McGruder, Hudlin and Baker craft masterpiece OGN

just like B.I.G. and 2pac, noteworthy antagonists Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Black Panther ) and Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) used to be good friends. good enough at least to co-author Birth of a Nation, a socio-politically charged Original Graphic Novel released by Crown Publishers in 2004. the book satirizes the 2000 election by creating a scenario where citizens from the city of East St Louis are not allowed to vote, and the wrong person becomes President as a result. the disenfranchised and charismatic Mayor Fred Fredericks (with encouragement from fellow college alum and bubbling black billionaire, John Roberts) decides there is only one solution: East Saint Louis secedes from the union! the short critique: this book is brilliant!
Birth of a Nation is illustrated by Kyle Baker, a master cartoonist able to do more with less than just about any artist i can name. his style of drawing is impressionistic and descriptive. you can see his mind working on the page, and his method combines storybook and comics techniques to maximum effect. Birth still remains painfully relevant today, with intra- and interracial issues reaching up to the highest levels of American and international politics... COP IT!

another film that SHOULD be a comic...

after a new york talk radio deejay is beaten nearly to death by street thugs and awakens in a hospital to find herself terrified of the city she once loved and dead to all that she formerly cared about, she buys a gun for protection. she soon sees the gun as a way to set things right, going on a vigilante killing spree that sets the city on fire. Along the way, the deejay makes friends with a divorced, frustrated detective (Terrence Howard) who has his sights set on catching the vigilante that everyone says is doing his job! despite the obvious chemistry these two characters have, it seems inevitable that their paths collide violently... (read my full review here)

Holla Atcho BOY!

i'm keeping busy raising my new baby, drawing comics, and maintaining ghettoManga, but not too busy to hear from you (yeah YOU!)... i'm working on material for the next issue of ghettoManga Quarterly, and i REALLY wanna include letters from readers! so send e-mail, snail mail, or sweaty wads of cash to me at the addresses below. comments, concerns, complaints, and cleverly crafted hate mail will all be considered for the letters page.

or snail mail:
PO BOX 550
Anna,TX 75409
just include the words "okay to print" in the subject line (or written on the top of paper letters) so i know i can quote ya, seen?

Recs In Effect!

the bar for what passes as dope rhyming has fallen pretty low... you get used to it, until you run into a crew like BINKIS Recs. Residing in the hustle-heavy town of Atlanta, the BINKIS Recs crew reminds me of groups like Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples and Mars Ill that are throwbacks to an era when rappers stood on their spitting skills, unique voice and ability to move you, rather than gangster reputation, big booty girls and the all-ambiguous "swagger"...
while the crew has mad respect for the history of dope lyricism (BINKIS stands for "Before Ignorant Niggas Killed Intelligent Songs"), they manage to pay respect to the past by pushing the art into the future.
On their debut album The Reign Begins, the emcee trio of Jax, Flux Wonda, and Killa Kalm recall crews like De La Soul and L.O.N.S. for their ability to crack knecks and backs while cracking a smile at the same time. That injection of playfulness, along with a lyrical standard that rivals early Wu-Tang, makes this one of the strongest crews i've peeped out in recent years. in addition to having star-worthy charisma as an emcee, Jax also crafts the beats for BINKIS Recs, assisted by fresh cuts from DJ Mafioso, creating music that's particularly brilliant on songs like the title track The Reign Begins (which sports a vocal sample/hook that borders on hypnotic) and 2 Much. likewise, that dude Flux Wonda shows why he was nominated for Emcee of the Year in the ghettoManga Awards last year, and Killa Kalm grows on me more with each verse.
yeah... i've been added to the growing legion of BINKIS Recs fans. there's a TON of material available from this rediculously talented crew, so please do yourself a favor: raise the bar hip hop in general by getting down with 'em! for starters, i give The Reign Begins my highest recommendation, a place on the BegBorrowSteal list! COP IT!

