By: Agent Bunnie
Prior to attending San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) this year, we here at Afronauts were taken by the art of the American Gods: My Ainsel #1 exclusive cover by Christian Ward, featuring a stunning Lady Liberty in the essence of Serena Williams. The comic is an extension of the American Gods universe created by author, Neil Geiman, who first wrote the novel that was later adapted into the hit TV series on Starz. The comic series by Dark Horse is actually just another version of the novel. So, if you've already read the book then you know the story already. However, that shouldn't stop you from checking this out and I'm about to tell you why!
My Ainsel is the second part of the graphic novel/comic adaptation. The first series of comics is titled "American Gods: Shadows" and now be found as a complete graphic novel under the title "American Gods Volume 1: Shadows".
Description from the publisher: Shadow Moon gets out of jail only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard--thrusting Shadow into a deadly world where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a god war is imminent.
Shadow and Wednesday leave the House on the Rock and continue their journey across the country where they set up aliases, meet new gods, and prepare for war.
This intro into the next phase of the series is great. Usually, I'm not one for any comic labeled #1. In fact, I tend to buy it and wait until I can get the first 3 or so and just read them all at once, because it seems to take quite a while for any comic series to really get into the story. However, Geiman's writing and this comic book translation catches your attention right away, and you want to keep reading. Even if you haven't read the original novel or even the first volume, you will be intrigued by this. On top of that, the scenery artwork is lovely. The character artwork leaves a little to be desired. I can feel that they were trying to go with a sketch look. A more traditional raw look, rather then a lot of the polished and computerized looking art that we see today. However, especially for the female characters, it is a bit off-putting as they turn out to look a bit aged thus making it hard to believe they're "so young". That minor detail should not derail anyone from starting this series though.
I should add that at the moment you can now pre-order Volume 2 in it's entirety, although you can also pre-order the next issue as well. The choice is yours, but should make one.
Netflix is bringing a huge lineup with them to New York Comic Con, as you can see from the promo photo above.
Details provided by Netflix are as follows:
NETFLIX PRESENTS: BIG MOUTH
Friday, October 5 -- 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Javits Convention Center | Room 1A06
Get comfortable being uncomfortable with your favorite puberty-driven animated series Big Mouth! Join Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, and Jason Mantzoukas, along with executive producers as they take on NYCC with an exclusive live read from a new episode of the highly-anticipated second season. Hilarity is sure to ensue as the show takes on all things borderline raunchy.
Talent: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jenny Slate, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas and Executive Producers Andrew Goldberg, Jen Flackett and Mark Levin.
NETFLIX & CHILLS
Friday, October 5 -- 7:30PM - 9:30PM
Javits Convention Center | Mainstage
The midnight hour is close at hand with Netflix’s Mega Block of chills, thrills, and everything else of the other-worldly variety. Join the casts of The Umbrella Academy, The Haunting of Hill House and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as they descend upon New York Comic Con to discuss their highly anticipated new series’. Plus, get a first look at The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance before anyone else. The conversations will leave you sleeping with the lights on and texting your friends about the surprises along the way!
Saturday, October 6 -- 1:30PM - 2:45PM
The Theatre at Madison Square Garden
Witness New York Comic Con’s highly anticipated return of Daredevil, Marvel’s first superhero on Netflix! Join the series’ stars Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Joanne Whalley, Wilson Bethel, Jay Ali, series showrunner, Erik Oleson and Executive Producer and Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb for what promises to be an epic panel full of surprise reveals.
Talent: Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Joanne Whalley, Wilson Bethel, Jay Ali and series showrunner, Erik Oleson.
What are you looking forward to most from Netflix?
We here at Afronauts are proud and excited to be members of the press for New York Comic Con 2018! We have just posted a press release given to us for the American Gods panel at this years NYCC and will continue to post coverage as it is given to us. We have created the category: NYCC, so you can easily follow our coverage of the event!
By: Agent Bunnie
NYCC has announced it's first ever official American Gods panel set for this year! Make sure to attend October-5, 2018 at 1:30pm in the Hammerstein Ballroom (Manhattan Center) to see executive producer Neil Gaiman and cast members!
