Tagged: Denys Cowan

Michael Davis: Does @UPS Care About Missing Denys Cowan Art?

DenysCowan UPS_Page_1

Brown Can Act Like They Give A Shit.

That’s what Brown can do for me.

“What can brown do for you?” Was the once massively successful slogan for United Parcel Service (UPS) that’s been replaced by “We Love Logistics.”

If you ask me both slogans suck.

“Who can Brown screw for you?” Now that’s truth in advertising.

Instead of writing about the fantastic opening of Milestones: African Americans In Comics Pop Culture & Beyond last Friday the 13th at The Geppi Entertainment Museum I’m writing about a devastating lost to superstar artist and my best friend Denys Cowan.

Thursday the 5th of December 2013 Denys Cowan and I sent, via UPS, our artwork for the Milestones show. The work was to be shipped for overnight delivery.  That was the plan but Brown screwed that up. When called the UPS location where the work was sent from gave the wrong cut off time for east coast overnight shipments. So the art was scheduled to arrive on Saturday instead of Friday the following day.

There was an omen if ever there was. It was two packages but one shipment. My assistant James was smart enough to request two different airbills to make any tracking easier.

Bad stormy weather on the east coast was headline news much of the week so the art was wrapped in plastic, sealed with tape, then placed in size related cardboard boxes and that was sealed with at least 3 layers of packing tape. Professional artists KNOW how to ship their art.

Denys sent 28 original pieces of not just art but history. Included were irreplaceable work from original Milestone concept drawings to Batman #400 pages other works from both before and after those career highlights.

My work (some of it) arrived at the Geppi on Saturday. Denys’ did not. On Monday UPS says it tried to deliver Denys’s package but the Geppi was closed because of a snowstorm.

On Tuesday Denys’ box arrived. In that box was some damn fine art. Problem was 27 pieces of Denys’ 28 pieces of art were NOT in the box.

Gone. Perhaps, forever.

For some reason that has yet to be explained to me Denys’ package sat for two days in the UPS Kentucky hub. BOTH boxes left and arrived at the UPS location in Kentucky at the same time. My box was scanned and arrived in Baltimore on Saturday.

I’ve placed numerous calls to UPS and have made it crystal clear what was missing was the art of the man whose idea it was and from which the Milestones show sprung. I made it extremely clear that if this was a show on cubism they had ‘lost’ Picasso’s art.

The woman I said that to didn’t get it. “The Jackson Five exhibit without Michael.”

THAT she got.

Didn’t matter.

I spoke to 11 different people during the week.  All were extremely nice; all were as useless as a condom worn on an ear.

What was made clear to me was the repeated UPS reason why 27 of 28 works of art were not in the box. The package was somehow sealed wrong and the art, ‘fell out.’


So, the packing tape (used by professional MOVERS among others to keep boxes SEALED-hence the name PACKING TAPE) somehow came loose, every layer simply came apart the plastic sealed art then fell out, the plastic opened 27 pieces of art with it but one somehow crawled back in the box and was able to make the trip from Kentucky to Baltimore.


When arriving at the Geppi the box was sealed (badly) when opened both the art and the plastic around it was gone, say ONE.

HOW can that be? How can 28 pieces of art wrapped in plastic become ONE piece of art?

The art was either stolen or ‘fell out.’  I’m sure it was stolen, someone opened the box, opened the plastic took the art except for one, resealed the box, badly and sent it along it’s merry way.

I can’t say that for a fact because I was not there when it went missing. I also can’t say for fact slavery is bad as I’ve never been a slave but I’m pretty sure it is.

As of today, Monday Dec. 16th nothing has been done to find the artwork of Denys Cowan.

The last thing I was told was NOTHING could be done to expedite the ‘process’ because UPS treats every single ‘lost’ package the same they are all of equal importance.


UPS is Johnny on the spot when someone shoves a TV camera in their faces.

Every package is the same my ass. You mean to tell me UPS would not move any faster if the Academy Awards were to be broadcasted on a Friday and the Oscars statures ‘fell out’ of a box Tuesday?


The artwork of Denys Cowan deserves a lot more respect than a ‘tablet’ and to that end UPS is about to get a lot more than a TV camera shoved in their faces.

Michael Davis: Hey Kids! Comics!

