When Eric Dean Seaton was a child growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, there wasn’t much minority representation in the comics he loved so dearly. After finding success as a television director, Seaton, who is black, set out to create a superhero series that had a great plot, a rich history and a multicultural cast of characters in Legend of the Mantamaji.
The graphic novel scene has become increasingly diverse as Brigid Alverson noted in a blog post entitled, “How Diverse are Comics and Graphic Novels?” on the School Library Journal website. In the post, she says there are only a small number of African American graphic novel creators. Seaton is a part of the growing crop of new creators hoping to change this. Publisher And…Action! Entertainment has just made the Legend of the Mantamaji series available for sale through major library distributor Baker & Taylor.
Legend of the Mantamaji tells the story of Elijah Alexander, a brash, headline-grabbing, egotistical Assistant District Attorney in New York who learns he is the last of a race of mystical knights called the Mantamaji, who once protected mankind. When an ancient evil is resurrected, Elijah has to turn his back on everything he’s worked for, accept his birthright and learn how to use his magical warrior abilities to defeat the greatest threat the Mantamaji have ever faced.
The books feature artwork by Brandon Palas, colorist Andrew Dalhouse who has worked with From Boom, Dark Horse, Image, Marvel and DC and lettering by Deron Bennett, who was nominated for an Eisner Award two years ago for his work on titles like Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Helldorado, among others.
Book One was released on October 8th, with release dates for book two and three scheduled for December 10, 2014 and February 11, 2015, respectively.
PRAISE FOR LEGEND OF THE MANTAMAJI:
“Fans who bemoan the “big two” for a lack of vision or effort to create bold new characters and franchises should learn that innovation can often be found elsewhere. “Legend of the Mantamaji” has all of the excitement, imagination, and suspense to be a TV or film series on its’ own, but instead it is here as a comic to be enjoyed by the masses who crave them. “Legend of the Mantamaji” volume one is a must read for those who crave all of the spectacle and action of superhero comics yet want a comic which offers creative new ideas and a progressive storyline with real weight behind it.” [FOUR STARS] – Alex Widen, Examiner.com
“I didn’t want to put it down, dragging out the last few pages because I didn’t want to come to the end! A refreshing take on a mystic warrior story in the modern world, while still harkening back to African myths and legends. Great to see an original, African-American superhero character come into his own in a seemingly grounded setting.” [FOUR STARS]
“Author, Eric Seaton is a true contender in the comic world. Seaton knew what he was doing right from the beginning. An African- American D.E.A assistant in Manhattan, New York, soon discovers the stories that his mother had been telling him since he was a boy are true and that he must give up what he was worked for all his life to save the world. Just as any other hero that denies their destiny but soon or later have to except it. This is beyond imagination and I’ve had to stop myself from reading too much before there was nothing left to read. I love how the characters speak out loud and the reader is made to be part of the story. Legend Of The Mantamaji makes me feel like I can make my own comic book with an African-American as my lead character. Just looking at the cover I knew it would be a sensation, I look forward to the Mantamaji books to come.” [FIVE STARS] Khamwryn, Amazon.com
“Summary: 5 Stars Easy. Loved this comic, loved the way it left me hanging at the end. And I loved that it was more complicated than I initially anticipated. I am really looking forward to our heroes journey and with Detective Spencer at his side the bad guys don’t stand a chance!” [FIVE STARS] Thelonious Legend, GoodReads.com
“Rated ON!” by CommonSenseMedia.org
About Eric Dean Seaton:
As an episodic director, he is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee and has helmed over 38 different shows, 195 episodes of television, 18 music videos, two pilots for Nickelodeon, “Bad Fairy,” and “Sketch,” as well as two pilots for Disney XD, “Mighty Med,” which currently shooting its second season and “Kickin’ It,” which has completed its four year run.
Eric has also directed episodes of NBC/Warner Bros. comedy “Undateable,” BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” as well as direct the pilot and co-executive produce the Starz Kids and Family Channel and international hit, “The Wannabes Starring Savvy.” This fall he will also debut his first Graphic Novel Series, “Legend of the Mantamaji.”
Legend of the Mantamaji: Book 1
Eric Dean Seaton (Author)
David Ellis Dickerson (Editor)
Brandon Palas (Illustrator)
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: And… Action! Entertainment; 1 edition
(October 8, 2014)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99