Tag Archives: Regine Sawyer

Virtuous Con launches a Summer Writing Workshop Series in partnership with Amazon KDP

Virtuous Con have announced they have partnered with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on a special project for writers called The Virtuous Con Summer Writing Workshop Series. This unique virtual program expands on the success of the Virtuous Con 2021 Juneteenth Master Class Series and their 2022 virtual convention in February. For this summer program, founder and award-winning writer Cerece Rennie Murphy assembled nine prominent African-American writers in fiction, comics, screenwriting, and film to offer aspiring writers an intimate learning experience to challenge creators to create with courage.

The virtual series will feature eight live weekly 2-hour workshops featuring award-winning and best-selling authors, Beverly Jenkins, L. Penelope, Ines Johnson, and Minister Faust, ground-breaking comic creators Greg Burnham, Regine Sawyer, and Micheline Hess, and pioneer novelists and screenwriters Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes.

Jenkins, both a Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award winner and an NAACP Image Award in Literature nominee, will launch the series on July 6th with “Plot Characters and Setting for Fiction Writers.”

The Virtuous Con Summer Writing Workshop Series runs from July 6, 2022, to August 3rd, 2022, and tickets are available through their website. A special discount is available for Virtuous Con Patreon subscribers.

Z2 Comics’ Record Store Day and Local Comic Shop Day Releases!

Z2 continues has revealed its first-ever participation in Record Store Day and Local Comic Shop Day with exclusive products for each!

First up, celebrate 40 years of two of the most iconic singles in rock history with this special one-time book and record set release! This exclusive-colored vinyl single includes rare versions featuring Pat Smear and the Sex Pistols alongside two comic book stories! This special RSD Black Friday package is released in conjunction with Z2 Comics’ complete graphic novel Joan Jett & the Blackhearts- 40 x 40: Bad Reputation/I Love Rock n’ Roll and is inspired by the classic “Read Along Book & Record Sets” also popular in 1981.

The full original graphic anthology pulls together a who’s who list of female creators from the comic book and pop culture worlds, including famed artist Tara McPherson to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 20 classic tracks featured on Joan’s landmark albums Bad Reputation and I Love Rock n’ Roll

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts- 40 x 40: Bad Reputation/I Love Rock n' Roll

Rap legend Chuck D makes his graphic novel debut for Local Comic Shop Day marking the 30th anniversary of the Grammy-nominated album Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes BlackUpon release, the album hit #4 on the Billboard 200 chart and featured powerful anthems “Shut ‘Em Down,” “Can’t Truss It” and “By the Time I Get To Arizona,” a fiery retort to the state governor’s refusal to recognize the new Martin Luther King, Jr national holiday.  

Apocalypse 91: Revolution Never Sleeps 

Featuring an exclusive cover, painted by the legendary emcee himself, Apocalypse 91: Revolution Never Sleeps begins in 1991 and explodes into far-flung futures with a series of speculative fiction stories by the industry’s leading creators, including Evan NarcisseRegine SawyerChe GraysonTroy-Jeffrey Allen, and many more. Revolutionaries in every millennium stand up and fight the power.

The Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- 40×40: Read Along Book and Record Set is available only through participating record stores as part of Record Store Day Black Friday in a  strictly limited edition of only 1,981 copies on colored vinyl. Chuck D Presents- Apocalypse 91: Revolution Never Sleeps features an exclusive cover by Chuck D himself and is available through participating comic shops, in a one time limited edition of 2,000 copies!

As an added holiday shopping bonus, Z2 is offering the last remaining copies of the long sold-out Murder Ballads deluxe edition graphic novel and exclusive 10” vinyl soundtrack by Dan Auerbach and Robert Finley as co-released with Mondo, exclusively through the company’s website

Support your favorite local record store or comic book shop this week with exclusive releases from the publisher that has truly perfected the relationship between the two!

The Revolution Never Sleeps with Chuck D and Z2 Comics

Z2, along with UMe/Def Jam, has announced the first-ever graphic novel from hip hop icon Chuck DApocalypse 91: The Revolution Never Sleepsthe latest in the publisher’s series of graphic celebrations of music icons which pair some of most notable names in comics with music luminaries from all genres. The book will be available in November, marking the 30th anniversary of the album that inspired it, Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black. Nominated for a GRAMMY Award, the album hit #4 on the Billboard 200 chart and featured powerful anthems “Shut ‘Em Down,” “Can’t Truss It” and “By the Time I Get To Arizona,” a fiery retort to the state governor’s refusal to recognize the new Martin Luther King, Jr national holiday.

