Tagged: John Paul Leon

Michael Davis: Of Dreams & Relations

Michael Davis: Of Dreams & Relations

Michael Davis: Of Dreams & Relations

John Paul Leon. Photo by Luigi Novi.

John Paul Leon was part of an elite group, the Bad Boy Studio Mentor program. That program’s goal is to help people of color gain entry into comic books and related businesses.

It does not stop there—the main goal is to pay it forward.

Each member of Bad Boy Studios is charged with advancing the next generation and living up to the program motto: EACH ONE TEACHES ONE.

When John came into the program, it was evident he was a star in the making. He began at Bad Boy during the period I was at Milestone Media.

Milestone’s business structure was just as innovative as Denys Cowan’s idea to create the company. The creative partners at Milestone took no salary; we were to be paid for our comic book work.

As an example, I wore many hats at Milestone, owner, founder, head of publicity, talent, and conventions. Nevertheless, I was only paid for writing and drawing Static known to the world as Static Shock.

I created the Static Shock Universe; the model for that creation was my Family. The real focus of that universe wasn’t Static; his sister Sharon Hawkins was.

The book Icon, Milestone’s Black Superman, was really about his sidekick, Rocket. That’s a genius idea from Dwayne McDuffie, so I followed suit.

The driving force behind the Static Universe was my mother, Jean. She was a remarkable woman, but her life was anything but easy. She was a victim of abuse from many sources but never complained.

Her mother, Lenore, my grandmother, and her daughter, Sharon, my sister, both died horrible deaths. That pain weighed on her, although she sought to conceal it.

I wanted to ease some of her pain, even if just a little. To that end, our family became the Hawkins family.

Jean, Robert, and Sharon were the names of my mom, dad, and sister. Hawkins was my cousin’s last name. Initially, Alan Hawkins was Static’s alter ego’s name. Dwayne changed it to Vigil after the civil rights pioneer.

My mother told me, seeing her daughter live on in Static was the greatest gift she ever received from me. The day after saying that, she passed away.

When John Paul Leon came into my Mentor Program, it wasn’t long before I decided his style was better suited for Static than my frequent photo referenced technique.

I mentioned I was only to be paid for writing and drawing Static. I was, except DC Comics never paid me for the entire time I was at Milestone. They refused to honor my contract.  (This was twenty-plus years ago and is in no way a reflection of the current DC Comics.)

My wife overheard a conversation where I was told that if I was so hard up for money, take the book back from John, I refused. She started screaming in Spanish.

A few days before this, she found out; we were broke—two years of no income erasing my significant savings. I, like a fool, honored my exclusive contract and looked for no other work. She was livid when I finally told her what I’d been dealing with and insisted we leave the loft where we lived.

My wife was the first generation of her family born in America.  Her Family risked death to come here from Cuba. They are hard-working, good people who value family above all.

Josephine was a wonderful woman with a smile that could light up a street. Nothing fazed her except bills. Like her mother, Jo saw bills priority number ONE.

The bill had to be paid the moment she opened the envelope. It did not matter if the bill was due in a week, month or decade. She paid bills immediately.

She never felt we could afford our place, and now, hearing her anger, I knew any chance I had of talking her into staying disappeared with my bank account.

I told her we were only a couple of months behind, the way she shouted you would have thought I spent the mortgage money on crack and the sheriff was at the door.

But I understood why it upset her so, what I couldn’t understand was Spanish.

“CÓMO TE ATREVES, CÓMO ATREVERTE, A QUITARTE EL SUEÑO DE ALGUIEN!”

I had no idea how I would tell this woman that I wouldn’t take the book back. It turns out I didn’t have to.  I found out later; she was furious but at the person on the phone.

“How dare you take away someone’s dream” she wasn’t talking about my dream but about John Paul’s dream to draw comics.

Josephine had a bond with John. They were both Cuban Americans, both kind and respectful, and both about Family.

I gave John my Family to take care of when I gave him Static to draw. Because of him and Robert Washington, Static is loved by millions all over the world. Yeah, the TV show was the medium— but no John Paul Leon, no Robert Washington, no TV Show.

In truth, Static may have been just another comic among thousands if not for them. John did a better job with my family than I would have each time I look at his work on the book reinforces that. Because of John if I ever do a Static project, his work will be first among the inspirations I’d pull from.

