Tagged: Derek Dingle

Michael Davis: Milestone Is Dead

1993

More than 20 years ago my swagger caused a rift between DC Comics and myself and that caused problems between DC and Milestone.

The pressure was put on Milestone to silence me. Silence me from what you ask? Calling DC Comics on their shit is what.

I gave up a significant income to concentrate on Milestone.  DC was in breach of my deal, and as a result, I lived more than a year on my savings waiting for these people to pay me.

I did well, and my lifestyle conveyed that. My wife and I moved three times in just as many years. Our space got more luxurious until I found a loft, so dope (throwback slang it means fucking fantastic) thought I’d never want to leave there.

How dope?

If Milestone wanted to impress anyone those meetings took place in my new loft. That lifestyle was not because of comics my principal revenue source was from my work as a mainstream illustrator and speaker.

It’s important to the story to remember my standard of living when I decided to be part of Milestone. Yes, I would take a big hit financially to follow Denys’ dream, and I did so willingly as did Christopher Priest, Derek Dingle, and Dwayne McDuffie.

Priest left for an editorial gig at DC. Derek, Dwayne, Denys, and I stayed. We all signed pay or play agreements. Simply put, DC would guarantee income to the Milestone partners to sustain their standard of living in the event Milestone could not. Denys, Dwayne, and myself would be paid for our creative work on the comics and not take salaries. In other words, my “salary” would be for writing and drawing Static, Denys’ income was for illustrating Hardware and creating the Milestone covers, Dwayne from writing Icon and Hardware.

In the event, any partners had to utilize our ‘pay or play’ option DC had the choice of assigning us to work or just writing a check. Hence the meaning ‘pay or play’ either way they had to pay us for something or nothing.

While still in development a young artist in my mentor program had gotten so good I suggested he draw Static. John Paul Leon’s unique style fit much better than my photo-referenced artwork. I was to move over to Blood Syndicate, that was perfect for me. I would still write Static but join Ivan Velez Jr. on Milestone’s super gang book, so both streams of income still in place.

Then walked in Robert Washington.

Robert was so much better than I for Static. His energy and ideas were simply incredible. I may have created the Static Universe, but no doubt whatsoever it was John and Robert’s world. Dwayne asked, and I readily agreed to let Robert do the first story arc.

My Milestone income was cut in half then cut to zero when the decision was made for Larry Stroman to draw Blood Syndicate. I worried not because I could always petition DC to use my pay or play and I did.

I never got paid, but DC did try to play me.

Unless you’re my wife or lover girlfriend or mistress fist date or Salma Hayek, you don’t get to screw me. DC tried by ignoring me for months the clear message was to make me leave.

Back in the day, I was sure DC’s problem with me was growing pains and after some time would be resolved. With the future in mind, I committed all to my role at Milestone and got to work

It’s more than fair to say I earned all that money DC didn’t pay Milestone to pay me. I worked tirelessly and was happy to do so.

Happy until I came home one day saw my wife sitting on the couch crying.

After years of telling her not to worry she allowed herself to believe we were not living beyond our means. That day she got a call from the bank she had bounced a check.  I never told her about the Milestone money issue or how much less I would be making if. I had plenty of money in the bank and the pay or play so why upset her?

Just like that, it was a year later and that money in the bank all but gone.

My ex-wife is Cuban, first generation to be born in America. Her parents were wonderful, hardworking people who barely escaped Castro with their lives. They came here wanting nothing but a chance to give their children a better life in the greatest country in the world.  I sat beside her explained what happened to all our money and promised to do whatever she wanted.

What she wanted was to leave the loft, which I LOVED but not nearly as much as her.

There were a million ways I could have kept that space. But I knew it wouldn’t matter if Ed McMahon showed up the next day with a Publishers Clearing House check for ten million dollars. To her, that loft was an extravagance we didn’t need.

The next day I told Derek Dingle to fix whatever fucking problem DC had with my deal. I was livid, and he knew I was a step away from calling those motherfuckers directly.

Derek resolved nothing; it got much worse.

It didn’t help voicing my indignation either. Doing so was putting Milestone in a less than ideal position. I was a pain. DC wanted me gone, and my three former partners were in no position to do anything but co-sign.

DC Comics got their way…or so they thought. When the word got around I was available offers came in from Disney Universal and Motown. I decided to go with Motown. But there was a hiccup. During my background check, a letter sent to Motown was meant to destroy my deal.

Business Affairs at DC sent a letter saying I was still under contract at DC. That was an outright LIE and sending that information was perhaps criminal. DC was given copies of my Milestone release which they happily signed off on it months before.

Knowing I had every right to negotiate with Motown, yet sending a letter stating I couldn’t, certainly looked unlawful. Illegal or not, that was an atrocious thing to do. Clarence Avant, then Motown’s Chairman of the Board, got the letter and phoned me, outraged.

The person who ordered that letter once again underestimated me. I assumed character assassination so my references were impeccable and all my contractual information was forwarded to Motown’s business affairs long before DC tried that shit.

Included was my release from Milestone. DC never paid a cent on my pay or play, they were in breach. Funny— it may have worked if they had not made my wife cry.

Why would DC and Milestone and kill my new deal if they wanted me gone?

Warner Bros. got wind of my Motown deal and sent a scathing letter to DC berating them for allowing me to set up a competing comic book company. After getting that rammed up his ass the power that was had to do something.

Let’s be clear CRYSTAL CLEAR. Yes, I just wrote that DC Comics tried to illegally prevent me from taking a position at Motown because of a directive from Warner Bros.

That’s slander if I can’t prove it. Think I’m worried?

Wondering why I won’t out by name the people at DC who disliked me so? What’s the point? They will never respond to anything, there is no upside for them to do so, and frankly, I’m not a cruel person.

Here’s the rub. I wasn’t going to do a comic book line. My deal was to develop film and television, but then someone at DC had to go and fuck with me. They put themselves in the position WB was pissed about.

DC is a different company now. I bear them no ill will. They were and still are my favorite universe.


2011

Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and myself decide to honor Milestone’s greatest partner Dwayne McDuffie and relaunch Milestone. On a late February evening Milestone, 2.0 (M2.0) was born. That date is crucial, and not just because of the partnership.


2015

Milestone 2.1 announced to the world.  Milestone is back!  One of if not the biggest comic book stories of 2015.

I find out on that day I was no longer a part of it.

 

Since then, little has been heard. No press, interviews and no books.

I have no knowledge of the inner workings at DC or Milestone, nor has anyone at DC or Milestone ever told me ‘why’ I was excluded.

That said, here’s my two-cent conclusion.

Milestone 2.0, in my opinion, is dead for four reasons.

  1. Except for Denys Cowan, comics are not a priority for the partners.One partner runs a filmed entertainment empire, the other oversees a mainstream financial news publishing juggernaut. You think making comics is more important than interviewing the head of the Federal Reserve or producing the most famous award show in the world? Of the four of us, only Denys and I would answer yes.Comics is where we live and dream and have all our lives. Denys and I were more than just fans of comics we chose that as our life’s work and pursued it. There’s a massive difference between the other M2.0 founders and us.That’s not a dig, that’s a fact.
  2. The second reason Milestone is dead and why I wrote the events of 20 plus years ago is corporate bullshit like what happened to me. Someone at DC or Milestone is holding fast to a way of doing things and because of such everything stops until the problem is resolved or made to go away.Who do I think is holding up the deal by insisting things get done a specific way? Looking at the playing field, it’s obvious DC does not need Milestone that’s a fact. So much of the fact that DC just announced another push into diversity with Dark Matter.And the way they are doing it is gangsta.I may be wrong, but DC seems to be going after that diversity dollar with a wee bit of help from those who have come before and know how to do it.Lion’s Forge Comics has been vocal about their diversity for years. When Joe Illidge came on that kicked it up another level. Those in the know call Lion’s Forge ‘the Forge.’

    In June 2017 DC releases, Dark Days: The Forge.

    Most likely a coincidence as in the Dark Matter tagline: “Forged From Metal, the New Age of Heroes.”

    The Black Age of Comics is the tagline for the East Coast Black Age of Comics and has been for almost two decades. It’s also the unofficial name for the movement within the Black comic space.

    “Dark Matters” has a strikingly close ring to ‘Black Lives Matter. Now all of this is most likely coincidence.

    You must admit it’s a little freaky.

    What is certainly not a coincidence: Dark Matters is a major line with diversity at its core and Milestone isn’t mentioned anywhere. That’s a ‘we don’t need you’ if ever there was one, so it does look like the holdup is DC.

    NOPE.

    I don’t think so— for my money, it’s someone at Milestone and that brings me to number three.

  3. Milestone has no infrastructure. There’s no central hub no office no staff. Two of the partners have nice big spaces they work from, with employees but the work done there isn’t Milestone unless something has changed since I was involved.Also, one guy is doing movies; another guy is running a magazine, and he’s doing that from New York. DC is in Los Angeles, so any face to face must wait until they are all available.Denys Cowan’s is the only person whose business is creating comics, but with no central Milestone infrastructure behind him and his partner’s crazy schedules, there is no way in Hell he can do all that needs to get the deal done by himself.

    January 2018 will mark three years since DC and Milestone made that historic announcement. That’s a long time, right? No. Not really. Not if you’re making movies and putting out magazines. But to the fans?

    It’s a fucking eternity.

    It’s also not correct. Milestone 2.0 formed in Feb 2011. The first meeting with DC was a few weeks after that.

    January 2018 will mark SEVEN years since DC and Milestone had their first meeting. My thoughts on why Milestone is dead is conjecture. Those dates are real, and yes that’s a long time.

    But to the fans?

    It’s a fuck you.

    I don’t think any Milestone partners feel like that. But with silence from Milestone, it may seem so. I haven’t talked to Denys, but I know this is killing him.

    Hell, it’s killing me.

  4. The fourth reason I think Milestone is dead can also be the reason they don’t have to be.But that will have to wait until next time.

 

Michael Davis: President’s Day

Today we celebrate the birthdays of two great Americans.

I realize for many celebrating on a day called President’s Day is now just a day to be off work.

The current President of the United States is all the reason some need to never celebrate on President’s day again. How can some support the racist comments and actions coming from the now leader of the free world?

No idea, but many seem embolden by these activities – including the hotel I’d thought was making a change for the better.

Maybe what’s wrong with America is we keep looking for what’s wrong with America.

