Category: Michael Davis

Michael Davis: The Great New York Con

I’m from New York.

I’m a New Yorker who has lived the last 20 years in Los Angeles or LA, as it’s commonly called. LA is where my life is now; driven here quite literally by an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Despite the often-racist policies of City Hall and its Choke-An-Unarmed-Black-Man-to-Death police force, NYC will always be my home. Every New Yorker will tell you that the city becomes part of you. There’s something about growing up in New York that taints your view of any other city. When New Yorkers leave New York, they may move, but they don’t relocate.

My body may live in LA, but my heart and soul still reside in New York.

When the towers fell, I spent the entire day on the phone with Denys Cowan. We were both in LA less than 10 minutes from each other, yet we were so shocked and heartbroken about our city that neither one of us could muster the brainpower to think to go to the other’s home.

The offer I couldn’t refuse was made by Motown, who left Detroit in 1970 and has operated from Los Angeles ever since. I made a case to keep my main offices on the east coast and Motown agreed. I so loved my city, I endured a weekly flight to LA, and I absolutely hate to fly. After a year I was told to move the business to Los Angeles.

I did, but kept my NYC residence and have that still. I was not happy leaving my cherished city and made no secret of my dislike of all things Los Angeles when I arrived.

My New York egotism is seldom, if ever, modified. Undoubtedly a wise thing to do in many situations, but I can’t seem to make that leap no matter what the setting. I once proudly wore a New York Knick hat during a game between the Knicks and the Lakers played in Los Angeles. Not a big deal – any die-hard New York fan would do that. However, I wore my Knick hat to a Laker game while in Magic’s Johnson’s suite.

But wait, there’s more: I did this during the time I ran a division of Magic Johnson Entertainment.

I worked for the most famous Los Angeles Laker of all time, yet there I sat wearing my Knick hat.

You can’t get much more New York or more stupid than that.

20 years after LA made me leave NY, my answer is the same now as it was then when I’m asked to compare New York and Los Angeles. New York is the greatest city in the world and LA stands for Lower Alabama.

New York is also home to the New York Comic Con (NYCC), billed as the largest pop culture event on the east coast. I’m sure that’s true. It’s a huge and impressive show to be sure. Held at New York’s Javits Center, the convention sold out this year doing “San Diego Comic Con numbers” according to Business Insider.

That’s extraordinary.

What’s even more extraordinary is that NYCC has been around just nine years, and SDCC more than forty. It’s no wonder-people are comparing NYCC to SDCC. When you throw up those kinds of numbers in that short amount of time, you’re a major playa, no doubt about it.

Before, during, and especially after this year’s show, the word coming out of the Big Apple was that SDCC is done.

The king is dead, long live the king!

My dear friend Lucy Valerio, who knows full well of my doings at SDCC, told me a good friend of hers said, “San Diego Comic Con has jumped the shark.”

I wondered two things: had this expert on all things pop culture ever been to Comic Con? Secondly, was Lucy high? I bet her friend was, or he was drinking the Jim Jones Kool-Aid hype social media is selling.

Most don’t know I also have history with NYCC, and believe it or not, I had a small hand in helping them established themselves when they started. Long story short, they reached out to me and I put them in business with two major companies they were unable get to.

After doing so, I was asked to bring The Black Panel to NYCC and I did. So imagine my surprise when the next year, I’m told The Black Panel did not fit the criteria, although I had an open invitation to bring it back anytime I wanted.

The Black Panel has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly, to name but a few. The panel been invited to major universities, film festivals, and just recently Japan.

Damn, that must be some fucking criteria.

The woman from ReedPop, the NYCC promoter, who informed me could not have cared less about my open invitation to bring the panel back, nor did she care about what I had done for NYCC.

Fast-forward seven or eight years and the NYCC has put up some extraordinary numbers, but were not really SDCC numbers. They count ticket sales as people. In other words one person buys two tickets that counts as two people. Nevertheless, their numbers were damn impressive and they did sell out.

That sell out and those ticket sales are going to be the first thing ReedPop, the company behind the NYCC, will show future strategic partners, investors, advertisers, exhibitors, and attendees, and they should – those numbers are an incredible achievement, and as any CEO in corporate America will tell you, numbers don’t lie.

Those numbers are reason enough people are listening to the loud voices proclaiming NYCC as the new king of pop culture events.

Numbers don’t lie, but those voices are. Those voices are lying like any husband when asked, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

“No honey bunny.” That’s the lie hubby will tell his spouse.

“No Porky, you’d look fat in any dress.” That’s the truth he’s smart enough to keep from his wife.