Hardcore, to make the Brothers act a Fool

Joe Jefferson, a former pro boxer turned night guard for an aerospace manufacturer, was secretly chosen by his employer to be the test subject for a new super weapon being developed for the United States government. Kidnapped and experimented on, Joe eventually escapes to discover that he emits a pheromone that causes anyone around him to go mad with murderous rage. Finding it impossible to stay in one place for longer than five minutes, Joe hits the road in search for answers, only to meet a woman unaffected by his newfound abilities. Jody Curtis was born with anosmia, the inability to smell, and with her help, Joe Jefferson hopes to cure himself and find those responsible...
Armando M. Zanker, the artist on Gypsy Joe has a nice command of the "animated/adventures" style of drawing made popular by cats like Ty Templeton, Bruce Timm, and Michael Avon Oeming (Powers). the writer Jason M. Burns (The Expendable One, A Dummy's Guide to Danger), leans very heavily on the main character's first-person narration, and often comes off a little overbearing. considering that Burns also developes properties for film and teevee, i wouldn't be surprised to see a live action version on screen, probably starring that football player from Dancing With The Stars, Vin Deisel, The Rock, or some other racially ambiguous meat head...
all that being said, i thought the book was pretty good. the high concept, great pacing and the relatable characters in the book were better than the execution. Burns could benefit from trusting the artist to show details that unfold the story mechanics rather than trying to explain with the star's internal monologue. for example, the star, a former boxer sizes up every situation strategicly based on his boxing experience... there are a hundred ways the artist could illustrate this so that the exposition did not have to work so hard... hopefully if the OGN series continues , artist and writer will develope their rapport...

anyways, Gypsy Joe Jefferson, a 96 page Original Graphic Novel published by Viper Comics is in stores now. if you check it out, let me know what you thought!

bulletproof Hebrew

9mm by DJ Muggs and Planet Asia

(re)Public(an) Enemy #1

This Week with Jasari X
THE GRAND ARKITECH PARADISE GRAY and JASIRI X present an innovative new series called THIS WEEK WITH JASIRI X
Each week Jasiri X will recap the news Hip-Hop style over the hottest beats.

Quote of the Day...

"In the same Vein as a Bullet:
knowledge without aim,
a stray shot's not good for shit!
Same applies to the Pulpit,
comin' in the name
making people slaves to your bullshit.
who's sick? the Question remains,
depending on the level you maintain!
could be ashamed or insane,
if sanity goes down like a crashin' plane,
what good is fame?"
-Craig "Flux" Wonda

Innocent Man Faces Execution in Georgia

art by goldiGold
Troy Davis Denied Clemency: Execution scheduled for Sept 23, at 7:00PM
we are in the middle of an election campaign that may very well end with a black man being sworn in as president of these United States of America. but as much as many would like to think that occurrence would banish racism permanently to our nation's past, we know different. many brothers have their freedom and even their lives taken from them for the crime of being black at the wrong place and time. men like Troy Davis.

as it stands, Troy will be executed on Tuesday. (See Call To Action to learn how to help)

fight the Power

Dread Society X #Zero is a good change of pace from typical indy comics, in that its major strength is the art. in fact, there are pages the artist Chuck Collins shows he is better at the "hot manga style" than the "hot manga style" artists working with the major publishers. the writing wasn't bad... the characters were interesting, and once the story started, i stayed engaged all the way to the end.

DSX takes place in a post apocalyptic future that has seen every conspiracy theory come true. the protagonist Aza Khan is a member of a black nationalist revolutionary movement/crew called Dread Society X made up of Street Fighter/Fist of The North Star style badasses that rome the third-world North American countryside beating the hell outta whoever they deem to be bad guys. In issue Zero, Khan is traveling alone and on his way to rendezvous with his people, runs into some folks that need his help, and of course, fisticuffs are thrown (NICE)!
on the down side, there are way too many typos in this book. once or twice wouldn't matter, but after that it got tiresome. it looks like they are not continuing the book (instead internet searches turned up an earnest attempt to get a cartoon or RPG going), which is too bad. i'm way more interested in seeing a good socially aggressive action comic than another cartoon or video game.
hopefully, they will deliver another issue or (dare i hope) mini-series for us in the future!