Each one teaches one is the John Paul Leon story in a nutshell; John’s work is so influential he will be teaching long after he is laid to rest.

Bernard, stay strong; your friend is still within your heart. 

Bad Boy Alumni, you’re all very much part of why John became one of the greatest ever put pencil to paper.

To Jo, Tenías razón el chico se hizo famoso, y se quedó como un buen tipo. Espero que tú y los tuyos estén bien.  (Yeah, my Spanish still sucks.)

Lastly, to the family, it was an honor and privilege to know your son; the world will remember him as one of the greatest to ever work in an industry full of great creators.

His light will shine for as long as comics exist perhaps even longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021

John Paul Leon, groundbreaking artist on Static and Earth X, died Saturday after an 14-year battle with cancer at the age of 49.

He majored in illustration at New York’s School of Visual Arts, studying under artists such as Will Eisner, Walter Simonson, and Jack Potter. It was during this time that he received his first professional comics job, illustrating the Dark Horse Comics miniseries RoboCop: Prime Suspect (October 1992). By his junior year he was given the job as the inaugural artist on the DC Comics/Milestone ongoing series Static (June 1993), his first breakout work, which Simonson agreed would serve as Leon’s course work for that semester.

Michael Davis, Milestone Media co-founder and co-creator of Static, posted his thoughts in a video on Instragram: “I can’t breathe. I’m a writer who can’t write about John now it’s too painful.”

Collaborators and studio-mates Tommy Lee Edwards and Bernard Chang have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a trust for his daughter’s future education. Go there to read more about John and his legacy.

Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

Michael Davis: Confessions of An Uppity Negro, Chapter 1

From now on
These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
Tonight
Let this promise in me start
Like an anthem in my heart
From now on
From now on 

Except from ‘From Now On’ written by Justin Paul & Benj Pasek

I am lucky
I am a con man
I am a fraud
I am uppity 

I AM LUCKY: 

“You’re very lucky to get even that.” The late Neal Pozner said that to me while handing me a ‘fill in’ job. It was a Captain Atom 10-page story an assignment given to me as part of my pay or play agreement with DC Comics while with Milestone Media.

Part of the agreement with DC was in exchange for devoting all our time to Milestone our standard of living would not suffer. If my Milestone income wasn’t sufficient, I could petition DC for freelance creative which they could provide or not. Either way, we got paid.

The word came back from Neal that no editor liked it and as such, they would not hire me. That’s when I knew the fix was in and I would never do work for DC again.

FUN FACT: I laid out thumbnail sketches but other than that I didn’t touch that job. John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, and Charles Drost did the actual artwork.

“Frankly Michael, the word is that you’re not a very good artist.”

Nooooooo, John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, and Charles Drost were not very good artists, and we KNOW that is bullshit. You may not be familiar with Charles’ work (Chuck to his pals) he’s a fine artist animation producer and director, but he’s as talented as they come, and everyone knows Bernard and John Paul are two of the biggest talents working in comics today. All three were part of my Bad Boy Studios.

So, yep the fix was in.

When Neal told me, no one wanted me because I sucked as an artist I wondered why on earth did they offer me two deluxe format projects and pay me well over a hundred grand before my name went the Moses route and was stricken.

DC: Let the name of Davis be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all comics cartoons stricken from every monument of the industry. Let the name of Davis be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.

This surprised me because Neal and I were close until one day we just were not.  I met Neal at a Gays in Comics mixer at a convention. He came over shook my hand and said, “It’s not many straight guys in comics who would attend one of these.”  NO IDEA how he knew I was straight, but we ended up talking and becoming friends. After that, we would hang out together whenever we ended up at the same event.

When Neal died, I contributed his coldness to more substantial matters that affected how he treated trivial shit. He was a good guy I liked him nevertheless he was part of the DC Machine that was fucking up my shit.

I AM A CON MAN: 

“Michael, I see you’ve conned yourself into yet another rather nice deal.”

Bob Wayne said that to me at Comic-Con International in 1994. I’d just been named President and CEO Motown Animation and Filmworks. I went over to the DC booth to say hello to Bob. He was loud enough so all those within earshot could (and what I thought his purpose) would hear.

This REALLY surprised and hurt me because Bob and I were buddies until one day like with Neal we weren’t.

I gave Neal a pass-why? I liked him and ‘pay or play’ means assignment or not DC had to pay me.

They didn’t. But that’s another story, and here we were talking about Bob Wayne.