I try to look at what’s right and work to make what isn’t so.

A bit over a year ago I was thrown out of a Hilton in Orange County California for what can only be a racist reason. I gave them the benefit of the doubt they would do the right thing and they did for a bit.

Then they stopped but before they did for my pain and suffering I got a tin of cookies, but that’s another story and I’m telling it very soon but not today.

Today I am going to celebrate the birthdays of two great Americans.

The first of the two great Americans I speak of is Dwayne Glenn McDuffie born Feb. 20, 1962.

Dwayne lived his life looking for solutions to problems such as what befell me and no doubt others at that Hilton. He was good a writer as anyone and better than most.

He was also a good friend and partner. I’m thinking of Dwayne today… but others as well.

The look of sadness on this man’s face when in 2011 I invited him to sit on the Black Panel at San Diego celebrating the incredible life of an amazing man his best friend Dwayne still brings tears to my eyes.

That’s why I’m thinking about Matt Wayne today.

When I saw that big and bad ass SUV in the Target parking lot, I had to do a double-take. I couldn’t believe that was Dwayne getting out of the driver’s side. When he first arrived in L.A, for months, I chauffeured that huge mofo around in my two-seater sports car.

Not only did he not have a car in a city you must have a car in he couldn’t drive so I was very surprised he was, but when I saw him open the passenger side door, I was even more surprised.

Stepping down from that monster truck bringing the biggest smile I’d ever seen on the big guy was his new bride.

That’s why I’m thinking about his widow Charlotte Fullerton today.

Because I know they are hurting badly now and will be tomorrow the anniversary of Dwayne’s death I bear no ill will on this day.

That’s why I’m thinking about Derek Dingle and Reggie Hudlin.

What he wrote in Entertainment Weekly was a tribute as great as I’ve ever seen.

That’s why I’m thinking about Joe Illidge today.

Then there’s the man who started it all.

I think how we spent the day of Dwayne’s funeral not bitter but better because we talked about just how Dwayne was more Milestone than all of us. The better wore thin when the pain returned. A pain he tries to hide but can’t, not from me.

That’s why I’m thinking about Denys Cowan today.

The other great American I celebrate today born Feb. 20, 1939, my mother, Jean Davis. Static’s mom, Jean Hawkins, was modeled after my fantastic mother.

With all due respect to the character, I created the comic book and the TV show. Jean has nothing on my mom.

I was eight-years old; it was Christmas Eve, and we were leaving Getz Department store on Jamaica Ave. in Queens New York. This little white girl darts out of the building making a beeline towards the street.

My mother grabbed her coat by the neck right before the bus that would have surely hit and killed her sped by us. The little girl fell on the snow-covered sidewalk and started crying.

My mother was rewarded with a punch to the back of her head. The father hit her and was about to kick her when someone screamed “She stopped her from getting run over by a bus!”

With that, he helped my mother up apologizing over and over.

No.

No, he didn’t.

He bent down took his time fixing his kid’s coat while my mother lay there in the dirty snow while people walked past and over her afraid to stand up.

Later when I finally stop crying, I started yelling how much I hated that man. My mother put me to bed and told me; “Santa won’t come to a house with hate in it.” She would not have me hate anyone.

My mom took the hits when it came to her. When my sister or I were on the receiving end, she cared little for herself and would not let us be harmed or disrespected in any way. In the fourth grade, it seemed I was getting my ass beat daily. My teacher repeatedly told me to turn the other cheek.  My mom said for me to deal with a bully this way; “Michael, the next time that big kid hits you, pick up something and knock him over the head with it. Make him respect you. ”

The something was a metal backed chair. The head belonged to Ronnie Williams. I could have killed that kid, I didn’t, but he stopped fucking with me out of respect.

Jean Davis and Dwayne McDuffie are not here anymore. They would not stand for what’s happening in this country to people of color nor will I.

If I did, that means they can and will do it again. Why not? Cookies are cheap.

Happy Birthday, Jean.

Happy Birthday, Dwayne.

Michael Davis’ Smoking Gun – A Series of Unfortunate Events

milestone-creators

This was written for Bleeding Cool and a version of it will appear there. I decided a while ago not to run the same article on both Bleeding Cool and ComicMix. Two different audiences is not the reason I write individual articles for each website. My voice remains the same regardless.

I write a different column for each because it’s an honor to write for each and both deserve an original effort from me. That is unless I happen upon a subject that I think is important enough to share on both.

Like… this one.

When I’m absent for lengthy periods of time, I feel it’s my responsibly to give you an explanation. I try to write what my readers will have a response to and not just what gets my goat. That doesn’t always work, but I do attempt to step back and breath a bit before committing words to iMac. So to that end; I have not written any articles in well over a month. Almost two. At times I wish I could, but I just can’t phone it in.

Writing a quick and dirty article using a trending subject the journalistic equivalent of the easy out isn’t my cup of coffee, tea or me. Although I held the standing high jump record in high school (in 1973 I set the high school standing high jump record at Beach Channel High School until another kid broke it about a minute and a half after I did), I don’t jump through hoops or on bandwagons.

Abhay Khosla’s response’ to my Why are we still complaining about Dan Didio article and some trollish posts took a second to bother me but finally it did, and I stepped back.

Some thought I’d gone too far when I wrote my response.

Did I go too far? Was my use of language over the line? Fuck no sir, I didn’t and it wasn’t. No one has a right to rewrite my words then pass it off as something serving their double-dealing purpose… a.k.a. Mrs. Donald Trump.

Also, just how upset I should be is not up for discussion.

Just when I thought it was safe to go back, another brick from the why me wall fell on my head when asked to comment on a Milestone story – specifically on a business item.

What appears to be a smoking gun regarding Milestone’s treatment of me has landed on Rich Johnston’s lap over at Bleeding Cool. How smoking? Jack Ruby’s smoldering .38 comes to mind, and when I saw it, I was beyond pissed. In comparison, what I told Mr. Khosla was how to get to Sesame Street. I set out to compose a tour of Elm Street with enough nightmares to keep my former friends and partners awake for decades.

Over & Done: Part 1, published on June 28th, then Over & Done: Part 2 Dr. Phil Brings Me Breakfast ran on July 6th here at ComicMix. The last segment (this one) complete with a massive Cilo Green fuck you and fuck him too would run in Bleeding Cool July 16. I’d also make it a topic for the Black Panel (TBP) at the San Diego Comic-Con that morning. Friday, July 16. was when I would settle all family business.

Another call and then some thoughts changed things. And just like that, it wasn’t a big deal at all. I’ll tell you why in a bit.

The document Rich has is the 2013 Milestone 2.0 overview/presentation package. I told Rich I’d seen that material. Nope, turns out I didn’t see the one Rich saw. I’m not included as part of Milestone 2.0, in this version of the package, but the three people with whom I started Milestone are. In other words, it appears my former partners decided back in 2013 I would not be involved.

By itself, that’s bad enough. But for years I continued to work toward a goal only to learn via the Washington Post I was not required to do any work because I was out. Did they set out to do something so despicable by design? That would be vile done to anyone but a friend? An unforgivable act of cruelty if ever there was one.

I’ve been called a fool for refusing to declare they used me almost four years on purpose. They still refuse to talk to me, which I think is both good and bad for them. It’s good because I cannot say with absolute certainty they planned this with malice and forethought. It’s bad because it’s a real dick move.

I hold out hope this may have been a series of unfortunate events. Perhaps a perfect storm of circumstances preventing each partner from telling me I was not going to make the team I’ve been working towards, most times alone for 15 years.

In a 2000 meeting with Bob Johnson at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. During that meeting, I was asked if I could “Create another Milestone.” Mr. Johnson was at the time head of Black Entertainment Television (BET). Although I had no obligation to bring anyone in that deal I ended up refusing to pull the trigger on a Milestone publishing imprint at BET because all the partners were not involved. I said to the partners at the time; “If not all of us, none of us.”

static_shockWhen I left Milestone in 1994, there was bad blood caused by an outright bullshit of a lie memo sent to Clarence Avant Chairman of Motown Records. Sent during my negotiations with Motown the memo (which I still have) and Mr. Avant still remembers stated I was forbidden to talk to Motown because I was exclusive to DC and Milestone.

Err, no.

Undoubtedly the memo could have derailed my negotiations, and that’s precisely what it was supposed to do. It didn’t only because I was smart enough to keep detailed records or everything sent me by DC and Milestone. Among those records were my creative release from both companies which by the way they wanted.

Man, was I pissed. But I got over it.

In my first official act as CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks, I gave Milestone a Nintendo video game deal. Like I said: I got over it.

I spent thousands of hours and dollars on the rebirth of Milestone 2.0. I never thought about the money I could have spent elsewhere nor about the time I will never get back; the betrayal is what fucked me up. After what I’ve done for Milestone and the way they have been proven wrong during the 1994 fiasco as well as other events no doubt they hope I don’t recall, you would think they would embrace me.

Err, no.

Betraying a friend for any reason is an alien concept to me. Being able to sleep without guilt worth far more than dollars. A lifelong friend pointed out Judas couldn’t buy peace with his 30 pieces of silver. I added his chances of getting into heaven pretty slim as well, but he had a chance if he braced himself. “If you brace yourself…” Don’t get it? Ask a black person. Then brace yourself…

This made us both crack up with laughter. A laugh I needed more than I’ve ever needed any laugh.

Until that exchange, I’d spent months in agony, but thinking of Judas brought me some comfort. While I was dwelling on that, feeling a bit better, I realized with a start the signage I granted M2.0 on a major gallery exhibit would become part of their legacy, not mine. So much for Judas.

Bad Boys: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond was to be a retrospective show of my Bad Boy Studios and mentor program held at the world famous Geppi Entertainment Museum. I shifted the public narrative away from my studio to Milestone so we could announce our return at the opening. When interviewed while promoting the show I underscored Milestone was featured prominently but other creators and their influences were still the emphases. Hence Milestones is plural, not singular.

Nonetheless, so many of my students have done remarkable groundbreaking work with Milestone it was both a tribute to Milestone and Bad Boy Studios with one big exception I decided Bad Boys would not be part of the title.

I did this because Milestone failed to announce its return at our 20th-anniversary panel at SDCC. Although that decision made me angry, all was forgotten when surprised with an Inkpot Award at the panel.

