Mantamaji at San Diego Comic Con!

playfulThere are a few things everyone looks forward to every year and San Diego Comic Con is one of them. The crew from Legend of the Mantamaji is there in full force with several exciting things happening. If you’re in San Diego, make sure you stop by Small Press Table P-13 to get your Mantamaji books autographed by TV director and author Eric Dean Seaton all weekend.


Get a chance to win an exclusive Legend of the Mantamaji tee and chat with Eric at the Geekscape booth (#3919) Friday from 2pm – 3pm!

If you dream of being an independent comic book creator, then check out the Insights for Independent Creator’s Panel Eric is on of the panelists! Room 32AB from 7 pm – 8 pm.

Moderator Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie (writer, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Ben 10: Alien Force/Ultimate Alien/Omnivers and chairperson, WGA Animation Writers Caucus),
Geoff Gerber (president, Lion Forge Comics)
Hannibal Tabu (writer, Artifacts/Soulfire: Sourcebook #1/Waso/Project: Wildfire),
Nilah Magruder (writer/artist, M.F.K., winner 2015 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity),
Russell Nohelty (writer/creator, Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter and Katrina Hates the Dead, publisher, Wannabe Press), and
TAT co-founder Robert Roach (creator, Menthu, The Roach; storyboard artist, Insomnia; winner inaugural Glyph Award).

And then the big deal for us here: Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short is being screened at the SDCC Film Festival!

Panelist include Eric Dean Seaton, Chris Philips (producer, Bella and the Bulldogs), and Nicole Seaton (2nd AD, The Great Indoors). Set a reminder for Saturday, July 23rd beginning at 2:35 pm Pacific 23, North Tower, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.

San Diego Comic Con is one of our favorite events. It’s a huge event and we always have a great time,” Eric Dean Seaton, TV director and author of Legend of the Mantamaji said. “We are over the moon to participate in the Film Festival with our live action short and the Independent Creator’s Panel.  Any time we can get Mantamaji in front of new audiences is always fun and talking with other indie creators is always a great learning experience.

Social Media for SDCC Film Festival.001

black comic books, diversity in comics

#BlackFutureMonth: 29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics

black comic books, diversity in comicsIn comics, diversity is talked about so often that it can come across as just a trend or a buzzword designed to get people to pick up the latest product. The reality is, diversity in comics is a call to action, not an ethereal idea to which big corporations should aspire. The average comic book fan has just as much to gain from and just as much responsibility to champion diversity in comics.

Sure, comic book companies gain more fans and “street cred” when they hire diverse talent and executives and publish products with a focus that lies outside of the outdated “white male” pool of characters. Comic book fans benefit when they push for diversity in comics because, by doing so, they gain new characters and varied stories. But fans also have a responsibility to seek out existing stories and creators who are already producing fantastic work.

This call to action is much bigger than Legend of the Mantamaji – which is why we aren’t just championing sites that have reviewed our books or carry them in their stores. Instead, we are highlighting sites and reference materials that work diligently to highlight creators of color and stories from a variety of genres, publishing companies, formats, etc.

This month is Black History Month, so we are highlighting Black creators, characters and publishing houses. But remember, diversity doesn’t begin and end with race.

Now, keep in mind, this is by no means an exhaustive list. This is a starter list – a place for you to check back with each day to try a new site, or pick a new book or series to try out. In March we will explore women in comics, so stay tuned!

Black Comic Book Websites:

 29 places to #exploreblackcomics, black comic books

Jamie Broadnax and her crew have their finger on the pulse of pop culture and are ahead of the curve in spotting up and coming comic creators with their “Creators You Should Know” column.

29 places to #exploreblackcomics, black comics, black comic book

With posts titled, “Magical Books for Black Girls,” The Blerd Gurl hits all the right notes with her reviews and news about comics for consumers and comic creators alike.


When asked why he created digital comic book store, PeepGameComix, Black comic book creator Imani Lateef said it was in direct response to “The Question.” You know the one: “Where can I find Black Comics?”