Yeah, Neal got a pass. Bob, on the other hand, did not because I was livid. When I returned from Comic-Con, I wrote a very detailed letter to Bob’s boss explaining how unprofessional Bob was and how I was offended.

Realizing Bob may have destroyed any opportunity to work with another influential entertainment company Bob’s boss fired him. That act so impressed me I licensed the entire Gerry Anderson catalog to DC for a dollar. Polygram was a sister company, and I was given Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet among other properties to develop. Yeah. Bob was out of a job, and I entered into a publishing deal with DC that has produced the most successful Black character in DC’s history.

HA! That will teach anyone to fuck with me.

Then I woke up.

The publisher of DC didn’t even respond. He and Bob most likely laughed their asses off.  OH, wait a sec, you’ll don’t know Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet was among the universes I had dominion over?

I AM A FRAUD: 

At the very same convention that Bob Wayne thought he had dominion over me, I ran into Howard Chaykin. Howard was a friend who I idolized when younger.  Not just because of his fantastic work his badass take no prisoner attitude had a significant influence on me

His reaction when I told him the news of becoming President and CEO of Motown film and TV. Hell, he was a friend— what do you think he said to me?

“What? But you’re a fraud!”

Well, I thought he was a friend.

I AM UPPITY:  

“You get in people’s faces.”

“You’re loud.”

“Who do you think you are?”

SOOOOOO many people pros and fans alike have said the above to me and MUCH MUCH more.

Howard Chaykin invented getting into people’s faces. No one is louder than Todd McFarlane.

Who do they think they are?

I’m willing to bet those guys don’t get questions on their pedigree.

There are two distinct differences between Howard, Todd and me.

  1. They are way more well-known than me.
  2. Really? Do I have to say it? OK, I will, my dick is bigger, and I can dance. (watch some idiot not get the joke)

Now there are those will say they are more accomplished than me.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Depends on how you measure accomplishment.

Now would be a good time to tout my resume. Nah. Not gonna do it. I’ll just ask is there a Howard Chaykin auditorium somewhere or do they only give those to frauds?

Just askin’.

Here’s my question-what gives anyone the right to call me a fraud when they have no fucking idea what I’ve done? Or call me lucky when made aware something I’ve done?

Or say:

“You get in people’s faces.”

“You’re loud.”

“Who do you think you are?”

All that my friends are code for uppity, short for Uppity Nigger. Fraud? That’s when people have no respect for you. I can’t explain why Howard said that to me and that shit HURT. What did I say?

Not a damn thing.

I’m nobody’s bitch I’m not afraid of Howard but he may have forgotten the snowed in night at UP START STUDIOS when he spent a great of time giving me advice and showing real concern.

It was just he and I from around 9pm until well after midnight. This stands out as one of the best memories of my best memories because all the time he was talking to me he was inking AMERICAN FLAGG.

FUCKING WOW.

He may have forgotten, I haven’t.

So, no I didn’t say a word.

There’s a company that took their objection to my swagger personally. I say company because when the little bitch who started it all left the company, I thought the stupidly went with him. I just found out it didn’t.

This asshole produced a document that is so damning he thought when I signed it he had successfully killed my career. Why would I sign such a document?

Because MY lawyers who come from one of the most powerful law firms on the planet say it’s unenforceable and those who produced it were fools to do so. It shows an absolute bias against me.

Right now, the punk ass bitch who put this shit together is thinking ‘statue of limitations’ That would be a concern if I signed outside of those limitations.

What, me worried?

It’s not like I had called the character Tyrone Cash Super Nigger. Cash was a brilliant black scientist who gains the powers of the Hulk, KEEPS HIS INTELLECT, then decides to give up his job as a brilliant scientist TO BECOME A DRUG DEALER.

He solved a problem that Dr. Doom, Reed Richards, Hank Pym and every other big brain in the Marvel Universe couldn’t. That makes him the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. That means the most intelligent BLACK person in the Marvel Universe thinks being a fucking DRUG DEALER is a worthy endeavor.

This idea was created by superstar creator Mark Millar.

It’s not like I called Mr. Millar’s creation ‘Super Nigger.’ THAT would be a reason to worry.

Shit. I did call Tyrone Cash, Super Nigger. But Mark, if you’re reading this, don’t get mad. It’s not like I called you a fraud or asked who you think you are.

BTW-does one stupid character negate your other work?