i been given clearance to smash your airwaves

A to the K by Akrobatik
dope lyricists seldom get a video that comes up to the level of the rhymes. props to boston emcee Akrobatik. this joint is nasty!

i saw my shirt on E. Bey!

here's one of my Tee shirts with the image Miraculous, worn by Atlanta-based cartoonist/emcee/black superman Elihu Bey, creator of the extra-dimensional aboriginal mind-bender Neverknots.
he's one of the most original voices out there, and if he manages to do HALF of what he has in mind for his comic, the art form will never be the same! click on his picture and check him out if you think i'm just talking crap.
by the way, if you wanna get your hands on one of those fresh tees, click the pic to the right and go over to the Ziontific store and see what we got to choose from!

Speak softly and carry a big HAMMER

review of Thor trade #1
by Michael Lagocki

J.Michael Straczynski and Oliver Coipel have Thor on lock. What I like about the new Marvel series is the sense of power behind everything here. Thor isn't a superhero...he's a God. And Gods don't need a lot of dialog. The book is brilliantly underwritten and overdrawn. I mean that in the best way. Thor looks like he weighs about two thousand pounds in these drawings. He looks strong. He looks like he can kick the entire Marvel universe's ass. And he doesn't have a lot to say, but he does have a lot to do.
The first six issues cover Thor's return to earth and the rebuilding of Asgard. The illustration is lush throughout with Coipel really investing the time to draw the Gods' intricate outfits, and seemingly really enjoying Thor's imposing stance over everyone else. There's a lot of "holy $&%*" moments in here where you get the sense of what it feels like to be staring down the last son of Asgard.Iron Man takes it on the chin too. The whole book's worth it just to see Tony try to face down Thor. (Hint- it's not much of a fight). Last note- Laura Martin proves once again why she's comics' best colorist. All in all a great book and a perfect example of how to make a comic with it's own identity. I just feel like the team on this book had a vision that they were confident in and stuck to, one that really got at the source of what makes their character cool.
Looking forward to trade #2.
-Mike Lagocki is one-fifth of the mighty ghostWerks crew, as well as being the driving force behind the pleasantly notorious art activist massive called ArtLoveMagic, dedicated to overcoming Evil with good art.

Gift, Headknodic and Lateef hook you up

click the banner for a free download.
preoder the album Droppin' Science Fiction by the Mighty Underdogs here.

Killer Mike, Bun B encourage Rappers to get fans to register and vote!

When Atlanta rap star Killer Mike was asked what sort of influence would he and other rap stars have on the 2008 elections (at last month's Ozone Awards in Houston), he reminded the capacity crowd that we owe a lot to Obama for holding up a tradition that is dear to our communities and to Hip Hop which is to make a way out of no way...Bun B and Killer Mike stated that its not enough to simply say you're for Obama and wear a t-shirt...
Bun B and Killer Mike underscore a basic theme which sometimes isn't fully appreciated and embraced by our generation which is Stand Up, be counted and lets make it happen.
Many so called pundits think that Texas will forever be Bush country, but the truth is that Texas has big vulnerability located in Harris County. One million eligible voters have not registered to vote in Harris County, 500 thousand unregistered voters in Harris County are people of color. That’s enough to win any election!
Part of the problem has been the result of people falsely believing that their votes won't count. Still others have been led to believe that they can't vote because they are felons. That’s not true.
(read more on Davey D's blog)
REMEMBER: Voter Registration ends Oct 6 in Texas.

Pain Language hits stores Tomorrow!

click the cover to hear Triple Threat (featuring Chace Infinite and the GZA), a free cut from Pain Language by DJ Muggs and Planet Asia, in stores TOMORROW!!
okay people, lest you sleep, i'm back from my paternity leave to keep you up... Pain Language, that new joint from DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) and Planet Asia (no he's not Japanese...) drops tomorrow. trust me, you WANT it! doubters and cheapskates can cop the FREE mixtape here, then don your ski-masks and head to the record store and DEMAND that piece!

Hurricane Marley has arrived!

