done in a way that allowed the story to stay on top, where it belonged.
anyways, do what you gotta...
holla!
samax.

War On Terror...

i know it's St.Patrick's day and i should put up a post about leprechauns, green garments and getting drunk off my behind, but if you thought that was gonna happen here, you don't know me very well...
'cause all i can think about is that robed terrorist guy on the loose, who periodically addresses the people with recorded messages directed at our corrupt government, then blows somethin' up... nah, it ain't Osama, it's codename V from the long-awaited V FOR VENDETTA, the new film from THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS (they worked on something called The Matrix, whatever that is...) adapting the critically acclaimed graphic novel written by british comics-god Alan Moore (watchmen, swamp thing, america's best comics) in the 80's.

it was waaay outta my range when he wrote it back then, but when i saw the first trailer for the film version last year, i posted up in borders and read it... and i was blown away! this film is hitting the world at a time that it will be even more timely than the story was when Moore wrote it during the Reagan regime... er um, administration.

Anyways, it will be interesting to see
a) if they were ballsey enough to keep the story (which i found shocking, considering today's political climate...) for a big budget film and
b) how audiences will react to it if they do!

A veteran of comics who is highly revered in a medium that already tends to worship its greats, has had several works made into films (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell), and who has at least one more in the pipe (his most highly read and perhaps his most venerated work, the deconstructionist superhero masterpiece, Watchmen), Moore hasn't been very enthusiastic about the adaptations of his works in the past, and this looks to be no different.

at any rate, i'm interested to see a work of his that i really like remade by fans (the wachowskis are unrepentant comics geeks: they actually started their own comic book company!).

V For Vendetta opens tonight... me and Khalid are gonna go catch a matinee tomorrow, i'll let you know what i thought.

ya'll be careful out there...
samax.

CAPE is Coming...

ghostWerks is the SQUAD!!!
yeah, you heard right! me and my boys, the mighty ghost werks crew, will be at CAPE again this year, giving away free swag as well as selling stuff for free comic book day (may 6th, so mark your calendars...).
what will we have with us? your guess is as good as mine, BUT we will be there (CBR has us on the guest list, and THEY ARE NEVER WRONG!!!), damnit!

for those keeping score, mario will NOT be there, he's still in iraq with the rest of our soldiers making the middle east safe for democracy. thank your president, (that OTHER geeDubayoo) for that, kids...

anyways, i'm workin' on a couple things for CAPE... if you are good little boys and girls, i might give ya'll the heads up here...

ghostWerks forever...
samax.

blackalicious wuz here...


okay, ya'll... i owe you a BIG apology... i forgot to remind you about the blackalicous /Pigeon john/ lifesavas show (and i didn't even KNOW fatlip was gonna be there!!!)... my bad!
if you were there, you know that joint was the BOMB! i definitely spent my music allowance for the month (copped The Craft, Blackalicious' new joint AND The Rise and Fall of Brainwash Projects, the futuristic first [and only, i think] record of the dynamic duo that introduced me to the super-duperfly Pidgeon John), and boy, was it worth it!
Blacklicious' unrealisticly dope emcee Gift of Gab put on a heckuva show (his back-up singers were worth the price of admission alone!) and Chief Xcel is a classic party deejay as well as a fresh producer...

they did cuts from Gab's solo record, the groups new joint the Craft and the group's breakthrough record (and quite possibly my favorite record of all time [can anything really top Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?]) Blazing Arrow. Definitely the best show i've been to in a minute.

so anyways, it was dope. definitely the best show i've been to in a hot minute. i'll hip you it better next time.

holla!
samax.
www.samaxAmen.com

new Hip Hop cat: DOW JONEZ!!

okay, so i went to the Monday Night Fights last night... that mess was the BOMB! there was a crazy freestyle cypha where cats were representin' like a mug... b-boys were holdin' it down, with some mind-bogglin' back-bending break-dancin (yeah, niggaz still break, suckaz!)... so anyways, one of the cats that was in that cypher and made it to the final round of the freestyle contest to go down against Exile (i guess that's how you spell it...), was this nigga named Dow Jonez.

