Sunday, May 17, 2015

#SciFiSunday: Talking Comics & Film At ECBACC 2015

For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to attend The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention or, ECBACC in Philadelphia. It's "an annual gathering of comic book artists, writers, their fans, and retailers who are interested in discussing, buying, and selling comic books, sci-fi, action figures and related material by and / or about Black superheroes / super-powered characters / adventures" with a community/youth literacy focus through comics.

This year was particularly special to me as I am a student of comic book culture but lean towards leadership in regards to film. ECBACC's chosen theme this time around was the fusion of films, filmmaking, comic books, and superheroes. What fueled many of the conversations was the condition of the Black presence in each of those spaces and how crucial it is that we continue to break down barriers, stereotypes, and encourage our youth if they're interested to take part in this industry as creatives and business-minded individuals.


Jerry Craft, Panel: The Comic Book Connection (@JerryCraft)

Jerry is an award-winning author, cartoonist and illustrator of numerous children's books and board games for well over twenty years now. He discussed his struggles with publishing and the discrimination he's faced from editors and review boards simply based on the color of his characters. If you have young ones in your life who love to read or want to encourage to start, begin with his work! With a titles like The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention and its premise, "five school bullies who get superpowers, but instead of turning into cool superheroes, they take on the characteristics of the kids they pick on," Jerry's books are designed to also educate on matters that will help kids change their lives.

Alsi Dukan, Panel: Black Film Industry (@maslidukan)

The creator of Invisible Universe: A History of Blackness In Speculative Fiction, I finally got a chance to meet and talk with her about this documentary and the plans she has for it. With so much material to work from, there are a lot of ideas to do more with Invisible Universe in regards to more programming. She hopes to have editing completed sometime in before Fall of this year and hopefully, screenings that many will have access to. You can find our feature on Invisible Universe here and be sure to show your support on all of her social media platforms for this project. It was a pleasure meeting her. I was fangurling out on this inside and was a bit shier than usual. | #blackscifidoc

Adaku Ononogbo, Panel: The Actor's Journey (@adaku_ononogbo)

Adaku not only discussed her journey as a Black actress with deep brown skin, striking features and how that has had an affect on her career and roles, but also how she insists on what roles she will play in the future. She has a campaign to play DC Comic's Vixen with overwhelming support from its creators and continues to work her own sci-fi/action series titled Altruism, building a quest of mythos surrounding the ancient cultures from Egypt, Rome, and Greece with a Black female protagonist at the center of all the action.

This panel, like the others were affirmative discussions. Each of these content creators and their fellow panelists are looking at ways in which to not only continue to produce work, but how to create channels of distribution in which they own, supports the artist, and reaches a global audience. The overall take away: we're no longer asking for permission to do anything. We're doing it.


E.X.O. - The Legend Of Wale Williams
Animation, 22 minutes

"A superhero story about redemption, set in a futuristic 2025 Africa."  

Pre-order the graphic novel now!

Adventure/Drama, 30 minutes

"In the year 2029, on the verge of an amazing breakthrough in whale communication, a married marine biologist and aquatic engineer are caught in a catastrophic global disaster that separates them from each other and their spectacular underwater city."

This film needs to be feature-length for sure!

Starring Malcolm McDowell, Sharif Atkins, Megan Dodds, Bruce Davison


The Black Film Industry panel

Young brother in the middle is interning at a comic book store
now and the Comic Book Connection panel showed their support.

In the marketplace

From the cosplay contest.

Black cosplay

More cosplay

BIG shout out to Ebony Thomas (@Ebonyteach) for making it out, socializing, and overall support! It was a joy being able to share this year's ECBACC with her.
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