independent comics, concrete park, diverse comics booklist, graphic novel recommendations voya

Legend of the Mantamaji Joins Concrete Park and Tephlon Funk in Forbes

independent comics, concrete park, diverse comics booklist, graphic novel recommendations voyaThis week Rob Salkowitz featured Eric and Legend of the Mantamaji in his article on indie comics taking different routes to success.

sometimes it turns out that when you have a vision that’s outside the mainstream, you have to forge a new path to get it done.

Also featured are indie comic stars Concrete Park and Tephlon Funk.

Seaton and Metayer say they were both partially motivated to do their stories because they had such a hard time finding good work featuring authentic black characters and black creators when they were growing up as fans. Puryear says he is proud of his African-American heritage, but bristles when people assume that his work is aimed primarily at black readers. “The future includes everybody,” he said.

This is a great time to be an indie comic creator and an excellent time for creators to make those diverse comics that the community is clearly eager to own. Carefully weigh your options before going the indie route. It can be an additional full time job, but if you have a specific vision and a good plan, you can do it.

Have a question about being an indie creator? Ask in the comment section below!

Eric Dean Seaton, Diverse Comics Take New York Comic Con by Storm

Three panels on comic book diversity, books signings and work included in the Schomburg Center: Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination Exhibit highlight television director’s appearances in New York this week.

NEW YORK - Oct. 7, 2015 – Television director and graphic novelist Eric Dean Seaton delves deep into the diversity in comics discussion with three panel appearances and book signings for his graphic novel series “Legend of the Mantamaji” at New York Comic Con and an appearance of his work in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s exhibit: Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination.

“Diversity in comics is an important conversation that is about more than simply creating characters of color. The conversation is also about creators of color owning and creating their own stories and publishers daring to challenge the status quo and publishing these stories,” Eric Dean Seaton said.

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Panel Appearances:

We Need More Diverse Comics Panel

Thursday, October 8 11:15am – 12:15pm Room 1A05

From Black Face to Black Panther Panel

Friday, October 9, 11:15am – 12:15am Room1A05

Geeks of Color

Friday, October 9, 6:30pm – 7:30pm Room 1E03

Book Signings:

Booth 972 Thursday – Sunday

Schomburg Center of Research in Black Culture:

Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination Exhibit

Open House, Wednesday October 7th, Exhibit ends December 31st

Eric Sits Down with Kam Williams

Recently, Eric got a chance to talk with the prolific entertainment reporter Kam Williams to talk about directing, comics and taking Legend of the Mantamaji from the pages of a graphic novel to a live action short.

Check out the whole interview here: “Meetin’ with Seaton

Watch the Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short

Los Angeles Movie Awards Gives Best Editing Nod to Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short

Legend of the Mantamaji Live Action ShortThe Los Angeles Movie Awards(LAMA) recently released its 2015 list of winners and prolific TV director Eric Dean Seaton’s short film, Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short, is among the honorees. The superhero short film received a Best Editing Award and Honorable Mention from the group.

“I am so humbled and honored to be recognized by the Los Angeles Movie Awards,” Seaton said. “It was a dream come true to bring the graphic novel series to life on the big screen. The fan support has been tremendous and now to be recognized by peers is outstanding.”

The Los Angeles Movie Awards screening of 2015 winners takes place Saturday, September 19, 2015. At the screening, Legend of the Mantamaji has a chance to win another award – the Audience Choice Award- which is based on votes of those in attendance. Past LAMA winners include Sandra Oh, Ron Howard and Samuel Jackson.

Read the rest of the press release here.

legend of the mantamaji, eric dean seaton, long beach comic con, black superhero

Long Beach Comic Con Adds TV Director Eric Dean Seaton as Special Guest

legend of the mantamaji, eric dean seaton, long beach comic con, black superhero

Eric Dean Seaton names Long Beach Comic Con Special Guest

Legend of the Mantamaji author and longtime television pro continues on international book tour as part of the growing list of television, comics and entertainment appearances at the famed con TV director Eric Dean Seaton and his breakout hit graphic novel series and live action short, Legend of the Mantamaji, is everywhere right now. Fresh off of a Los Angeles Movie Awards Best Editing and Honorable Mention nod for his grassroots Legend of the Mantamaji Live Action Short, Seaton is a special guest at this weekend’s Long Beach Comic Con. During this stop on his 16 city international book tour, Seaton will be joining cosplayers and comic enthusiasts for book signings throughout the weekend, “And… Action!” Entertainment Booth 863.