The Milestone party I threw that evening celebrating our two decade birthday was pregnant with the promise of our high-minded possibilities. I decided right then my day in the sun could wait. Milestones was born from that pregnancy. It was a painless birth, a beautiful child. The pain would come four years later when the little bastard grew up and stabbed me in the back.

I did a massive amount of work for the venture, and everyone knew it/ Yet still, no one said I should stop. Many will find it surprising that I find it reasonable to assume this simply got away from my former boyz.

Doubtful but reasonable.

But why no word since? Because of this word… Lawsuit.

Why are they worried about that? Suing at this level is by no means cheap. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I have no doubt the partners at M2.0 have the bank. No way I could contend with the combined resources of those guys. That’s also been the rumor as to why I haven’t sued.

Nope, as we say in the hood, that ain’t it.

I’m no lawyer, but I have a cousin who is at one of the most influential and powerful law firms in the world. Not a distant cousin; she couldn’t be closer to me if she were my daughter. She’s been a character in novels I’ve written, a television show I created, a radio show I produced and every single comic book universe I’ve imagined. Even the Static Universe.

I call my cousin Captain Picard because if I wanted to sue she would make it so.

That’s funny, but it’s no joke.

Her fee? I’ve already paid it. When she was twelve, I sat through the film Betsy’s Wedding with her at the W. 4th St, theater in Greenwich Village. She owes me.

So why not battle this in court? Why won’t I sue? The same reason I didn’t sue the Hilton when thrown out of their hotel for uttering the words “lower Alabama.” There was no reason in the world good enough for the actions of a front desk manager and what they did to me is on tape.

I didn’t sue the Hilton because I’d much rather affect real change than just benefit myself. I was promised real change, and I take them at their word. I can’t talk to young kids of color and say money isn’t everything if I don’t have the strength of my convictions.

Yes, I’ll settle for the change. Let others take the cash.

I’m not suing the men who in a very real sense may hold the key to finally creating a dominant and sustainable black superhero impression for black kids from black creators. Besides it’s not in my nature to discount all good from those who do me bad. I still hold love for a former best friend and artist, past friend and director and once friend and partner.

Suing a former best friend saddens me beyond belief. The last thing any disheartened person needs is any additional misery. Unfortunately, I’m way beyond disheartened. I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression.

I was there the moment of creation. I, Michael Davis, co-signed one of the greatest moments in black pop culture and the biggest event in black comics history.

Michael Davis sues his former partners at Milestone will not be my legacy. I will not be another black man at odds with other black men. What was done to me fuels the “Nigger Business” argument, I don’t run on that gas so I won’t go there.

My mother said to me quite often “Just because your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” I would proudly say no I would not. So, no lawsuit. Someone has to set an example.

Somebody tell those boys not talking to me will stop a lawsuit like wishing on a star will make your dick bigger. On the other hand, some say because of what they did to me there are no bigger dicks in comics.

So why write any of this? I’m not suing, so why?

I need some closure.

You would think since I’ve danced around this in articles and forums for nearly two years Milestone would have talked to me and I’d have my closure. No. The last contact I had with Milestone, I was told a press release would be forthcoming to explain to the world I had decided to pursue other projects.

I asked them to do such because I did not want to deal with what I knew would follow: speculation, gossip and rumors which if left unchecked would become fact. I’ve fought that for years on Milestone’s behalf. I was the only one fighting that fight. No other partner ever addressed any rumor, bullshit or straight-up lie.

Because of me, fewer people think Milestone is owned by DC comics. Dwayne McDuffie created Milestone and hired Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and myself. The argument I made (make) consistently is that you can’t let stuff like this stand. If let alone it will become fact in the minds of many and affect your ability to get something done. The more important that something is the more damage done.

You don’t think so? Still wondering how a Muslim born in Kenya who hates America and wants to kill your grandma is still President?

I rest my case.

I try and inject humor when I can, but depression is no fucking joke. I need peace from this, I need closure. These kinds of emotional blows (especially from those I thought cared for me) can be very dangerous to my health.

Before some asshole tweets something dumb let me be clear: no one at Milestone is responsible for my depression and would not be even remotely at fault in the event I make the news one day for taking a walk off a bridge.

The fault would be the election of Donald Trump.

Joke.

The fault would be mine and mine alone.

Since they won’t deal with me, I’ll deal with this by myself

To disregard totally any thought of what something like this could do to somebody would be an act of severe cruelty, and frankly, I don’t think these are cruel men. Putting aside the four years as a series of unfortunate bullshit, why did they do this?

Maybe it’s just business bullshit.

If twenty plus years of friendship and an undeniable record of professional support I’m then terminated without a word as to why I’d rather not be involved in that kind of company. Faced with standing by a friend or taking a check, I’ll take the friend every time not doing so was never an option.

Although I’ve written critically of M2.0 over almost two years since they discarded me on purpose or not the overwhelming things I’ve penned, have been positive because I still believe in Milestone 2.0.

Apparently, despite my accomplishments, they don’t believe in me. That’s their loss.

Some will say I should have known better. I did. I foresaw this coming.

From February 2011 to January 2015 different dates were chosen for the Milestone 2.0 announcement. Each date was canceled at the last minute. Each time I objected. It made no sense to set times then cancel always at the last moment unless there was another play at hand.

As my suspicions grew from time to time, I’d put something in writing and publish it. See for yourself the following were all posted well before Milestone’s announcement in January 2015:

https://www.comicmix.com//2014/11/03/michael-davis-the-milestone-contract/

https://www.comicmix.com//2014/10/06/static-shock-comes-to-the-big-screen/

The Milestone Contract was a tongue in cheek look at admittedly what I thought was a far-fetched plan to exclude me. Written as silly satire it details what happened to me months before it happened. Static Comes to The Big Screen also written as satire foretold the WB live action Static Shock announcement which was to follow weeks later.

No one at M2.0 or Warner Bros. said a word to me about Static becoming a show. I found out when the rest of the world found out. Again I saw this coming. Not buying that?

Perhaps you’ll buy the following, On July 23 of this year Jim Lee gave this reason the Milestone books were late.

I said the same thing four months before.

Still not convinced?

I unofficially voiced my suspicions to Jim Chadwick at DC Comics, Marge Dean at Mattel, Mike Gold, editor at ComicMix, Steve Geppi, CEO Diamond, Jeffery Wright CEO Urban Ministries and some other media heavyweights. Except for Mike Gold, most thought it far fetched and frankly so did I. Mike told me what I tell those who seek my advice: trust but verify.

Why did I tell these power brokers anything and why unofficially? If I were right, anyone who casts doubts on my narrative would not dare challenge those folk listed above. If I were wrong I could just nod and wave it away.

I saw this coming. Whether or not I believed it fully didn’t matter I was prepared. Playing me is almost impossible, as I told a partner in a heated phone call and a follow-up email. I insisted Milestone let me know if there were any issues with my partnership because any other role at Milestone wasn’t something I was interested in.

Not a word was said, but somehow I was excluded from meetings and updates which I found out about anyhow so ousting me was a reasonable expectation and I voiced as much. I was ready with a strategy to get them to commit or not because this stupid game of “Don’t tell when asked” was a waste of my time. Unfortunately, horrible events in my life created yet another perfect storm that put me way off my game.

My diagnoses left me broken, my mother’s death destroyed me, people who loved me left me I don’t blame them anymore. Depression takes a lot out of you and those around you. Add about a dozen other incidents in a run of bad luck that Job would lose his faith over.

When Milestone dropped their bomb, the timing couldn’t have been worse for me or better for them. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, a case could be made the timing was precise to take advantage of my damaged mental state. They knew just how bad a shape I was in.

One early Sunday morning I was visited by a partner who along with another read something I wrote and wanted to make sure I didn’t try and kill myself. So, yes, that case could be made moreover If made by a persuasive lawyer from a gigantically influential law firm…

Never. Never in a zillion hundred billion years would that be true. The timing had nothing to do with me or my depression. I just wasn’t able to cope. Evident by my total breakdown at my annual SDCC Dinner. In front of 52 of the most powerful people in the entertainment arena, I just lost it.

I said I was off my game but in truth, I’d already quit the game, almost for good. Say for the help of a once loved confidant I’d be as dead as some WB executives if Wonder Woman tanks.

Anger, resentment, and despair will kill me as sure as a bullet, so I have to get back to the brilliant Dick I once was. Nothing but anguish is gained obsessing about M2.0, and I can’t go there anymore.

So, this brings me here. Milestone is a remarkable achievement. Those books deserve your support and yes they have mine. There needs to be an Icon movie, a Static television show a Hardware novel and a Blood Syndicate musical or any combination of such. Yes, a Blood Syndicate musical.

I mentioned earlier a call then some thoughts stopped me from venting my anger. The call was with a friend and after talking to him I couldn’t publish a “fuck you pay me” article or announce a major deal at SDCC. That energy would devour me. Bad energy leads to more bad energy enough of that would kill me.

My friend’s in a fight, and I’ll need all my strength and power to assist him with his conflict. Ya, hear that MFDJ? We’re going to do great things together; we’re going to make history, help a lot of people and have a lot of fun. I then started to think about a buddy who’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. He drives her back and forth from Queens to Connecticut three, sometimes four times a week. When in his home in Connecticut he will look for signs she has become disoriented. When this occurs, he will drive her back to Queens to be in a familiar setting. He could put her in a home. Yeah, he could he’s got more than enough money.

Sometimes money isn’t everything.

This wonderful man finds time in his day to call me and say, “What’s up, Michael, you OK?” That’s the kind of black man I aspire to be.

Funny. Milestone took my name off the presentation package then ultimately removed my name and me from the company. They haven’t said a word as to why. There’s also an effort to reduce my role as creator of the Static Universe to “one of five guys in the room.” As if “Static was Michael’s baby” was not a quote from a Milestone partner frequently until it wasn’t. I keep everything, and that’s on videotape.

I removed my name from the Gallery show. Ultimately, this removed acknowledgment for what was my doing. This as well to benefit Milestone. I told people why I did so; it was out of love. Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond is the most successful show in the history of the Geppi Entertainment Museum.

Static is the most successful property Milestone has and the most successful African American character ever created by African-Americans.

I am the undeniable driving force behind each.

Like I said. Funny.

Michael Davis: I Am Not Tyrone

hulkthug

I am Not Tyrone Cash… but I’ll get to that later.

