Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Superhero Day

I recently read somewhere that Joe Quesada, head honcho of Marvel Comics, believes that Blade works as a movie but not necessarily as a comic book. This has prompted me to start a grass roots movement called Black Superhero Day. The truth is that I think Quesada and others like him are competent keepers of the flame, but in the end, they don't have a clue on how they should market their black superheroes. The statement about Blade is absolutely ridiculous, but it suggests that there's more to the failure of black superheroes in the mainstream marketplace than meets the eye. The notion that Blade is more entertaining on the big screen than on Eon board is problematic for me on many levels. I won't go over those levels in this forum because that's counterproductive and this is about solutions. My plan is to coordinate a day of recognition for Black Superheroes in which companies big and small will utilize their best talent to pay homage to their most popular and obscure characters of color. Now in order for this to work across the board, all companies must enlist their very biggest guns to add to the seriousness of the event. For instance, how cool would it be if Alex Ross did a group poster depicting all of Marvel's black superheroes? Or if Joe Madureira agreed to draw a giant size Black Panther written by Christopher Priest or Geoff Johns. These are the kinds of ideas that will attract consumers to the racks and cause them to purchase black superhero content. Having a black superhero day would obviously tie in well with Black History Month, so for the larger companies it would demonstrate your efforts to diversify your product even though it would really be for just that month. The take away from Black Superhero Day is 1) you will have an event that ties in with a national initiative 2) existing fans will get an opportunity to see top notch talent writing and illustrating these iconic characters who have never had the luxury of an A list artist or writer 3) you also run the risk of discovering a breakout success for a character who was previously considered wood for the fire. It is in my opinion that Black Superhero Day be established in 2010 and serve as a testing ground for titles like Blade or indie black superhero efforts that may go unnoticed. Comic book shops owners are also a necessary part of this equation. The shops are often the point of dissemenation of pop culture information that keeps the nerd universe a cohesive amalgam, if the shop owners support this effort much like Free Comic Book Day in May then it has a great chance of surviving and making an impact. Being the writer and creator of my own black superhero, I obviously have a stake in this. I want my book to sell and get as much exposure as possible. But my other agenda is to wake some of these companies up who aren't putting the proper effort into some of their properties. I want them to know if they are not willing to give the consumer the stories and art we've been looking for then we'll have to resort to other outlets. If those outlets don't exist then they will be created. When they are finally available to the masses, someone in marketing is going to notice and then finally you're going to get the picture. Don't wait for this to happen! Utilize your vast archive of black characters and respect them. There are many fans chomping at the bit to see characters of color, satisfy the market and provide the product. So it's official, Black Superhero Day is 2/1/10. Joe Quesada, if you have any questions about how to make Blade a successful comic book franchise, hit me up at For all the rest of you, get your best stories and art together for Black Superhero Day and let's get ready to make a difference!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


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