Davis Art 131126I received the following email last week:


Thanks so much for responding to me! Action Files seems like a great program for schools. I’ll be sure to look into it more. With the new Common Core Standards, I’ve noticed that there isn’t really any standards related to the content of what needs to be taught in an English course and that it mostly revolves around “can students read and write?” 

With that in mind, I created a Donors Choose to teach Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman to my high school seniors. I was given four months to raise the money and I did it in 13 hours. As long as curriculum revolves around analyzing literature and understanding tone and purpose, the state doesn’t really seem to care what they’re being taught. In a way, that’s great because it opens up content, but in another way it’s strange because the field is wide open.

If there is anything I can do to help from the perspective of an educator please let me know. I confess that I don’t know how much help I can be given how much research you’ve done already on your end, but anything I can do, I’d be happy to.

Thanks again for your articles on Bleeding Cool. They’re exceptionally fascinating and insightful. And (though I know you don’t need my advice or insight on this either) ignore all the haters. They’re jackasses anyway. You’re all kinds of awesome.

Cody Walker


I’ve received cool letters over the years but this is one of if not the coolest letter I’ve ever gotten. It’s funny I just realized the fan mail I get comes from an eclectic group of people.

Over the years people have written me about things I’ve done in comics or some other media but I do so little published work in the comics creative space I still marvel when someone says they like my work.

Denys Cowan in his career I’m sure has thousands of letters of fan letters. How do I know this? I was in his studio once when he got one. “What’s that?” I asked.

“Fan letter. I get them all the time.”

“Define all the time.

“All the time as in all the time.”

I let the matter drop knowing he was clearly setting me up when he opened up a file draw thick with documents and placed the new letter in. I wasn’t taking the bait.

I on the other hand have hundreds, maybe a bit over a thousand fan letters but I’m counting every singe letter I’ve gotten that praised me for something or the other.

Just wanted to let you know you rocked my world last night. That was the best three minutes I’ve ever had in my life!


Yep. That counts.

From all my fan letters I can tell you exactly how many were comic book art related.

One hundred seventy-one, of which one hundred fifty-eight were from France and no I’m not kidding.

It seems the French really loved the series I illustrated for the DC mature reader imprint, Piranha Press. I couple of people liked Shado (Stevie Wonder was one) and I got a really nice letter for a painted Green Hornet cover done for Now Comics as well as another painting I did for Now based on the book ‘The Time Machine.’

Most of the fan letters I get are from grade school kids I’ve spoken to, high schools, universities or organizations I’ve lectured at, young artists, educators, parents and some partridges in pear trees.

My absolute favorite letters to get are from young artist I’ve reached (just got a wonderful one from Allison Leung a major talent you will be seeing more from) and educators.

Oh. Did you perhaps think I was going to say grade school kids was my favorite?

Really? Don’t you know by now I’m not one to play to the crowd?

Darn.I am talking about kids here and people lose their minds when they think you are somehow anti-kid when you tell the truth about way receiving letters from grade school kids is not your favorite thing in the whole wide world. You think those haters will give nary a thought to all the good work I’ve for kids?

No. Those simians will lose their minds and call Chris Hanson! The backlash will be terrible…

OK. I know what to do. I’m so glad I like to write my thoughts down then erase them. Can you imagine what the fallout would be if those hairless monkeys saw this?

My absolute favorite letters to get are from young artists I’ve reached (just got a wonderful one from Allison Leung, a major talent you will be seeing more from) and grade school kids!

It’s so great when a 4th grader writes me a letter telling me how wonderful my visit was and it’s just amazing that 30 kids had the same idea at the same time and all 30 letters came in one envelope!

Wow. If kids were not just the most precious things in all creation I’d think that someone put them up to writing those letters. Not that it would lessen the intent, mind you.

I guess if I had to choose (way way way behind) the second most favorite letter I like receiving would be from educators.

Teachers take a no nonsense approach to what’s right for their students. The letter I received from Cody Walker warmed my kid loving heart in many reasons.

Chief among those reasons is this. Cody is teacher who had the guts to create a high school reading program from comic books.

High School!


High School!

Think about that for a hot sec. It’s very likely his idea was not met with universal love from all his educational peers. Some may even have voiced opposition or even worse not voiced support.