Let me make some things clear. I bare no ill will towards Milestone 2.0. I’m doing what I need to do to deal with my bouts of depression and because my business requires I do so now.

What is it I need to do, exactly?

Telling what transpired so to destroy any and all doubts, there was something unprofessional about me that caused my former partners and friends to dismiss me with not a word before or since as to why.

Derek Dingle gave a hint (before he hung up on me) that when I left Milestone 20 plus years ago. It was my lawsuit that prompted it all. OK, that’s revisionist history if ever there was.

There was no lawsuit. And even if there had been, so fucking what?

Derek if you’re reading this I suggest you take a look at the memos from that time. If you lack some, don’t worry I have them all. Including the letter from DC and Milestone that Clarence Avant called me enraged over.

You know the one it involved my status at Milestone and DC. I was speaking to Clarence not too long ago about that very letter; he’s not too happy about it now either.

Like I said, I’m not looking to hurt Milestone; for almost two years I’ve written very supported articles. Yeah, some digs but much more positives.  The only public statements attributed to them concerning me was I was not lead creator on Static I was ‘one of five guys in the room.”

Well, I can prove otherwise. Can they?

As I said I’m not trying to hurt them, I just want to help me.

I’m also not telling my side of the story. I’m saying what happened to me; there’s a difference. Everything I write I can prove with validation.

But not today.

This was to be another installment of my Milestone 2.0 narrative. I’d like to get what happened to me on the record before Rich Johnson goes live with his story but this is trivial shit compared to what’s crucial in Black America, chief among that the recent crop of unarmed Black men killed by police.

I thought I’d attempt to explain to those readers at ComicMix how it affects us as comic book creators but more importantly as black men.

Regardless if it’s a huge misunderstanding or horrible decision making the odds of Derek Dingle, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Michael Davis coming together are slim to you must be out of your motherfucking mind.

That does not mean I don’t care about them. I do.

We may not be on the same page regarding Milestone but as black men, we are united because we are all seen as one in eyes of some in law-enforcement. If one of those men were felled by a policeman’s bullet, it would hurt me beyond measure.

And I would know, I would know without a shadow of a doubt they were wrongly targeted. Because they live the kind of life that defy that ending to theirs as do I.

It won’t matter, any black men is subject to capital punishment no matter if talking to friends, selling cigarettes or reaching for what an officer asked for.

Mothers of young inner-city black boys’ have one thought over all, how to keep their child alive.  Poor parents of any race face the same problem. Black parents face the added danger of protecting their sons from those who are entrusted to protect them, the police.

Soon, very soon, I will be off probation. Why was I on probation? Two white people harassed me all night at a Karaoke bar. I ignored what they were saying. Their goal for was for me to engage them.

As I was leaving, I heard something along these lines: “Don’t forget to bring your grandmother and sister some crack.”

That’s not an exact quote (music was playing), however sister and grandmother I understood.

There was no way they could know both my sister and grandmother died horrible deaths at someone’s hand it was just another series of insults to them.

I didn’t give a fuck. They went there.

I waited for the music to stop and the applauds to die down before I went here:

“Fuck you and your families.”

They ran across the floor towards me punched me in my face a couple of times and wanted to hurt me badly that was clear.

The man currently residing in a tree lined lovely community left, and the guy from Far Rockaway, and South Jamaica Queens showed up.

That was the wrong nigger to fuck with as they found out.

Once they met that guy they pussied away. Just as quick the person from the tree lined block returned, saying goodbye to the bartender and my waitress who both asked me if I was alright telling me those guys are never coming back.

I was under the impression the bartender was going to call the cops. I told him if he needed a statement from me I’d be happy to oblige and the moment I said that I regretted it.

Rule # 1: If A Black Man, Never Talk To The Cops Unless You Absolutely Have To.

Then I thought, I had not done anything wrong, plus the whole thing was captured on tape. I went home secure in the knowledge I’d done nothing wrong and had ample proof to such.

Witnesses?

Check!

Videotape?

Check!

A warm send-off from the staff?

Check!

I was the one attacked?

Check!

The deck was stacked extremely high in my favor. What possibly could go wrong? I thought of every conceivable way it could go south and came up with only one answer.

I was black. When I was asked to give a statement some days later I was accompanied by my lawyer. Witnesses, videotape, warm send off from the staff and a high priced attorney.  Now that’s what I call stacked!

As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about, exactly what I thought would happen, happened.

I was arrested. Did I mention the whole thing captured on tape?  The tape that showed they attacked me? I did say that right?

This incident is not unusual at all to black men. Those who had no doubt I was lying included the two who attacked me, the police and DA.

The only people on my side was everybody else in the bar. That includes a witness from Japan, and I’ll never forget her name: Sony Camera.

So, I looked forward to my day in court so I could quickly take a plea.

Why did I take a plea? When the D.A. refuses to look at the videotape but is ready to go to trial the two witness statements used to arrest me were written by the two people who ran across the room and attacked me and all other eyewitness accounts are ignored, if you’re a black man it’s time to take a plea.

I took a plea because I could afford what a good lawyer charges. I can’t afford what the criminal justice system may cost me.  No black man has that kind of wealth. When a black man with the means to fight goes to court, he may be found innocent, but we’re suspects all our lives.

Michael Jackson was considered innocent in the eyes of the law, but every effort is being made to ensure he remains guilty in the eyes of history. Now they find kiddie porn? Ya think that would have been useful during the trial?

Name a famous black person once acquitted not still thought of as guilty.

They found kiddie porn now?

That’s some Tyrone Cash bullshit and by Tyrone Cash bullshit I mean stupid. Cash is a Mark Millar creation. In a nutshell, he’s a genius scientist who figures out the formula that gives him the powers of the Hulk.

When his brilliant mind becomes a simple one he no longer understands the complex theories of gamma radiation all he wants to do is smash, like the other Hulk Dr. Bruce Banner.

Sorry, I forgot Tyrone Cash is black.

He retains his intellect and uses his Hulk powers to become a drug dealer! Why? The same reason some police would shoot an incident hard working man reaching for his identification, it’s easy to believe all we are is thugs. That’s what FOX News tells everyone, we’re thugs on television, we’re criminals in the movies, and now the Republican Party Nominee is telling the world African Americans are thugs.

In other news, as soon as I’m officially off probation I’m suing some individuals over what they did to my life. In civil court they won’t refuse to look at the tape and all those witness reports will also come into play.

It’s a little thing but someone needs to answer this question, I was attacked, so why I was arrested? I’m going loud on this with a little help from some well-placed friends. I’m not Tyrone Cash I’m not a thug nor is most black men. So why must we fight and die to prove it?

Michael Davis: OVER & DONE 2 – DR. PHIL BRINGS ME BREAKFAST

yaleuniversityWriter’s note:  Why after almost two years am I bringing this to a head? Because I’ve tried and tried to reach these guys and still nothing.

I’m also sick, and this was consuming me making me sicker. I reached threshold when Rich Johnson of Bleeding Cool asked me to comment on some verifiable information he now had.

And I’ve had enough.

Eighteen months ago my world, already rocked by a series of devastating events, was almost destroyed.

Milestone 2.0, the new company founded by Denys Cowan, Reggie Hudlin, Derek Dingle and myself hit the world. The initial story broke in the Washington Post a newspaper with a global reach underscoring how big deal this was.

The announcement landed on the comic book press like a bomb, with the explosion killing me. Yep. I’m dead.

That morning I was returning from somewhere I can’t remember where when I  noticed substantial activity on my cell phone. I get a lot of texts but rarely does anyone leave voice mails as I don’t listen to them. Who does in this age of ridiculous back and forth texting?

I’m guilty as are most people I know of this utter stupidity. One question asked could result in a 20-minute exchange whereas the same inquiry could be answered in a 20-second call.

My excuse is I detest talking on the phone. That morning I realized I’d have no choice, something important was up, and only a maroon would

forgo a voice for type.

Without listening to any of the voicemails, I decided just call everyone back. I started with my former director of all things cool, Tatiana El-Khouri. If the calls were connected, she would have the scoop.

She had the scoop… and then some.

“Hey, are you all right?”

Any concern in Tatiana’s voice is rare. I’ve known her for 10 years and seldom does her Vulcan-like coolness show cracks of sentiment. This time in her voice I could clearly hear her increasing trepidation.

“Why? Who died?”

She told me that in the massive amount of Milestone 2.0 press blowing up all over the industry, nowhere was I mentioned. She seemed to think I knew about the launch.

I had no idea.

Likewise, no idea about the Washington Post interview with Reggie Hudlin. Given no clue of the press release from DC Comics or any of the dozens upon dozens of other news impressions, unmistakably part of a well put together time-consuming plan.

No one at Milestone 2.0 said a word to me. After four years of working towards this moment, they just discarded me. Despite my considerable efforts on behalf of M2.0 that excellent plan did not include me, I was never included. When I’d asked Tatiana “who died” I never dreamt the answer was me.

I was not only dead. To them it seems very much like they want to bury me as well.

After receiving news of my death, I called Reggie in heated anger. I said some horrible things, feeling justified since such a horrible thing had been done to me.

The truth is the vile things I said to Reggie were not just my reaction to my death at Milestone it was my response to years of hooking Reggie up and being treated with no respect.

I’ve supported Reggie in countless ways since we’ve met. I’ve thrown parties for him, arranged speaking engagements, put together panels as well as personally vouched for him with Urban Ministries Inc., who vet anyone and everyone they bring into their church space.

And believe me, when I say their church space I mean their church space. When Viacom and BET thought they had significant juice to allow them last minute booth access at SDCC they found out they didn’t. I did, and I gladly did so for him.

I also really liked Reggie. I knew he didn’t care all that much for me when we first met, but I grow on people. I assumed since I’ve shown him nothing but love I’d grow on him. He’s an Ivy League-educated man smart enough to see where my heart is and understand my swagger may be annoying at times, but I’m a good brother. I’m an Ivy League-educated man smart enough to see he’d come around.

Parents, save your money. Send your kids to a good state school.  Neither of us was smart enough to avoid this bullshit.

The thing I think I was lividest about when I let loose my fury filled tirade on his voicemail was the realization I chose the wrong side when a rift developed between a former brief protégé of mine and Reggie.

Aaron, I fucked up, and I’m sorry.