No. You’re still a brilliant writer, but TC is as FUCKED UP as FUCKED UP can be.

But (HOWTHEHELLYOUDOINPETERDAVID?) I digress.

Am I worried about outing the nincompoops who think they have the right to treat me like my name was Toby?

Nah.

I’m looking forward to their explanation. Then they can also explain why they produced that document AFTER two employees SWORE I’d called their company racist. Funny thing about that those representatives of this massive entertainment corporation. They were not mistaken, they were not wrong they were not incorrect.

They were LIARS.

It was a setup. Yes, I’ve got proof and so does Ropes and Gray.

Explain THAT.

Why am I dealing with this at all when I let it go for so long?  Truth is this isn’t the first time I’ve written about these things— this time it’s different because I made a promise to my cousin Regina a few months ago.

After reading my articles for the last 25 years, she noticed I’m no longer ‘getting in people’s faces when they fuck with you.” She also noticed I’m not happy nor am I, “Being the badass take no shit from no one we all love and shake our head at.”

She said it was my duty to show young kids of color if wronged bring attention to that wrong. People always want Black men to show their papers we both agreed that was still a problem, if not you’re a fraud or lucky and if you’re confident about your ability, you’re uppity.

Regina was my biggest fan, she was family.

On the one-year anniversary of Len Wein’s death, before I could post my article marking that sad occasion my beloved cousin, Regina Keesley passed from this earth.

I made a promise to Regina that I would no longer tolerate those who question my intelligence or doubt my resume.

OR are stupid enough to FUCK WITH ME.

Ice Cube said; “I’m the wrong nigga to fuck with” and so am I.

I’m off to NYC for Regina’s service. I intend to tell her face to face I’m gonna keep my promise.

Funny, I’m going to show some folk my papers, just not the ones they expect.


I’m trying not to duplicate what I write. Bleeding Cool, ComicMix, and Pop Culture Squad have all run the same article at times. Not my intention— I want each entity to have exclusive content from me.

This article is exclusive to ComicMix.

I’m writing a series of articles called “The Ugly Side of Comics” at Bleeding Cool. I see “Confessions of An Uppity Negro” as a sister series but as original to ComicMix as “The Ugly Side of Comics” is to Bleeding Cool. I hope to start a series at Pop Culture Squad soon. Working title “Not Me.”

—Michael Davis  
LAX, 9PM, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2018 

 

Michael Davis: Those MOFOs

cac-cmThe Dream Killer series continues next week.

I was attending The Pratt Institute and needed all the bank I could get. Pratt’s one of the world’s great art schools and cheap it was not. I had to come up with most of the tuition because no one talked to me about how financial aid went away if grades fall below a C.

I was a poor black kid from the projects talks like that rarely happen in inner cities. Those lucky enough to raise above our assigned station in life have to fend for ourselves. Our talks revolve around staying away from drugs, gangs, and cops.

American families middle class or above think nothing of seemingly little things like dad or mom talking to them at dinner about their college life.

Mum: My dear sweet Reginal you’ve many things to look forward to while at college!

Reginal: What were some of your favorite things? Do tell mummy!!

Mum: Why raindrops on roses and whiskers on kitten’s bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens brown paper packages tied up with strings don’t drop below a C, or you’ll have none of those things.

My freshman year I had no idea what to expect there was no “when I was in college” talk. For most poor people there is no talk of college, period. Most of the people I grew up with had no father in the house. My older sister, mother or grandmother – none of those people went to college.

“I can’t believe he’s related to you.”

Betty Blayton Taylor said to my cousin William T. Williams. They were on a phone call discussing my employment. He politely listened as Betty told him how I jetted at 4 pm on the nose from the Children’s Art Carnival how loud I was and assorted other things she saw as problems.

Betty, an acclaimed artist, co-founded the Children’s Art Carnival (CAC) where thanks to my cousin I was working that summer. Her partner at the Carnival? The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Betty was a young, black woman and that, dear friend, is a triple minority. Yet by sheer force of will and a real life super power, she created a life experience in the arts for thousands of children of color. She did that with the full ($) weight of one of the most prestigious arts institutions on the planet.

Then she convinced them to set the school up in Harlem.

To do such in the late 60s early 70s when being black and a woman was second only to being black and a man on the “your name is Toby” list was an unheard of achievement.

The odds of a pulling that off today?

