Tagged: Dwayne McDuffie

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: 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.

Michael Davis: I Am Static

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

We did, and when we did, comics changed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC does not and has never owned Milestone.

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

Milestone has operated on some level since 1992.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a very real way I am Static.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once again, Static is about to blow up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Static Shock Comes To The Big Screen!

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

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

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

Sookie, Sookie, now!!!

Err, white people ask somebody.

Get on the good foot!

Ditto.

Can you feel it?

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

I need to testify!

Yeah, that would be best.

Can I get a witness?

Look, just call Leroy and stop punishing yourself.

I’m king of the world!!!!

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

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

Thank You Jesus!

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

What?

Did you think I meant a movie?

BHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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

That makes no sense!

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

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

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

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

Is you stupid?

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

I ask yet again, is you stupid?

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

How could anyone forget Steel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really, dude, take a chill pill.

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

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

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

My bad.

Really. MY BAD.

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

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

I have NO problem with that.

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

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

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

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

It wasn’t.

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

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

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

Guess who looked like an idiot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Michael Davis: Milestones at ComicMix

I’ve been writing for ComicMix for the better part of almost 10 years.

I’ve been writing for Bleeding Cool for the better part of 10 months.

They are rival sites much in the way the Yankees and Mets are rivals, both play the same game but play it a completely different way.

Like the two powerhouse sites the history of the Yankees and Mets, their pedigree and reason for being are as vastly different as a crazy Right Wing Fanatic and a Tree Hugging Liberal.

I grew up hating the Yankees until that magical October in 1977.

That’s when I watched Mr. October, Reggie Jackson damn near all by himself SMOKE the hated L.A. Dodgers in game 7 of the World Series. I hated the Dodgers as a young kid in Queens, N.Y. I hate them still as a grown man in Los Angeles.

Why no love for the Dodgers?

Because my mom was a die-hard Brooklyn Dodger fan and when the ‘Bums’ left Brooklyn millions of fans left them, my mom being one of them.

Why the hatred for the Yankees before they bitch slapped the Dodgers?

The New York Metropolitans, a.k.a. the New York Mets, came along and won the hearts and minds of the lovesick fans of that team that must not be named. Hating the Yankees came as second nature if you rooted for the team from Brooklyn.

Becoming a Met fan gave your Yankee hate a new home.

Very, and I mean very, few people root for the Yankees and the Mets. I became one of the few when I watched Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three pitches in that dreamlike World Series.

It was MAGIC— and just like that I was a die-hard Yankee fan.

In 2000 my beloved Mets and much-loved Yankees played each other in the World Series.

I rooted for the Mets. They were my first love and as much as I LOVE the Yankees I threw my alliance to the boys from Queens.

Very few people write for Bleeding Cool and ComicMix. ComicMix is my first love and what and how I write for CM is different than what I do on BC.

A few years ago I wrote a series of articles on Milestone for ComicMix.

A four part (maybe more I can’t recall) series which I thought (because I’m an idiot) would be the end all and be all to the millions of Milestones questions out there.

It wasn’t.

I’m writing another series but this time I’d like to answer questions fans want to know. As BC and CM are immeasurably different I’d like to open the forum to both sites because I’ll get greatly different questions I’m sure.

So-I’d like to know what you would like to know. I’ll try and cover as much as possible and unless it’s something I just can’t talk about I’ll give you the inside scoop. Feel free to present your theories, rumors any and all crazy shit you want to know about.

If you would like to know how I presented this at BC check out my article from last Friday, which I’m pretty sure, the good folks at ComicMix will post the link here.

I’m very interested what will come from each site and I’m sure if asked the right question I’m sure you will be interested in the answers.

Wow.

Will you look at that?

A well-written ( I think) informative and interesting article with nary a bad word or rant.

FUCK the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ahhhhhhhh, that’s better.

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.)