I have no doubt in my mind if faced with a parent teacher revolt against comics in the classroom so fierce all the major networks would have 24/7 news coverage (except Fox News – they would continue their 24/7 reporting of Obama and the allegations he shot Lincoln) Cody would fight the good fight and win.

I know this because Cody took the time and effort to create and find funding for the program (in record time), which he did not have to do.

Teachers like Cody are not rare. They are plentiful. Most teachers labor countless hours not paid for to come up with other ways to engage their students.

Like I said: teachers like Cody are not rare, what’s rare is recognition for great work done on behalf our young people.

On the sporadic occasion when recognition is granted to a well deserving teacher that acknowledgment is slow in coming.

Well, I was so impressed with what Cody wrote me after he read my article in Bleeding Cool I wanted to recognize him as fast as possible, hence he writes me a fan letter through Bleeding Cool and I write him a fan letter through ComicMix.

Cody, I’m a fan of yours, my friend. Many (but not nearly enough) thanks for doing what you do.




Michael Davis: Haters Gotta Hate!

Davis Art 131119From the very second we announced Milestone in 1992 to today, there have been those who simply hate us.

Chief among our haters are a small but vocal group of black comic book creators. Back in the good old days we were just called house niggers and we were hated because DC Comics owned us.

The fact that Milestone was never, not 20 years ago and not today, owned by DC Comics is irrelevant. It’s simply ignored by those who want to say we have somehow sold out the black race by any association with any white company.

I never got that.

Most successful black entertainment companies have some association with or are flat out owned by white companies. If the product is a good one and is focused on the African-American consumer I don’t see the problem.

Now, white backed black companies that market to poor urban black consumers products such as spinning rims, $200.00 sneakers and 40oz beers, promoting these and other items as lifestyle must haves to young black kids… now that I can see black people having a issue with.

I can see calling a white owned black company a bunch of house niggers if they were producing products that underscore a thug lifestyle as desirable.

But if a white owned black company was producing worthwhile products for the black community why would anyone call them house niggers? Why would any black person call them house niggers?

Milestone isn’t owned by a white company.

We produce positive comics and television animation featuring African-Americans role models not seen enough in pop culture. They are good stories well told and considered among some of the best comics ever produced by some.

Yet some just consider us house niggers because they think (wrongly) a white company owns us.

Forget the stories we are telling. Forget the excellence in the work. We are house niggers because a white company owns us.

Except we aren’t owned by a white company, but even if were why call the work we do the labor of house niggers?

I just don’t get that.

We’re an independent black owned company that has produced work that 20 years after our debut and 16 years after we ceased monthly publishing is still held in the highest of regard.

Our television show Static Shock has been on the air somewhere non-stop since 2000. Milestone has a worldwide audience and a dedicated fan base like no other.

The biggest pop culture event in the world just honored us with a celebration and bestowed on us one of the most significant awards in comics.

But to some black comic book creators we will always be house niggers.

OK. I get that. Haters got to hate. Hate us, hate whitey, and hate anything and everything they are not or can be.

In the 20 years since Milestone came to be we have never, and I’ll say it again, never attacked any black creator or company. But for all of our two decades we were and still are the target of countless attacks and outright lies.

I just don’t get it.

We never attacked anyone we rarely responded and when we did our response was; ‘there’s room for everybody.’ That was not just Milestone’s company line we believed it then we believe it now.

Recently a black creator of some renown wrote that he believed Milestone may have been given his companies’ business plan and used that to create the plan for Milestone.

That did not happen. It couldn’t have happened. It was impossible.

Milestone was already in the stores months before the date he assumed we stole his plan.

He has since acknowledged he was wrong in that regard. His creation and talent and are both still considered brilliant not just by me but every surviving member of Milestone. Our partner who did not survive loved his work as much if not more than the rest of us.

I’m not mentioning the work or creator because that sad chapter between his camp and Milestone is closed and I don’t want to give the impression they are the reason I’m writing this.

They are not.

Some other black creators are now saying Milestone not only stole the business plan but Milestone itself was “inspired” by and only came to be because of the idea and hard work of another black publisher.

So Denys Cowan’s idea wasn’t his idea and our business plan wasn’t our plan.

So now we are house niggers, lairs and thieves.