I continue to regret my words and although I was still livid that morning I called back and apologized. I also sent a text and to my utter surprise, he responded with what seemed genuine concern.

I called Derek Dingle next.

Derek didn’t pick up, so I left a message. Not an outraged one, although still angry and horribly so. I had to get it together. I loved Derek and he would fix this.

I had so much respect and love for Derek that when SDCC did not invite him for Milestone’s 20th Anniversary I told them unless Derek was there Denys and I wouldn’t be there either.

Then I wrote this.

I needed to calm down, so I called my mom. She didn’t answer either, and my call went to her voicemail. It takes me a moment to remember my mom had moved, and I didn’t have her new number in Heaven.

I forgot she was dead, and that’s not the first time I did. Nor the last.

Now I’m crying uncontrollably. Lucky for me I’m no longer alone. My friend Dr. Phil had just knocked.

I call her Dr. Phil because she always giving me advice. She had come by to check on me and bring me breakfast before she went to work. Having survived a parallel depression, she pops in from time to time. She saw the Washington Post story and decided this was one of those times to pop in.

She was right.

Derek calls back, and I felt better. The last time I saw him, he stood beside me in front of my mother’s casket.

“Michael, we’re family. We’re going to do great things together.”

I tell Dr. Phil this is all about to be cleared up. I say to Derek “Tell me who’s colossal screw-up was this? What happened? What’s going on?”

“Michael over 20 years ago when you began the lawsuit against us…” Derek said this in slow, measured tones.

I lost it.

“I did what????” That’s all I got out before my friend shouted:

“You don’t talk to me like that!!! I won’t stand for it!!”

Then he hung up.

NEXT WEEK: 20 Years Ago They Did The Same Thing… Only Different

 

Michael Davis On Being Loud and Smart

Milestone Founders May 2011

Some weeks ago a Hilton manager made a very big mistake. Once Hilton Corporate realized who and what they were dealing with, I was asked what I wanted. This question, always asked in situations where litigation is an option, is a ploy devised to test you. Your answer determines their resolve, your intelligence and rather or not a hotel offers you $50.00 off your next stay or $50 million for you to go away.

Back in the early 2000s two people swore I was at the DC booth during the San Diego Comic Con loudly calling DC racist. So loud and vulgar was my purposive verbal assault the result was to kill a merchandising deal I had with Warner Bros. Consumers Products.

I don’t want to give the impression DC Comics acted against me as a collective in a conspiracy to take me down. They did not. It was a different time and they were a different company and shit like this was handled a different way.

DC Comics is and was under no obligation to be in business with me. It was and still is their house. Almost a decade before the SDCC “incident” I joined Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and Dwayne McDuffie in setting up shop at that house. The original Milestone deal with DC was considered groundbreaking and it was. It was also terrible for Milestone.

Except for editorial, every move inside and outside comics DC had to approve. I didn’t sign that deal, that deal was as crazy as some say I am. I can’t prove I’m not crazy. I could prove I was in NYC the morning I was supposed to have been that nigger at SDCC. Whoever wanted to set me up looked at the SDCC program and surmised I was still in town because I was listed as a guest on a Sunday panel.

Amateurs. Fucking amateurs.

Consequently, when it became clear the loud mouth person who loudly called DC, racists, wasn’t me (or even existed) once again I was asked “What do you want?” What did I want? I wanted black kids to play with a Static Shock action figure.

“I just want the deal reinstated.” Easy, right? No harm no foul. All is good in the world, right?

It wasn’t, because DC said no.

Why on earth kill a deal that would generate revenue? Brand Milestone and DC in the black ad space? Create an action figure based on the mega hit TV show Static Shock? Certainly spark a lawsuit? Last and most important to me, give kids of color a hero to play with? Who knows? I never got an answer, but my top guesses are:

1) Because they could. It was their house. I was loud.

2) That was then, now Milestone has another deal at DC and again they don’t want me.

3) I’ve been loud. I am loud. I’ll be loud.

Some at DC or even Milestone may have floated the rumor that I can’t be vetted for future business when asked to explain my absence. Saying my loud persona and profanity-laced opinions will drive serious business away.

That’s just plain silly. Those profanity-laced opinions have been very very good to me. In fact, they have been very very good to every single Milestone partner past and present.

Then there’s the matter of my resume, my resume doesn’t add value?

Negros, please.

Combined, the Milestone partners have not reached the markets or generated the revenue in comics I have by myself.

Here’s reality. Until revealed otherwise, Milestone’s core business is comic books. Without Diamond (via DC) they have no distribution outlet. My distribution for my educational imprint, The Action Files, reaches American schools via Pearson Learning. Pearson, the biggest educational publisher on earth, likes very much what I have done. My Guardian Line imprint has direct distribution into African American churches that additionally gives me direct access into the black household via Urban Ministries Inc.

UMI is king in the Black Christian space. Think Diamond but with its own comic book line.

My relationship with Pearson is in its 20th year and I just celebrated my 10th year with UMI.

Combined that’s 30 years of cash, resources, brand building and maintainable customers Marvel, Dark House, Image, IDW and DC would love to have.

Pearson Learning matters. Urban Ministries matters. Simon & Schuster matters. Those are no joke playa’s. The moment it was suggested DC come in as a possible partner, (and it always does) out DC went as a possible partner. Nothing bad was said, all I said very quietly was “no.”

Those deals were and are my house.

How’s that for loud?

The church is the most powerful force in Black America. Milestone’s distribution into the very market Denys created Milestone for was assured when I was in the mix. I didn’t need Diamond or DC to reach the educational or black market on a grand scale nor did I need Milestone. And as evidenced by their actions, they clearly think they don’t need me.

But they do, to get into the African American space directly on this scale, they most certainly do.

Only an idiot would dismiss those markets willingly without as much as a word as to why. It doesn’t take a genius to know those guys are not idiots.

No, there is another play here.

They do need me, they just don’t want me. Something is brewing and they see a problem with my involvement. Could some guy still hate me and have sway over at DC? Could that be the reason?

Maybe.

I could see that but just how much of a little bitch would you have to be to let that be a factor? Nah, there’s s something else, something big that negates comics and uses a different gage to reach African Americans.

The play? I’m thinking TV & film.

Or maybe it’s a Milestone partner who thinks I’m too loud and causes to much trouble. Happened 23 years ago; why couldn’t it happen again? Makes sense right?

Here’s the problem with that argument I don’t cause trouble. When that shit was pulled then I ended up running Motown Animation and Filmworks and Milestone jus… ended.

Trouble kills deals, I close deals. Trouble loses money, I generate revenue. Trouble drives away talent, I find and nurture talent.

Now what about being loud? What about my language? Ok, let’s say I’m loud. So fucking what?

Name a black creator or any creator who has worked harder and contributed more than I to bring people of color into comics. Not inspired it, or talked about it or sold a series of books marketed for it. Name any creator with an educational imprint (not book, imprint) at two major mainstream publishers and another at a Christian publisher.

I’ll wait.

…and SCENE!

That rant is just a few high and mighty “look I’m great” and some “so fucking what” thrown for my hard core fans. Think of my stuff like an old Marvel or DC comic after a while you wonder where the fight is. I’m sure some were wondering where all the ‘fucks’ were.

DC wrote me a check which covered my lawyer and little else. That’s what I wanted when it became clear DC would rather risk a massive lawsuit than give me back my deal.

I was livid and was about to bring the noise when I realized something. The two Warner Bros. people who brought me into the deal were at a real risk of losing their jobs. So, to protect them I settled for little of nothing. As a result, nothing is what happened with Mattel and others.

Yeah, I am loud. That’s so people hear me. I have a singular goal, reach as many kids of color and help them realize their worth. What I absolutely will not do is play stupid when faced with stupidity and because of such some see me as a problem after they have used my resources that is, however I’m not the problem. The problem is one Black Hollywood has had for years.

The problem is fear.

Fear of drawing attention to subjects best left alone or risk looking less professional or less white, take your pick. Black Hollywood has arrived in comics and with it the pursuit of the dollar above all else.

Milestone has closed ranks to avoid or minimize a lawsuit, but they can’t. Nobody can. Can they win? Can I? Winning a lawsuit at this level really comes down less on who’s right and more on who’s willing to go to the wall screaming; “I don’t give a fuck” and has deeper pockets.

I’ve been told Milestone is under the impression my resources are limited which is why I won’t sue. They arrived at that notion I assume because I haven’t sued. I’ve also made no secret I don’t care about money so I must be broke.

I don’t care about money. That’s true, however, the banks that hold my mortgages won’t take food stamps nor will any other lender or service. Membership does have its privileges until you miss a payment. All that said, I can’t compete with the kind of bank the Milestone partners would bring to the table, not even close.

Could I sustain a lawsuit with my current resources? I’d wager better than they could. How so? Because my hourly billing from one of the most feared law firms in the world is a hug as my representation is free. I’ve always said I know good people it just so happens I’m related to some also and the firm believes in her and she believes in me.

So I could go to the wall screaming “I don’t give a fuck” but as evident by my actions that I do give a fuck. I didn’t sue DC, I didn’t sue the Hilton when I had them dead to rights some weeks ago and I’m not suing Milestone. I don’t operate on that level. The only benefit would be to me. Black kids wouldn’t be reached but I’d be able to buy some more shit I don’t need. I don’t need any more shit in my life, I needed a call from three guys but that ain’t happening.

I’ve reached out to Milestone 2.0 from day one of this bullshit; still not a word. So, I’m done. Except for an interview I’ve asked be held up on the off-chance I’d hear something, this will be my last public statement about Milestone.

I’ll go my way and they will go their way. Pity, another riff between two black playas. No wonder we can’t win at this game, seldom are we on the same side.

There will be those who believe me a fool for taking this stance, well that may be true. It’s also true that without Paul Levitz there would be no Milestone. Paul and I butted heads, but the fact remains: no Paul no Milestone. It would be easy to change that narrative for personal gain.

Reggie Hudlin has wanted to be part of Milestone since Day One and I’ve defended him against claims he just jumped on the bandwagon after Dwayne died. No Paul, no Milestone. Reggie down since Day One – that’s the truth and that’s what I say.

My Milestone history is written down and public. Once completely co-signed by Milestone now (no doubt fear of litigation) it’s being rewritten. That is a bad move. A very bad move, because I will go to the wall screaming about that. Both the talent program and the Static Shock Universe were created by me and like everything I write I can prove.

