Tagged: Derek Dingle

Michael Davis: I Am Static

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

We did, and when we did, comics changed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC does not and has never owned Milestone.

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

Milestone has operated on some level since 1992.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a very real way I am Static.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once again, Static is about to blow up.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Static Shock Comes To The Big Screen!

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

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

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

Sookie, Sookie, now!!!

Err, white people ask somebody.

Get on the good foot!


Can you feel it?

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

I need to testify!

Yeah, that would be best.

Can I get a witness?

Look, just call Leroy and stop punishing yourself.

I’m king of the world!!!!

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

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

Thank You Jesus!

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


Did you think I meant a movie?


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

That makes no sense!

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

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

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

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

Is you stupid?

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

I ask yet again, is you stupid?

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

How could anyone forget Steel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Really, dude, take a chill pill.

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

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

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

My bad.

Really. MY BAD.

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

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

I have NO problem with that.

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

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

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

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

It wasn’t.

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

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

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

Guess who looked like an idiot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Glenn Hauman: The Heavyweight Titles of Milestone

In celebration of the Milestones show at Geppi Entertainment Museum, we present this piece, originally published in the San Diego Comic-Con International Souvenir Book 2013.

Twenty years. Daaaaamn.

I spent a lot of time hanging around Milestone when they were first starting up. I was working around the corner from their 23rd St. offices at a digital pre-press house, where DC Comics was getting their painted covers scanned and separated. And I’d worked at DC and knew a lot of the folks there informally, and Milestone in those days was a very informal place. There was no standing on ceremony, if you wanted to show up and pitch in, you could just do that. And I did, bringing over lots of fonts for typesetting on a Mac and helping out with little production things here and there— I couldn’t do much because of my full-time job, but they were a start-up, which meant they worked after 5 PM a LOT. But even as busy as any start-up can get, you could go in and sit in the editor-in-chief’s office and talk— although, to be fair, that was Dwayne McDuffie, a man who had the laid-back confidence that you can only get from being the size of a small mountain. Of course, that didn’t mean you couldn’t push back— I remember asking him after Hardware #1 came out how he really felt about work-for-hire.

It turned out, years later, that Dwayne wasn’t really sure why I was there. We knew each other, and he’d seen me around various comics offices and conventions and the like, but at the time, for some reason he thought I was Walt Simonson’s assistant. The point is, he didn’t care— you wanted in on what they were doing, you were in. Everybody had something to contribute.

The thing about Milestone, and this was a big one, is that it wasn’t a “black” company, even though everybody outside the office thought of it as such. It was a “people” company. Didn’t matter whether you were as dark-skinned as Derek Dingle or as pale as Matt Wayne, a guy even paler than me and that’s going some. Everybody there wanted to make comics— although there was a lot less of the feeling that people wanted to grow up and become Julie Schwartz. Milestone came from knowing that there was a different kind of story to tell, a story that had been neglected in everybody’s straight white male superhero stories, stories that might as well have taken place in 1960’s Riverdale. Milestone showed an entire generation of readers that there were strange new worlds just on the other side of town, and took you there.

More importantly, Milestone broke the monolith of minority character stereotypes in comics, that there was more to the characters than just being black or hispanic or gay or whatever. Icon, Hardware, Rocket, Static, and Wise Son were all black, but they all had different points of view— which just hadn’t happened much in comics before that; heck, I’m having a hard time trying to think of comics before Milestone where two black characters showed up together for any extended amount of time. Is there a minority version of the Bechdel Test? Let’s make one right now and call it the Milestone test: A comic passes if (1) there are at least two minority characters in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a white person. And if you have to tell the reader the character is black because it’s in his name– Black Lightning, Black Manta, Black Goliath, Black Panther, Black Racer, Black Vulcan– it’s not really a black character.

But the most amazing thing is that, in many ways, it’s not as big of a deal anymore. You can put Static Shock on TV and people don’t look at it as pandering to connect with the urban audience, he’s a character. And for that alone, the work done by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Robert Washington, Matt Wayne, Ivan Velez, Michael Davis, John Paul Leon, Mark Bright, Trevor Von Eeden, Andrew Pepoy, Janet Jackson, Jimmy Palmiotti, Noelle Giddings, Janice Chiang, Steve Dutro, Mike Gustovich, James Sherman, Joe James, John Rozum, Steve Mitchell, Joe James, Chriscross, Prentis Rollins, Derek Dingle, and so many others… well, it’s a Milestone worth celebrating.

