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SDCC 2016: Magnetic Press Partners with Jennings & Duffy for Black Comix Panel

Magnetic Press has partnered with 2016 Eisner Award Nominee & Harvard Fellow John Jennings (The Blacker the Ink, Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred), and Glyph Comics Award winner Dr. Damian Duffy (Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, Other Heroes) to co-present the San Diego 2016’s panel, BLACK COMIX: AFRICAN AMERICAN INDEPENDENT COMICS PUBLISHING. The panel features an all-star lineup of comic creator heavy weights, including Ron Wimberly, David Walker, Ashley A. Woods, Jeremy Love, & Robert Love.

Magnetic Press, Jennings & Duffy will be making more official announcements at the panel, where they will reveal more about their partnership. The panel will be held on Saturday, July 23rd from 8:00-9:00pm in Room 28 DE, and will be will be co-moderated by Jennings & Duffy.  Magnetic Press teased the title image by Ashley A. Woods, which hints at announcements to be made during the panel.

This marks Magnetic Press’ 3rd consecutive appearance at San Diego Comic-Con since the publisher’s debut three years ago at SDCC 2014. Magnetic Press can be found at booth #5534.

Black Comix Returns: African American Independent Comic Publishing
Saturday July 23, 2016 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Room 28DE

Join 2016 Eisner nominee & Harvard University Fellow John Jennings (The Blacker the Ink) and Damian Duffy (Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred), as they offer real talk about race and representation in independent comics publishing with the likes of 2016 Eisner nominee Ron Wimberly (Slave Punk, Prince of Cats), David Walker (Power Man & Iron Fist, Shaft), Ashley A. Woods (Niobe), Robert Love (Alpha Girl, S.P.O.O.K.S.), and Jeremy Love (Bayou, Fierce).


Early Review: Blue Hand Mojo #1

blue hand mojo #1 coverThe thing about legends that makes them endure is the part of the human psyche which does believe without actually seeing any empirical evidence, that which some call, faith. Some of these legends come off as mere “tall tales” or exaggerations of what actually happened. Then there are those which are told so visceral, that the details make them, live long after the storyteller has left the living. One of those legends, that had so much detail and told in such a tangible way, is the tale of the Devil and Robert Johnson.

This particular story has been explored in popular culture through movies like Crossroads starring Ralph Macchio and through shows like Supernatural. In the comics’ realm, you have iconic characters like Ghost Rider, who practically signed a deal with the devil in order to achieve some temporary wish that will take him seemingly forever to pay off. There are also the indirect adaptations like the popular manga and anime, Death Note, which the main character, Light makes a deal with Shinigami, the angel of death,   to be able to kill anyone whom he writes their name in his book but in return not enter heaven or hell. Then there are those adaptations that are truly genre defying, such as John JenningsBlue Hand Mojo.

As their solicitation describes the story as:

1931. Bronzeville. Chicago. The mage, Frank “Half Dead” Johnson, is a marked man. Literally. A drunken decision fueled by tragedy has left him with half a soul, sorcerous powers, and two centuries to work off his debt to Scratch (aka The Devil) himself.

Within the first few pages, you enter one of Frank’s dreams, one very much reminiscent of a scene from Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Frank is truly in one of the best ages in Chicago’s history, one that John Jennings takes full advantage of, by Frank getting involved in a case with Macieli Gotti aka Mac the Shark, a lieutenant in Al Capone’s gang, where it seems as his crew was affected by black magic, which is right up Frank’s alley. By issue’s end, Frank is in one hell of a mess between his due to the devil and the gangster world.

Overall, a good blend of crime noir, history and horror, which not only is an above average addition to each of those genres, but a very innovative interpretation of this well-worn trope. The story by John Jennings, works well within any of the genres it inhabits, and a solid crime noir, which is reminiscent of Mickey Spillane. The art by John Jennings, is a huge difference from many of his pioneers, as his artistic stylings is unique and more of which I would like to see more of. Altogether, a fine mix of genres, that not only entertains but will make fans of John Jennings incredible talents.

Story: John Jennings Art: John Jennings
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Roasrium Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art, and Culture

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Later this month John Jennings and Damian Duffy will be releasing an anthology, Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art, and Culture, that showcases independent African American cartoonists and the subculture of conventions, websites, and awards surrounding them.

Duffy and Jennings met at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where Jennings is a professor of graphic design and Duffy was a graduate student at the time and is currently a PhD candidate.  Their first collaboration was The Hole a sci-fi graphic novel which dealt with “issues of identity and consumer culture.”  They then followed that up with two art exhibits which focused on African American comic creators.

The contacts they made at these two shows lead to the graphic novel which serves as an introduction to this area of comic book culture.  People featured in it include Dawud Anyabwile, the creator of Brotherman, Keith Knight, the author of The K Chronicles who wrote the introduction, Turtel Onli the creator of NOG: The Protector of the Pyramids, Sustah-Girl: The Queen of the Black Age, and Malcolm-10, and up and coming artists like Ashley A. Woods the creator of Millennia Wars and Arie Monroe.

The book also focuses on the history and nature of the Black independent comics community and the subcultures that orbit it.   Online you can find some of that history and community in the The Museum of Black Superheroes which was founded by Omar Bilal.

Black Comix

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