RAPPER/SUPERHERO DMC JOINS PANEL OF TOP COMIC BOOK CREATORS IN SUPPORT OF BLACK COMICS MONTH

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Comic book writers Ann Chu, Greg Pak and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talk diversity at Special Edition NY

 

When Black Comics Month launched in February to honor Black History Month, no one knew it even existed—unless you were an avid comic book fan surfing the web for African American superheroes. However, thanks to the legwork and persistence of its founder, "Tee" Vixen, support has teamed in from the most unlikely array of sponsors—including the renowned Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Valiant Comics and Boom! Studios.

Now, with a movement rapidly gaining momentum throughout the entertainment medium, Black Comics Month is well on its way of proving itself in the comic book publishing world.

“Getting together this group of comics creators is special not just because of their diversity but because of their immense talent,” said Vixen. “The support I’ve gotten for #BlackComicsMonth and championing diversity in comics shows that there’s a real hunger for creators like these to get the recognition they deserve. I’m grateful for all the publishers and creators who donated comics so that I can introduce Special Edition to even more diverse comics.”

On Saturday, Black Comics Month was celebrated at an exclusive panel discussion at NYC's Special Edition, a run-up to the popular Comic Con NY event held in October.  

The panel had no shortage of popular figures. Everyone who is someone in the comic book business took center stage to discuss the ongoing plight of bringing true diversity to the comic book arena.

The panel included writer Greg Pak (Batman/Superman, The Princess Who Saved Herself) and artist Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet), comics creators Alitha E. Martinez (Foreign), Che Grayson (Rigamo), Kim Gaines (Eventide), Skuds McKinley (Plunder), Brain Michael Bendis, comic book writer and former artist who has won critical acclaim, including five Eisner Awards for both his creator-owned work and his work on various Marvel Comics books, and legendary Hip Hop artist, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (Darryl Makes Comics).

"I believe it's quite important to have a range of people, ideas, coming together," said Aletha Martinex, writer/artist of Foreign, "not being separated into many different books, but everyone enjoying the same books. Everyone is different, we all look different, but all exist in the same sphere, so we should have our comics do that as well."

Darryl McDaniels, who launched his own diverse superhero entitled, "DMC," after his rap moniker agreed, calling on more diversity in the comic book publishing world.

"To me, diversity is basically two things: not being afraid to talk about what everybody else is afraid to talk about. With comic books, you can address these issues that everybody shies away from, but you can do it in a creative way. "

Brian Michael Bendis, creator of Miles Morales, a half African American, half Hispanic Spiderman, and father of an adopted African and African American daughter, relates diversity to his own household.

"I was pushed to do this for years," Bendis said. "One of my daughters is from Africa; one of my daughters is African American. It became very clear to represent a multi-racial household. I cannot describe the emotional reaction I've had about Miles."

 

Black Comics Month will spotlight independent and future artists every month in continued collaboration of promoting true diversity in comic books and beyond.

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