The NYCC is a well attended comics and pop culture convention. SDCC is a world-famous pop culture event on a whole other level. Put another way, it’s akin to comparing Jay Z and your cousin Sal who likes to rap.

The numbers NYCC put up this year are undeniably great numbers for attendance to their show. However, the selling out SDCC is assured, not to take anything away from New York, but those are easy numbers to put up for San Diego. The show has sold out completely for over a decade and is still growing in ticket requests.

But, being the new king of pop culture is about a lot more than ticket sells.

More than attendance revenue, SDCC is a pop culture mecca, a place fans from all over the world must visit at least once in their life. Like any Super Bowl city hundreds of thousands of people come to San Diego without tickets. Some hope to somehow attain tickets once there, but for most, just being in the city where Comic Con International is being held is the goal.

The City Of San Diego is number 11 on the 20 most visited cities by international visitors and number 10 on the Forbes list of America’s most visited city. Clearly New York is on both those lists, but I’m damn sure the City of New York will not build new hotels and new convention centers (plural) to keep the NYCC show there.

Undoubtedly, because of Comic Con’s financial impact, San Diego would want to keep them happy by any means necessary. By comparison New York is much bigger and has much more to offer than just one event, True, but just as true, long before SDCC became the monster it is now, San Diego was already one of America’s top tourist destinations.

The economic significance of the SDCC on the city is not measured just in yearly revenue boost but in future investments and growth in the city. The worldwide importance of SDCC is not just a boon to San Diego, but to America as well. SDCC more than any other event in the 21st Century has cemented America’s place as the pop culture capital of the world.

That kind of clout is not what puts SDCC at another level. I was just pointing out the difference between Jay and cousin Sal.

NYCC is a for-profit business. Nothing at all wrong with that… except, in my opinion, in the world of geeks. To look at geeks simply as paying customers at a geek convention is no way to build a pop culture dynasty the likes of SDCC. A recurring issue to many fans and pros is the less than pleasant way convention personnel deal with fans.

To be fair, ReedPop is not running the Javits Center and has little or no control over how Javits security talks to and otherwise deals with fans. But Reed picked the venue, and year after year this seems to be a recurring topic.

SDCC is a not-for-profit educational organization run by a bunch of geeks, and in the world of comic book conventions, geeks rule. The people at SDCC are in the business of conventions, but they are not a convention business.

SDCC Mission Statement:

Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

Regardless of my past dealings with the convention, I want NYCC to succeed. It’s in my city and they are good for the industry. They and every other pop culture event have a ways to go before they can claim to be on a par with SDCC. For my money, Stan Lee’s Comikaze is the convention with any hope of ever doing what SDCC has.

The SDCC show is a pop culture worldwide happening generating much more than revenue and at its core are the fans, geeks, nerds and growing the industry.

This above all else is why Comic Con International: San Diego is on a different level.

A level that the New York Comic Con is, as of yet, nowhere near.

 

Michael Davis: I Am Static

Twenty-one years ago, five friends, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Dwayne McDuffie, Christopher Priest, and I partner to form Milestone Media. The Dakota Universe was born soon afterwards. There was one goal above all: to create a universe of good stories, well told, featuring characters of color.

We did, and when we did, comics changed.

Milestone was international news on a grand scale. That news rarely, if ever, just showcased one of us. We all had a hand in the creation of what may be the most influential, certainly the most successful, superhero universe featuring characters of color ever.

What we thought was a pretty good idea to create heroes of color became a cultural phenomenon and movement. Needless to say at the core of any real pop culture movement are its fans, and Milestone’s fans take their Milestone seriously.

I was counting on that when two weeks ago I wrote a satirical piece called Static Shock Comes To The Big Screen. I “revealed” a big screen version of Static Shock was in the works. The big screen debut was actually the animated series playing on a newly purchased 80-inch television.

The response ranged from disappointment and anger that it wasn’t real to joy and excitement from some who thought it real to the haters, who wouldn’t know satire if it bit them on their hairy palms, who (what else) thought it was trash.

As you’ve no have doubt heard by now, Static Shock is indeed being made into a live action series, announced this week by Warner Bros.

That announcement came just two weeks after my article. The project has been in the works for a while and my article was a restrained way of venting my frustration at the studio progress and process. Neither of which I have anything to do with by the way. To be sure, the timing of my article was just a happy coincidence. Also, to be sure, I’d rather cuddle than have a threesome.

Regardless of what lit a fire under WB, this is a huge thing for the Milestone Universe. This will carry the Dakota Universe to mainstream audiences and give young Black kids, as well as other kids of color, a new hero that looks like him or her.

The massive love on social media the announcement is getting is fantastic and, bittersweet for me. For years I’ve fought to have Milestone’s true history represented and the bigger the project, unless stopped, the bigger the myth.