“I always have a great time at Long Beach Comic Con, the staff is so welcoming and the crowd is absolutely fantastic,” Seaton said. “Small publishers and comic book creators really have a chance to connect with readers at Long Beach. People there are open to new stories and voices and seek out diverse and different creators and characters, which is what helps the industry grow.”

[Click to read the rest of the press release…]

female characters in comics, strong female characters

Want to Create Great Female Characters? Start with her brains, not her boobs

female characters in comics, strong female characters

“How do I create strong female characters?”

It’s a popular question many comic book creators now ask as they develop their stories. The short answer?

Develop her brains before you draw her boobs.

It is painfully, embarrassingly, obvious when a creator inserts a female character whose primary purpose lies in sexual objectification and exploitation.

The longer answer starts with a better question… How do I create great characters?

Character development for women isn’t any different than it is for men. There isn’t a special “pink book of characteristics” you must refer to in order to make fantastic female characters.

plague_4ripNEWWhether a creator is motivated by a genuine desire to include women as equals in their stories or is driven by less altruistic ideas (i.e. not wanting to end up on the front page of The Mary Sue for perpetuating stereotypes, or finally realizing the buying power of women, or realizing it may be be easier to get press because, “Look! Girls in Comics!”), it is imperative that comic creators avoid making the same stupid mistakes others have made that alienate readers and frankly, ruin a good story.

I wanted to make my female characters in Legend of the Mantamaji equal to the men in every way. That is why the Sanctuants (women heroes) in my story found a way to survive for thousands of years when the men could not. They are the backbone of the story.

Listen, character development is difficult. From nothing, you have to create a well-rounded, interesting person. The person has to have that ‘it’ factor in order for readers to care about what they say and do. If you’re still stuck on creating a relevant, female character, these three tips should help:

1. Develop her brains before you draw her body.

Get inside your character’s head and get to know her. What does her voice sound like? Where did she grow up? Why? How would she react if x happened? Why? What is her value system? Would it ever shift? How does she interact with other characters in the story? Why? What does she do in her downtime? Why? If you don’t understand a character’s motivation, your character is flat and unrealistic.

main_sanctuants_1NEW2. Don’t confuse girls who kick ass for characters with agency.

If your character’s actions don’t affect the story, you’re wasting ink. Kelly Sue DeConnick called it the “sexy lampshade test.” If you can replace the character with, say, the lamp from A Christmas Story and the quality of the story doesn’t decline significantly, your character sucks.

“But she is a total badass,” you say. “She can shoot big guns!”

So, what? Why is she shooting big guns? If it’s simply because someone told her to – seems like a lame reason.

3. Remember she is not “just” anything.

She’s not just a girlfriend, or just the mom or just the secretary. Look at the women you know. Are they “just” anything? They have lives, dreams goals and motivations outside of their interactions with you. Or to put it another way, would you ever throw a male character into a story just so he could get killed? How about throwing him in the story just so the hero has a way to be ‘humanized?’ Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

It’s lazy writing, bad storytelling and terrible karma to marginalize an entire group of people in your stories.
Why do the Mantamaji fight? Why does Superman fight? Is Wonder Woman simply waiting around for people to give her instructions? Is Detective Sydney Spencer sitting around the police precinct waiting for someone to kidnap her? No! They have their own reasons for taking up the mantle of hero or villain.

If your character development is lacking in any of these three ways it’s time to go back to the drawing board, you still have work to do.

Check out more great characters from Legend of the Mantamaji and pick up the books here.

Thank you iHeart Radio Inspiration 1390!

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Thank you to Angela and Mark for having us on today to talk about the series and live action short. We’d love to see everyone out at Wizard World Chicago this weekend.

