Category: Michael Davis

Michael Davis: New York, New York. It’s a Hell Of A Con.

Davis Art 131015I had every intention of attending the New York Comic Con. My plans were made months ago. I was looking forward to seeing friends and family; I am a New Yorker after all.

I’ve avoided the New York con over the last few years for a number of reasons, chief among them is they seem to have forgotten all the help I gave them some years ago when they were not as big as they are now.

I hate that shit.

I hate when people want something from you they treat you a certain way but when they don’t (think) they need you any more they treat you like they don’t know you.

Another reason I have avoided the NYC Con is the Javits Center where the event is held. The Javits staff has no respect for comics, geeks or those they consider crazy ass people in costume.

The last time I was there a few years ago (admittedly this may have changed) if you left the convention center and wanted to return you had to go to the back of the line of people who had yet to get in.

So if you waited 45 minutes to get in you would have had to wait on the very same line as if you had not already gained admission, paid your money, got your pass and considered yourself safe from the New York City cold ass weather.

No, you geeky nerd, get to the back of the line. The fans are not the priority at the NYC Con-not by a long shot at least they were not the last time I was there.

Like I said, that may have all changed and if it did-I could give a shit.

If the people at the NYC Con think I give a fuck about representing them in the best light they have another thing coming. The moment someone from the con picks up the phone and apologizes for treating me like shit after I hooked them up then I will more than happy to consider what my loud ass voice says about them.

Anywho, like I was saying I had every intention of going to the NYC Con. In fact I was to be part of a big announcement there. That announcement and seeing my friends and family were more than enough reason for me to brave the Javits Center and if not to forgive at least forget (for the moment) how the NYC Con has treated me.

As luck would have it the announcement was postponed and because it was raining it started to pour and I had to deal with a family issue. So the agonizing decision was made to skip the NYC show.

That unbearable choice was made in about 30 seconds. OK, it was made in about one second, if you don’t count the 29 seconds it took me wipe the silly grin off my face.

Yes, truth be told I still could have made it on Saturday. But since the con is over on Sunday that would have been not a lot of time so what’s the point?

But…

If the same scenario but instead of the NYC Con the venue was Dragon Con or the San Diego Comic Con International (you know, the real Comic Con) I most likely would have been in Atlanta or San Diego on that Saturday in a heartbeat.

Or maybe not.

I’ll tell you this. It would really have bothered me not to make either of those conventions even if it was only for one day. That’s what the NYC Con has yet to learn. How to get people to want to go not because it’s a comic book convention but because it’s the NYC Comic Book Convention.

Once they learn that, I’m in. Hell, if someone I know can tell me they have learned that or that they are treating fans better I’m in. It’s all about respect and it seems like they don’t have any.

Soooo until then I’ll just keep pointing stuff out like how fans and professionals alike were pissed when they found out the NYC Con hijacked Twitter accounts to post excited tweets about the convention – it included links to its official Facebook page.

All done without anyone’s permission.

Like I said. It’s about respect.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

 

Michael Davis: An Open Letter To Paul Levitz

Davis Art 131008Dear Paul,

Paul, Paul, PaulPaulPaul, Paul.

I hope this letters finds you well.

You and I have had our differences over the years but I still remember when I used to hang out in your office and just talk to you and all the swag you bestowed upon me.

Clearly our styles have clashed and the differences we’ve had have been huge.

Like it or not Paul, you and I have a shared history that history includes your absolute undeniable contribution to Milestone Media. Without Paul Levitz Milestone would not have ever existed. I recently said just that at the Milestone 20th anniversary panel at the San Diego Comic Con. You have taught me a lot Paul and like I said rather you like it or not you’ve been instrumental in a lot of my career.

When I first became President and CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks you and I were talking at a San Diego Comic Con event when a drunk colorist I trained and arranged his first professional job, rolled up to me in front of you and started talking shit about how horrible a human being I was because I fired a friend of his off a project. I was right about to do something very un-CEO like and put my fist in his throat when you lightly touched my arm and said softly “Michael you’re a CEO now, you will always have a target on your back, let it go.”

I did.

I know I’m a bit of a pill Paul, but no more than Todd McFarland, Frank Miller, Harlan Ellison or scores of other artists who have over-the-top take-no-shit-personalities.