Apocalypse 91: Revolution Never Sleeps begins in 1991 and explodes into far-flung futures with a series of speculative fiction stories by the industry’s leading creators, including Evan NarcisseRegine Sawyer (Dark Nights: Death Metal), Che GraysonTroy-Jeffrey Allen, and many more. Revolutionaries in every millennium stand up and fight the power.

The poignant and inspired graphic novel inspired by PE’s 1991 album, will be released in the fall of its thirtieth anniversary with multiple editions available to order now direct from Z2 Comics, including limited edition vinyl and prints exclusively available to the deluxe and super deluxe editions. In conjunction, UMe will release a special limited-edition version of this icon LP, originally released in 1991 by Def Jam Recordings.  Standard softcover and hardcover versions available in finer comic, book, and record stores everywhere in November. Preorder your copy today.

Apocalypse 91: The Revolution Never Sleeps

More Represent! from DC Begins in February

DC has announced more stories on the way for its Represent! digital series, adding another five digital “chapters,” releasing weekly beginning February 1, 2021. The chapters will be available on participating digital platforms, including Comixology, Apple, Amazon Kindle, Google Books, and others.

This past September, DC took an evolutionary leap forward in graphic storytelling with this digital-first series featuring stories from underrepresented voices, spotlighting personal stories outside the regular comic book medium. The debut story, “It’s A Bird,” was written by Christian Cooper with art by Alitha E. Martinez and Mark Morales; the story was inspired by Cooper’s viral encounter with a Central Park dog owner while bird-watching.

The next chapter, “Heritage,” is written by Jesse Holland with art by Doug Braithwaite. Holland is a former Associated Press journalist, host of C-Span’s “Washington Week,” editor of the upcoming Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda prose anthology, and the author of the Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther? prose novel, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2019. Braithwaite is a fan-favorite DC penciler, inker, and cover artist whose notable works include the recently released Generations: Shattered, Future State: The Next Batman, Justice, and others.

“Heritage” is based on Holland’s Mississippi farm, which has been in his family since their first ancestor was freed from slavery—tended by his grandfather and his father before him. But as Jesse grows into a man, he’s unsure if a patch of land in the Piney Woods and a life of tilling soil is his true destiny. But destiny can mean so much more than dirt and a tractor…

Future stories include:

Book Three: “Food for Thought,” written by Regine Sawyer, art by Eric Battle

Sawyer, a comic book writer and founder of Women in Comics Collective International, and artist Battle have both contributed to DC individually and have united to tell the story of Lanice, whose passion for cooking and desire for a career in the culinary arts is challenged by the source of her inspiration—her father—who is concerned about his only daughter working in a kitchen, like so many Black Americans before her.

Book Four: “Believe You,” written by Nadira Jamerson, art by Brittney Williams

Howard University alumni Jamerson makes her comic book debut with Williams, who recently provided art for DC’s middle grade graphic novel Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge. A young mother, Mai, has been struggling with her health ever  since the birth of her daughter, Dira. She’s exhausted, gaining weight and experiencing shooting pain through her legs, and she wakes up with numbness spreading across her entire body. She  is in constant agony. But the doctors don’t think anything is wrong with her—she’s stressed, she’s a hypochondriac, it’s just fatigue—and despite everything Mai does to make herself better, she still feels alone. Until she finally finds a way to advocate for her health and finds an ally who does more than prescribe…they listen.

Book Five: “My Granny Was A Hero,” written by Tara Roberts, art by Yancey Labat

Roberts, a National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellow and avid scuba diving enthusiast, teams up with DC Super Hero Girls artist Labat in a story of a little girl realizing her dreams of heroism.

A little girl with Afro puffs, a potbelly, and a gap-toothed smile dreams of being a hero. She reads adventure books voraciously; she practices sword strokes and judo kicks in her bedroom in case she ever has to fight a dragon; she devours superhero movies, cartoons, and popcorn with big eyes. And every night, she looks out of her window and wishes upon the moon with all her heart to be called upon to help someone in a big way…when she discovers the story of her great-grandmother Cocu, and how Cocu’s superpower led to a heroic struggle for freedom. 