The thought of having to do so is sickening and was 23 years ago when I gave Milestone a gift. It was sheer stupidity that turned that gift into a lost.

I’m not motivated by much these days in fact my Bad Boy Studios and Static Shock family legacy may be all I give a fuck about. Keep the fucking money; leave my mother and sister my mother and sister.

23 years ago I foretold what would transpire and I was right. I see this future also and wish it was not to be but it already is. Like I said, pity.

I still want Milestone to succeed. I would still help them do so but I’m not pretending to be anything I’m not.

What I am help create it, who I am won’t help destroy it.

Milestone Forever.

 

Michael Davis: “Hudlin, We Have A Problem”

Reggie Hudlin

I have a serious problem with Reggie Hudlin. I’ve known Reggie for over 25 years and although we’ve never been the best of friends, I liked Reggie and considered him a friend. Denys Cowan introduced me to Reggie when he took me to a party at Reggie’s downtown New York loft all those years ago. The loft was badass but when asked by this incredible looking woman “Isn’t this the nicest living space you’ve ever been in?” I said, “Nope, my cousin has a nicer loft, but this is cool also.” “Yeah, sure he does. Where in the projects?” was her reply.

She assumed my cousin was named Ray Ray and lived in the hood, in reality my cousin is William T. Williams, one of the most important artists in the 20th and now 21st Century. Don’t take my word for it that’s according to the Janson History of Art the definitive art history reference book and acknowledged authority on the subject.

In looking over my journal entry from that night I wrote the woman (now a fairly well known actress) was rather chilly towards me the rest of the evening. Maybe what I said got back to Reggie and when you’re riding high as a new hotshot director in your 20s that sort of shit brothers you. Perhaps that’s what’s prevented me from ever becoming real tight with Reggie, he heard his loft wasn’t the nicest living space I’ve ever been in.

Reggie was riding high after the massive success of his first movie, House Party. I couldn’t wait to tell him how much I was enjoying his house party two, get it? I thought I would get my chance when the circle of worshipers around him cleared for a moment and I said:

“Hi, thanks for having me. I’m really enjoying this House Party tw…”

“Excuse me. This isn’t the nicest living space you’ve ever been in?” Reggie interrupted.

“Well, no. But it’s very nic…

“EXCUSE ME, I’M TALKING! You said your cousin Ray Ray has a nicer living space?”

“I never said his name was Ray R…”

“EXCUSE ME, I’M STILL TALKING! How dare you not agree, this is the nicest living space you’ve ever been in!” Reggie then withdrew a small caliber gun and shot me.

Or more likely that’s my over imaginative imagination running a way with me. Except for the woman becoming a bit cold towards me because of my answer, none of that happened.

At the same party I met Reggie’s producer-brother Warrington. Warrington and I got alone well.

So well in fact when I purchased my first loft Warrington was one of my first guests.

Nowadays I seldom see Warrington but my relationship with Reggie has been constant. I’ve arranged events at San Diego Comic Con International (SDCC) the New York Comic Con as well as introduced opportunities and people to Reggie all with the goal of supporting whatever he was doing.

Reggie Hudlin is an important Playa within black arts culture. His contributions on the film side are legendary both as a producer and director. His comic book work although respectable was not on the same level as his film and television work.

But it’s about to be.

On January 21 2015 Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle changed the world of comics when Milestone 2.0 was announced. Reggie is now at the head of the most recognized African American name in comics, Milestone Media. Flanked by Milestone’s creator Denys Cowan and Milestone’s keeper for the last 20 plus years Derek Dingle it’s hard to see how this could be anything other than ground shaking. The addition of Jim Owlsey on any level makes Milestone’s potential almost scary.

Reggie is also producing The Academy Awards. The very same Academy Awards being boycotted by some serious people and the boycott has gained worldwide support. Reggie and host Chris Rock are under real pressure to quit.

It would be so easy to join that chorus. Reggie and Milestone, as Desi would say, still got some ‘plaining’ to do. It’s been a solid year since I was ignored and still not a word as to why. I’ve got more reasons to hope Reggie and Milestone fail than Trump has hoping his supporters never learn to read or write.

A dear friend of mind sent the following text:

Your boy is in the middle of some real serious 1965 shit. What did you do? Payback’s a motherfucking Bitch! LOL!

What did I do? I sat down to write what will surly get me some more haters.

The Academy Awards is 95% plus white, that’s the running narrative in the press. The insinuation is the academy is racist because of that. Is it? The part missing from those reports is the Academy is made up of mostly people working in the industry. You would think that’s general knowledge it’s not, far from it.

Many people think The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences are like the Guardians of the Universe.

That’s the universe, not the galaxy.

From Wikipedia: The Guardians (of the Universe) evolved on the planet Maltus, and were among the first intelligent life forms in the universe. At this time they were tall greyish blue humanoids with black hair, who roughly resembled humans except for their skin color. They became scientists and thinkers, experimenting on the worlds around them.

Many think the Academy spawned from such a (albeit not so comic book) myth. No, the members of the Academy are mostly working professionals in Hollywood. That’s important and here’s why-If you’re an Academy member and you’re worked on a nominated film would that not be the film you vote for? If your film wins you now have an Oscar winning film on your resume. Put another way, how do you not vote for your film?

That alone seems like a screwed up way to conduct a fair vote.

The following is from the Producers requirements for membership into the Academy:

From Academy Bylaws:

Article III, Section 1. Membership shall be by invitation of the Board of Governors. Invitations to active membership shall be limited to those persons active in the motion picture arts and sciences, or credited with screen achievements, or who have otherwise achieved distinction in the motion picture arts and sciences and who, in the opinion of the Board, are qualified for membership.

Minority representation and respect in Hollywood is laughable. It’s very much like the representation and respect comic creators get in Hollywood with one blaring exception. Hollywood isn’t stupid enough to shun black creators of film and TV without trying to appease that segment of the industry when that segment becomes pissed.

That segment of the industry has a voice that carries beyond any award ceremony. You’re hearing that voice now. If you listen carefully you’ll also hear the voice of comics demanding respect from Hollywood for all we’ve done for them…nah, you won’t but that’s another story.

Is the exclusion of people of color racist or self-serving? The answer most likely lays somewhere in the middle. I’d say; having run some entertainment divisions its more the latter than the former but clearly each exists. Regardless if it’s one, the other or both it’s unfair and something drastic has to be done.

The Academy and Hollywood needs to be taught a lesson. That lesson must be loud and clear. That lesson must be bold and take no prisoners. It’s for that reason I support both Chris Rock and Reggie Hudlin.

Yeah, like Chris Rock says, I said it. A billion-person audience is exactly what the world needs to see just how people of color roll. African American culture is the world’s culture. There is no bigger influence in pop culture than us.

Period.

Reggie and Chris are well equipped to carry that message. That message can’t be subtle, understated, indirect, or delicate. That message must be brash and filled with swagger. Our intelligence and confidence must be painfully obvious as is our talent. A billion people and then some should have no doubt that we are indeed all that a bag of chips.

To that end, once successful in conveying that message we must then turn inward and tend to our own house. Even if for the boycott don’t throw insult at those who are opposed.

If opposed don’t belittle those who disagree. A disagreement is no reason to treat someone badly. An opinion is no reason to dismiss someone’s contribution. Telling yourself there are no common ground then acting on a decision without talking to the other party is one of the ways African Americans have been marginalized in America.

We should know better than to do this to ourselves. But there’s always a few or as Forrest Gump says, “Stupid is what stupid does.” I’ve said before, I support Milestone and I now support Reggie’s and Chris’s decision to stay the course with the Oscars.

Yes, it would be easy and some would say warranted to go the other way. But I’m not now nor have I ever been that guy. I can’t disregard everything someone does because I disagree with some things. That’s the current state of our two political parties.

How’s that working out for us?

Michael Davis, The Nigga You Love To Hate

comicmixxx“I heard payback’s a motherfucking nigga, that’s why I’m sick of getting treated like a goddamn stepchild, Fuck a punk cause I ain’t him.” • Ice Cube, The Nigga You Love To Hate

The truth will set you free.

As a African American man, my truth is not unlike the action toys I once collected with such gusto. To really enjoy both an action figure and truth I must purchase additional accessories

Truth can be bought. Truth can be killed. Truth can be jailed, silenced, controlled, and changed.

Truth with proof is the only truth that matters most times. That’s most times.

Not to long ago I was arrested after two drunken white people attacked me and I defended my self. It’s on tape. The Los Angeles D.A.’s office didn’t even look at the tape.

They wanted to go to trial even though 18 people in some way supported my story yet only two backed my attacker’s story and those two were my attackers.

Black men (and increasingly more black women) have been targeted long before the current crop of videos that show some cops think so little of black lives. Even when there is a videotape, public outrage on the net and the media in general, even then, it may not matter.

How many millions of people saw what the police did to an unarmed black man for daring to tell them he was tired of being harassed? Eric Gardner was murdered and no matter how many FOX News reports slant that to fit their racist agenda that man was murdered. For as long as I remember, black people have shouted “the truth shall set you free” as if the very words have power.

Truth set nobody free but his murderers.

This sort of occurrence is rare, not as rare as white America thinks but rare. I use it only as an example of how truth can be manipulated to be something other than simply truth. I make no comparisons between others and myself as admittedly, Eric Gardner’s tragic story is much more severe and important than anyone or mine I reference.

The truth is not just what you say is, it’s what others say isn’t.

Almost half a million people have viewed “The History Of Static Shock” on the Variant web site. Almost a year before the Static was a live action show or Milestone 2.0 was announced, I contacted Variant and asked them to changed the credits to “Static Shock was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and Michael Davis.”

I wrote articles, emails, and Facebook messages. As of July 2015 nothing has been done. I had no idea the show was going to happen, I thought I’d be a part of M2.0 but had no idea when we were going to announce, I just knew that piece was going to be trouble for me, and like always, I was right.

I’ve always looked at truth as a fact that can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

That last line stands repeating. The truth is a fact that can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, having proof isn’t the power play the power play is patience. Patience, my friends, is what most who dismiss me believe I don’t have because I’m loud.

Patience is why many think I’m lucky not smart.

I can prove without a shadow of a doubt I asked Variant to change the Static video before it hurt my business. They didn’t, it did. They most likely paid no attention to me because I’m loud.