He went down to Exile legitimately (that little mexican dude can freestyle his arse off!!), but believe... Dow Jonez is NICE! so anyways, he was noticing me geeking on his freestyles, looked me in the eye and said "yo! nigga! you feelin' my ish! f wit me, son!" he pulled a ceedee out his backpack, and said "them my freestyles!! this ish is WRITTEN! how ill you think it's gonna be?? five dollars, son! F wit me!!!"

hey, i can't argue wit' that logic... i copped that joint, a mixtape called
Change For A Dolla , mixed by dj Element. it was definitely worth the paper! it's on that Jay-Z/Big L/Nas steez... the quality is there. props to this cat, who i expect to see more of, of course. he's from Dallas!

anyways, f wit him and his peeps on Grime Life Records, a'ight?!?!?

holla!
samax.

Adam Kubert on Superman?

i heard this ILL rumor! Adam Kubert (Wolverine, Hulk, X-men) is gonna be drawing one of the superman books, the venerable DC flagship book Action Comics (the other will be done by Busiek and Carlos Pacheco, didn't you read my report, suckaz?!). that much is locked, but rumor has it the book will be written by original Superman film director Richard Donner ('longside DC darling, geoff johns)!!!

sounds good to me!! is it possible that DC is serious about getting me to give a dang about the big, blue boyscout? hard to believe, but it MIGHT be true...

peace.
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com

i got some PENT UP AGRESSION!!!

yeah, i'm MAD (grrrr...) with some agression to work out!
what ta do, what ta do..?

i know! i'ma go to the Monday Nite Fights at the Carribean Grill!!!
Live hip hop battles every Monday Nite... the Grill's at hiway635 and Webb Chapel Right behind the Cinemark.
$5 cover after 10pm... Ladies Free until 11pm...Drink Specials, blah, blah, blah...Hosted by Headkrack from 97.9 The Beat. Dj's Priest and Protege on the 1's and 2's.

there's some nice emcees... nothin' soothes agressive impulses like listenin' to rhymin' cats diss each other for two hours! i'ma start the week off right!

holla!
samax

Wise Intelligent is Back...

"don't call it a comeback...." you know the rest. at any rate, Wise Intelligent (of the immortal golden age crew, the mighty Poor Righteous Teachers) has a new single out called "A Genocide" on college radio. WHEW! everybody knows how i love that conscious ish... this is a fresh mash-out joint, plus it's about somethin'... anyways, go vote for it on www.themusicinsider.com, and remember to check out Wise on mySpace... and tell 'im ya heard about it on ghettoManga!

peace, love, etc.
samax.

How to draw HipHop by Damion Scott

Damion Scott, definitely one of my favorite young comic book artists, has illustrated a new book about hip hop cartooning called How to Draw Hip Hop published by Watson-Guptill. the book is written by Kris Ex, a noteworthy brooklyn journalist who has written for Rolling Stone, Blender, Vibe, XXL, Hip-Hop Connection, and many other publications.

i haven't read it yet, but based on D.Scott's breakthrough work on Batgirl and Spectacular Spiderman, i would recommend copping this book, sight unseen.
If i can get my hands on a copy (and my birthday IS coming up,hint hint!), i will be happy to supply you guys with a more comprehensive review.

holla!
samax.