Milestone’s creators changed history and history is changing Milestone’s creators.

It started as soon as Milestone was announced. Back then the big lie was DC Comics owned Milestone. That still prevails as the official account of our publishing and distribution deal.

DC does not and has never owned Milestone.

When we ceased publishing monthly, many thought that Milestone Media ended as a company.

Milestone has operated on some level since 1992.

The false history of Milestone Media is so entrenched as fact that people doubt the words of the founders when we say otherwise. Without a doubt, the biggest fan-fueled invention is that Dwayne McDuffie – and Dwayne McDuffie alone – created Milestone.

Denys Cowan came up with the idea and the plan that created Milestone.

The latest in a long line of Milestone fabrications is this: Milestone stole our business plan from Big City Publishing. Big City published the truly wonderful Brother-Man comic.

Our books were on the stands nine months before the plan was alleged to have been stolen.

Denys Cowan, the architect of Milestone Media and its first creative director, today is mostly known as a Milestone artist. Few know him as a founder, and fewer credit him as the man who started it all. Milestone was named after Deny’s son, Miles, and Denys designed all the major characters, most of the minor characters, and a great deal of the City Of Dakota.

Christopher Priest, Milestone’s first Editor-in-Chief, was the driving force behind the original Dakota Universe Bible. Die-hard Milestone fans know he was Milestone’s first Editor in Chief, few others do. Priest is a very successful Hollywood screenwriter and music writer and producer.

Derek Dingle, the President of Milestone, was responsible for the groundbreaking deal Milestone received. Derek is at best a trivia question. His contributions and involvement in Milestone is almost never mentioned. Derek is still President of Milestone, and also heads up Black Enterprise, the biggest and most successful African American financial publication in history.

Dwayne McDuffie defined Milestone, and no one is more responsible for the Milestone mystique than Dwayne. The Dakota Universe that millions of fans can’t get enough of is because of Dwayne. Dwayne was more Milestone than any one of the partners, even more than Denys, and without Denys there never would have been a Milestone. Today Dwayne is widely known as the founder of Milestone and creator or co-creator of all the Milestone main characters.

I was a founder and Milestone’s Director of Talent and Special Projects. I’m mostly known as the creator of the SDCC Black Panel, and I’m rarely credited with anything corporate or creative at Milestone.

With the exception of Derek, the partners at Milestone had corporate responsibilities but also worked on the books as creators. We all choose a book that would be our baby. Denys wanted Hardware, Dwayne, Icon and my baby from day one was Static. The forth book in the universe, the Blood Syndicate was as Denys puts it, “An orphan child.”

I was not only to create the Static Creative Bible but draw the monthly series as well.

The Static Universe is based on my life. His family, his home, and his friends all come from my experiences. My mother Jean Lawrence became Jean Hawkins. Robert Lawrence, my step-dad, became Robert Hawkins. Static’s original real name was Alan, Dwayne changed it to Virgil. Hawkins was the surname of my cousin’s family on my step dad’s side and Alan was my cousin, crib mate and first best friend.

In a very real way I am Static.

My inspiration for the Static Universe was my mother and sister. In the original bible and comic book, Jean Hawkins was very much alive. The decision to have her killed in a “gang war” for the show was not Milestone’s; that bright idea came from Warner Bros.

What few people know is in real life Jean was not murdered, but Sharon was.

My sister Sharon died alone in a vacant lot people used as a short cut to get to the South Jamaica NY neighborhood we lived in. She was horribly hurt yet alive after being assaulted late that night. People walked passed her all evening and did nothing and it wasn’t until early the next morning that her boyfriend, of all people, found her.

By the time he did, Sharon Davis, the inspiration for Sharon Hawkins and the Static universe was dead.

My mom, the muse for Jean Hawkins, died June 21st of this year. She often watched old episodes of Static to see the interaction between Virgil and Sharon and never missed an opportunity to repeatedly tell me how she would never forgive me for having her killed on the show.

In my original version of the Bible both Jean and Sharon were alive. Once the notes came down from on high to change that, there was nothing I could do but voice my opposition and you see how well that worked out.

Once again, Static is about to blow up.

The live action version will take the Milestone universe to a whole other level and unless changed that false history will go right along with it and become fact.

Yes, I’m talking to you, again, Variant Comics.

This is not just a Milestone problem it’s an industry problem.

Helped along by those like Variant who profess love for our industry but forgo doing the type of real due diligence that will elevate comics. No, instead they and others continue to allow Hollywood to treat us like un-professional, stupid stepchildren when it’s clear no effort is made to speak with one unformed voice.

