Alonzo Washington, creator of Omega 7 Comics, a series of independent comic books featuring black superheroes, discussed life, comic books, and what it means to be the largest independent African-American comic book publisher.
ZT: Growing up, who were your influences?
ZT: As an independent publisher, what was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
AW: My first obstacle was getting the down payment to publish my first comic book. I had access to the media, so during my speaking engagements, I mentioned my comic book. Surprisingly, I received a good number of pre-orders, and with that money, and the money I had saved up, I used as down payment to get my first set of comic books published. I used Bruce Lee’s concept, “Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation,” and doors opened.
ZT: What was the worse advice given to you?
AW: My teacher once told me, “You should focus more on something attainable, something that you can actually make a living out of.” Boy, was she wrong.
ZT: Your comic books are very unique. What is it that makes you different?
AW: I am a comic book fan, an activist, and I am not afraid to address controversial issues. I also do anti-crime work like solving crimes and calling for peace and unity within the black community.
ZT: You have persevered as an independent publisher, what is your secret?
AW: Never giving up.
ZT: What is the meaning behind Omega 7?
AW: Omega means the end and 7 is the number for perfection. Omega 7 Comics represents a positive image of African-Americans, and an iconic symbol that can’t be defamed or scandalized.
ZT: Which one of your characters have resonated the best with the public, and why?
AW: Omega Man, probably because I did an action-figure of him.
ZT: With over 800,000 sales, how does it feel being the largest independent African-American comic book publisher?
AW: I like it, but as an independent publisher, I know it’s only so much that I can do. Right now i'm looking to expand my brand, to a point where my characters can have their own video games and animation movies. But in order to get that worldwide exposure, I need to plug into the system, in a way I feel comfortable with.
ZT: What advice would you give an aspiring artist trying to break into the comic book world?
AW: Increase your writing and illustration skills, and develop your characters. Find a unique way to market your product. Figure out a way to make people pay attention to what you are doing. Make your stuff resonate in the press and social media. Promote, promote, promote! That’s the key to success — making people talk about what it is that you’re doing. If you do that and stay disciplined, you should be able to break in.
ZT: 100 years from now, when people say Alonzo Washington, what will they say?
AW: He was a rebel, an activist, and a comic book creator that made a difference.
ZT: How can people get in contact with you, and how can they purchase your comic books and action figures?
ZT: Thank you for a great interview Mr. Washington.
AW: Thank you.
ZT: If you like this article, and appreciate good journalism, you can follow me on Twitter @zangbathomson, visit my website, and subscribe to receive email updates whenever I publish a new article. Always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation (PEACE).