Bad, bad, move.

There, hidden in plain site, is the reason I am not a partner in Milestone 2.0. Milestone 2.0 the company I named and have been trying to bring to life since 2000. Patience, the power that allows me to endure the last seven months of M2.0 bias spin.

I wrote of my support of M2.0. I wrote how the change in the infrastructure caused a change in my ability to be apart of M2.0. I wrote how I was not going to be involved in another black-on-black war.

All true, although incomplete. What was also true was the only one talking was me.

I didn’t want to talk. I made it clear to M2.0 I wanted a statement issued that would answer the questions I knew were coming. I just wanted to be left alone, left out of the storm I knew was coming.

I was told a statement was forthcoming. Nope. No, it wasn’t.

I wrote to Denys, Derek, and Reggie and have written to them regularly since the day the news dropped around the world unveiling M2.0

To this day, I’ve been ignored, completely or dismissed as a joke in any M2.0, interview, or panel, and although I reached out time and time and time again to my former partners, I have gotten not one response from any of them via email. Reggie was kind enough (no joke or sarcasm) to return a text I sent him, apologizing for a horrendous message I left him. Denys and I have spoken on two occasions in almost eight months since the bomb dropped.

However, as of this writing, no email I’ve sent has been returned, although one wasn’t completely ignored. In yet another attempt to build a bridge between us I wrote a M2.0 panel description for the SDCC program book: Milestone 2.0: The Return Of The Mack.

They used the description, yet I received no email thanking me. I was responsible for every single Milestone panel, party, event, and hype at SDCC since Milestone folded and over the last four years, I’ve been on a tear.

From the Comic Book Resources article Milestone 2.0 Promises, New Static, Icon & More:

Racialicious editor-at-large Arturo Garcia asked if the new stories would be a reboot and asked about statements made by co-founder Michael Davis at his black Panel previously in the convention, saying that his Milestone legacy had been “glossed over.”

“Some of the mythos and storylines, things that we did before, will resonate in what we’re doing now, but it’s a reboot,” Cowan replied. “It’s a new environment. It’s the Dakota Universe; it’s updated, juiced up. There’s new characters, old characters, there’s a lot of stuff. As far as Static Shock is concerned, Michael’s awesome, but the thing with Static Shock, there were five people in that room when Static Shock was created, very simple. We all contributed to Static, we all had something to say about him, we all jammed on Static just like the rest of the other characters. Any time you see ‘Static Shock’ on the screen, you will see credits. Do you know what those credits say? Michael Davis. Denys Cowan. Dwayne McDuffie. Derek Dingle. Every time. No one has been denied credit for anything. Let’s look at the facts.

That’s just laughable, but since we’ve on that, why has there been no attempt to give that, “five guys in room” explanation to any other Milestone character, none of which I’m credited with most places?

Robert Washington, John Paul Leon, and Dwayne are overwhelmingly credited with the creation of Static. Look at any Static Shock press release over the last year where’s my name? Denys has gone on record saying who was the driving force behind each book. Dwayne, Icon, Denys, Hardware, Static, me.

YES! There were five guys in the room when the superhero Static was born.

YES! A team came up with a black teenage superhero modeled after Spider-Man with static electricity powers! YES! A team came up with Static! YES! There is no ‘I’ in team!

But the guy who created the Static universe, friends, family, attitude and swagger that makes up who and what Vigil Hawkins is? That guy did that by himself when he wrote the Static bible all by himself.

I know! I know! I was part of a team! There is no ‘I’ in team! But…there is a ‘m’ and ‘e’ that spells me.

There has been movement and I do notice my name is appearing more but that’s because of my efforts and the efforts of those who see an injustice happening.

That’s a verifiable fact.

You want to look at some other facts? Fine, lets do that.

  1. Any and all actions I’ve taken regarding Milestone over the last 15 and with the last four years particularly, were undertaken to bring Milestone back to life. Again, I was responsible for every single Milestone panel, party, event, and hype at SDCC since Milestone folded.
  2. I was never told I was not to be a part of M2.0. I was just left out.
  3. The day I found out I cried like a little girl to each and every M2.0 member.
  4. No one has ever expressed anything in writing nor was I told anything of substance when I asked why I was left out.

All of the above are verifiable.

They may think what they did and why they are doing is the right thing to do. But when someone says “Let’s look at the facts,” that implies someone is lying, in this instance that someone is me. I gather M2.0 sees me as a problem. I wasn’t, they made me one.

I don’t want war all I want is, kindness and fairness. I know what’s being said and to whom and I could care less. I have no desire to be part of M2.0 because they don’t want me. My contributions and efforts over the last four years were embraced then without a word to me ignored and discounted. I was called crazy and dismissed at the Milestone 2.0 panel at SDCC. I was devastated when the world knew when I did I was not a part of a Milestone 2.0.

Nothing above makes me a problem.

Sometimes harsh in anger, sometimes begging trough tears so thick I couldn’t see, I put out my hand and still not one act of kindness was I shown.

That’s why I’m a problem.

Next: Reasons To Be Fearful Are Three

 

 

 

Michael Davis: Milestone 2.0 – I Was There, I Didn’t Get It.

There’s much more to this story at Bleeding Cool.

On January 21st of this year, the Washington Post broke the story of the return of Milestone. Missing from the Post and every article since about the new Milestone 2.0 was any mention of me. I’m a founder and co-creator of the original Milestone’s best-known property, Static Shock.

There was to be a statement from Milestone explaining my absence, but in the three weeks since the story broke, Milestone 2.0 has not issued any statement.

Because there was no statement, comic book fans, Milestone fans, and my fan (I had two, one died) took to social media speculating as to why I was missing. Missing from news stories and missing from interviews, which was curious. I was no longer a part of the new venture, but in all the interviews, I was missing from the history of Milestone 2.0.

When I did begin showing up in the news about Milestone 2.0, the articles were about me…missing.

I assumed I was left out because when interviews took place I was no longer involved with Milestone 2.0, even if I didn’t know that. Deciding not to mention me at all was a mistake. If consulted, I would have pointed that out. I did point out what a mistake it would be not to issue a statement once the story broke. I was told they would, but they didn’t. As it turns out, I was right.

I should clarify “right” in this instance. I think not mentioning an original founder, more active than all of the partners combined in keeping the Milestone brand in the public eye in the four years since we decided to re-launch, was a bad idea. It became a distraction, which could have and should have been avoided.

Milestone just may not see things the way I do, and “may” is a bit of a stretch. I think it’s safe to say “does” in place of “may” – all things considered. For their purposes, perhaps it was a good idea. Although what purpose that could be is beyond me. I freely admit I’m a different type of bird. Three weeks ago for a bit I wished I wasn’t – I wished I could just go with the flow. I did this wishing while crying like a little bitch. I actually started to wonder whether or not I’d made a mistake.

Before I continue, I think it’s wise to address my new readers I know are out there. I know this because of the massive amount of emails being forwarded to me since this started.

I write with few inhibitions – I am who I am. I cry when in pain. My favorite movie is My Best Friend’s Wedding. I collect Barbie dolls. When I met Barbara Streisand, my first words were “Now I can die.” She gave me this huge hug and I wept.

Yes, I’m gay. I’m a lesbian. I like women.

I also grew up in what’s now considered, one of, if not the worst housing project in New York City. Two of four of my immediate family were murdered. My sister Sharon Davis, the real life inspiration for Static’s sister Sharon Hawkins among the two. The last two people who stepped to me regretted it instantly and I ended up in jail, see theme song below.

My life can be summed by my motto: Each One, Teach One, and my theme song is Ice Cube’s, “Wrong Nigga to Fuck With.”

But I digress. Peter David owns that line. I stole it; I had to – look where I’m from. Many people think my bravado is from the hood I came from. It’s not. I get that from my mother. It was because of my mother that I thought for a few days that perhaps I should adapt my outlook.

And it was because of my mother I was crying so fucking hard. The Milestone decision piggybacked onto her death, still as fresh as the day it happened. Don’t misunderstand me, I was crying over the Milestone decision, but the severity of my outburst had much more to do with pain I was already in.

Otherwise, it never would have hit so hard because I saw it coming.

I knew years ago it might turn out like this. In fact, I documented my thoughts in writing and in person. I shared my apprehension with some of the biggest names in the industry.

In emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings, I’ve had the, “It seems the way this is moving may prevent my involvement” talk with 10 people. If ever something I claim is questioned I’m not going out like some bitch, I’m providing proof. Brian Williams, I am not. If I say a bomb hit me, out comes the videotape.

And a bomb did hit me. Believe that. I keep telling people I see the future, but no one listens. Pity.

I’ve wanted this (Milestone 2.0) and worked towards it for 16 years. On Bleeding Cool I wrote 15 years, but that was wrong – I double-checked and it was 16. Yeah, I keep everything, and I keep it forever.

16 years ago I met with Bob Johnson, then CEO and owner of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and one of outcomes of that meeting was BET’s interest in funding Milestone. Also present in that meeting was Debra Lee, who is now CEO of BET, and my producing partner E. Van Lowe. The meeting took place at Mr. Johnson’s suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

That night I was on the phone with all three Milestone founders, but not together.

I talked to two on one call and spoke to another separately. We were all to sleep on it and decide whether or not to pursue it. Founders were knee deep in their own careers, so it wasn’t an easy decision.

The next day I was again on the phone, first with two founders, then with the other. On one of those calls, the idea was floated to do the BET deal without one of the original founders. This was a business decision, for whatever reason.

I said no.

It was my deal; once I said I wouldn’t do it unless we all did, the deal was dead. For a long time I was conflicted on whether I’d made the right choice.

Nah. I wasn’t. I was fine with it.

16 years later, here we are again, kinda. Dwayne’s gone. The big guy was more Milestone than all of us put together. There’s some talk that Dwayne and I were on the outs when he died and that’s just bullshit. I’ll be addressing that in an article fairly soon. Like I said, I keep everything, and there’s a lot of history Dwayne and I shared few people know of.

Dwayne’s gone and Reggie Hudlin has joined Milestone. There’s talk that Reggie is replacing Dwayne. More bullshit. Reggie has been interested in being a part of Milestone for as long as I can remember. In fact, Reggie was on our short list when Denys and I went over names to invite in. That was the very weekend when Denys came up with the idea for Milestone at the San Diego Comic-Con 22 years ago.

I don’t remember if we asked him and he said no, or we didn’t think he’d be interested because even then Reggie was making big movies. Whatever it was, it does not change and no one can deny that Reggie has always been a major supporter and fan of Milestone. Thinking anyone could replace Dwayne is as stupid as thinking Reggie would even try. Before Dwayne died there was talk of Reggie becoming a part of Milestone.

That would have been something – really, really, something.

Denys Cowan and Reggie Hudlin have been a team on a few projects, all great. Partnering to do Milestone is a motherfucking throw down to the rest of the industry to look the fuck out. Yes, the rest of the industry. Not just those who do Black Comics.

Milestone never did “black” comics. Milestone is and has always been a black-owned company, yes, but producing comics that feature but is not limited to people of color.

Three weeks ago, I was sad at first. Then I was livid. Livid because of things that were said to me and how they were said. Now? Now, I’ve moved past all of that. I can do that because I see the future and I can prove it. Remember how I was left out of the Milestone 2.0 announcement?

Kinda like this:

All the Milestone partners, save one, will receive credit. 

Let the name of Davis be stricken from every book and tablet

Stricken from all press and news

Stricken from every mention of Static.

Let the name of Davis be unheard and unspoken,

Erased from the memory of Milestone, for all time.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

I wrote that for a ComicMix article last November. Scary eh?

Like I said, I’ve moved past anger and sadness, like Jay Z: I’m off that. 

I’m off that, but I’m on a path, both creative in practice and righteous in my mind. It was right for me to make a stand for all four founders in 1999. To me that wasn’t business, that was the right thing to do. That was my mother’s influence and I’m my mother’s son.

I’ve gotten quite a few emails from people telling me they won’t support Milestone without me.

No. Wrong. Don’t do that. The world needs Milestone 2.0.

The world needs Darryl to keep on making comics, DMC, Mad Square Enterprises, Boondocks, Aaron McGruder, The East Coast Black Age Of Comics, Brandon M. Easton, N. Steven Harris, Watson and Holmes, Paige Tibbs, The World Of Black Superheroes, Ryan Fraser, Erika Alexander, Tony Puryear, Concrete Park, Joe Illidge, Walter McDaniel, David Walker, Shaft, Maia Crown Williams, MECCAcon, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle. Hell, the world needs Ania and Big City Comics. The former did horrible books and hated me then; the latter does fantastic books and hates me now.

And the world even needs Tyrone Cash, if, for no other reason, than to show how not to do a black character. We need as many African American comics, creators, and publishers as we can get. We cannot let anger, righteous or not, keep our eyes off that prize. Although there are some who don’t think so, they need Michael Davis. They will find that out soon enough. I do big things and what I’m about to do is the biggest.

Like I keep saying, I see the future. To be fair, I was wrong, once. Nah. That’s bullshit. I’m never wrong.

Those who are interested, watch this space. Those who doubt me, watch me work.

 

Michael Davis: Without A Doubt

My beloved New York City had, until recently, a law on the books known as “Stop and Frisk.” In a nutshell, it meant if a police officer suspects, for any reason, that you may be up to no good, they can detain and search you. Guess who the majority of people being stopped are?

Black and Latinos. Or, as they are known to NYC cops, niggers and spics.

A New York State Of Mind. Nov. 1, 2012 Michael Davis World

I forgot that I’ve written about this racist bullshit law before. (Stop and Frisk) NYC is going to appeal the court ruling. Of cause they are, because NYC is run by a bunch of racist motherfuckers. The law has done nothing to curb crime, and the vast majority of people stopped are young black men. What’s funny is the vast majority of people found with weapons were white guys.

Seriously. Check the stats.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy, Aug. 16, 2013 Michael Davis World

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?

The Middleman Aug. 15, 2014 ComicMix

My life is not my own. It belongs to any cop having a bad day. Any D.A. wanting to get an uppity nigger, regardless 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?

The Middleman Revised Aug. 15, 2014 Bleeding Cool

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.

The Great New York Con Oct. 29. 2014 ComicMix

No resistance, whatsoever. None. Nada. He made No Move to resist while they were choking him nor did he make any aggressive move Before they threw him to the ground. While on the ground he repeated, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” His death was Ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner.

Oh, did I mention the choke hold the officer applied was illegal? That’s right,

NYPD Forbids the use of that particular way of restraining someone.

Why? Because, it may cause severe injury or death. Watch the video on line; don’t take my word for ANY of this.

So, with none of this in dispute, it’s clear to me the officer will not have to stand trial.

Why? He was an unarmed black man.

Duh.

My Facebook Status in response to: New York bracing for grand jury decision in police chokehold case. Dec. 1, 2014 2 days before the Eric Garner Grand Jury announcement. Yahoo News (AFP)

As if there was any doubt.

My Facebook Status in response to: Grand jury declines to indict officer in chokehold death of Eric Garner. Dec. 3, 2014 day of the Eric Garner Grand Jury announcement. (PIX)

No. No doubt at all. Those are just a few of thousands of words, in dozens of articles, I’ve written about race over the years. Most have been rants about how black men are targets nearly all have forecasted the trend of killing unarmed black men will continue.

My Facebook status on Dec. 1 if this year, wasn’t my reaction upon hearing the cop who shot Mr. Garner was free to live his life. I let everyone know two days before there was no doubt he would walk. No black person I spoke to beforehand thought the cop would get indicted.

Not a one. My Facebook post described the overwhelming evidence against this man. The tape was clear as day, this man was guilty as sin and I wanted it on the record I knew that cop would walk.

He walked.

Perhaps, for some, who believe I often play the ‘black card,’ my foreseeing this outcome with such certainty, would demonstrate to them racism does indeed exist in the age of Obama.

Not only does it exists it targets black man.

That’s the reality of black men in America. No, it does not happen to everyone, however, if you are not black but know someone who is black, they know someone it happened too, if not them.

I guarantee it.

I knew the cop would go free, but I wondered what explanation would the ‘man’ give when asked how that conclusion was reached. I would concede whatever bullshit reasons those fucking murderers on Staten Island gave for taking his life if they explained just one thing to me.

I’d accept, agree and explain why regarding the following:

Murderers: He should not have resisted.

I agree. His hands were up while stepping back. Clearly he was readying his Black Panda Strike.

Murderers: He was really fat.

Yep! Thousands of fat people die from choking every year. Mama Cass allegedly choked on a sandwich! She was Fat. Simple changes in his lifestyle, drinking more water, exercise, avoiding being Black. If he only did the latter, I’m sure he’d be alive today…and thinner.

Murderers: He should have not been breaking the law.

On this I could not agree more! This man’s crime, selling cigarettes is the reason this country is going to hell. Put him down. Put him down like the animal he and that other unarmed black fat kid shot in Ferguson were. I mean what is it with these fat black kids? The kid shot in Ferguson committed the second worst crime known to man, shoplifting.

Our police officers put themselves on the front line every. Let’s not forget that! Remember the confused young man whom shot all those people at a Batman screening? My God that poor misguided young man had enough firepower to start a war. The police managed to secure him without firing a shot! Now that young man can get the help he needs.

Just the other day some 12-year old black child was shot three seconds after the police rolled up. He was in a playground, playing with a toy gun. What else could the police do? Park their car a safe distance away and, using that for a shield, speak to the child through a loud speaker, which every police car has for reasons just like that?

No, absolutely not!

Someone may have shown up at the empty playground and if the child had a real gun no doubt would have been killed.

Again I’d concede every bullshit point to the murdering bastards of Staten Island, say one. His death was ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner.

The Staten Island Medical Examiner.

Just on the basis of that, the Grand Jury should have ordered those cops to trial. Funny, no one addressed that during any of the post press conferences.

Those police officers murdered that man. Eric Gardner was murdered and the world knows it. How can anyone look at that tape and tell me how does this man deserve to die?

All he did was raise voice in frustration, telling the officers he did not feel like being harassed and choose not to be someone’s bitch that day. If this had happened to a white guy, Y E A H R I G H T, it would be the funny story he’d be telling at his company Christmas party. It would be a joke.

Well, the joke’s on Eric Gardner. He’s dead.

Some months ago I wrote an article about cutting out the middleman, “middleman” being the officer who’s going to put a bullet in my head if I dare to look at him the wrong way one day.  Why don’t I just put a bullet in my own fucking head because any fucking white cop can decide I’m the wrong nigger in the wrong fucking place at the wrong time.

More than one of my friends thought I was going to commit suicide. I’d just lost my mother she was everything to me the last of my family consequently, I’m now all-alone in the world.

At my annual dinner at the San Diego Comic Con last July, I broke down in front of some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports and finance, when that thought hit me while welcoming my guests. Trust me, you have not lived until you’re crying like a little girl and Neyo gets up and hands you a handkerchief.

This has been the best professional year of my life and the worse, absolute worse year of my life personally. So it’s fair to say my mental state is not one where a confrontation with a police officer because I’m just not in the mood to be treated like my fucking name is Toby is out of the question.

That’s fair to say but what’s blatantly unfair is ending up dead because I know my rights and the day I decide to practice them by not remembering my place, I’m choked or shot to death.

This is appalling beyond measure and as you can see from the new shootings almost every day of unarmed black boys and men, it’s common. Those on the far right no longer have to wonder why so many black people hate the police. It’s simple; many Black people hate the police for the same reason Americans hate terrorists.

They are killing our young men for no other reason than they feel they have a right to do so. They don’t, and America is letting them know it as I write this.

Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and I created Milestone to give young kids of color heroes that looked like them. The police were represented as heroes and role models and they are; just not where poor black kids live. Not where I grew up. I don’t live in the hood anymore but still feel the same way about police and with good reason. Since I’ve been living in my nice house on my nice hill, I’ve been stopped repeatedly and arrested once.

I don’t hate the police. I fear the police. This is not North Korea; no American should hate or fear the police except criminals. In guess that does mean I’m allowed, technically, I am a criminal, having taken a plea deal, rather than go to court on a charge, even with videotape evidence of my innocence.

That’s how much I fear the police and the courts. I still can’t bring myself to hate the police because I’m too smart to paint all police with one brush. It would appear that although I hold out hope that things will get better, as a black man, I feel it’s best for me to hold on to my fear and I will.

I don’t hate the police but without a doubt, some police hate me.

Because of that, in America today, I can’t breathe.