I have no idea what role if any I will play in the live action series. I may write it or just watch it on TV. That’s the future and I can’t say. I can say Denys Cowan created Milestone. Derek Dingle, Dwayne McDuffie, Christopher Priest, Denys and I created the Dakota Universe and within that universe I created the Static Shock bible.

I can say these things because unlike what you see at Variant’s website, that’s the truth.

 

Static Shock Comes To The Big Screen!

static_shock_movie_by_robert_man-d7gov15I’m so happy I can hardly breathe!

Static Shock! The character created by Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest, Dwayne McDuffie and myself is on its way the big screen!!

Soon and I mean very soon, Virgil, Richie and Sharon will be given their long overdo due on the big screen! I’m ecstatic, delighted, and blissful that finally my friends and family will be able to sit down in a theater and rejoice in the wonder that is Static Shock!

Sookie, Sookie, now!!!

Err, white people ask somebody.

Get on the good foot!

Ditto.

Can you feel it?

Perhaps it’s best you have a black person read this to y’all.

I need to testify!

Yeah, that would be best.

Can I get a witness?

Look, just call Leroy and stop punishing yourself.

I’m king of the world!!!!

That one you should have no problem with. Think big boat, Leo & Kate.

Man oh, man, I still can’t believe Static Shock will finally coming to the big screen.

Thank You Jesus!

I just brought an 80-inch flat screen and as soon as it’s hooked up, Static Shock will be all over my home theater.

What?

Did you think I meant a movie?

BHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I’m… sorry…snicker… but… snicker … that…Bah… that… BHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

That makes no sense!

Why on earth would anyone want to do a movie or live action television show on one of the most popular animated shows ever?

Don’t be silly, people. I mean just because today (well as of this writing, that today, lord knows when I will or if I will finish this. It’s only by the grace of Go…. Gold I still have a forum here. Yeah, I’ve had a rough year but a weekly article every now and whenever? That can’t last much longer.

But I digress. Check’s in the mail, Mr. David.

I ask again, why on earth would you want to take the most successful black superhero in the DCU and make a movie out of it? Why just today, (maybe) Entertainment Weekly named Static Shock one of be best-animated shows ever from a comic book.

Is you stupid?

That makes no sense when you can make Superman Icon Black. Batman, Black the Flash’s wife Iris, Black, Spider-Man half-black, Captain America, all-black, The Avenger’s Black. It makes no sense what so ever!

I ask yet again, is you stupid?

Why make a movie when could simply colorize the movies made out of all the above? Duh. Shit we have plenty of great black superhero movie which all made mucho bucks! In the thousands and thousands of dollars!! Who can forget the great Blank Man? Solo? Meteor Man? Shit! Don’t forget Warner Bros. and DC did the daddy of all black superhero movies.

How could anyone forget Steel?

I can’t and lord knows I’ve tried but that film is engrained in my mind. Shaq’s a friend and I remember the very day he asked me what I thought. I was so moved by that picture my answer was to start weeping like a little girl. A little girl remembering the say I saw my best friend, my puppy purposely run over by my beloved daddy.

I know, I know, there are millions of Static fans; in fact the ‘movie’ poster running with this article is an example of fans making their own Static Shock films. There are dozens maybe hundreds perhaps thousands of fan films out there.

If you go to https://twitter.com/ReviveStatic you will see another in a long line of fan attempts to see Static made into a TV show or film. That’s just silly! I mean why not continue to make movies like the one about the Black Superman (Steel…sniffle) where Steel (the Black Superman, sniffle), sorry I need a moment…

Like I was saying; why not continue to make movies like the one about the Black Superman (you know the one) where the Black Superman doesn’t even get to wear the ‘S’?

Now that’s way to use the old Hollywood noodle!

Also, who needs a movie about a hip young mega successful Black superhero that already has a massive fan base? Nobody obviously, not when you can make fantastic superhero TV shows where nobody’s really a superhero or wearing a costume?

Well, the TV’s on the wall, the popcorn is ready and the lights are out!

It also seems the lights are out at Warner Bro’s but after a long day of developing Green Lantern 2: The Rise Of John Stewart they deserve a good nights sleep.

Or maybe they’ve had enough sleep. They’ve been sleeping on Static for over 20 years.

 

Michael Davis: Am I a Liar or a Dick or What?

“Now, You Can’t Leave.” – Chazz Palminteri, A Bronx Tale

Seven months ago I contacted the people at Variant Comics. They put a wonderful piece on Static Shock together so I sent them what I thought was a satire filled message that pointed out that they were wrong in regards to whom created Static and to please fix it. Before they answered I’d written a respectful piece on Bleeding Cool, which again pointed out how great their work was.