Love me or hate me, I’ve earned respect. How many people do you know have a magnet school auditorium named them, were named Mentor Of The Year by Mentor magazine, has 12 count them, 12 Michael Davis day proclamations from 12 different cities because of my work with kids and education, a PhD… and on top of all that I’m cute as a button.

Paul, I am who I am.

You are who you are, one of the most influential people in comic book history if I hated your guts (which I don’t) I would still respect that. I don’t hate you, Paul. I miss you. I miss those Levitz talks, especially the ones that ended with me carrying out a huge Batman or Superman or Lobo statue.  All of which you’ve given me (when you liked me).

I’m super glad to see you are writing again. The Darkness Saga is on my top five ever-favorite story lines, the others being Watchmen, Dark Knight, Camelot 3000 and The Killing Joke. Paul, I’d like to invite you to my annual Comic Con party. We can sit down and swap Bob Wayne stories. I’ll tell you all about the time Bob took me dinner in Texas and how he continuously reminded me there were no black people within a-hundred miles. I wasn’t scared (much) it was all in good fun.

Again, I hope you and yours are well, call me, let’s do lunch, and bring some money so you can eat too. :-)

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

 

Michael Davis: A Hard Day’s Night

Davis Art 131001When I was around six, I was asked what kind of haircut I wanted.

This was big deal because up until then I had no say over anything in my life. This was my very first grown up decision and I had to weigh it carefully.

Even at six I knew this was a life changing moment. My mother told me to think about it while we were on the bus going to the barber shop. We lived in South Jamaica Queens at the time and except for church there was no place, no place as honored in the black community.

For me there were no two places I hated going to more than church and the barbershop.

What was there to like at the barbershop?

It smelled horrible from all the cigarette and cigar smoke mingled with the distinct smell of snuff being spat into a spittoon. For all of you not familiar with snuff, it’s a type of tobacco. People would put that gross shit in their mouths between their gums and lips and suck on it until the flavor was gone then spit it out before they popped in another jaw full.

Gross with a capital GROSS.

I know some people still do that and with all due respect-that shit is freakin GROSS.

A trip to the barber shop for me was a hellish journey to a smoke filled, snuff smelling spit fest. Oh,and least I forget, when snuff is spat it’s a dark brown / almost black liquid which had a good chance of missing the spittoon and landing on the six-year old sitting in the barber’s chair at the time.

That happened…to me…a lot.

So yeah, the barber shop was horrible and in retrospect, I must have liked church better. At church I was merely threatened with Hell if I wasn’t good. At the barbershop I was spat upon with black ooze, strapped to a chair while some creature took a motorized knife to my head.

The day I walked into the barbershop ready to answer my mom’s question as to what kind of haircut I wanted that particular Hell became Heaven to me for I was no longer a child I was no longer a kid, I was, heck, I don’t know what I was but I know I had respect.

Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, it did. The barber did not; I repeat did not sit me in the damn kiddy contraption that boosts the height of the child.

Nope.

Instead I sat (aided only by a telephone book which in my mind was no aid at all) in the barber’s chair all by myself.

But wait, there’s more!

When asked by the barber what kind of haircut was I to receive my mother told him to…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…ask me!

At that moment I knew what I was, I was a man! A fact that was underscored by the barber when he looked at me (with what I could tell was a new respect) and asked, “Well little man, what kind of haircut would you like?”

The day kept getting better. Why? Because the entire barbershop, that to me looked like hundreds of people, heard him ask me and then heard my answer…“I’d like a Beatles haircut.”

The barbershop erupted in laughter…and just like that I was back in Hell.

“Little man, you’re black, didn’t anyone tell you?”

More laughter.

I knew I was black, but why that should stop me from getting a Beatles haircut was beyond me. So like the man I was I asked and then the laughter became physically painful to me and I started to cry.

Never again did I ask for a Beatles haircut and, in fact, I started asking questions before I made statements or asked certain things.

Yeah, I was six, but I wasn’t stupid.

What, pry tell does any of this has to do with comics?

Many, and I mean many “artists” have submitted work for a show I’m curating. Some of the art is just bad that’s OK compared to people just not reading or worst even not understand what they read in the call for entries instructions.