Book Six: “The Lesson,” written and drawn by Dominike “DOMO” Stanton

Stanton has been drawing comics for the last ten years; most recently, he provided art for House of Whispers, part of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated The Sandman Universe line of titles.

Stanton’s protagonist Dom got his butt kicked in school a lot…like…a lot a lot…for no reason. He got caught up in fights that had nothing to do with him or would get jumped simply walking the halls of his school or waiting for the bus home. Fed up and angry, he decides to join a local gym and learn how to box. But what starts out as a mission to fight back turns into something greater, and Dom is given the opportunity to stand up for himself in more ways than one.

Each new 10-page digital chapter will be available on Mondays for $0.99 each.

Comic Book Creator and Founder of WinC Regine Sawyer is coming to AfroComicCon

Regine Sawyer

AfroComicCon welcomes comic book creator and founder of WinC Regine Sawyer as one of the convention’s Special Guests for its first virtual convention! 

Regine L. Sawyer is a comics writer, editor, and founder of Women in Comics Collective International; an organization that highlights the merit and craftwork of marginalized people, especially that of Women and Non-Binary people of color. She is the author of The Rippers, Eating Vampires and Ice Witch. She is owner, writer, and creator for Lockett Down Productions, a small press publishing house that was established in December of 2007. 

Women in Comics Collective International aka “WinC” was founded in May 2012 after hosting a Women in Comics panel at Bronx Heroes Comic Con. At the panel, she recognized a highly underrepresented community of women of color in the comic book industry. 

She is also a 3 time Glyph Award judge, a 2019 Glyph Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, a National Book Foundation Writing Camp Fellow, and a Kickstarter Creator-in-Residence Alum. In addition, Regine has written articles and essays discussing Race, Culture and Gender in Comics via Marvel Comics, Lion Forge, Graphic Policy, The Freelancer’s Union, Comic Book Resources, and Time Magazine.

AfroComicCon​‘s 1st virtual convention will be held on October 24, 2020. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the annual event started in 2017 by the ​Oakland Technology & Education Center (OTEC), ​will be held virtually and free through a portal on the organization’s website. Sponsored by the NNPA, the ​Oakland A’s, and Pixar Entertainment, AfroComicCon promises to be a day full of exciting panels, screenings, entertainment, gaming, cosplay and special guests. The 12-hour event is currently slated to be live-streamed across multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. You can register now.

Diversity Comic Con Focuses its Programming for Aspiring Comic Writers and Artists

Diversity Comic Con

What happens when you let educators run a comic con? It becomes as much about learning something new as much as it’s about celebrating comics. This year’s Diversity Comic Con at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is featuring a slew of programming for creators who want to get into the comics industry. The convention has gone virtual and is completely accessible from anywhere on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17.

On Friday, the team behind Bone, Captain Underpants, and Smile from Scholastic Graphix will be talking about young adult and children’s books. Phil Falco (art director), Meagan Peace (editor), and Jonah Newman (editor/writer) will share their work and insights into this rapidly booming market and how a creator can target their work towards it.

On Saturday, a panel discussion called “Using Current Events as Inspiration” will include Kiku Hughes (First Second), LL McKinney (DC Comics), Alex Sanchez (DC Comics), and moderated by Andrea Colvin (Little Brown Books). Creators will talk about how the latest news like COVID and politics can influence comics and perhaps how comics can influence readers.

Another big draw will be the Friday panel on “Breaking into Hollywood” Featuring Alex Segura (Archie Comics), Shanty Hermayn (Trese – Netflix), Vivek Tiwary (Producer of The Fifth Beatle), Robert Scull (Nickelodeon) and moderated by Gamal Hennessy (Entertainment attorney formerly of Marvel Comics).

