Category Archives: Comics

Basic.Instructions.Before.Leaving.Earth: Caribbean Comics

Beaming in from Barbados –Back with the Astro-Caribbean series…

The United States has a large comics book industry. But that doesn’t mean other places are not developing their own. As my parents are from Barbados and Dominica, I wanted to feature two comic book creators and publishers making it happen in the Caribbean:

Beyond Publishing Caribbean

Matthew Clarke

“Beyond Publishing is a group of young and talented Barbadian artists and writers who are seeking to encourage reading and creativity by capturing the imagination of young people and the young at heart.

Beyond Publishing tries to showcase stories with a Barbadian or Caribbean flavour, through several genres: comedy, adventure, educational or drama.”

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Modern Griots Recap: Highlights from Black Comic Book Festival

Attending the Black Comic Book Festival for the first time this year introduced me to a wide scope of the comic book world from the lens of the black community and so I wanted to share some of the creators and their works that I came across while there. It was difficult walking around the presentation tables and stopping myself from buying all the comics there, but I did get a couple:

*The first table I went to was the artist John Jennings and I purchased the African American Graphic Classics. As someone who does write poetry, this was a great find for me. It’s a similar idea to a book I had when I was younger, illustrator and author Ashley Bryan’s book of illustrated African-American poetry. Various comic and graphic artists, such as Jennings, Lance Tooks, and Afua Richardson, illustrate several short stories and poems from various authors, including Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Dunbar Nelson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes.

*Walking around I saw many male creators in the comic and science fiction industry, like the Craft family, N Steven Harris, Mshindo Kuumba, I enjoyed particularly seeing black women who were part of it as well, like Evolve‘s Kia Barbee. I met illustrator and animator Tiana Mone’e Scott, who has done work with Cartoon Network and PBS. At the right below was one of my favorite pieces that she had on her table. See more of her work here.

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Modern Griots Spotlight: Crown Royalties

Picture This artwork immediately caught my eye on facebook. I liked the blend between ancient wise queen and futuristic superwoman looks (and one of my favorite colors is purple). Created by comic book artist Luis Guerrero, the artwork is for the jewelry and organic body and skin product company, Crown Royalties, of Amonyet Enterprises.

Amonyet Enterprises’ founder Maia Williams is also an event coordinator, hosts cooking ciphers, and is an executive assistant for Motor City Black Age of Comics. Motor City Black Age of Comics provides a space comics and graphic novels done by people of color in Detroit.

Modern Griots Interviews: De’ Kridge and The Power In M!O!R!E!

As a writer and entrepreneur, De’ Kridge tells of his inspiring and triumphant story that has led to the formation of his own spiritual mythology and language through his project, “The Power In M!O!R!E!.” Read his story below in my interview with him (Note: read carefully, it may be a lot to take in):

1) Your idea for The Power In M!O!R!E! is compelling. Can you introduce yourself, what you do and how you came to this point in your life?

On this intrinsic journey to claiming a purposeful life, over the last seven years, I have anchored most of my motivation to paying homage to my Great-Grandmother—Ma. Ma was THE one consistent affirmation of love, wisdom, spirituality, compassion, and personal accountability in my life. She use to say, “Trust what you think, and what you feel about people.” The additional seeds of Self-Worth-More, Ma deliberately planted in my mind and heart: hope, forgiveness, inspiration, lending, and of course, change—all of which I am still watering daily.

I am De’ Kridge. De, is the easy version. I was born on the island of Trinidad—of the famed twin-island Trinidad & Tobago, known for the Steelpan/Carnival/and more than one Miss World. I am an entrepreneur/writer, with many additional skills.

Rewind: I first came to the US in 1970. I was thirteen years old. Unknowingly, that first passage has become one of those lifesaving gifts from one of my aunts—The Nun – from which I first became inspired to imagine beyond the confines of my physical dystopia.

Fast forward to around my nineteenth year of who am I? I hated my life! Stuck in emotional dystopia: angry, afraid, and full with resentment for feeling ashamed about being born to so little—and my greatest burden then was the taunting shame of my mother’s rejection. I simply wanted to surrender: cross to No Dream and die from the reality of not being inspired. But my futuristic imagination would not pre-play my doom. I remember making a conscious decision to document everything. I have come to describe that moment as a preordained, quantum beginning—an epiphany if you wish.

I have reasoned, that I made a cognitive decision back then: I would not give up and become shattered from the emotional-darkness of childhood ills, and then simply die as one of those people doomed from conception. However, although I had that epiphany, crossing from that place I have named Oblivion to an isolated junction—inspired and alone with a sense of distant certainty—I was indeed “The Applicant” to choose to effect-and/or-attain my dream—my oaath—self-recognition of my firstworth. That reconnecting to my first-worth-faith, or firstfaith if you wish, did not accompany all the emotional intelligence I needed for mastering tasks-to-goals, and goals-to-my-firstworth. No way!