I’m just sick to death of aspiring artists and writers who refuse to do anything but draw or write. Their work, attitudes and professionalism need major overhauls and no matter how many times or how many ways you try and tell them they still assume they can get work in the fucking comic book industry.

Or they assume they can send you entire comic books (drawn in ball point pen) when the instructions call for no more than five submissions.

Learn your goddamn craft, people. Learn what you can and cannot do. Until you do you have as much chance of getting in this show or having a career in comics as you do getting a Beatles haircut in the hood.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Tweeks!

 

Michael Davis: It’s Not Personal, It’s Business

Davis Art 130924I ran this on my Michael Davis World website. I was writing another version for ComicMix because the response was so strong. Then like an idiot (which I’ve been more often than not) I realized I should just run what I wrote as is.

So…

The following email was sent to my Linked-In mailbox:

Hey Davis, I’m a comic creator trying to break into the industry was hoping you could help a brotha out with that my big fan of your work and bring back The Crush!

I am one hundred percent sure the writer wrote and sent this email with positive intentions and respect. But as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

This certainly did.

Here’s a hard and cold fact, many young African Americans are under the impression that being black gives them a pass on professionalism. The case can be made that my less than professional attitude in my public persona gave this young man leave to address me in such a way.

Err, nope.

My public persona is my real life persona. In real life I have a certain swagger and attitude that I portray to the world. That’s just who I am. In anyone’s life there is a time and a place for everything in my professional dealings there is never and I repeat never a time not to be professional.

There is no other way to say this; anyone who thinks they “know” you because you project a certain image to the world is most likely in for a rude awakening. Even worst-they may never get that rude awakening because emails and any other inquiries will simply be ignored.

I don’t do that.

Any chance I get to enlighten someone as to the error of their ways I do so, up to a point. I’m not wasting any time on someone I give advice to and they keep defending that ghetto bullshit way of thinking.

The following is my reply to the young man. As of yet I’ve heard nothing back from him in the two week since I’ve sent this:

I say this with love, my brother. “Hey Davis” is not a level I operate on. That is not just unprofessional, it’s disrespectful. The rest of your email was poorly worded as well.

Now considering you sent this to a Linked-In, a professional networking site, you are very lucky my executive assistant didn’t see this first. If he had your access to me through this site or anywhere else would have been terminated.

That said, I sense your enthusiasm and as such I’m going to give you a pass.

If you would like to send me another email which states clearly what it is you do (artist, writer) what it is you would like to talk to me about (portfolio, writing samples) and what sort of advice you are seeking (craft critique, career opportunities) I will see rather or not I can help you in any way-IF you have the talent and motivation that warrants my help. If your work is in presented in the same manner as your email then we have nothing to talk about.

I hope this response is received by you as what it is, a reality check. This is in no way a put down.

‘Who wrote this letter? Stevie Wonder?” That’s a put down.

I took time out of my day to write this. This is not a form letter; this is I writing to you with respect for your enthusiasm and a desire to see you succeed. If you think that’s something anyone in a position to help you will do then you have a seriously unrealistic view of the entertainment industry and you are not ready for a professional career within it.

Calling me “Davis” is just ghetto. If you were my boy and we were back in my hood South Jamaica or Rockaway Queens you could call me “Davis” all day long. You’re not my boy. I don’t know you…yet

You know what they call me when I walk into a meeting? Michael, Mr. Davis or Dr. Davis depending on whom I’m meeting and why I’m meeting with them.

“Davis.” Come on man!

There’s a saying, “you get one chance to make a first impression. “Well, I just gave you another. What you do with it is up to you my friend.

Again, I say this with love.

I hope I hear back from the young man and I hope if I can, to help him. That’s my plan but its up to him and like I said earlier, the best laid plans…

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The Debut Of… The Tweeks!

 

Michael Davis: The Possible Dream

Davis Art 130917So here’s the deal.

Over a year ago Missy Geppi and the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore honored me by asking me to curate a show showcasing African American pop culture in comics and related media.

The show, Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond, has been pushed back and now opens December 6th The response from artists, filmmakers and designers have been fantastic. That’s one of the reasons the show has been pushed back.