There will also be Q & As with Shawn Martinbrough (Batman/Black Panther), Mika Song (Donut Feed the Squirrels), and Christian Cooper and Alitha Martinez (Represent: It’s a Bird!) both from DC Comics, who will be talking about the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

This year’s theme is “Black Stories Matter” bringing to the forefront today’s social justice issues. as embodied in the panel discussion “On being Marginalized in Comics” with Amy Chu, Regine Sawyer, and Omar Mirza. Another timely topic will be the talk on “The Impact of COVID 19 on the Comics Industry” with Heidi Macdonald, Andy Schmidt, John Siuntres, Stanford Carpenter, and Gina Gagliano.

Christian Cooper Joins the Diversity Comic-Con Panelists to Address Racial Injustice

With the recent deaths of African Americans at the hands of Police, the country has been forced to face its issues with racism like never before. This was the case when comics writer Christian Cooper was harassed in New York’s Central Park by a woman who threatened to call the police claiming “there’s an African American man threatening my life.” All Cooper had done was ask her to leash her dog as was the rules of the park. Luckily no one was injured in the confrontation but the incident was captured on video and has since gone viral.  

October marks the beginning of Civility Week for the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), part of the State University of New York system. Over several days, the college offers up programming that addresses the issues of diversity and inclusion. This year’s theme is “Social Justice” to shed more light on current events in our community. For the past two years, the week has been capped off by Diversity Comic-Con. A celebration of multiculturalism in the sequential arts.

This year’s Diversity Comic-Con is even more significant as it hosts a special Q & A session sponsored by DC Comics. Cooper along with artist Alitha Martinez, through DC, have produced a comic anthology called “Represent: It’s a Bird” partly inspired by his experience in Central Park but focusing more on the broader subject of racism. “I hope young people read it, and that they’re inspired to keep the focus where it needs to be, which is on those we have lost and how we keep from losing more.” Said Cooper in an interview. “This moment is about the ones we’ve lost, and how we’re going to keep from losing any more.” The live Diversity Comic-Con interview will be conducted by Alitha’s son on Saturday, at 2:30 pm.

Also appearing will be Shawn Martinbrough, renowned artist of such characters as Batman and Black Panther. “As a New York native and artist, I have always been inspired to create by diverse populations and their environments. Variety and different voices are the lifeblood of creativity.” Martinbrough will be delivering the keynote address and answering questions as well. Other diverse creators appearing include Kiku Hughes, Alex Sanchez, LL McKinney, Mika Song, Vivek Tiwary, Alex Segura, Amy Chu, Regine Sawyer, Jonah Newman, and Robert Scull.

Aspiring artists and writers are also encouraged to submit their own comic stories and art to the anthologyBlack Stories Matter” which is the theme of the comic con itself. “The book will be released a few weeks after the event and creators can submit 1-5 pages of comic stories by October 30th,” says organizer Ramon Gil. “We wanted something tangible that remains after the event is over. All the details are on the website.”

Scholastic Graphix, Archie Comics, First Second, Random House Graphic, and Nickelodeon are also supporting the event by contributing prizes and having their creators at the various panels throughout the weekend. “I’m excited to return to Diversity Comic-Con this year – a year that has shown more than ever that discussion, education, and change in diversity is essential for everyone in the publishing industry.” offers Gina Gagliano, publishing director at Random House Graphic. 

Diversity Comic Con 2020 is completely online and accessible by anyone anywhere with internet access. It happens Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17. The event is free and live online where people can also find all the details on how to participate as a creator

Review: Marvel’s Voices #1

Marvel's Voices #1

Marvel’s Voices is an Experience, capital E. It’s the first comic I know about that adapts the concept of a podcast into a comics anthology collecting stories from black creators giving their take on the Marvel universe.

The book’s title carries over from the podcast it’s based on, which is hosted by Angélique Roché. The list of creators includes Vita Ayala, Damion Scott, Kyle Baker, Brian Stelfreeze, Roxane Gay, Method Man, Alitha Martínez, among other notable industry names. What’s interesting about the project, though, is that it embraces its multimedia roots by featuring essays from other creators accessible via Marvel’s Voices online page.

Two particular essays grabbed my attention: Regine L. Sawyer’s “Growing Up Marvel” and Karama Horne’s “The Legacy of Isaiah Bradley: The First Black Captain America.” (Disclosure: Karama and Regine have both contributed to our site – ed.)