OK. I’ll be your house nigger if that’s how you define house niggers in your world. In your world I’ll be that. Since I don’t live in said world, what the do I care?

However, in no one’s world will Milestone be anyone’s lairs or thieves.

So, haters, think what you will. Say what you will. Believe what you will.

That’s on you.

I’ve no idea why you hate us the way you do but have at it. Continue to voice your hate in your forums, your on-line chats, your next hate Milestone meeting, any and all public and private social media.

But listen to this very carefully. Whatever you say, just be prepared to prove it. I’ll say that again, whatever you say, be prepared to prove it.

Be prepared to prove we are lairs. Be prepared to prove we are thieves.

Because sure as shit you continue to slander us you will be asked to prove it. Stick with calling us house niggers that you won’t have to prove. It’s laughable to us anyhow so feel free.

Slandering me and my Milestone partners as lairs and thieves, that’s no laughing matter to me. We are neither and continuing to say we are you will be asked to prove it. That question will come in a targeted legitimate onslaught. So unforgiving will the correspondence asking for your proof be, I shudder to think about it.

Shut up, put up, or pay up.

I’m fed up.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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: 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…


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.


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: Derek, Kitty, Static & The Dog – A Milestone Story

derek-dingle-mitt-romneyMilestone was the idea of Denys Cowan. Denys, Dwayne McDuffie, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and I sat in a room (a few rooms actually, sometimes at someone’s home, sometimes at a dive restaurant a lot of times in a dive diner) and we sat and planed for weeks creating the original universe of Milestone main characters Icon, Rocket, Static, Hardware and Blood Syndicate.

Priest left right before we signed our publishing & distribution deal with DC. For a very long time Priest was the Pete Best of Milestone. Pete Best’s claim to fame is that he was the original Beatles drummer before Ringo. Pete left to get a real job. That’s pretty much it. His music career amounts to little but a trivia question.

Christopher Priest, on the other hand…

That mofo did just fine without Milestone. He’s writing movies, novels and just about anything he else he wants to write. However, for a very long time Priest was our trivia question. Few people knew he had anything to do with the Dakota Universe.

Now, few people think the original Milestone partners were just four, most fans and all the industry know that Priest was there at the start.

Most people are aware that Derek Dingle was there from the start of Milestone, few people know and even fewer believe Derek Dingle was a major co-creator on the original universe of Milestone main characters.

Translation, Derek came up with many ideas that made it into the Milestone Bible his contribution was just as valued as anyone sitting at the creative table.

I remember how much Derek Dingle had to do with creating Static’s powers and costume. I remember that very clearly because I wrote the Static Bible (meaning I created his family, backstory, supporting characters, etc.) I ran many an idea passed Mr. Dingle for as long as I could.

It’s easy to understand how Derek was casted in non-creator role by the fans. As Milestone went from idea to business plan to universe bible to joint venture with DC Comics, Derek’s visibility as a creator became less and less.

We were all equal partners but we all had separate roles in the company. Derek’s role was President of Milestone.  You wouldn’t call the President of Milestone at 4 in the morning to run possible names of Static’s dog sidekick pass him.

Well you wouldn’t… but you know me…

Oh, you didn’t know that Static had a dog sidekick? Well he did for about 35 seconds until the genius that thought it was a good idea was laughed out of the room.

Who’s bad Idea was it?

I’ll never tell, unless at SDCC I’m asked during the Q&A session of the Milestone panel, Friday July 19th Room 5AB (Shameless Plug!) 11:30-12:30!

Ask me then and I’ll spill like a drunken gossip columnist on TMZ.

Look, all of the Milestone partners had horrible ideas at one time or the other. Sometime a bad idea becomes a terrible idea when the person who’s idea it was starts to defend the idea. Trust me, that’s never pretty.

There were plenty of heated exchanges at Milestone but I’d have to say the one person who always kept his cool was Derek. In fact, the only time I ever saw Derek lose his cool was not over anything creative or corporate.

It was over a Kitty.

Kitty was her name and she was (is) one beautiful woman or as we say in the hood, she’s Super Fine. How fine is she? Stevie Wonder could see how fine Kitty is.

One day I was having lunch with Kitty so I had her meet me at Milestone. That was the only time I saw Derek a bit rattled. When I introduced Kitty I swear it took him a full hour before he could say ‘hi’ Kitty is that fine.