The other reason?

Trust me, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. That said, I’m blown away by some of the work I’ve seen but I’m not satisfied.

Let me be crystal clear, I’ve seen wonderful work from established artists and great work from up and coming artists but this show, my show has to feature something more.

Again, let me be even clearer, if the show went up as is it would be fantastic. But fantastic is not what I’m going for.

What am I going for?

A dream.

Really.

I’m dreaming of a show that just doesn’t showcase established African American artisans in pop culture, I want to see new artists that have a dream of becoming part of the comics and related industries. I also want to see non-black artists who have worked on or been influence by black pop culture.

That means you don’t have to be black to have a piece in the show.

But… You have to come correct. That means your work must have a real appreciation and genuine respect for black culture.

That means be Eminem, not Vanilla Ice.

So, to recap, if you’re an African American artist with something to say or just someone who has be inspired by the African American experience and you think you have what it takes to be part of a history making show that celebrates black pop culture we would like to see your work.

Do you have to be a professional? Good question, here’s the answer, if you just got out of art school, if you are just getting into art school, if you were kicked out of art school or if you tried but didn’t get into art school we want to see your work.

I’m looking for new artists so if you’ve never even thought of and can’t even spell “art school” but you have talent I’m looking for you.

Get it?

I don’t care if you are a 65-year-old shut-in or 16-year-old Hanna Montana fan if you think you can hang with the big boys (and girls) this is your chance to be seen by the world.

The deadline is October 14.

Here’s the website to present your work: http://milestonestheshow.com

Here’s an email to answer any questions: info@milestonestheshow.com

Finally, here’s hoping my co-curator Tatiana El-Khouri, our creative adviser John Jennings, and I make some young artist’s dream come true.

Oh and if you are a fan of Hanna Montana, keep that to yourself. I mean really.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

 

Michael Davis: Milestone Media Announces Static Shock is Gay

Davis Art 130913No.

No we didn’t.

I was sent the accompanying image by a fan that asked me, as co-creator of the character, what I thought of it. The image is of Virgil Hawkins (Static) making out with his best friend Richie. Frankly, it didn’t bother me and I was much more concerned with how this woman got my personal email.

Turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which struck me as suspect because she’s not Asian.

Shit, I said I would no longer do Asian girl joke references. OK, let me try that again… turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which stuck me as suspect because she’s not pretty.

What?

Actually she’s very pretty so let me try that one more time, turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at Comic Con, which struck me as suspect because she’s fat as shit.

What??

Frankly I don’t remember what she looks like and I don’t care. She could have had one eye and weighted 500 pounds. I still wouldn’t care. I see the person I don’t see anything else but the person. I don’t see color, sexual orientation or

religious beliefs.  She must have been way cool because I gave her my personal email.

I guard my personal email like my social security number. There are people who think they have my personal email but they don’t. I answer every single email I get from every email address but some take a lot longer than others. In my mind giving my personal email to everybody would be like giving my social security number to a telemarketer.

Stupid.

Speaking of stupid, I posted the image on my Facebook page with the following caption:

Sooooooooo, someone asked me what I thought of this image of my character Vigil Hawkins (Static) kissing his best friend Richie.

It’s fine with me and if it’s not with anyone else I could give a fuck.

A few people assumed I was saying Static was gay. I never said that. In fact one of my friends posted the following, so let me get this straight, Static is gay? To which I replied, no, but I’d be cool with it if he was.

Still even after that a few folk thought I said he was gay.

Nope, never said that.

Just so we are clear Virgil is not gay just so we are crystal clear, when he becomes Static he doesn’t become gay. That would be… wait for it… wait for it… Wait for it… a shock.

Damn, I’m witty.

Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie and I created Static. I was lucky enough to be chosen to write the Static bible. That means I created most of the major and supporting characters for the series. There is an expression, writers write what they know and that’s what I did. I based Static on my childhood and my family.

My mother’s name is Jean, father, Robert, sister, Sharon. The family name “Hawkins” is my cousin’s, most of Virgil’s friends were named after members of my Bad Boy Studio mentor program mine, Brett, Kevin and Thor. Their real names were Brett Lewis, Kevin McCarty and Thor Badendyck.