Check it out right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU4_BXDzZU0

When my email was answered the person did not see any humor in what I wrote and thought I was being heavy handed and said the piece would be changed. I felt in his response he was addressing me as if I were a 10-year old. I thought it best to let him know I meant no ill will so, I sent another message.

He has every right not to respond to me and has every right to think I’m a dick but my intention was to make nice:

Really, dude, take a chill pill.

I bare you NO ill will. I was being sarcastic and if you read my Bleeding Cool piece you will see I underscored time and time again how much I admire what you are doing.

My goal was to show how a great piece with wrong information could do some injustice but in no way did I ever think you guys would take to heart my FB email. I ‘liked’ your page, I took every chancre I got to say just how good your stuff and site is.

Clearly you don’t remember we met some time ago and as such I thought you would get the joke.

My bad.

Really. MY BAD.

On the real-I meant to do nothing but poke fun and draw attention to the credits it was never my intention to insult (except in jest) you or your people. 

Please accept MY apology. It pains me (really) to think my attempt at satire fell short. If need be I will say what I just said to you privately in public.

I have NO problem with that.

Again, I’m sorry, try as I might sometimes I just don’t see what others do. Truth be told most times I care not, this time I do.

In seven months I’ve heard nothing, but that’s his right. Some people just don’t get me, like how I come off or whatever, nothing I can do about that.

Let’s recap, I go out of my way to let Variant know I like what they did and I’m sorry if they mistook my intentions as anything but good-natured fun. Like I said, they have every right not to give a fuck about me.

It’s been seven months and, frankly I’ve been a bit busy with people dying, floods and the like to give any more thought to this.  Also, I took those guys at their word so I was confident it would be changed.

It wasn’t.

Let me be very clear. This piece is so good it reeks of truth and it’s the sort of thing that people will think is a credible source.

Why even mess with it?  If it’s so good why not just let the credits ride and give thanks to those who put it together? I’ll tell you why in a bit. First I’d like to address the people at the site and this time I’m not being sarcastic, silly, or attempting to be funny.

Over two hundred thousand people have seen, what is an impressive piece of work to be sure. Last week I was in a meeting with some people who also saw it. In that meeting it was pointed out I was not a creator of Static Shock.

Guess who looked like an idiot?

No big deal, I’ve looked like an idiot before.

Guess who had to spend a few minutes proving that I had indeed created Static Shock?

I don’t know what circles you people roll in but in mine looking like you’re a liar is not a good look.  Due diligence on my level is a serious undertaking by serious people. You say it, it better ring true. You write it down, it better be true. So when someone cites what appears a sanctioned and legitimate representation of what I claimed part of my resume to doubt that which is so, that’s problematic to put it very, very lightly.

I take my business seriously and the people I’m in business with take me seriously even if some don’t. Trust me when I say I’m operating at a level where due diligence is not a fucking phone call to some guy who knew me “back in the day.”

Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan, Christopher Priest, Dwayne McDuffie and myself created Static Shock. You don’t have to change a thing in the film; John Paul and Robert Washington were the soul of that book – and still are if you ask me.

I like your site, I respect you and your right to operate anyway you choose. That said, I’d ask you again to show some respect to those who created Milestone and Static and get the credits right as you said, and I believed, you would.

Lastly, I said seven months ago it was important to make sure credits on something as grand as your Static piece is right. This is not about ego, fuck ego, this is about business, real business not comic book business where shit like this is ignored.

You guys are smarter and your work is better than 90% of what’s out there and for the umpteenth time I admire what you do. However my admiration was pretty much spent when I found myself having to convince a room full of people I wasn’t a liar.

I’m done having to do that and like I said, I’m not liar.

 

Michael Davis: The Middleman

mlk480dotearthDamn, it’s 1963 all over again in Missouri.

The police are using tear gas and billy clubs to control a group of peaceful protestors. All that’s missing is German Shepards and fire hoses but hey, rubber bullets more than make up for that.

I often wonder seriously, once so seriously, someone asked me to “Please stay here,” if I should take a gun and just end me before LAPD does.

The ‘here’ she was referring to was Earth.

Bet that fucked you up.

A bit over a year ago, in a restaurant two drunken white people thought they could use me as a punching bag.

They attacked me.

They hit me.

They were two, I was one.

I defended myself, they punked out.

I was the one arrested.

There is videotape evidence of my innocence.

I took a plea deal on the criminal charge.

W H Y?

Why would The Master Of The Universe take a plea deal when he has the resources and media reach to clearly win this bullshit case in court? Because, as Master Of The Universe I’m invincible as a Black man in Los Angeles I’m a fucking nigger, a less than human target waiting to be shot down like a dog in the fucking street.