American Gods is a TV show from the STARZ network. We here at Afronauts are huge fans! We can't wait for this!
By: Agent Bunnie
On July-20, Afronauts was invited to take part in the SDCC 2018 Black Heroes Flash Mob, which was organized by the Black Heroes Matter organization that promotes a peaceful movement to bring attention to black and brown heroes.
Not only did we participate, but we also helped spread the word! This was the 3rd year of the flash mob, but our first year participating and concept seemed like an amazing opportunity to show support for diversity in comics!
It felt really good to see such a large crowd gather to support such a positive movement! Many great writers, artists, cosplayers, and influencers were there along side a great fan crowd! We will be joining them next year!
By: Agent Bunnie
Afronauts has returned from San Diego Comic-Con 2018! We survived the chaos, crowds, and heat! We'd like to share our thoughts, experiences, and pictures with all you Afrofuturists!
Just in case you didn't know what San Diego Comic-Con is, or SDCC for short, it is the world's largest comic convention! It's held annually in San Diego, California (USA). Although, it originally started out as a comic convention, it has since turned into a huge pop culture celebration. This was Afronauts third year attending the convention. We had previously attended in 2015 & 2016, but unfortunately we were unable to attend the con last year due to unforeseen circumstances.
Since we had previously been attendees, we knew what to except- big crowds, long lines, and lots of waiting. The downsides are unavoidable. Whether you want to buy an exclusive piece of merchandise or you plan on attending a panel, there is almost always a line to get to your destination. With that said and while we knew about the long waits, we do feel that SDCC was a bit unorganized. In the past, we had never really had issues, because rules and regulations were clear. This year, it seemed like the regulations changed almost instantly and one convention worker did not have the same requests as the next. On Comic-Con's part, it did seem like there was a lack of communication and training this year and this was a bit frustrating to have to work with. We truly hope that they can work out their kinks for 2019.
We did, however, put our best foot forward! After all, we receive what we expel! So, we were determined to have the best time that we could!
The city of San Diego really outdid itself this year for Comic-Con! We have never seen so much decoration and design. We took a 15 minute walk up the street to the edge of the Gas Lamp District and there was still so much to see! They literally "wrapped" the city up this year! Every bus, every trolley, and most buildings had something on them to represent an aspect of SDCC! Everyone really came out to support the event and it was great to see!
Cosplaying Couple of the Green Lantern Core
Not only did the Comic-Con organization and the city of San Diego do a great job, but the fan community really came out in a supportive way! This year's SDCC felt way more open-arm'd and supportive than any other year! We had such an amazing time connecting with other like-minded fans.
Agent Afornaut is here with a Gryffindor Bunny! We love this personal fan take on Harry Potter's own House!
One thing that's hard to spot at comic conventions is Anime or cartoon cosplay. Usually, it's all comic book characters in some format, whether it's from the actual comics or the movies and TV shows. However, we spotted this great Garnet cosplay from the Cartoon Network cartoon, Steven Universe, as we were leaving the Afrofuturism panel.
FYI: Steven Universe is a great cartoon that emphasizes female power and relationships, as well as diversity! The story line has become wonderfully in depth and so have the characters! If you haven't watched it yet or caught up in the series, we suggest you get on it!
The number of cosplayers at SDCC in some sort of Black Panther cosplay was astounding to see! We personally loved this powerful female take on the actual Black Panther character!
Speaking of Black Panther cosplays, it's great to see people cosplay secondary characters, because we all know they play just as important of a role to the story! Where would T'Challa be without his strong mother!
While waiting for the Black Heroes Matter flash mob, we met a great cosplay of the classic Static Shock from Milestone Comics. DC Comics would later acquire the rights to this character with a merge.