(Originally published in the San Diego Comic-Con International Souvenir Book 2013.)

Michael Davis: Milestone Media Announces Static Shock is Gay

Davis Art 130913No.

No we didn’t.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Nope, never said that.

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

Damn, I’m witty.

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

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

Yeah, I had a student named Thor.

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

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

But, (sorry Peter) I digress.

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

Damn, I’m witty.

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Michael Davis: The Rise Of The Super Nigga

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

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

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

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

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

The Rise Of The Super Nigga

Based on a true story until the end.

Michael at 10 years old wanted to be an artist.

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

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

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

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

That successful.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Thenit’s all-good.

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

He becomes a drug dealer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Gets Real Small

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


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

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

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

Christopher Priest, on the other hand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well you wouldn’t… but you know me…

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

Who’s bad Idea was it?

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

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

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

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

It was over a Kitty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That Michael Davis, what a rebel!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BTW… I still have Kitty’s cell…







Michael Davis: Marvel’s Black Avengers

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

I think a few things…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, I’m not kidding.

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

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

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

Yo, Marvel, you better recognize.

Wednesday: Mike Gold

Thursday: Dennis O’Neil


Michael Davis: You Better Recognize

Davis Art 130528 copyI’m pissed.

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

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

Translation: I swear a lot.

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

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

This one’s for you, Chantal…

The following from a recent Publisher’s Weekly article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean, come on.

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

Come the booger on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Nope. That was me.

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

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

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

Why is that important to correct?

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

Don’t think so?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get it right.




Michael Davis: It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Davis Art 130212Actually it was twenty years ago, but it wasn’t today. Look, any time I get to use a Beatles lyric in anything I write I’m using it. Nothing says witty and clever like a Beatles lyric or a Tupac and Biggie reference.

Case in point. One time too freakin’ many an ex-girlfriend asked me in an email if I thought she was getting fat. I was so sick of answering the same freakin’ question over and over again. She would ask when she and I would be on a date, in a car, on the phone, texting and one time I could have sworn she screamed it out during sex. I can’t be sure of that I couldn’t hear her clearly as I was, at the same time, screaming out my name. Yes, I scream my own name out during sex. Someone has to.

I was just sick to death of this shit so in my response I found a way to use a slightly altered Beatles lyric, which was, yes, you are the Walrus.

Twenty years ago, Denys Cowan, Dwayne McDuffie, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and I founded Milestone Media.

Hard to believe I was just five when I helped start the company, eh Jean?

Twenty years later, Milestone is still considered the greatest publishing achievement in African American comic book history. The Milestone deal was ground breaking and the universe is still alive and relevant. Milestone has achieved in comics the same kind of reverence the Tucker achieved in the automobile industry or Guns ‘n’ Roses achieved in Rock and Roll, all three burst on the scene, changed the game and for whatever reason lived a short life but has never been forgotten.

What many people don’t realize is Milestone still exists and is still alive in media if not in a monthly series of comic books. Static Shock is still seen on television, Milestone characters are often featured on other DC comics animated shows and Milestone comic book projects still are being created.

Milestone’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated and in the coming months happenings will be reveled. I just can’t tell you now; if I did Denys Cowan would see to it that I join Tupac and Biggie. Yes, I’ve used that line before and I will continue to use it until LAPD does it job and finds their killers…or someone comments how clever and witty that line is. I’m good with whatever comes first.

What I can say is ComicMix readers who are Milestone fans have a guy on the inside. As we all know with great power comes first hand knowledge premiering here at ComicMix before anywhere else.

That is, if I remember to write it after it’s finalized but before the press release goes industry wide.

I’ll try and remember but once I was told over the phone I just had a huge project green lit and could now talk about it. The very next call I was on not three minutes later was with an entertainment magazine doing a profile on me and like a dick I forgot to mention the venture when asked about what projects I was working on.

That omission was like forgetting to mention I own a dog when being interviewed for a cover story in Dog Magazine.

Last thing, for all you fan boys who are still a bit “girl challenged” if your girlfriend…wait, what am I saying? Girlfriend? Fan boys? Ok, if the girl you are smitten with or any girl asks you if she looks like she was getting fat or the classic, do I look fat in this dress?

The answer is always no.

If the heifer weights 300 pounds and is always sucking on a saltlick, the answer is always no.

Trust me, don’t say anything remotely like what I said, I’m lucky to be alive and ten years after the break up I’m still looking over my shoulder.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold and The Nerddom Intelligentsia

THURDSDAY: Dennis O’Neil