“Fans are also starting to use Peep Game as an answer to the question, ‘How can I get into Black Comics?’ Lateef said. “In fact, several educators have been using the website as a learning tool to introduce students to black comics, graphic novels and speculative fiction.”

29 Places to find #exploreblackcomics

The Shadow League: Comic Book Convo

Lead by Richard Hazwell, the Shadow League’s Comic Book Convo series is a must read. The series includes conversations with up and coming creators and other leaders in the field and explores a wide range of comics from creators of color.

africomics, 29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics, black comics, black comic books, diversity in comics

A clearinghouse of digital, print, indie and mainstream comics featuring Black protagonists and creators

29 places to #exploreblackcomics, black comic books, black comic book creators

World of Black

Not only does the site offer reviews, insight and interviews about Black comic books and creators, but it boasts a pretty large listing of Black comic book characters, including their powers and where these characters appear.

29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics, Black comic books, diversity in comics

Cool website with a variety of pop culture and BMX commentary that also features a dedicated comics section. Recently gave an in-depth look at the Black Comix Festival in Harlem, New York.

AfroPunk, 29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics, Comic Books, Comic book creators


Widely known for its music festivals, Afro of the Day social media posts and exploration of issues in the Black Diaspora, AfroPunk is also dedicated to promoting Black Comic Books and creators. The site is especially adept at highlighting indie comics creators.

29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics, black comic books, black comics, diversity in comics, black comics month

Fantastic Forum TV

The Comic, Science Fiction & Fantasy Fan’s FANTASTIC FORUM is a half hour TV series dedicated to various comics genres and fans who fuel the industry. The program is segmented with a panel discussion, interviews, event coverage, parodies, toy/game profiles and producer features.

 #blackfuturemonth,black comics, 29 Places to #ExploreBlackComics, black comic book creators

Geek Soul Brother

Geek Soul Brother’s job is to introduce the older generations to something new and younger geeks to the geek universe that was around before they were born.

 fanbros, #blackfuturemonth, #exploreblackcomics is a natural extension of the FanBrosShow podcast, with articles, reviews and previews that focus on exploring the diverse world of nerd culture and all that it represents. From editorials, to the latest news of the day, you can find everything you need to keep you up to speed on what is happening in the world of Fan Bros.

Black Nerd

An editorial and informative website that focuses on popular, nerd and geek culture from the perspective of People of Color.

The Museum Of UnCut Funk

Black Comic Book Facebook Groups and Pages

Geekdom and new comic discoveries (and spirited discussions) often happen in Facebook groups dedicated to all things comics and pop culture. Check out (and join) these groups.

Black Comix African American Independent Comics, Art & Culture

Comic Book Nerds of Color

The Extraordinary Journey of a Black Nerd

Black Comic Book Podcasts



For Colored Nerds

The Black Guy Who Tips

Blerds on Nerds



Back to the Pod

Black Comic Book Scholarly Exploration:

The blacker the ink

The Blacker the Ink by John Jennings






black comics politics of race and representation

Black Comics: Race and Representation by Dr. Sheena C. Howard




black women in sequence

Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime by Deborah Elizabeth Whaley






untold story of black comic books

The Untold History of Black Comic Books by Bill Foster

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.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.43.39 PM
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

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.

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.

CaribPress Covers Legend of the Mantamaji

Legend of the Mantamaji Side Group ShotThis weekend we received a nice bit of coverage form Carib Press in their article “”Legend of the Mantamaji” is a fresh take on a new superhero genre.”

A sweeping tale of magic and mystery, heroes and villains, the series is the brainchild of Eric Seaton who has directed multiple TV shows.

Check out the whole article here: Carib Press.

Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action is Almost Here!

In one day the Legend of the Mantamaji: Live Action Short will go live! To say that the entire team is excited is an understatement.

What’s even more exciting is how geeked our readers are right now. Thank you for the tweets, Instagram DMs, Facebook posts and emails, we read every one of them. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out some sweet Behind the Scenes footage of the making of the short:

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you know exactly when the short goes live!