My case should have NEVER had gotten ANYWHERE near a court.  It should have been dismissed the moment the tape and the 20 or so eyewitness backed my story. It wasn’t. So what’s MOTU to do? Get the FUCK out, as quickly and quietly as possible, that’s what.

White America, when a big mouth, well connected, uppity motherfucker who’s CLEARLY IN THE RIGHT AND IT’S ALL ON TAPE, won’t even chance a day in court because he thinks the system is racist, THE SYSTEM IS FUCKING RACIST.

Everyone has value.

Yeah right.

Nice sermon, bumper sticker and uplifting message just not for Black men. In the eyes of some law enforcement my value is nothing. I can be taken out at anytime in anyplace, if I don’t ‘act right.’

So, as to avoid living my life in fear, having to stay inside battling bouts of horrible insomnia debilitating migraines fueled by thoughts that she’s not here (she’s gone hell, they’re all gone) why not simply pull the trigger of the gun I’ve held to my head many times?

What happens if I simply cannot deal with my inner demons inside my home anymore?  I know full well if I go outside and don’t ‘act right’ there’s a chance a real chance I could be shot in the back.

So, why not cut out the middleman and shot myself?

What happens when I don’t take my meds and voicing my ire on Facebook is not enough? What happens when I’ve had enough of seeing UNARMED Black men choked because THEY WERE BLACK? What happens when I realize that I don’t eat skittles anymore because it just reminds me of an unarmed BLACK CHILD KILLED BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK?

What happens when another unarmed Black man is shot down like a dog in the street in Los Angeles and that event underscores the horrible place my life over the last 12 months has become?

What happens when she’s not there to tell me, to stay here?

I’ll tell you what happens.

I leave my home in the upscale white neighborhood I live in. It’s 3am in the morning and because I STILL cannot sleep I drive to Ralph’s supermarket to shop. I’m stopped by the police often and this night I’ll be stopped again.

But this time, I’m depressed.

This time I’m not kissing the ass of the motherfuckering racist cop who’s stopped me before. This time I say the absolute wrong thing.

“I did nothing. I’m not showing you any ID. I’d like you to call your supervisor when he arrives I’ll show him.”

This will not stand. I know this. He repeats his command to show my license and I repeat what I said. He orders me to get out of the car. I make no move, my hands are on the steering wheel, and my interior lights are on. “I’ve done nothing.”

He screams for me to exit the vehicle.

For, what I know is the last time, I say ‘no.’

He grabs me through the windshield I refuse to let go of the steering wheel. Instead I close my eyes and say goodbye to all my friends.

Then, like every lazy comic book writer will someday write, my life flashes in front of my eyes.

And I wonder.

I wonder what Comicmix will write about me. I wonder if Bleeding Cool will do a tribute. I wonder if I’m big enough to have my obituary in the New York Times like Dwayne.  I wonder if Denys will ever forgive me for the lie I told him when he asked was I okay. I hope he’s okay. If Denys couldn’t save me, no one could. I wonder if James knows he’s going to rule the comic world; Danielle, the entertainment world; Jasmine the music world and Tatiana?

Tatiana the entire world.

I wonder if Stradford knows just how much his friendship means to me.

I wonder if the ‘Mikes’ Gold, Grell, Baron and Raub know the same. I wonder if Maggie will cry a lot, if Missy and Kai will also. I wonder if Steve and Josh will both wear a Yankee hat to an Orioles game in my honor.

Then I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I said hurtful things to Darlene.

I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to reach Brett. Brett, once my son in every way but blood, who still wants nothing to do with me.  I’m sorry I let Sheila’s call go to voicemail right before I left my home and hope she will forgive me.  I’m sorry I could not get my hands on those animals who hurt Paige.

I’m sorry couldn’t find the words to say to my Kitty.

I’m aware of a loud ‘bang’ then…

Then I’m happy.

I’m happy I saw my brother Lee again. I’m happy Lucy came back into my life I think of her little girls and I’m even happier. I’m happy because my Amber will find a way to make me smile no matter where I am, alive or dead.  I’m happy that with any luck I’ll see my family again.

I’m lucky. God let’s me in…just barely.

My mother, my sister, my grandmother and great grandmother wait for me. Some of my other family is there also. Joy joins my happiness as I see Kim Yale, Linda Gold, Carol Kalish and the man I wished was my real father, Don Thompson.

My A& D brothers, Chris Cumberbatch and Freddy Jones give me a smile.

I realize at the end, I don’t hate my haters. They helped make me. At least that’s what Dwayne McDuffie says when he, Robert Washington, Malcolm Jones III and I sit down to create a comic book…

So I ask again, here, today during yet another bout with my depression why not spare my friends, the pain of a trial where the outcome will most likely be not guilty and put a bullet in my head?