Yeah, I had a student named Thor.

All of those guys are fantastic creators now. Don’t take my word for it, Goggle those Bad Boys (damn, I’m witty) and see for yourself. Brett & Thor’s work will be easy to find, Kevin on the other hand will take a bit more effort. Kevin is like me, you need a key word like “comics” or “Dark Horse” if not then you will end up with about a zillion murderers all named Kevin McCarthy.

Bad Boys Studio has an alumni like that you will never believe. One day I’ll write about it just as soon as I have a heart to heart with Brett about some stuff.

But, (sorry Peter) I digress.

As I was saying, I based Static on my life growing up and as far as I remember I did not grow up gay. I am gay now, I’m a lesbian. I do so love me some women.

Damn, I’m witty.

Static is not gay but he is black. I do remember growing up black. Some black people especially those in the church have a real problem with homosexually.

Every single time I write anything in support of gay rights some in the black church take me to task. It’s always an angry email, which almost always mentions “role model” for black boys.

I get it. I’m not mad at people for having their beliefs. Really.

But…

Static is based on my life. Mine. Not anyone else’s, mine. Role model? Gay people can’t be role models? Really, shit I guess I have to stop using Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as examples of great artists.

If I’m okay with Virgil coming out as gay does anyone really think I give a fuck what he or she think?

No.

I think with all my heart people should be allowed to love whoever they want to love.

With all due respect, if you create a world famous character based on your life you can get as mad as you want when someone draws a picture of your character kissing someone of the same sex.

However, until you create that world famous character based on your life I suggest you get a life.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

 

Michael Davis: Cowards

Gold Art 130828“Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot.”

– Bruce Wayne

“Comic book fan boys are a superstitious cowardly lot and some are big pussies as well.”

– Michael Davis

Yeah, I said that.

I know quite a bit about pussies, so I speak from a place of wisdom. Although the vast majority of pussy I know about has almost nothing to do with comic books, less than that with fans and zero to do with boys or men for that matter.

Just to be clear, the big pussies I’m talking about for this particular rant are those winey little bitches whom think that their will should be the will of the industry. The latest fan bitch fest is over Ben Affleck playing Batman.

Fan boys are bitching like teenage girls who just had something bitter spilled all over their brand new braces.

Give that a sec…

Look, back when Warner Bros. (WB) announced Michael Keaton was going to be Batman, comic book fandom lost their freakin minds. The outrage was so immense that WB rushed outtakes of Keaton playing both Batman and Bruce Wayne to make sure the fans knew that Mr. Mom was up to the task.

Didn’t matter.

Die hard fans just did not give a shit. Nope, they just kept that outrage up until Batman broke every box office record they had at the time.

Then – and only then did the fan boys come around. Keep in mind this was 1989, before the Internet. I was on only 1 at the time and even I remembered that.

What?

People, it’s called acting. That’s what actors do. They act.

Yes, Daredevil was a horrible movie and Affleck had a great deal to do with that but everyone was excited as a 16 year old realizing he was right about to get some poon tang when they announced Affleck was going to be Daredevil.

It was only after seeing that movie fandom lost their minds, and rightfully so. Look, I’m a big a fan as anyone of Kevin Smith but let’s face it not all his movies are great. But because Kevin is so damn cool you almost never hear any crap from fans about his movies. That shit just boggles my mind. Kevin gets an almost universal pass from comic book fans no matter what he does. I mean a shit monster? Come on!!!

How asinine was that, eh, shit?

But give Affleck a pass?

Nope.

The last time I looked, the Oscar count was Affleck two and Smith zip.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really give a darn about Oscars, to me it’s just another Hollywood gimmick to sell tickets. I’d rather sit through a bad Kevin Smith movie than subject myself to some bullshit like My Left Foot for some other important movie. I like my movies to entertain me. Look, I lived Boys In The Hood so I don’t really need to spend any money on that or films like Peaches. Unless it’s a Bill Duke or Reggie Hudlin film, I stay away from black movies like I do gay sex.

The last real black film I saw not directed by those two men was Black Dynamite and that was just hilarious. Before that, I think the last black film I saw was Malcolm X.