Overall, we did have a good time at this years SDCC and met a lot of great people! Look out for our spotlight posts on SDCC coming soon on this blog and the podcasts we have coming on the con! If you happen to know who any of the cosplayers are or you can self-identify yourself, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Agent Bunnie
Afronauts attended FanimeCon 2018 this past Memorial Weekend in San Jose, California on May 25th - 27th. (FanimeCon did operate on Monday, May 28th, but we did not attend that day.)
FanimeCon is a regular convention for us here at Afronauts and this year did not disappoint! We enjoyed the atmosphere and organization created by the staff of FanimeCon. The guides and setup were easy to use and navigate, and we had a great time!
Below are the pictures we took from the con! We credited as many people as we could. If you know anyone who was not properly identified, please email the proper information to: email@example.com
We knew that in light of the release of the movie, "Deadpool 2", there would be a lot of cosplayers embodying the movie and there was! However, we have to say that hands down, Jasmine (aka UniqueSora), had the best Domino cosplay at the con! - Support her art, education, and cosplay here.
This is myself (aka Agent Bunnie/TheBunnie) with an amazing Maleficent cosplay of the live action movie version! Bringing her to life was: Tiffany! We love the personal take on character's dress! The movie is really good and we suggest you watch it if you haven't!
We spotted a great cosplay of Luffy from the anime, "One Piece" as we were walking into Artist Alley.
Another popular piece of pop culture to cosplay right now are the characters from the anime: "The Ancient Magus'' Bride". We spotted a very well done cosplay of Elias!
Sidenote: This anime was released last year and is very good! If you haven't watched it we highly suggest it!
We were just standing in line for takoyaki from Hirotako, when we happened to notice this amazing cosplay of Stevonnie behind us! Our own Agent Afronaut is here with Katherine.
RIP Boondocks! But thanks to people like Jarvis, we can keep it alive in our hearts! Check out his sick cosplay of Bushido!
Talk about a man of many talents! The photo above and this one were taken the same day! And both are cosplays from Mr.Jarvis! Here he is cosplaying Flynt from the anime, "RWBY".
Here is a cute couple cosplay of Elias and Chise from "The Ancient Magus' Bride" by Jai & tsuki_tsukiyo.
That concludes our coverage of FanimeCon 2018! We hope to be back next year! Up next for us in San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) in San Diego, California in July! We hope to see you there and if you see us, please say "hi"!
Don't forget to follow: @AgentAfronaut & @TheBunnie on Instagram for a more up-to-date feed on our adventures!
By: Agent Bunnie
Afronauts attended FanimeCon 2017 in San Jose, California during Memorial weekend here in the USA. We had a great time meeting new cosplayers and even reconnecting with ones we have had the pleasure of seeing before. This was our 3rd year attending Fanime and we really enjoyed it! Enjoy the pictures we took from the con! If you are featured in any of the pictures and would like to be credited, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 2 - May 27, 2017
Agent Afronaut had training all the way in Texas, right up to the day the con started! So, unfortunately, we were unable to attend Fanime on Day 1, but we have Day 2 right here!
Right when we came into the con we spotted a great Urbosa cosplayer from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
We spotted an awesome Aquaman cosplay in the main lobby downstairs on our way to get refreshments.
Hands down! The best Steven Universe Garnet cosplayer we have yet to find!
We spotted some Magical Girls in the Dealer's Hall.
A great pair of cosplayers portraying DC's Static Shock and Purple Heart from Hyperdimension.
Day 3 - May 28, 2017
We seem to have great finds when we first walk into cons! Right away we spotted an adorable, on point, Princess Tiana cosplayer!
Walking through the Dealer's Hall, we spotted a great Wonder Woman cosplayer!
What a great tribute to Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek!
As always- save the best for last! We spotted some great Star Wars cosplayers as we were leaving the con! Darth Maul was there with 2 princess Jedis, Tiana & Elena!
The team at Afronauts would like to give a shoutout to artist: Heather Curfman of Alagaesha Art! Over the years we have gotten to know this great artist and see her work blossom and grow! Check out her enamel pins and other art in her shop!
That concludes our FanimeCon 2017 coverage! We did attend day 4, but it was a pretty quiet day with very little cosplay, so we don't have any pictures. We'd love to hear what you think and if you were in attendance let us know what you thought of the con!
