"As a black comix pro and fan, it's striking how underrepresented we are in the business" @kwanzer #goBLACK

"What if only black people had superpowers?"
Here's the sales pitch:
Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, and Khary Randolph have teamed up to produce the graphic novel, BLACK.

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it's safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

Comic book stories have flirted with metaphors about racism and prejudice for as long as I can remember.  In this current age of  social media activism and diversity, the comics industry is trying to keep up and stay relevant. As Marvel and DC raise the profile of their characters of color on page and screen, many in the black comix underground worry that major publishers will crowd them out.  I believe that the same technology that has enabled hashtag activism around police brutality, rape culture, LGBTQ rights, and other social causes can facilitate a revolution for creators and readers of black comix. 


  1. Independent as Fuck. There was a time when it was nigh impossible to launch a black comic or motivate fans of color to support (voice of experience). In the age of BlackTwitter, podcasts, diversity-obsessed websites, and Facebook groups, the opportunity to reach, capture, and maintain an audience is unprecedented. And now, the industry can smell the money, so I'm sure publishers of all sizes will be in Kwanza's ear before the campaign is over, offering some combination of money, prestige, and white girls in exchange for his spot in the movement.  I hope he's smart enough to know he doesn't need them anymore. I'm not worried... He looks smart.
  2. Established pros on deck for credibility. There is always the claim (whether it is fair or not) that indie shit is low quality, especially among black readers. Having known quantities who have established themselves working for the big guys is how Image rose above the underground in the nineties to move ridiculous units. I'm not saying BLACK is gonna sell like Youngblood, but I assure you that Jamal Igle (Molly Danger, Supergirl) and Khary Randolph (Starborn, Charismagic,Tech Jacket) brought their own existing fans in with them, even if they weren't trying.  You will not hear the argument that it is of lesser quality. You will not get the pushback from retailers Kwanza and Tim (who have also worked for Marvel and DC) would have gotten had they done this on their own. Guaranteed.
  3. Zero Fucks given. If you're gonna do something like this, you can't really concern yourself with who doesn't like it. BLACK's provocative premise suggests this team clearly has zero fear of criticism from white comics industry and racist fans. In fact, I think Kwanza is looking forward the opportunity to calmly rebut the inevitable screaming about reverse racism on Fox News. Kwanza could have easily side-stepped the controversy of addressing racism, but by naming his comic BLACK, and using imagery that evokes the memory of Trayvon Martin, the patron saint of #BlackLivesMatter, he has fired preemptive shots at haters everywhere. What now?!
  4. Keep the party going... It's obvious that planning and preparation went into this. Kickstarter campaigns don't raise 16 stacks in three days in by accident.  When fans see a project that looks like a winner, they jump on. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, so if they come short of the goal, they won't get anything, but I'm betting they have a plan in effect to finish strong. After that, I expect to see them running victory laps on Indiegogo and/or Patreon once the project gets underway.
Kwanza is an insider-turned-outsider who has worked for DC and Marvel, so he understands the guts of the industry. He was instrumental at DC's dearly departed webcomics imprint Zuda, helping to put on cats like Jeremy Love and Molly Crabapple. In this article on Bleeding cool, he talks about his journey in comics, from an inspiring meeting with Dwayne McDuffie at Milestone to launching of the BLACK Kickstarter this week. We are witnessing the start of a totally new chapter for Kwanza and his team, as well a harbinger of things to come in black comix.

For now, click here to do your part to make BLACK happen.

Samax Amen is a professional Content Developer, Illustrator and Cartoonist. Click here to hire him to breathe life into your concepts.
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