If you can’t make it out, check out the live short here:

And you can purchase the books through our online store and get 30% off by using promotion code “mantamaji.”

Julian Bond, comic book

Julian Bond Used Comics for Protest

Julian Bond, comic book

Julian Bond created the comic book Vietnam as a protest against the war.

A really interesting bit of news came across our feeds this morning that we had to share. Everyone is saddened by the news of civil rights pioneer and activist Julian Bond’s death and when a person dies, you start to learn more about the person. Little known facts and stories make their way to the forefront including this one:

Did you know Julian Bond created a comic book as an act of protest against the Vietnam War? In 1967, Bond created an independent comic book titled “Vietnam.” The indie comic survives online here: The 60′s Project

The Root has the full story:

In his comic, Bond asks the black community to make up its own collective mind about what American interests should be—whether a country founded on revolution and the seizing of other people’s land should choose governments for other nations or work on fixing its own significant problems.

Art has always been used to disrupt, undermine the status quo and shine a light on society’s troubles. While it’s cool to learn this about Mr. Bond, it is certainly not surprising. Leaders, activists and artists have always used art as a powerful platform to make the public think and independent comics have certainly been a valuable asset.

Starting off with a Bang: Legend of the Mantamaji Live Action Short!


Tuesday saw the launch of the Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short and boy was it exciting! There has been so much love shown our way. Fans and media alike have enjoyed the short and that means a lot.

Rough analytics show the #LegendoftheMantamaji hashtag has been used more than 800 times, our Facebook engagement has climbed more than 400 percent and we are so glad we upgraded our servers here on the site because a 200 percent increase in traffic would have crashed our servers last month.

Let’s keep it going! The movement for diverse voices in stories is more than one week of excitement. Share with friends, comics lovers.

Check out the feedback so far:

Diverse Heroes Matter: ‘The Legend of the Mantamaji’ Comes To Life via NBC News

With a thrilling plot and a diverse cast of characters, Seaton strives to change the attitude toward and perception of African Americans. “You’re looking at somebody as the hero with a different skin color, and subliminally if you like it, you might actually see people in those positions and it won’t be so shocking,” Seaton continued.

EurWeb covered covered us as well: Check it out.

So did The Source Magazine online. Check it out.

Global Grind gave us a shout as well here.

Many thanks to Alex Widen of Examiner.com for his coverage:

With a mixture of great costume designs, stunt work, highly cinematic pacing and excellent special effects (when needed), it has everything which fans have come to expect from comic book based pilots as produced by “The CW” or even “CBS.”

Uncanny Pop also showed us love:

Seaton hopes the short compels more people to pick up the graphic novel series to see what happens next. The trilogy was featured on MTV’s “Beach Reads for Social Justice Warriors” list, was nominated for a 2015 Glyph “Rising Star” comics award and named a “Top Graphic Novel” by Atlanta Black Star and Examiner.com. We’ve previously have profiled Legend of the Mantamaj several times on our site and we’ve become big fans and encourage our readers to check it out for themselves. You won’t regret it!

 

 

legend of the mantamaji graphic novel by eric dean seaton black superhero

Fish N’ Cherries Reviews Legend of the Mantamaji Book One

Fish N’ Cherries, what a great name for a website, and not just because they gave Legend of the Mantamaji Book One a great review.

I feel the need to mention that the magical aspects are visually creative in their implementation. In fact, everything is colorful and visually engaging from the costumes to the backgrounds. This could very well have been another story with a washed out palette to make it seem more adult or serious. But instead, things are distinct and pop right off the page. The diverse color scheme lends itself to a lot of color theory too, especially in the three mystical armors. The red of Sirach shows that he’s a danger to the world, Elijah’s blue represents his devotion to the law, and Noah’s green denotes his need to train Elijah because of his loyalty to his family as well as his service to another cause. There are plenty more in there, I’m sure, but far be it from me to dictate whatever you personally read into it.

Thanks Ronin Reads for taking the time to check us out! Read the rest of the review here.

Preview & Buy Legend of the Mantamaji Book One Today!

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