OK, it wasn’t an hour his hesitation was maybe 2-4 seconds and wasn’t really noticed by anyone but me, but a 2-4 second delay from Mr. Cool-As-Ice Dingle is rare and you know me, give me an inch…

So, to recap, Derek Dingle was just as involved, I’ll say it again, Derek Dingle was just as involved as anyone in the creation of the core Milestone Universe. Since the day Milestone began there has been reams of wrong information, misinformation and outright bullshit about our company. Believe it or not that continues to this day.

It’s Milestone’s 20th Anniversary and our fans, which I sincerely believe are the greatest and most loyal fans in the history of comics; deserve to celebrate with the truth.

I hope to see many of you in San Diego. As a guest this year I’ll have a space in Artists Alley thanks to the kind people at SDCC!

If you come by and I’m not there someone should be there to tell you when I’d be back. As much as I’d like to hang out there all day, I’ll be a weeeee bit busy expanding my media empire… and scoping out Asian girl cos players.

Come on by! I’ll be more than happy talk to you about my ComicMix columns and upcoming novels. Yeah, I’ll be talking about writing in Artists Alley.

That Michael Davis, what a rebel!

If you miss me at the booth you can catch me here:

The Black Panel Room 5AB 10-11:30 am Friday July 19th

The Milestone 20th Anniversary Panel 11:30-12:30 am Friday July 19th

*The Milestone 20th Anniversary Party Friday 9pm July 19th

*You need an invite for the party I’ll have a few on me during the Milestone Panel and if you mention ComicMix and hit me up before they are gone I’ll hook you up.

Lastly, Derek I’m keeping you to your promise. This is your moment my friend, enjoy it! No work! Have fun!

BTW… I still have Kitty’s cell…







Michael Davis: Marvel’s Black Avengers

Davis Art 130611From the moment the Black Avengers was announced I’ve been asked over and over again what I think.

I think a few things…

I think anytime there is a serious attempt to bring not just African American but any minority characters to the forefront is a good thing. I pitched a project a year ago and was told a black super team would never sell in Hollywood, so what’s the point in even doing the comic book?

I think I’d better not tell you what I wrote and then discarded about the person who said that. Give that a thought – me thinking I’d better not say something.

I think (well, I know) I really like Axel Alonzo and what he’s doing with Marvel. Let’s face it, a young black child who see a Marvel logo on a black superhero book is going to lose his or her little mind.

After the Black Avengers, can the Malcolm X-Men be far behind?

I think it almost makes up for Mark Millar’s black character, Tyrone Cash. A black scientist who, when he gains superpowers decides to give up the whole scientist thing and become a drug-dealing thug.

Yeah, I was pretty rough on Mark last week and again this week but that’s nothing compared to what I have in store at my annual standing room only Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con.

I think what’s sure to be a hot topic on the web especially among black creators is rather or not just black creators should be the teams on the project.

No. I don’t think just black creators should do the Black Avengers.

However, if Mark Millar writes a story arc and Tyrone Cash shows up that would be the quickest way to destroy what looks like a noble undertaking on Marvel’s part. The smart play would be to have Mark write a story arc and deal with that horrible black scientist who gains superpowers and becomes a thug drug dealer.

No, I’m not kidding.

Yes, there are black thug drug dealers in the world (there is one due at my house in an hour… heh) but a scientist who gain superpowers and becomes a fucking drug dealing thug?

That kind of characterization would kill all the good Marvel’s doing with this project.

Lastly, Marvel said they wanted to do something like Dwayne McDuffie would do. Would do? Dwayne, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and myself did do it. In fact, the San Diego Comic Con is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of us doing it.

Yo, Marvel, you better recognize.

Wednesday: Mike Gold

Thursday: Dennis O’Neil


Michael Davis: You Better Recognize

Davis Art 130528 copyI’m pissed.

So pissed that this article was first written for my website. My website is usually where I rant about goings on in the world of politics and such, I almost never talk about comics there. Well, I was so pissed over a Publisher’s Weekly article I couldn’t wait for Tuesday to vent my anger so I went ahead and wrote this piece for MDW.

Those of you familiar with my writings know I tend to use language not suited for everyone.

Translation: I swear a lot.