But, (sorry Peter) I digress. I would sell my child for an Oscar. Not because I think it means anything but Oscar is a poon tang magnet. I’m a lot of things but stupid I am not.

Davis Art 130827Speaking of stupid, that’s what I think the outrage over Affleck becoming Batman is. Stupid.

Stupid with a capital Asshole.

My favorite actor in the world is George Clooney. When I met him I was like a little bitch, he’s just so damn cool! My favorite comic book character is Batman.

Imagine my sheer ecstasy when I heard my man crush was going to play Batman. I lost my mind!

But that movie was god awful. Now, my favorite singer in the world is Frank Sinatra and Oceans 11 (the original) is on my top ten films ever. What did I do when I heard Clooney was going to play Frank’s role in the remake?

I lost my mind!

This is the second time my all time favorite actor was about to play one of my favorite characters (Danny Ocean) and he nailed it!

But, if he didn’t I would have said so.

Like I said, my favorite comic book character is Batman and if I can wait and see what Affleck does so can everyone else.

Until I see him do it, I have nothing but high hopes that he can pull it off. Yes, he was horrible in Daredevil but that mofo was badass as Superman.

Yeah, he was Superman and he was great.

If you don’t believe me just check out the film Hollywoodland.

So until you see him fuck up Batman don’t assume he will. In the mean time shut the fuck up fanboy.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold Belabors This Point

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil Does That, Too

 

Michael Davis: March

Michael Davis: March

A young black kid recently asked my reaction to the graphic novel March: Book One. Before I could answer the young man who asked chimed in with this little gem of insight, “I can’t believe there are no creators of color on that book!”

I looked at that young motherfucker like he was a flying monkey.

I’m sincerely sorry about the above language as I was going to try and write this essay without resorting to my trademark swear words.

I tried, really I did, but I was so pissed at the lack of knowledge and history from this guy, hence, I looked at that young motherfucker like he was a flying monkey.

“No people of color? What do you call John Lewis?” I asked fighting the urge to ask if his wings hurt when tucked into his pants. I won’t bore you (or enrage myself more than I am now) with this simian’s stupid response.

From that asinine response it was clear he had no idea John Lewis was a real person and it was his life story being told. He had no clue John Lewis was more than a little responsible for his stupid ass being able to ask me such a stupid question in the first place.

What did I care that the co-writer and artist were both white? He wanted to know.

“Those are some bad ass white boys,” I told him. Translation: Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell are two very talented people.

I’m aware there is some in the black creator community who feel the entire book should have had a black creative team. I don’t share that opinion. John Lewis is a civil rights icon. His fight is what allowed those talented white boys to work with him in the first place.

If the year were 1964 all three creators would have faced real threats if they appeared with each other to promote the books at say a North Carolina comic book convention if they existed then. Jim Crow was still in full effect back in the day.

Hell, Jim Crow is in full effect now in North Carolina. Gov. Patrick McCrory just signed into law a sweeping voter reform bill that imposes Jim Crow like restrictions on guess whom?

Black and poor people.

Yep.

It’s 2013 and instead of John Lewis being able to sit back and look at his contributions as a shining accomplishment of the Civil Rights movement, instead of him being able to tell his story to a new generation of young brown and black brothers and sisters as a cautionary tale he instead has to continue to fight the same fight he’s been fighting since before that flying monkey was born.

So, my reaction to March: Book One?  The book was wonderfully written, the art was incredible and I can’t wait until book two. While I do wait, I’ll pray the second part of the series will be a cautionary tale and not a primer of what’s happening today.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

 

Michael Davis: The Rise Of The Super Nigga

Davis 130813This year, the San Diego Comic Con celebrated 20 years of my company. Milestone Media. There was standing room only for the 20th Anniversary panel, the Milestone party was off the chain and to top off one of the best times of my life, Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan and I received Inkpot awards!

The biggest and the best pop culture event in the world thought enough of our work to honor us during the convention. That work focuses largely on Milestone’s mission to include more people of color in the media arts.

We’ve been very successful doing so in comics and television and there is more to come.

So, I’m feeling pretty damn good when I get back to my humble abode.

So good in fact I had a brainstorm, and I’m going to share that brainstorm here at ComicMix.