My life is not my own. It belongs to any cop having a bad day. Any D.A. wanting to get a uppity nigger, regardless and spite of proof. My life belongs to any white racist punk ass bitch drunk in a bar or any racist coward with a gun who hates hoodies.

Like I said, why not cut out the middleman out and kill myself?

Today, it’s because I promised my beloved Jean I wouldn’t.

Tomorrow?

I don’t know.

I’m just fucking glad I don’t live in Missouri.

But I do live in L.A.

Michael Davis: Re-Enter Deathlok

Two weeks ago was my birthday. What can you give the Master Of The Universe?

Nothing.

Well, Salma Hayek, but lacking that?

Because I have everything I desire. On my birthday I gave ComicMix readers and others  was an exclusive-to-ComicMix look at my conversation with Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Mike Peterson, a.k.a. Deathlok.

If by chance you missed part one because you were celebrating my birthday, like the national holiday it should be (and is, in many a lovely ladies’…err…heart) here’s the link to it. Please read part one before this marvelous (get it?) narrative becomes as maddening as a racist realizing Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is a fictional character, but Barack Obama is indeed real.

Or don’t read it. The following non-sequitur is all yours then…

Then my phone, which was sitting on the table, rang. The caller ID said “Denys Cowan.” “That’s Denys Cowan? The Denys Cowan, Denys Cowan?” he said, clearly forgetting the east coast rule to not to be up in someone else’s business. The last two people to forget that rule were Tupac and Biggie, and stuff like that really vexes me. But I let it go. Then he said something I could not let go.

“I’m planning on doing as many comic book conventions as I can. I’d love to meet Denys and get his take on Deathlok.” He said that just as I picked up the call. So not only is this guy eyeing my phone, he’s clearly looking for me to hook him up with Denys.

WTF?

When did I become part of his “team”?  He went there on me, so I went here: “Charlie Gunn was cool as shit, but he was no Deathlok. What makes you think you are?”

“I see myself as more Hardware than Deathlok.”

This guy was either brilliant or looking to throw down. He was either giving me a compliment or insulting me. I co-created Hardware, and depending on what he meant, it was one or the other. Either way he had given me a great quote.

Great for me, but for him? Not so much.

There was no way in hell, Disney, or Marvel would be happy about that little tidbit. In my mind’s eye I saw Mickey Mouse on the phone to the Punisher the moment that headline was splashed all over TMZ.

Yes, TMZ. They pay better. Regardless of what he meant, I had him.

Or I thought I did. I had nothing because he said nothing.

“I see myself as more Hardware than Deathlok” was actually said by Denys attempting to be funny. I had forgotten just that quickly that I had answered the phone, and the Bluetooth I wore did the rest.

Duh.

Tonight is the season finale of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m going to watch it. I went back and watched the entire season so I could be fair with this piece. Despite what many at Bleeding Cool may think, I’m not a dick. I’ll wait until the season ends to finish what he and I started.

As you may have noticed, these series of articles are more conversations and story, not a traditional interview by any means. But I know there are some that want that Q & A format.

Fine, but I’m not going to do that. You will.

Whatever questions you have for J. August Richards, send them to ComicMix or to the comments section here, and Richards himself has agreed to answer them. Yes, that was agreed to before he and I met. I’d say get your questions in no later than Thursday May 15 if you want a chance to see them answered next week.

I know, I know. You’re welcome.

 

Michael Davis: Deathlok Joins The Milestone Universe

Last week we ran part 1 of my ComicMix conversation with J. August Richards. Part two will print next Tuesday, on the same day as the season finale of Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD.

Yeah, that’s a fucked-up misleading title, eh?

Well, ask anyone over at Bleeding Cool. I can be a dick sometimes and try as I might, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…to being a dick.

So, that happened.

So in the meantime I will answer more Milestone questions and deal with one bold statement, from Steve Chaput and Ryan Dean respectfully.

Please keep in mind these Milestone articles do not run sequentially (like some two part interviews), some questions may require a few sentences and others may require entire articles.

I’m looking at you Doctor.

Ryan asks:

Last time we saw animated versions of Milestone characters was in the great Young Justice series. What are the chances of seeing them pop up in any of the upcoming DC animated features or the DC Nation shorts?

Ryan, I can’t say when but I can say I’m pretty certain that will happen. More than one conversation about Milestone animated has happened. DC Animation is just kicking ass and taking names. The stuff that comes out of that studio just gets better and better. Not too long ago when it came to live action movies, Marvel was DC’s bitch.

Now? Errr, no.

Today Marvel, maybe not by much, makes the best superhero movies. Possibly they are making the best superhero movies ever made.