Chantal d’Aulnis is a dear friend who I’ve known for a long time. She is also the unofficial 6th founding member of Milestone, as it was Chantal who gave us invaluable advice when setting up the company. She pointed out to me that my swearing may take away from the importance of what I was trying to say in this article when I posted it on MDW.

It’s with that in mind that I’m going to edit the original piece for ComicMix. I will be substituting less offensive words in the place where I swore in the original piece. The words changed are in bold just in case you are wondering. This version will also have additional new content or not…

This one’s for you, Chantal…

The following from a recent Publisher’s Weekly article:

This year’s programming includes a spotlight panel discussion that recognized the 20th anniversary of Milestone Media, a pioneering comic book company founded by a group of black writers and artists that included the late Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan and others.

The article was about The East Coast Black Age Of Comics Convention the Milestone panel was just one of many great things that went on at the convention over the weekend and it was nice the PW gave us a shout out.

Publisher’s Weekly is a big deal a mention there even a small one is never a bad thing, well unless that mention is a review and the reviewer thinks the book you wrote sucks booty. I’ve been mentioned and/or reviewed in PW a few times. The last time was a review they did on the book David Quinn and I wrote, The Littlest Bitch.

That review got us a call from a network looking to talk to us about an animated series of the book. It’s safe to say in entertainment all the major playa’s read PW.

So, when I see that PW has regulated Derek Dingle and I to “other” status regarding Milestone that’s a cause for concern and frankly PW should have done a better job with their background checking. Milestone Media changed the game so much that we are being celebrated at the San Diego Comic Con this year. Comic Con is the biggest pop culture event in the world. You don’t use “others” to describe founders of anything that important. It’s retarded reporting at best and pecker journalism at worst.

This year’s programming includes a spotlight panel discussion that recognized the 50th anniversary of The Beatles, the pioneering rock and roll band that included John Lennon, Ringo Starr and others.

I mean, come on.

Don’t get me wrong, the article was a wonderful piece, extremely well written but, “…and others?”

Come the booger on!

I could be wrong but here’s what I think happened, the reporter got his or her background information from those she or he interviewed at the convention. The reporter’s name is Bobbi Booker, I have no idea if that’s a girl or guy and yes I do know a guy that that spells his name that way so it could be a guy, smartbotty.

Like I said, I could be mistaken but I think whoever Bobbi spoke to gave the impression that Derek and I didn’t matter as much or we were junior partners.

There’s a myth a lot of people have taken as truth that persists about Milestone. The myth is that my dear departed friend and partner Dwayne McDuffie started Milestone and everyone came after.

That myth is so strong that a few years ago some clown went on Facebook and called me a liar when I stated at my annual Black Panel at Comic Con the following;

“Denys Cowan created Milestone, I co-signed but the creation of Milestone is ALL Denys. Anything else you hear is just scrotum basket!”

By “co-sign” I mean, I was with Denys the moment he came up with the idea and said it was a good one. That (white people) is called a co-sign.

Imagine my surprise and anger when this mouth stain went on Facebook and called me a liar during a major forum. He stuck to his “sources” until I bet him $10,000.00 that his information was simply sissy.

This guy was convinced that Dwayne put everything together then called Denys, Derek and me. On another black comic forum someone swore Robert Washington both created Static and wrote the Static bible.


Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and I created Static. Oh, and the Static bible? I wrote that. What Robert Washington did was take our good idea and make it darn great. Those books were some of the best comics to ever see the light of day and that was all Robert and John Paul Leon.

Speaking of John Paul, I read somewhere that Matt Wayne discovered him.

Nope. That was me.

On many on line forums people who have no darn clue about Milestone except what they have “heard” are holding court as if they wrote the business plan and pitched it to DC and Marvel.

Oh, you didn’t know Milestone almost ended up at Marvel? I guess Ray Ray didn’t get that from Huggy Bear who knows all. “Word on the street is that Milestone was started by John Lennon and Ringo Starr…”

This is not sour grapes on my part. I’m not bitching because I’m not getting the proper credit for my contribution to Milestone, but rumors and misinformation have a tendency to become fact that can affect everything that you do. I’ve seen news stories that mention no one but Dwayne when discussing Milestone.

Why is that important to correct?