Female Emcees!!! win $1000!

yoh ladies!!! get PAID in the new millenium! i'm reposting this, 'cause i wanna here some fresh Lady Rhymers...


dead prez's stic.man and BOSS UP, INC would like to announce to you...
THE MICROPHONE QUEEN ART OF EMCEE-ING CONTEST

"Why is Boss Up, Inc. having this contest?
We at Boss Up, Inc. thought that this contest would be a great way for young women to be encouraged because they are so misrepresented and overlooked in today’s Hip Hop industry. We want to do something to help inspire and encourage those sisters out there that are striving for their spot in the Hip Hop Game!We feel that there is a blatant void of female emcees in the hip-hop game that are getting the support and recognition they deserve. We need the Feminine voice in Hip Hop to better understand and appreciate our sister’s views, pain, perspective and artistic contribution.…And Sistas, if the Lil Kim’s, Trina’s and Foxy Browns of the world don’t exactly represent where you coming from, then where YOU at? We want to hear from you and we putting our money where our mouth is.Good Luck!"

now let's see ya'll get ill wit' it LADIEZ!!!
holla!!
samax.

the new logo...


yeah... this is what was on the flyer/bookmarks i handed out at Staple...
(i know, i know... i owe ya'll a con report... i'm workin' on it!)
it'll be the header on this page once i figure out how to edit it into the code...

holla!
samax.
www.samaxAmen.com
www.ghettoManga.com

Hot Fire!!! MBQ is the TRUTH!!!

when i decided to call my blog ghettoManga, i was describing my own comics: fresh, dynamic storytelling, with the variety of any of the japanese fare, but with the street sensibility that comes from a life of listening to public enemy, ice cube and poor righteous teachers and made not in japan, but right here in the USA... the for us by us of comics.

since then, i've run into lots of stuff that fits the bill just as well, and none of it more than Felipe Smith's MBQ, published by TokyoPop.

The Jamaican/Argentin/American artist reps hip hop all up and through his book, as well as his mixed heritage. "The main character in my book," he says of his dreadlocked protagonist Omario, "wears an Adidas Argentine National Soccer Team windbreaker in every issue!" He joked with me in an email, "If you dig it, please cop yourself a copy, haha! I've got Tokyopop to answer to, and if this book doesn't start circulating, I'm back to serving drinks at a karaoke bar. Hahaha..."

His level-headedness and humility (not to mention his REDICULOUS skills with the pencil) are appreciated by his TokyoPop editor, Luis Reyes, who says when Felipe "submitted a story for our Rising Stars of Manga about a frustrated comic book creator who has decided to express his anger at a terribly misguided, conceptually myopic editor by shooting him right through the head, I knew that I wanted to be that editor..."

the story he's describing became MBQ, a book "about the poverty this creator lives in... the friends that help him out... the streets of LA and the cops and the thugs and the regular people and the tourists and the burger flippers and the yuppies and everyone and everything coming together, living together in an environment that could only be described as absurd... if you didn't LIVE it every day of your life..."

and apparently, this cat is on some next ish! Felipe sent me a link to his website www.felipesmith.com, inviting me to check it out, and now i'm telling YOU to do the same...when i decided to start sharing comics with my people, this is just the kind of stuff i was hoping i'd find...
COP IT!
peace, love, etc.
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com

STAPLE in austin...

this weekend, i'll be in austin for STAPLE, the independent media expo, which is described on their website as "An event to promote independent creative media: comics, mini-comics, zines, art, and self-published literature. Building a community to encourage communication between creators and their audience. All the while having a damn good time in the Live Music Capital of the World - Austin, TX." there's gonna be all kinda fresh peeps there, like jim mahfood (felt, 40 oz comics), and tony millionaire (maakies, sock monkey) and more...

sounds good to me!!! i'll be there promoting ghettoManga, selling and trading my comics hand-to-hand like herb hustling, and just generally checking out the happenings... so if you see me, holla like you know me (mention reading this blog and i'll give you a free comic-NICE)! so hopefully, some of ya'll are going too, but if not, don't worry! i'll hook ya'll up with an in-depth report when i get back, so you can act like you were there when the cool kids ask...

anyways, STAPLE 2006 will be held at the Red Oak Ballroom at Northcross Mall in north-central Austin.


holla!

samax.
www.ghettoManga.com

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