Heads Up! Legend of the Mantamaji: Behind the Scenes Episodes 1 – 5


The past couple of weeks have been great for the Legend of the Mantamaji team. The Legend of the Mantamaji: Behind the Scenes web series began and we’ve been hearing from readers and new fans about how much they enjoy the series so far and that they are looking forward to the Live Action Short (so are we). In cased you missed an episode or two, here is the entire series so far. Be sure to like the videos and share with friends, we need your support!

And don’t forget to pick up the graphic novels that started it all on Amazon, Comixology, Barnes & Noble (and in B&N stores) and on our website!

Coloring The Future: Eric Dean Seaton at Manifest Justice May 9th

eric dean seaton panelist, erika alexander Manifest Justice panel, concrete park, legend of the mantamajiIf you’re in L.A. or the surrounding area on May 9th, make it a priority to come out to take part in the Manifest Justice events. Eric has been invited as a panelist for the “Coloring The Future” moderated by Erika Alexander. Participants will discuss how they are creating new worlds in color and impacting how society thinks about race.

“I created Legend of the Mantamaji because I’ve always loved comics, and as a kid it bothered me not to see many people of color in the stories I loved so much,” Seaton said. “I wanted to create great stories with heroes, and magic and swords and have it feature people of color and strong women…stories that more people can identify with. It’s imperative for diverse creators to tell their story and create worlds of their own imaginings.”

The entire Manifest Justice event is several days of dialogue, events and activities with a focus on empathy, accountability, economic opportunity, compassion, dignity, power and opportunity for all communities.

Coloring the Future Panelists:
Erika Alexander
Tony Puryear
Brandon Easton
Shawna Mills
Betty Bynum
Mark Davis

Learn more about the Manifest Justice event:

eric dean seaton, legend of the mantamaji c2e2

TV Director Brings Diverse Sword & Sorcery Series to C2E2 Chicago

Eric Dean Seaton C2E2, legend of the mantamajiThe brainchild of one of the hottest directors on the small screen, Eric Dean Seaton’s Legend of the Mantamaji, with its high-flying adventure, brilliant art and fast-paced action, is landing at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo this weekend. The series brings together diverse characters that are not tied to stereotypes and has gained the recognition of critics, fans and award committees alike.

With ancient knights, fire swords and 3,000 year old legends, Legend of the Mantamaji is just the kind of graphic novel fantasy lovers dream of – and the kind of series that is changing the face of superheroes in comics. “It shouldn’t be unusual to see ethnically diverse characters and strong women in the genre. Yet, there is still a problem with representation in sci-fi and fantasy – despite readers’ requests,” Eric Dean Seaton, television director [Undateable, That’s So Raven, Austin & Ally, Bella and the Bulldogs] and creator of the Legend of the Mantamaji series, said. With thousands of comics and pop culture lovers attending this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, Seaton looks forward to connecting with fans of the series -and meeting new ones – at Booth 136, Thursday through Sunday, at McCormick Place — 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive.

“At its core, Legend of the Mantamaji is a fantastic adventure series inspired by my years of directing really great shows. People want good stories that have heart, are smart, funny AND represent the broader world,” Seaton said.

Nominated for a prestigious 2015 Glyph Comics Award and riding high off the release of the third book in the series, Seaton recently expanded the national book tour to 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada:

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo [C2E2] (April 24-26)
East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (May 15 – 16)
Puerto Rico ComicCon (May 21 – 24)
Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina (June 19-21)
Comic Con San Diego (July 7 – 12)
OnyxCon, Atlanta, Georgia (August 15 – 16)
Wizard World Chicago (August 20 – 23)
Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, Canada (September 3 – 6)
Long Beach Comic Con in Long Beach, California (September 12-13)
Wizard World Columbus in Columbus, Ohio (September 18 – 20)
New York Comic Con (October 8-11)
LA Times Festival of Books (April)
WonderCon Anaheim (April)
Black Comix Arts Festival, San Francisco (January)

You don’t have to be at C2E2 to pick up the series! Read a sample chapter and pick up in our store today!