Speculative fiction fans take note! An incredibly inspiring documentary is currently making the rounds that will challenge, inspire and call for you to envision more. Imagine looking in the mirror and never seeing your reflection. Imagine for every photo op you participate in, your image never developed on the film. Imagine a world where your reality and existence/experience is not reflected or represented. Although the given examples may be a bit overstated, for many individuals of color who enjoy comics, sci-fi and fantasy, this can quite often feel like the reality when it comes to looking for examples of individuals of color who are producing work. Many cite the lack of diversity (behind the scenes as well as in the public eye) in the majority of material put out by the juggernaut media machines responsible for much of what we see immediately in film, television or even on our bookshelves as proof that our presence is practically nonexistent. Well industry talent Brandon Easton, Glyph Award winner (Shadowlaw) and Eisner nominee (Watson and Holmes #6 for best single issue 2014), would be more than happy to help you to alter your perception with his latest work. Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century (2014. 62 minutes)), a documentary features speculative fiction creators who are proof that lets fans know they are here. Here, creating fantasy, science fiction, comic books and so much more. Their stories and relating their experiences not only encourage you to seek out creators who tell well thought out, unique and inclusive stories; it encourages us as a community to empower ourselves to create the images that we find lacking from the “mainstream”. Creators such as: Erika Alexander and Robert Alexander (Dark Horse Comics Concrete Park), Enrique Carrion (Image Comics Vescell), DeWayne Copeland, Dani Dixon (M.I.S.//ing, 13, Five Nations), David Gorden (Lion Forge Comics Airwolf, Ramapge Jackson: Street Soldier, Catalyst Prime: Quincredible, Trimaxx), Joe Illidge (DC Comics Dark Knight, The Batman, Birds of Prey, Milestone Comics Static), Nora Jemisin (the Inheritance Trilogy, Dreamblood duology), John Jennings (Black Kirby: In Search Of The Motherbox Connection, Pitch Black Rainbow), Anthony Montgomery (Miles Away), Vince Moore (Dynamite Entertainment Total Recall, Markosia Lazarus: Immortal Coils), Nnedi Okorafor (Lagoon, The Akata Witch series, Zahrah The Windseeker), Tony Puryear (Dark Horse Presents, Dark Horse Comics Concrete Park), Robert Roach (Dial “C” for Comics Return of The Super Pimps, The Roach, 2006 Glyph Award winner for best self publisher), Hannibal Tabu (Top Cow Artifacts, The Crown: Ascension), and Geoffrey Thorne (Dark Horse Comics: Dark Horse Comics Presents, Lion Forge Comics Knight Rider, Thrillbent Prodigal, Spiner Rack Comics Honor Brigade: Honor Unbound.) all make an appearance, inspire and share their insights on the state of affairs of speculative fiction (Check out the associated trailer for a peek at a few of the moments from this incredible documentary). Insightful, poignant, inspirational, fans and aspiring creators alike should watch this film and catch a vision of the possibilities of what can be. For those willing to take the journey with these brave new souls, the documentary is currently available for purchase via digital download here and coming soon to DVD. Dare to be brave!
July 14, 2014