Doable… but so is Salma Hayek but try as one might the closest they will ever get is cosplay… alone. Back in the day and all through her life Betty Blayton was gangsta. Betty’s superpower?

Information and access.

If made aware of the C rule there would have been no need for a second job so no need to leave at 4 pm every day. Betty didn’t like clock watchers, nor did she think I was funny. She thought I was annoying and wanted me gone.

During her call, Betty told my cousin she was going to fire me.

She didn’t.

Not because my cousin asked her not too but because he gave me the information and access to such that allowed me to make a convincing case to stay.

When Betty asked me what I had to say for myself, I used my cousin’s advice, I told her the truth. We had a come to Jesus moment (ask someone black) and although she dropped the hammer on my ass, I kept my job and came away with a friend.

A few years after graduating from Pratt I returned to the Carnival. I wrote the curriculum for what would become the Communications Arts Department and was made its director. That became the foundation for my Bad Boy Studio Mentor Program.

Coming back to the Carnival Betty still couldn’t stand my swagger, but she grew to love it after I made the Communications Arts Department a success. “Keep doing what you do.” Betty said; “It’s ridiculous but I can’t deny it works.”

It worked so well that Betty put my name up to become a board member. Betty now loved me. Her follow board members, not so much.

She was met with such vile feedback I asked her to withdraw my name.

“Michael!” She yelled when I picked up the phone. I’d often get late night calls during what I called her whine moments. “These motherfuckers don’t like you but have no problem using what you’ve done when asking for funding! It’s just ridiculous!!”

FUN FACT: ‘Motherfucker’ and ‘Ridiculous’ were two of her favorite words. This from the woman who not only founded the Art Carnival but co-founded The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The More You Know…

“They keep asking me why do you have to be so loud?”

She said this raising her voice mid-sentence to imply loudness. This cracked her up. Me? Not so much. I was miserable, having already told my cousin I was going to be on the board.

You know what I told them?” Betty said.

“What Betty?”

“He’s loud so those kids can hear him!”

She hung up but two days later a vote was taken, and I became a board member.

My relationship continued long after I left the CAC, no longer being able to justify spending so much free time away from my wife. On top of that, I stopped accepting a CAC paycheck insisting the money go to the programs. Try telling your wife that little tidbit. Ha! I never did. Ha!

She left me anyhow.

When I made the move to L.A, I’d speak to Betty often. Last night I talked to her for a few and remembered a call from about a year ago when Betty called about a young artist she met on the subway.

“She was reading a comic book so I asked if she knew who you were. She’s a big fan.” Betty said. “So.” I began. “That’s where my one fan is.” Betty took a second to get it then she laughed her infectious laugh. We agreed I’d call the young lady who Betty told me was having a hard time within her household. That often happens when poor kids (black or white) express interest in the arts as a career.

She and I went down memory lane until she asked how my mother was, unaware she had died. She was saddened at the news then she told me “She’s looking down at you very proud of you. You drive people crazy, but you have a good heart you’re a good man.”

Good man? I hope so.

Drive people crazy? Without a doubt.

Good heart? Some days, but not today.

Today my heart is broken.

Basil, one of Betty’s Carnival Kids, contacted me to tell me Betty died a few days ago.

What many don’t know is Betty has a comic book legacy. Brett Lewis, Shawn Martinbrough, Kevin McCarthy, John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, Chuck Drost, Chris Sotomayor and countless others are Carnival Kids.

As I sit here sobbing, I realize so am I.

I have no doubt if I would have lost the CAC job Pratt would have followed. No CAC, no Pratt, Bad Boy Studios, Milestone or Black Panel. Odds are I would have returned to the projects. Best case scenario I’m a security guard. That was my second job in college. It gets a bad rap from some, but it’s noble career, and I loved it.

Worst case scenario, I’m dead or in jail. There but for the grace of God…

Betty was a mentor and a friend not just to me but to countless artists who found their voice because of Betty. She died over a week ago, but I still talked to her last night.

I said to say hello to my mother, sister, and grandmother. Look up Malcolm Jones, Dwayne McDuffie, Curtis Johnson, Marvin Haynes, Carol Kalish, Archie Goodwin, Kim Yale, Mark Gruenwald, Don Thompson and Linda Gold.

Betty loves to talk to great people, and she won’t find a better group of people than are on that bittersweet list.

Anyone who thinks otherwise all I can say is that MOFO is ridiculous.

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