The Rise Of The Super Nigga

Based on a true story until the end.

Michael at 10 years old wanted to be an artist.

A cartoonist, to be exact. That was the good news; the bad news was Michael lived in what is now as was then one of the worst housing projects in New York City.

The years were tough but Michael somehow survived. Two members of his immediate family were murdered, as were two cousins. Michael survived being stabbed twice and having a gun placed to his forehead. The assailant pulled the trigger, the gun jammed.

Michael attended prestigious universities and became a professional artist. Then he co-founded a company that changed the way comic books are published. Then he became President & CEO of three entertainment companies, TV creator, mentor, writer, power broker, deal maker, all around very successful.

How successful? The Gordon Parks Academy named its auditorium after him.

That successful.

One day Michael was thinking: “I’m a very formidable person with far reaching influence. What should I do now that I have all this power?”

All day Michael pondered that thought. Finally he drifted off to sleep…

Crash!!!!!!

Michael awoke with a start. What was that that? Silently he headed to the source of the disturbance. There on his floor was not just the cause of the commotion but the answer this intelligent, successful, influential black man had sort.

Crack.

Somehow a bag of crack was tossed trough his window. Michael picked up the bag held it up and pronounced as loud as he could. “I will become a drug dealer!!”

“I am no longer Michael Davis PhD!” I am now Super Nigga!!!

Yeah, I know, that’s just stupid. Surviving the hood becoming a success then deciding out of the blue to become a drug dealer.

Besides a character named Super Nigga would never see print…unless you changed the name to Tyrone Cash and a hotshot writer named Mark Millar creates it.

Thenit’s all-good.

Tyrone Cash was a brilliant black scientist who gets the power of the Hulk yet retains his intellect. I’ll say that again – retains – his intellect. So what does this brilliant black man do with his new power?

He becomes a drug dealer.

A brilliant black scientist gets the power of the Hulk yet retains his intellect and then decides to become a goddamn drug dealer???

In my opinion that would be the textbook definition of a Super Nigga.

“Oh, no Michael! You don’t want to call out Mark Millar! He’s got to much clout!” That was the response from a concerned fan when I mentioned I was thinking of writing this article.

What the fuck can Mark Millar do to me? The streets are littered with the crushed dreams of motherfuckers who tried to fuck with me. You know why that is? Because I don’t give a fuck what bridge I burn, what’s right is right.

Here’s the kicker, I love this guys work. He’s written some of my favorite comics and Kick Ass is just brilliant, so that makes this even worst. When a talented guy with a HUGE fan base creates some shit like Tyrone Cash it has to be addressed or it becomes OK to do so.

All in all this makes me sad. Sad because Millar’s star is so bright, and rightfully so, sad because if just one black kid thinks Tyrone Cash is cool that that helps no one and if just one white kid thinks Tyrone Cash is accurate that hurts many.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Gets Real Small

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil and The Seven Basic Plots

 

Michael Davis: The Gold Standard

Davis Art 130730The following article is a lesson for young creators entering the business.

Remember, the comics industry is made up of relationships and the industry is filled with the bodies of young professionals who choose to go with the flow regardless of where that flow takes them or who that flow screws with.

Bad idea.

Be very careful who you hitch your wagon too and don’t throw a good friend under the bus just because it’s what everyone else does.

Thus begins the lesson…

There is a very short list of people I’d take a bullet for. Mike Gold is on that list. Mike and I have known each other for over 20 years. I was around three when I met him.

What?

During the time I’ve known Mike, he has not only been a good friend but also a real confidant and staunch supporter. Look, it’s not easy being my supporter. I’ve been known to bring drama into certain situations and the easy (if not smart) thing to do when that occurs is to step away.

Step away, quickly and with purpose.

Mike has always stood by me even to the point where that decision could have caused real risk to his position at the time.

Mike is like family to me.

Mike does not like the San Diego Comic-Con.

I love the San Diego Comic-Con.

Mike thinks SDCC has very little to do with comics and a bunch of other not nice things.

Mike is entitled to his opinion. I respect but disagree with Mike’s opinion.

Mike and I are still like family.

Thus ended the lesson.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Even MORE Emily S. Whitten!!!