Charlene and I are delighted to introduce you to our brand new daughter Marley Levelle! for all the details (weight, length, etc) and to leave a comment the whole family can see, go to my blog at

that's change i CAN'T believe in...

excerpts from The Daily Show on Comedy Central

still chasin' the Phoenix...

Number 8 by Jean Grae. from her album Jeanius
Li'l miss Grae hooked up this mash as a concept for the video she WOULD shoot (based on this CLASSIC scene from Fight Clun) for Number 8, if she had the bread. somebody wanna bankroll this? it'd be HOT!

we need FOOD!

Los Angelses hip hop comix maestro Jim Mahfood just dropped a new artbook! Mixtape Vol 2: FOOD ONE is in stores nationwide homey! so roll up on one o' them bookstoristas and demand that joint! if they spray you with mace or somethin', just dry your eye and cop it from instead, sonny!!

Asher Millie is on this Mixtape...

yeah, get down wit' that!

Does Governor Palin have America drinking the GOP Kool-Aid?

everywhere i look, people are talkin' about how smart it was for crotchety old fuddy-duddy John McCain to tap neophyte Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate to give his campaign some youth and star power. Plus, Barack Obama had a helluva time putting away Hillary Clinton, and analysts argue that a big chunk of Hil's female voters really want to support a woman (so as to put more "cracks in the glass ceiling") badly enough that they'd be willing to ignore McCain's policies long enough to cast a vote for Palin for Veep.while i'm happy to concede that this was an answer to the "Rock Star" status of Barack Obama (according to fine folks at AP, 40 million viewers tuned in to hear Palin's speech at the convention Wednesday night), i doubt that this will turn out to be the stroke of genius analysts are making it out to be. in fact, i would go so far as to say that it won't mean much in raw votes. sure, if the election was held today, Palin's surprise addition to the GOP ticket would help a ton. but a lot can happen between now and November... a poor showing at the Veep debate or a possible background scandal, leaked at just the right time, and Palin could actually HURT McBush... er um McCain's chances at the Oval Office. the selection of Palin, after working hard to make experience an important bullet point in McCain's campaign, is an example of another half-assed strategy that talks down to the public, who largely fall for it. but we will see how long it'll be till it backfires...

Spawn returns with animated steelo...

if you're anything like me, you lost interest in Spawn a long time ago. but i saw this new The Adventures of Spawn joint with art by Khary (like Atari) Randolph, and went over to the Spawn website to read #1, now i'm GEEKIN'!!! they got the first issue online, plus secret files and extras that you can read then run out and cop #2!

Culpepper calls it quits...

After valiant efforts to land a QB job, Daunte Culpepper hung up his cleats for good. rather than wait and see if any other QBs get injured, Culpepper bitterly kissed the game goodbye. he spent the early part of the decade destroying defenses throwing the ball to guys with names like Carter and Moss, and at 6-foot-4, 265-pounds could punch the ball into the secondary on the ground his damn self. however, after a catastrophic injury to his knee in 2005, and disappointing stints in Miami (ugh) and Oakland (argh!), Culpepper feels the league has blacklisted him... (read more)

Dyson publishes Analysis of a HipHop Classic

Author, activist, and apologist Michael Eric Dyson is putting the polish on his next book Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic, which promises to be a serious academic analysis of Nas's debut album, considered by some (including me) to be one of the best representations of pure street-hop ever committed to plastic. no word on when Born drops, but pre-orders are being taken on Amazon even as we speak...

Jeezy gets Political on your ass

Jeezy interview with AP

TV writer/director Takes a shot at the Lantern

concept art for Green Lantern by Illustrator Brian Murray
Eli Stone creator Greg Berlanti has won the right to make the Green Lantern flick, no doubt partially due to getting this cat Brian Murray to put together concept art for his proposed origin story. go check out more of the concept art at

"Honey" nominated for FOUR VMA's

ghettoManga wants to give a shout out to Dallas' own Erykah Badu and congratulate her on receiving FOUR Video Music Award Nominations from MTV. Badu's video Honey (the lead cut off Mother Badu's 2008 Album New Amerykah...) is nominated for best Director, Cinematography, Special Effects and Editing. and we happen to think Erykah and 9th Wonder crafted a pretty good SONG as well!
congrats Sister...

when DJ Jamad takes risks, he Wins!

