Comics that stay on Code.

Getting kids to read for leisure is a big deal for me. Maybe that's why I buy so many Black comics.

A month ago I gave a copy of Tuskegee Heirs* to my favorite barista at a local Black-owned coffeehouse. Later she told me she enjoyed it, have it to her niece and she read the whole book.

Years ago, when my kids were toddlers, I used to have them page through Ebony magazine and point to the pictures. I'd say "She's beautiful. He's handsome." In an effort to inculcate a cultural sense of beauty in them early. I wanted to immunize them against the anti-african standard of beauty push by American media. That's when I was still married.

After the divorce, my Ex moved to the 'Burbs. I found out my kids were reading The Boondocks by Aaron McGruder. My youngest said of Huey and Reilly, "They're just like us."

Black magazines and Black comics in particular are a Win Win scenario for African People. The Black publishers get the support they need and their customers get the messaging they need to stay cohesive, informed and inspired. 

Buy Black comics by Black creators. You'll inspire your kids (maybe your neice) to put down social media and read again. -- fin.

*Tuskegee Heirs

Tuskegee Heirs Comicbook interior.  Young pilots flying planes that turn into robots.

Tuskegee Heirs Comicbook interior.  Young pilots flying planes that turn into robots.

Diversity is a poor substitute for power.

I asked a comic creator to put his picture on the back of his comics. Instantly, he overstood what I was thinking. He knew how inspirational it would be to young African American children to see other Africans creating the comics they enjoyed.

In the 90s there was a renaissance of African American content creation. Several comicbook companies emerged. ANIA, the Association of Black Comic Book Publishers (See my interview with ANIA co-founder Roosevelt Pitt) sold one million copies of their titles and was the fifteenth largest comicbook publisher on the planet. What happened to the renaissance?

Some of the top talent was pouched by well paying white-owned companies. The support Black consumers began to dry up. Now, here we are in 2017 amid another renaissance, will we learn the lessons of the 90s?

If you own it, the diversity argument becomes moot. You've won before the battle started. Put down your signs and hashtags. Create and support other African American content creators. Take power. – Johnthan Soul (c) 2017


Below is just a sample of the Future...