Animation? They still be DC’s bitch.

I recently saw the Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher animated movie. I felt I was the one being punished. It was, in my opinion, god-awful. If you’re not sure what that means in this case, it means almighty God said it was awful.

Steve really didn’t have a question but he had quite the point of view:

I’m with Paul Smith on this one. It just seems to me that it DC, for whatever reason, that is holding things back. I think any other company (Image, Dark Horse, IDW, etc.) would love to have the Milestone characters published under their banner. This would totally separate them from the DCU and the Milestone books could either start over fresh or take up where they left off when the initial titles were ended.

You can’t tell me, either, that there aren’t number directors, producers and actors that would not love to bring Icon & Rocket or Static to the big screen. Personally, I’d love to see Hardware in 3-D action.

Steve, I answered Paul’s question in detail last week. Perhaps you’ve read it, if not please do. It addresses all of your observations. Because those observations are widespread and considered by many a certainty, I’d like to use your post to underscore a point if I may.

With all due respect, what something seems to some seems entirely different to others. Many people see Ted Cruz and Allen West as reasonable public servants who will only make this country better.

I don’t see that.

I see two men who will stop at nothing to roll back civil rights, discard the poor like trash and take away health care from those who most need it.

I see them this way because of what they have done and said. I see them this way because of what I read and witness with my own eyes via media news outlets.

From what I see, these men seem to be at war against anyone that does not think like them. In the case of Mr. West, I see a self-hating Negro giving racists everywhere another reason to believe black people are indeed the shiftless, lazy coons they always thought they were.

But…

I could be wrong. It’s possible what I’ve heard and the context in which I heard it were not how they were intended to be. Perhaps if I met them my opinion would change. I’m not above making judgments only to be proven wrong.

As an example, Ed Catto is a friend of mine who also just happens to be one of the people behind the return of what is to me my favorite thing ever, Captain Action.

Not the greatest toy ever; the greatest thing ever. Ed is not nor did he become a friend because of his Captain Action connection. I don’t do that.

A year or so ago before he and I became friends, I spotted something on his Captain Action Facebook page which to me seemed racist.

You could not tell me it wasn’t.

I then proceeded to say so on his page and ended up making a complete and utter fool of myself. It was in no way racist and I feel like shit each and every time I think of what I did.

Let me be very, very, very clear. My examples were meant to communicate the earnestness in which I write this. I am in no way suggesting your statement has any semblance whatsoever to the instances I set forth.

They do not.

Your assertion that DC is holding back Milestone suggests there is intent there to do such a thing.

There is not.

I give details on the what, when, how and why I think that in my last article.

I’m confident that Ted Cruz and Allen West are what they appear to be. Having said that I will concede I may be wrong. I don’t know them; I certainly was not privy to the genesis of an idea, which by the time it reached me may have became something different.

I wasn’t there.

Steve, I’m using your post to say as loudly and as clearly to as many people as I can, DC Comics has no organized agenda to hold Milestone back. I know this my friend as well as I know my own name.

I was there dude, really, I was.

Now you were spot on when you surmised directors, producers and actors would love to bring Icon & Rocket or Static to the big screen. In fact, a film about Milestone

In a meeting at Warner Bros Studios, Chris Rock was mentioned as the actor chosen to play me. DC suggested that role go to Bernie Mac or no one.

That meeting was yesterday. Give that a sec.

Michael Davis: Enter– Deathlok! with J. August Richards

Today is my birthday.

As is my custom, as Master of The Universe, on my birthday, I like to give gifts on the very day I receive such. I like to show those who appreciate me I’m appreciating them right back.

I’ve been writing for ComicMix a long time yet I’ve never given you guys a present on my birthday. Many see my weekly words of enlightenment as gifts but they should not be called such.

The correct word is blessings.

I’m happy to correct my oversight with what I’m sure you will agree is an wonderful gift, my exclusive conversation with J. August Richards, better known to ComicMix readers as Mike Peterson from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Michael Davis: Milestone Raising 2.1

static_cv2-291x450A couple of weeks ago Paul Smith asked rather or not Milestone would be better off away from DC.

Last week I addressed his question—but must now admit I did so in a drugged out haze. The drugs (some legal) affected my thought process and I’m afraid what I wrote was a result of such.

Or, it was an April Fool’s gag.

Either way here’s the non-drugged (much) and/or non-gag answer.

Paul, every partner in any partnership be it personal or professional will at some time or from time to time ask if they would be better off with someone else. Its human nature at it’s most pure.

I’ve asked that question, many times.

Regardless if business or personal relationship after I ask that, I ask the following, what’s my goal?

What would the goal be in leaving DC?

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