Bigotry as a Monster: Black Heroes Beyond the Black Panther

Racism and hatred, grief and loss, form actual monsters that only the Sangerye family can fight in David Walker’s Bitter Roots series. Kwanza Osajeyfo’s Black AF universe takes a macabre […]

Bigotry as a Monster: Black Heroes Beyond the Black Panther

Authors:Khary Randolph, David F. Walker, Brandon Thomas, Kwanza Osajyefo

Racism and hatred, grief and loss, form actual monsters that only the Sangerye family can fight in David Walker’s Bitter Roots series. Kwanza Osajeyfo’s Black AF universe takes a macabre turn in Widows and Orphans, as Black babies with superpowers are bartered and sold. And Brandon ThomasExcellence imagines a world in which magic is to be used by the oppressed as a tool to improve the lives of the “better class.” Join these three storytelling masters as they discuss how they create such chilling “fantastical” worlds.

Moderated by illustrator Khary Randolph.

Khary Randolph

Khary Randolph has worked on properties from some of the biggest media companies in the world, such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, 20th Century Fox, Netflix, ESPN, Upper Deck, Complex, Coca-Cola, & Sony. Some of these properties include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron, X-Men, G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, Boondocks, and Teen Titans. Khary works primarily in comics but has also done work in animation, toy design, editorial illustration, commercial storyboarding and video games. He is the co-creator of Excellence, and the cover artist on BLACK.

David F. Walker

David F. Walker is a comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. His work in comic books includes Shaft, Luke Cage, Occupy Avengers, Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk   Fury, and Secret Wars: Battleworld. He also wrote the novel Shaft’s Revenge, the first new novel starring private detective John Shaft in nearly 40 years. He is also the creator of the critically-acclaimed YA series The Adventures of Darius Logan. Walker’s most recent book is Becoming Black: Personal Ramblings on Racial Identification, Racism and Popular Culture. Chuck Brown has written The Punisher, Wolverine, and Black Panther comics for Marvel. Brown has also written comics for Zenescope Entertainment, 12 Gauge Comics, Line Webtoon, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing. He is the creator of the Image comic On The Stump and co-creator of Bitter Root, which will be adapted by Legendary Pictures as a live-action film. The artist, Sanford Green, has worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image comics. He is now working on a line of creator owned online comics. Monster-hunting has been the Sangerye family business for generations as they battle the jinoo – hideous creatures born out of hate and racism. But in Bitter Root Volume 2: Rage & Redemption (Image Comics) now the Sangeryes face a different threat — the deadly inzondo, a new kind of monster born out of grief and trauma. With one of their own turning into an inzondo and an army of tortured souls on the attack in 1920s Harlem, the Sangerye family must once again fight to save the world, unless their own pain and suffering transforms them into monsters as well.

Brandon Thomas

Brandon Thomas is the writer and co-creator of the comics action fantasy series Excellence (Skybound/Image), (co-created with artist Khary Randolph); the sci-fi conspiracy thriller Horizon (Skybound/Image) and The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury. Previous work includes the comics series Noble (Lion Forge), which won an award for Best International Comic by the 2017 Lagos Comic-Con, in recognition of best usage of characters and stories based on persons of African descent; Voltron (Dynamite), and Fantastic Four Tales (Marvel). Since 2003, Brandon has written comics for several publishers, including Marvel, Lion Forge, Arcade, Dynamite, and DC Entertainment, and has published over 300 original columns as part of the Ambidextrous series. In Excellence, Volume 2 (Image Comics) Thomas and artists Khary Randolph, and Emilio Lopez, we meet Spencer Dales, born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others–of higher potential–but never themselves. Now, Spencer Dales has one purpose: tear down the Aegis and free everyone under their “protection.” It won’t easy. But it needs to happen NOW.

Kwanza Osajyefo

Kwanza Osajyefo began his career as an intern at Marvel Comics and worked his way up to digital editor. After leaving comics for a time, Kwanza returned to launch DC Comics first webcomics imprint and created the blueprints for their digital comics initiative. Kwanza prefers to write stories that draw from our human condition, centered around characters with various perspectives and backgrounds. In Black [af]: Widows & Orphans (Black Mask Comics) co-creator and author Kwanza Osajyefo asks a provocative question: In a world where only black people have superpowers, what price do they fetch on the black market? From the pages of BLACK, this new story features Anansi and Hoodrat investigating a human trafficking ring that will take them across the globe and bring them face-to-face with dark pasts of abuse, child soldiers, and families torn apart. LA WEEKLY called it “Chillingly prophetic, telling the tale of the children of superpowered people being torn away from their parents and sold on the black market.”

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