May 01, 2004
The Black Pages
[UPDATE] My apologies for having the incorrect link to GettoSake. Everything should work know. Please go check them out.
As most of you know, I'm a life-long comic book fan who has absolutely no intention of outgrowing that particular habit.
Of course, the problem with being a little black boy who reads The Avengers or Justice League of America is that there aren't very many superheroes I could reasonably expect to grow up to be without pulling a Michael Jackson. And the few Black superheroes out there always wore their blackness like a giant billboard sign.
Black Panther was an African prince. Black Lightning had a mask that actually included a prosthetic afro (needless to say, I appreciated the costume and name change to "Black Vulcan" for the Superfriends cartoon). Rage was 10 year old boy trapped in the body of a big, scary, angry Black man. It was just alot of cliches to me.
Sure, there were exceptions. Amazing Man was a Black World War II era hero created in the early 80's who was still accutely aware of the fact that he was black while not making a particularly big deal of that aspect of his personality above and beyond the fact that he was a hero. And what can I say about Blade that hasn't already been said?
Of course, now, there are enough kids like me who now create comics for a living, so they have a bit more to say about it. Hence, Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone Comics, a subgenre under D.C. that was an entire universe of Black superheroes, like Icon (Superman analogue), Hardware (Iron Man analogue), and, most notably, Static, who still appears to this day on Saturday morning cartoons.
Of course, while I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for superheroes, I also just kind of like comics as a vehicle for storytelling, just like all movies don't have to be Westerns and all TV shows don't have to be cop shows. So it's so refreshing to see my people on the printed and drawn page in new contexts.
So, I am WAY WAY proud to re-introduce to some of you and present to others the brothers (literally) at GettoSake.com. For years, they've been quietly doing Hip-Hop inspired online comics and animated web shorts. Well, after an extra-fly revamp of their site, it looks like they're ready for their close-up with a whole line of comics, from all different genres, featuring Black protagonists, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. I have to tell you, the very notion of "The Life And Times of Credence Walker", kind of a Black Doc Savage, is down-right nerdgasmic. Check the article which describes GettoSake Comics in detail in the main link for this post, and be on the look out for the books in the coming months.
In the meantime, take a gander at their site here.