It’s important because brand is important. How you manage or don’t manage your brand can be the reason the business world gives you respect and takes you seriously.

Don’t think so?

My Space is a butt joke, Paris Hilton is an afterthought, Blackberry is just another smartphone and Tim Tebow is feces unemployed.

Brand management or lack there of is why those above are no longer on any A-list.

Tiger Woods, Robert Downey Junior, Vanessa Williams and Bill Clinton are at the top of their game after each faced career ending scandals. That’s brand management.

For my money the single best example of great brand management is Tylenol. Years ago tainted Tylenol tablets were killing people. Tylenol managed to not only come back but are bigger than they have ever been.

The Milestone story is too important to let just anyone who heard some Doo Doo though the grapevine tell it. If the accepted narrative becomes just Dwayne created Milestone what happened to me at a meeting some time back will become commonplace. I was in talks with a mainstream publisher about an imprint deal I would have with them. During a meeting with eight people in the room including the publisher someone mentioned Milestone. I promptly interjected that I was a founder of Milestone and someone actually said; “No it was McDuffie who started Milestone with backing from Quincy Jones.”

Oh, no! Now, I’m put in the position where I have to address that. Having to deflect, correct, restate or clarify anything in a corporate setting is almost always bad.

Anytime you take the position that information you provided or spoke to is flawed, inaccurate or wrong puts your credibility in question. The perception that Dwayne is solely responsible for Milestone is problematic because Dwayne was such a massive talent future Milestone business could be at serious risk if a company decides they don’t want to be in business with Milestone because the guy who started it is gone. He’s not gone, his name is Denys and he’s even more talented than he was when he started Milestone 20 years ago.

Derek, Denys and I are truly blessed to have been partners and friends with Dwayne. Milestone was a great idea and Dwayne made it a greater idea of that there is no doubt. I’ll leave you with a bit of advice Dwayne gave me and no doubt countless others…

Get it right.




Michael Davis: Art & Design – A Love Story

Frank & DebbieThe High School Of Art & Design (A&D) was where I studied illustration and where countless great comic book, animation and illustration artists learned their craft, including Carmine Infantino, John Romita  Sr., Dick Giordano, Ralph Bakshi, Neal Adams, Larry Hama, Denys Cowan, Mark Texeira, Malcolm Jones III, Frank Brunner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Jusko, Mike Carlin and Ralph Reese.

That list goes on but A&D also produced many others of note in various areas such as fashion and music: Calvin Klein and Tony Bennett are A&D alumni along with a myriad of badass mofos. I’ve written about A&D before as it certainly has played an important part in the comics industry and has for many decades.

A&D is the backdrop for this piece, but that’s pretty much the extent of the industry tie in. This piece is about a love story and A&D is the only way I can justify it appearing here. I beg your indulgence, but I think this is a love story that deserves to be told to as many romantics as possible and the comic book and pop culture world is nothing if not a group of romantics.

We are a group of romantics. Consider the following from my comic book journey… I shed a tear over Gwen Stacy’s death. I felt a real sense of tragedy when Jean Gray killed millions as Dark Phoenix. I felt horrible for Matt Murdock when he found out the love of his life was a drug addict and a whore. Comics are full of stories that bring out the romantic in all our little geek hearts.

This story happens to be true. This is the story of A&D students Frank & Debbie.

I know I’m pushing it but I humbly beg your forgiveness as I compose this as if I’ve written it for Frank and Debbie alone.

I’ll understand if you skipped this article and instead went back to playing Injustice. If I were you I’d skip it… but I’m an asshole.

Fine Tall Guy With The Kissable Lips and that Mack smile?” Debbie you said that was your first impression of Frank when you saw him on the A&D escalators?


That fine tall guy with the kissable lips was I Debbie. Frank was the guy behind me asking for a breath mint, a pick (white people ask somebody) and a clue when he saw you.

You just think you met him on the escalator as I wiped your mind clean of the first meeting with my powers. Hello!! Master Of The Universe here! Your first meeting actually happened when Frank was coming out of the 7th floor bathroom.

Remember the 7th floor bathroom and the assemblage that used it?

Yes, yes you do.

I was covering for him (long story he was drunk) when he lost his mind and saw you.

It’s well known that ever since A&D I’ve been the crazy one of our tight knit group but I will digress for a rare moment and speak from the heart.