“Milestones” spotlights African-American comics, pop culture

Michael Davis and Tatiana El-Khouri pose with contributors to Milestones at Geppi’s entertainment museum

Milestones, the new exhibit at Geppi’s entertainment museum in Baltimore premiered last Friday night with a gala that presented the collection in grand style.

The exhibition, assembled and curated by Michael Davis and Tatiana El-Khouri, showcases both the work of not only black creators, but black characters in comics, Such as Storm and Black Panther, rightly described as one of the most iconic black characters in the medium. Don Mcgregor, classic writer of Black Panther (and co-creator with Paul Gulacy of Sabre) was a guest of honor for the evening, along with a broad selection of comics creators.

It features art from both major publishers and independents, well-known and cult characters, and a wide array of black writers and artists.   Artwork includes Ken Lashley’s covers for Justice League of America, Shawn Martinbrough’s work on Thief of Thieves, and the Black Dynamite mini series Slave Island. Kyle Baker’s contributes art from his graphic novel King David, and Denys Cowan‘s careers is prominently featured, including some of Cowan’s initial designs for John Henry Irons, AKA Steel.

The work of the eponymous Milestone Media is included, including a tribute to the late Dwayne McDuffie; a portrait by Davis and an essay by Milestone President Derek Dingle.

A video presentation features interviews with Orlando Jones, Wayne Brady, Reginald Hudlin and more, all discussing the historic and modern contribution of black creators to pop culture.

Milestones runs from December 14th 2013 to April of 2014.  For more information, visit the museum’s website, or milestonestheshow.com

Martha Thomases: Send In The Crowds

Thomases Art 131018I’m not a Communist. I’m not a Marxist, unless you count Groucho. And I’m certainly not a Maoist. However, I’ve always enjoyed quoting this passage from Mao’s Little Red Book: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.”

I’ve always heard that as a call for diversity, not only of opinion but of style, of subject matter, of voice and rhythm and flavor. It’s what I want not only in the market of public opinion, but even more in my popular culture.

Especially in comics.

For many years American comics came in only a few flavors. You had your superhero comics, and your underground comics. If you wanted something that wasn’t “Biff, Bam, Pow” or political satire, you had to look to Europe or Japan, and hope one of your friends could translate for you.

Luckily, that hasn’t been true for years. Yes, Marvel and DC continue to dominate the direct market, but there are many more outlets that sell graphic novels, including bookstores and the Internet. More publishers putting out more kinds of books meant there were more potential readers. The marketplace grew, and, as a result, not only are there massive, crowded events like last weekend’s New York Comic-Con, but best seller lists of graphic novels in the newspaper of record.

In the past couple of years, the market has opened even wider because of crowd-funding. People who are passionate about an idea for a book can raise the money themselves to put it together, and then either try to find a publisher or do it themselves. It’s the same spirit, but light years advanced technologically, from the zines I loved searching for in the 1970s and 1980s.

My pal, Bo Hampton, one of the finest artists working in comics, has a western super-natural horror story up on Kickstarter. It looks amazing, and it’s exactly the kind of book that neither DC nor Marvel would publish today. And even with so many mainstream publishers in the graphic novel business, there aren’t a lot of places that will do 80 pages of full color.

Sometimes, crowd funding demonstrates the pent up demand by the audience. That was the case with the Veronica Mars movie on Kickstarter, and it also seems to be the case with ComicMix Pro Services’ first campaign.

Dwayne McDuffie once said that the Internet is like a junior high school cafeteria but on a global scale. Even though there are billions of us here, we still find our own little cliques and nerd groupings.

And garden plots, where we plant a million flowers.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Davis: Milestone Media Announces Static Shock is Gay

Davis Art 130913No.

No we didn’t.

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

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

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

What?

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

What??

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

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

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

Stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

Nope, never said that.

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

Damn, I’m witty.

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

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

Yeah, I had a student named Thor.

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

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

But, (sorry Peter) I digress.

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

Damn, I’m witty.

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

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

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

But…

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

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

No.

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

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

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

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander