Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Nerds of Color: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Milestone Media November 19th

I was invited to join the guests on the pop culture website The Nerds of Color for a chat this Thursday night about the 20th Anniversary of Milestone Media

Milestone Comics started 20 years ago and had a really good run for a few years before they were swallowed up by their distributors, DC Comics ... Milestone was the first comic book publisher I'd ever worked for. And to be honest, in hindsight I didn't know how good I had it there until I worked for other comics companies afterwards ...

I was there on our first official day ... I'd started out as a Production Assistant doing paste up and minor art correx, and eventually I was promoted to Production Manager, so I focused more on making sure our issues shipped on time. It was a beautiful time ... what was especially lovely was how our Editor-in-Chief Dwayne McDuffie was not afraid to give us newcomers a start in the business, and I got to co-write Icon #7 with him -- the issue where Rocket decides to keep her baby.

Two of the four founders, Denys Cowan and Michael Davis, one of our Editors, Joe Illidge, and our very talented inking artist on Static, Shawn Martinbrough will be the guests. It's truly an honor to be among these gentlemen, and I'm very happy for the invitation. Please join us and Hard N.O.C. Life host Keith Chow this Thursday evening at 9:30 EST.

The Nerds of Color has a Youtube channel so if you can't join us there for the live event, it will be posted there once it's edited.

A Church Called Graffiti -- preview Chapter One

I've been working nearly 6 and a half years on this. I posted a little about it back in May 2011.

Written by Taylor Field, I adapted A Church Called Graffiti into a graphic novel because I found the story really touching. And this sort of story isn't easily found in comics ... See, you can usually find stories by people who have left religion because someone was a super-jerk to them at church. Or you can find super-religious tract-comics for evangelizing with, or comics versions of bible stories. You don't often find just a normal story of someone just struggling to live up to what Jesus Christ said when he told us to love one another. I thought that was cool.

Plus [speaking as the transplanted Nuyorican now in Tennessee] I found Taylor -- a white, Protestant, mid-western seminary student! -- trying his best to serve the (Lower East Side!!) neighborhood people a really serious fish-out-of-water story ... and I really wanted it to be shared.

Here's a preview of Chapter One below-- I apologize because my size choices are this small thing, or the next size up, which bumps up the artwork and makes it overlap into the side bar here, and that's just silly. But try and double click on the images, that ought to help show you the artwork at a slightly bigger size in most browsers.

Chapter Two is here.

Chapter Three is here.

Hoping it will become an e-book available on Amazon sometime Spring 2014. Will keep ya'll posted on the when and such as details become available.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jasper Tree Special Needs Homeschool Supplemental Program to Begin This Fall

My friend Wendy Sullivan is working on her Master's in Special Needs education, and is starting a homeschool supplemental program aimed to help kids with Special Needs and their parents.

I'm a homeschool advocate -- not like I'm an activist or anything, kinda too stuck to my drawing board for that -- but as a teacher with a homeschool supplemental program I can see the difference in the character of the children I teach, when I compare them to public school kids and compare them to my own experience. (I was homeschooled by my own mom until I started public school in the first grade. When I entered I was already at a second grade reading level.) I think the education of children falls first to the parent, and that needs to be supplemented by teachers who genuinely love children and love to teach kids.

All's to say, my friend Wendy's son is in my homeschool 4th grade class, and there are two other children in my class on the Autism spectrum this year. These 3 kids are amazing, and the class as a whole really works well together, and I'm very proud of all of them. Knowing Wendy's love for kids and her goal to create a program that especially helps parents that are in situations much like her own, is great incentive to step up and help this become a reality.

Jasper Tree is the name of the new program -- and the reason why it's called so is touching and on the website -- and we're having a fundraising pancake dinner this next Friday, March 30th. It will run from 6:30 to 8:30. It'll be $8 a person, and $25 for a family.

We'll also have a silent auction to help raise funds. There will be several pieces worked on by kids who are interested in joining the program. Also available will be 2 pieces I'm donating. I painted two watercolors for the silent auction -- the images are here on the left -- one of Tulips and one of Columbine flowers. They are pencil, ink and watercolor on watercolor paper. (Fascinating to me is I found out after I had drawn it that the Columbine flower has been used in Art to symbolize the Holy Spirit! I'm SOOO doing a little series of these. I think these flowers are just gorgeous creations God has made!!)

I'm setting the opening bid price at $100, with complete proceeds going to Jasper Tree, and I will pay the TN sales tax for the purchase.

If you are interested in the program, I hope you'll join us, or perhaps drop by to look at the pieces, and maybe even bid ... ! The full event information is listed on the Jasper Tree website.