Sawyer’s essay is about her origin story into comics through a less conventional avenue than most other stories of the kind: X-Men trading cards. I don’t want to spoil the essay because it is a fascinating and well-written story, but it is wonderful to get this look at how comics allow for multiple entry points given it’s an entire cultural package. It made me remember my card collecting days growing up, both the same X-Men cards Sawyer collected and the classic Pepsi Cards I religiously hunted down back when they came out in Puerto Rico. I still have them with me and they also helped me embrace comics.

Horne’s essay is about two comics: Truth and The Crew. Each one stands as some of Marvel’s best comic book offerings. They were subversive and hard-hitting, daring enough to give Marvel a black Captain America (in Truth), complete with an exploration of the tragic treatment black heroes get using real-life black history as the basis for the problems each character faces (which is expanded upon in The Crew).

The essay is a great and concise history of these comics, but it also serves as a lesson on visibility. That Marvel hasn’t reprinted these stories or released newer editions of the paperbacks brings up more questions than it should. I think Horne’s essay makes a strong argument as to why we need these comics back on the stands.

On the comic’s side of Marvel’s Voices, we get a strong if a bit uneven set of short stories that are personal, celebratory, and thoughtful as to why Marvel characters mean so much in the struggle for more diverse voices in the industry. Kyle Baker, for instance, produced a one-pager Ant-Man and Nick Fury story titled “Perspective,” about Fury’s problem with depth perception. It’s a quick hit but the art on display here is impressive enough to make anyone want to see Baker do more Marvel work.

Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, and Emilio López’s “Top of the Key,” on the other hand, is a one-pager on Mosaic story (a character Marvel has severely underused, in my opinion) that would’ve benefited from an additional page or two. It feels more like a setup for a larger story and we only really just get a taste of it.

Rob Markman, Damion Scott, and Dono Sánchez-Almara’s “What a Wonderful World” stands as one of the most impressive stories in the anthology as it offers a well-rounded look at a Marvel character with outstanding art and a clear message to boot. It centers on a troubled Silver Surfer, comparing Marvel’s biggest villains with humanity’s own villainy when it comes to protecting the environment. No panel was spared, no color was misplaced, and no bit of text hung without intent. Just a really good two-page story.

The best story in the book is without question “Inspiration,” by James Monroe Iglehart, Ray-Anthony Height, and Emilio López. This 4-page tale gives the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers a much-deserved platform to contemplate his role in the grand scheme of things. The script showcases an interesting play on what a superpowered spider is supposed to be and how much of its natural instincts define its actions. It’s simply unforgettable and truly worthy of getting its own comic book series.

Marvel Voices #1 is the type of book Marvel needs to invest more on. It shows just how important it is to bring in other perspectives into this superhero universe and just how different it can all turn out to be. It speaks to the power of voices hungry for diversity in storytelling. And that, in itself, is a beautiful thing.

Writers: John Jennings, Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, David Betancourt, James Monroe Iglehart, Evan Narcisse, Vita Ayala, Regine L. Sawyer, Brian Stelfreeze, Brandon Montclare, Tatiana King Jones, Karama Horne, Kyle Baker, Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Don McGregor, Geoffrey Thorne, Rob Markman, Method Man, Daniel Dominguez, Charlamagne The God, David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Ray-Anthony Height, Jahnoy Lindsay, Bernard Chang, Brian Stelfreeze, Natacha Bustos, Kyle Baker, Brittney L. Williams, Khary Randolph, Damion Scott, Alitha E. Martinez, JJ Kirby, Sanford Greene
Color: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Emilio Lopez, Marcelo Maiolo, Brian Stelfreeze, Tamra Bonvillain, Kyle Baker, Rachelle Rosenberg, Dono Sánchez-Almara, JJ Kirby, Matt Herms
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Writing: 9 Essays: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy and make sure to bag and board it.

Black Enterprise’s Black Comics Roundtable

On October 16, Black Enterprise invited a group of comic book creators including Micheline Hess, Regine Sawyer, N. Steven Harris, Naseed Gifted, Tim Fielder, Dilettante J. Bass, George Carmona, Joseph P. Illidge, and Roye Okupe, to the BR headquarters in Manhattan to have a round table discussion about Black comic and Black comic book creators.The Blerd Gurl has posted up the live Periscope recording on her YouTube channel. You should check out the almost 30 minute video which is a fantastic group of individuals to hear talk comics.