In fact, the necessary-emotional-intelligence I needed would come in drops, as if from a leaking faucet, and I would struggle for years, learning how to effectively use My Motion! My Order! My ability to RiiThink! And my intent to positively Effect!

Continue reading Modern Griots Interviews: De’ Kridge and The Power In M!O!R!E!

Modern Griots Recap: A Is For Anansi

Source: Teaching for Change

“Why do I love children? I think it is because the child in each of us is our most precious part” – Walter Dean Myers’ Brown Angel: An Album of Picture and Verse

Despite the destruction of two storms in New York City, the A Is For Anansi conference carried on last weekend, and despite being slightly sick, I managed to attend. Organized by Jaira Placide, associate director of Institute of African American Affairs at NYU and author of Afrofuturism, Socialization and Political Uses of Fantasy and Science Fiction in Black Children’s Literature, and poet Rashidah Ismaili, the conference focused on the future and the re-imagining of children’s literature and education of the African Diaspora. Since this was only the second conference, the last one happened in 2010, Placide and Ismaili introduced the conference by discussing how it came to existence. Mentioning that June 16 is the Day of the African Child, the same day as the Soweto uprising in 1976, they emphasized how we are not paying enough attention to the books that children are reading.

There is a decades long history of people combating the lack of diversity in children’s books. One of the organizations highlighted was the Council on Interracial Books for Children (CIBC), which began in the 1960s with the help of authors like Virginia Hamilton and George Ford. Articles from Brad Chambers, Nancy Larrick and Fern Gillepsie also discussed the absence of people of color in books for children. As Andrea Davis Pinkney said with statistics of lower class communities having only one book for every 300 children, we still have a long way to go with people of color and children’s books. Michelle H. Martin, author of Brown Gold: Children’s Literature and Culture, clearly emphasized the importance in her keynote address, “Who’s Bridge Are You?,” stating that by creating books for our children that reflect them, we are creating legacies, signs of hope, and as we have seen in cases like the ethnic studies courses in Arizona, it is political. Basically, the establishment want us to be mindless. Below are some highlights from the five panels in which each panelist gave a presentation based on the topic:

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Otherwordly Videos: Women of Power

The film is Y: The Last Man Rising [Fan Film], starring Kent King and Travis Quentin Young. It is based on a critically-acclaimed comic of the same name about a plague that has wiped out all the men on the earth except one, Yorick (Young). Special Agent 355’s (King) job is to protect his life because he may be the key to saving the human race. In the short film, we see the attack of the plague and Agent 355 rescuing Yorick from a group of Amazon women.

Bree Newsome‘s film, Wake, follows a repressed woman who murders her father and then uses root work to conjure up her ideal man. But he may not be so ideal as she thought, leaving her in a “waking nightmare.” Essentially, the film’s motto is be careful what you wish for.

Moving on the Wires: Party, Festival and Raffle

* THEESatisfaction is hosting a party on July 28th in Brooklyn. The name of the party, The Black Weirdo, is from their tour name. Read below for more information:

622 Degraw Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
11pm – 4am
Sponsored by Bklyn Boihood
Black Weirdo
& ELIXERTickets
$7 ADV $10 Door
Jams By:
DJ Rimarkable
DJ Mursi Layne
DJ Sassy Black
DJ Stas THEE Boss
* If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, the State of Black Science Fiction Film Festival will take place on August 4th at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture. The films that will be playing at the festival are Kofi Michael Johnson’s Afro-Man & the Protectors of the Book of Knowledge, Monique Walton’s The Becoming Box, Balogun Ojetade’s Rite of Passage: Initiation and A Single Link. For more information, go to Chronicles of Harriet.

* From the Black Witch:

Everyone! I am finally doing the Princeless raffle! The prize is the first four physical books of the comic Princeless. This is such an amazing series, I thoroughly enjoyed it myself and it’s a wonderful gift for any little Black girl or even grown up Black girls! Here lies a stunning story that turns the idea of the helpless princess/damsel in distress theme on its side! Read the first issue here!
Want your own copy of the first four books? Here are the prices (USD) for raffle tickets:

1 ticket:$1
5 tickets:$3
10 tickets:$7

Odds of winning depends on how many tickets you buy. The winner will be picked on July 27th. Click on which ticket amount you prefer to purchase, you’ll get an email with your ticket number(s) and you’re a participant! Good luck everyone! And be sure to pass the word around!