North Carolina radio jock DJ Jamad recently hooked up with the design monsters at Jungle45 to craft the aptly titled Afro Forty-Five mixtape. now we all know how much i love mixtapes (well, we should, anyways), so needless to say i was pleased as punch to get this joint in the P.O. Box!

for the record, once you get past the extra-fly Jungle45 cover, Jamad jumps it off the way any smart deejay would: a fresh sample that cleverly weaves an old beer commercial into a Jungle45 promo! Like previous Jungle45 mixtapes, AfroForty-Five bounces around the hip hop nation, blending hipster cuts, southern flossery and pop-gangster remixes in a way that serves to keep a hermit like me up to date with what the cool kids are listening to, while also educating them on what they SHOULD be listening to. that's how he chose, for example to preface Li'l Wayne's A Milli (Cookin' Soul RMX) with Asher Roth's Chillionaire Freestyle (Asher Milli). and did i mention he has two tracks with Rah Digga? yeah...
where was i? so Jamad is at his best when he makes risky moves, like that Born Silly, Hallz and Oatmeal, and that Funky Enough RMX (yeah, he hollas at the D.O.C.). I mean, he slices lotsa CRAZY choices in between tracks with Killer Mike, S1 from Strange Fruit Project, Skillz and other certified dope cats...
anyways cop that joint here.

you minor... He Major

yo! not a lotta time to write reviews... just bounce over to IndyPlanet and COP The Major if you like widescreen action movie violence, homey!

Back in Effect!

after a 25 year trial separation, the original stoner duo Cheech and Chong is Back to make us laugh with the 2008 "Light It Up" Tour! they are in Canada this week and will have dates all along the east coast this month and October (they will be here in Dallas at the Majestic November 1st!) and spend most of November in Cali.
for tour dates, hit their mySpace!

press this button to Self Construct!

Self-Construct by Taalam Acey

ghostWerks is on mySpace (finally)

the long-awaited return of ghostWerks Comics is here! we got new projects and big (and i mean GODZILLA BIG) things gettin' ready to go down! make sure you don't miss anything by adding Ghostwerks to your friends and subscriptions so you'll be posted for any and all updates and special offers only available to the F.O.G. (Friends Of Ghostwerks). if you don't have mySpace, don't fret, i'll get you on the ghettoManga newsletter (subscribe to your right).
thank God SOMEBODY'S making good stuff...

$25 a month surcharge for being Overweight?


Fear is Wack...

Dare! The Adventures of Darius Davidson -One of my self-published comics- is about a kid who gets in an accident that destroys his brain's ability to generate fear responses. as a result, Darius becomes an unwitting amateur hero, adventurer, and all-around alpha male type who is constantly defeating more powerful, better equipped and more experienced enemies. i originally came up with the concept purely as an excuse to draw a little black dude with dreads hitting monsters and super-villains in the head with blunt objects, but it wasn't long until i stumbled onto a basic reality: Fear is Wack.

Fear is one of the primary building materials used to create an invisible jail designed to keep us from roaming the Earth as giants, making the world over in our image like God, our Father, intended. in the comic, Darius in unable to become afraid, and it causes problems for him (the system, after all, is built for people who behave based on fear), but it makes many more things possible for him. when you overcome fear, your actions become harder to predict, and what's more, harder to control. overcoming fear leads to freedom. because you can choose to do what you want. bad people want to do wrong, but good people use that freedom to do right!
if God (or the universe, or whatever) has put something in your heart, do it! surely, you will be confronted by a spirit of fear. but whether it comes from others or from within, be sure that Fear can't stop you unless you let it! after all, Fear is wack.

This Post Brought to you by

Zero Killer TPB

This post brought to you by

This post brought to you by
Support GhettoManga + Save on Books = WIN

was that it? find it here