I remember ALL my A&D girlfriends.  Pretty Jackie Brown (way before the movie) Carol Rivera (oh my god she was fine) Lynn Jacobs (she was in the 9th grade I was in the 11th…yeahhhh jail bait) and for about 3 days Althea Hill (she was a stone cold fox but a bit eccentric. How so? I found out we were no longer an item when she decided to get mad at me for dating Jackie…the year before.)

Jackie broke up with me.

Carole broke up with me.

Althea broke up with me

Tony Tutt pointed out to me that dating a 9th grader was just stupid. I should have noticed that when I’d call Lynn at home and her mother would pick up the extension and tell Lynn it was bedtime. I decided to take Tutt’s advice and break up with Lynn but before I could…

Lynn broke up with me.

BTW, Lynn lead me to believe she was in the 11th grade when I first met her… lying little bitch.

Frank not only did you keep Debbie as your girlfriend from the moment you two were an item in high school but you married her after high school and she is still your wife and the love of your life. Debbie, those ‘break ups’ you were refer too?


Frank, I remember you telling Tony & I (who was my best fucking friend in A&D and beyond until we lost touch) that you guys had broken up.  He and I just gave you a “yeah right” look.

The only people who thought you guys ever broke up were you two. Those ‘break ups’ were always about a day. If the break up went a week it was because school was closed for Christmas break. If it went 2 days it was a weekend, etc. You get the drift.

But I digress; Frank you were able to keep Debbie and every single girl I dated in High School woke up one day and said, “Michael Davis?? What the fuck and I thinking?”

I was a bit envious of that. But I also loved you guys like family so I was happy for you. Although I will never ever forgive Frank for bragging about having his girlfriend with him on the senior weekend trip to the dude ranch. All the other guys in our group spent two days trying to get a girlfriend…for the weekend.


Anyway-you guys are the real deal. A real love story. To this day I can’t think of you guys as individuals I have to think of you as Frank and Debbie.

I would not be surprised if you looked up soul mate in the dictionary there would be a picture of Frank & Debbie.

Happy birthday Frank. I love you man and you as well Debbie. Oh and Debbie if (when) you find Frank’s secret Asian porn collection I’m here if you want to talk…

Lastly, to the girls who dumped me in high school.

I’ve done all right for myself, all right as in I have a Ph.D., homes on both coasts, I’ve written books, created TV shows, I lecture all over the world, have a motherfucking school auditorium named after me and none of that is even the most impressive things I’ve accomplished.

How you like me now?

OK, OK, I can’t hide my feelings by bragging about things that in a moment I’d give up for any one of you. Carole, take me back. Jackie I still love you, Althea forgive me.

Lynn…bitch you lied to me you get no love!!!!

But I can be reached at motu@michaeldavisworld.com if you want to chat.


THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


Hudlin, Cowan Reunite for Django Animated Series

Django_Unchained#2-CoverDenysCowanReginald Hudlin and Denys Cowan have been named executive producers on the upcoming Django Unchained animated series.

Set immediately after the events detailed in the movie, Django Unchained The Animated Series will focus on the Reconstruction Era events that led up to his becoming the first black state senator in Mississippi. Like the movie, the emphasis will be placed upon the action elements, although the sons of Django and Broomhilda will play a major role in the plot.

Reginald Hudlin, director of such movies and teevee shows as Psych, The Office, The Bernie Mac Show, Everybody Hates Chris, House Party and – my favorite – Cosmic Slop, was a producer of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He also wrote the DC Comics adaptation of the movie, where his friend and collaborator Denys Cowan provided covers. Previously, Cowan and Hudlin worked together on the Black Panther and Boondocks animated series as well as on Marvel Comics’ Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers series. His numerous comics credits include Black Panther and Spider-Man.

Cowan is best known for his work as an artist on such series as Batman, The Question, Steel, Deathlok, Firestorm, Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child, Hardware and Moon Knight.

It is anticipated that Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington will not be involved in this new series, although Samuel L. Jackson is likely to voice both of their children. Christoph Waltz, whose character King Schultz was (SPOILER ALERT) killed off in the movie, will be reprising his role as the pissed-off Jesus.

Cyndi Lauper has been signed to write and perform the theme.