Written by: Agent Bunnie
The agents of Afronauts would like to wish everyone a happy Spring! Hope you all are staying dry! We're still experiencing a lot of rain in the Bay Area. We attended WonderCon 2017 a few weeks ago. The con returned to Anaheim, CA this year and was held March 31-April 2. Unfortunately, we could only attend Saturday and Sunday this year. However, the reason is great- Agent Afroanut was promoted and had a special ceremony! [applaud now]
We're sharing pictures of our time there. If you happen to know anyone in the pictures or you are the people in the pictures, feel free to email us if you would like credit and a link. Also, please leave your blog entries from WonderCon in the comments, as we would love to see your pictures too!
Day 2 - April 1, 2017
Right when we walked in we spotted a familiar face! We first discovered Gerimi Burleigh last fall at San Francisco Comic Con. He has a lot of new projects in the works! You can buy his graphic novel, "Eyes of the Gods", here and don't forget to sign up for his newsletter to stay up to date with his work!
We saw another familiar face right after that! A fellow Bay Area resident, ZeeCee Art, was in the house! As always, he had his great works there and some new things too, including an awesome Wonder Woman print! Check out his work! We look forward to bumping into him again!
We were both surprised and happy to cross paths with Ted Lange IV! Hopefully, you caught his Hip Hop & Comics panel if you were in attendance. Make sure to check out the "Warpzone" if you haven't!
Day 3 - April 2, 2017
The final and 3rd day of WonderCon 2017 was a lot of fun! We had a great time catching up with people and meeting new cosplayers! Check out this great group of X-Men cosplayers!
It's always an honor to see David Walker! We would list his accomplishments, but then we'd be here all day....... If you don't know who this man is you need to look him up!
DC Comics was in the house! We don't know about you! But we're super excited for both the Wonder Woman and Justice League movies coming out!
We discovered Chrystin Garland at WonderCon! She is a wonderful artist who happened to work on one of the graphic novels of "Steven Universe" for Boom Studios. If you're new to her, like we are, take a look at her art! You will be inspired!
We'll leave you with this awesome group of DC cosplayers! Really, the cosplay game was strong at WonderCon, as always! We will be at Fanime 2017 next in San Jose, CA. If you're there, please make sure to say, "hi"!
Written By: Sheldon Williams (originally posted on Atlanta Black Star)
Growing up Black and watching Saturday morning cartoons, watching sci-fi and superhero movies was oftentimes frustrating due to the lack of identification with the characters. Often we did not see ourselves portrayed as the superhero. Image is very important to children, and by not seeing superheroes who look like them and always being portrayed as white men has an effect on a child’s self-esteem.
However, to me it seemed that comic books were always a little more progressive than mainstream media. In fact, you can trace the rise of modern Black superheroes to the civil rights movement. For example, the X-Men characters of Professor Xavier and Magneto have even been compared to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. While comics have not been a bastion of diversity, they have offered us some great superheroes to identify with as young Black children, which in turn helped to inspire the next generation of artists to create even more Black superheroes. Today, there are literally hundreds of Black superheroes and heroines across all mediums with the most iterations coming in the form of comics. Here is a list of my top 10 superheroes.
10. Spawn (Al Simmons)
Spawn first appeared in 1992. A CIA agent devoted to black ops. Once there, he began to question the morality of what his agency was doing. Murdered by his partner in a blazing inferno, Simmons’ soul was sent to hell because he had knowingly killed innocents during his days in the CIA. Simmons made a deal to sell his soul in order to avenge his murder and see his wife. Spawn is ranked 60th on Wizard magazine’s list of the “Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time,” 50th on Empire magazine’s list of “The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters” and 36th on IGN’s 2011 “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.” Spawn has been featured in an animated HBO series, a feature film and several video games.
9. Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
He first appeared as Spider-Man in August 2011. The inspiration for the character was taken from both U.S. President Barack Obama and American actor Donald Glover. Following the death of Peter Parker, a teenager of Black Hispanic descent, Morales, is the second Spider-Man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. However Morales isn’t the character used for the Disney XD show UltimateSpider–Man. However, he does appear in a third season storyline in which Parker travels through various parallel universes and encounters those dimensions’ versions of Spider-Man, including Morales, who is voiced by rapper/actor Glover. “Spider-Man” writer Brian Michael Bendis has stated that he favors incorporating Morales into the Spider-Man feature films. Miles Morales appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Spider-Man Unlimited and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
8. Cyborg (Victor Stone)
He first appeared in 1980 and is best known as a member of the Teen Titans. However, in 2011, he was introduced as a member of the Justice League. He appears in several video games, various animated films, the Teen Titans cartoon from 2003 to 2006 and can currently be seen in Teen Titans Go! In April 2014, it was announced that Ray Fisher will portray the superhero Victor Stone/Cyborg in the upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as the follow-up Justice League film and a solo Cyborg film.
I’ve never been a big vampire fan, so when I came across Blade from Marvel Comics, I had to give Brother man his props. He is the coolest vampire hunter to walk in the sun. Wesley Snipes played Blade in three movies. Rapper Sticky Fingaz played him on television. Blade has had multiple comic titles, several video games and an anime.
6. Power Man (Luke Cage)
He first appeared in June 1972 in “Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1.” Imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, he gains superpowers in the form of unbreakable skin and superhuman strength. He was added to the Avengers in 2005 and has appeared in various Avengers titles as member or leader of the group. Actor Nicholas Cage used Luke Cage as the inspiration for his stage name to differentiate himself from his famous uncle, Francis Ford Coppola. Luke Cage has appeared in several cartoons and video games. In 2013, it was announced that Mike Colter will play the character in A.K.A. Jessica Jones, a live-action television series set to premiere in 2015, before headlining his own series.
5. Falcon/Captain America (Sam Wilson)
He first appeared in September 1969. He is the first African-American mainstream superhero. When he was introduced back in 1969, Wilson was a social worker who worked with inner-city youths in his Harlem neighborhood. Falcon was placed as the 96th greatest comic book hero by IGN, which opined that the partnership between him and Captain America forms one of the greatest crime-fighting duos in comics. In July 2014, Joe Quesada announced that Sam Wilson will be taking over as Captain America. The Falcon has appeared in several cartoons and video games. Anthony Mackie portrays Wilson in the Marvel Studios film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In 2016, Mackie will reprise his role in the sequel, Captain America: Civil War.
4. Green Lantern (John Stewart)
He first appeared in 1972 and was DC Comics first Black superhero. Artist Neil Adams decided to have a substitute Green Lantern and decided to make Stewart Black. In his words “given the racial makeup of the world’s population, “we ought to have a Black Green Lantern, not because we’re liberals, but because it just makes sense.” No affirmative action here; Stewart earned his spot on DC’s roster from pure common sense. Stewart has been featured in hundreds of the Green Lantern comics as well as several video games, the cartoon series JusticeLeague and Justice League Unlimited as well as several animated Justice League movies. His character is rumored to be featured in the upcoming Justice League live-action movie.
3. Storm (Ororo Munroe)
First appearing in 1975, Storm is one of the first Black female characters to play a significant role in comics. In fact, there were only a handful of Black male characters at the time of her arrival. She is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses all who could wield magic.Her mother, N’dare, was an African princess who married American photojournalist David Monroe and moved with him to Harlem, where Ororo was born. She was at one point the leader of the X-Men and revered as a goddess in the Marvel Universe. Storm has been featured in the X-Men animated television series, X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men. She has also appeared in four live-action X-Men films, where she is portrayed by actress Halle Berry. Director Bryan Singer announced on Twitter on Jan. 22 that Alexandra Shipp will play Storm in the 2016 X-Men: Apocalypse.
2. Static Shock (Virgil Ovid Hawkins)
Static first appeared in 1993 and was produced by Milestone Comics, a coalition of African-American artists and writers who believed that minorities were severely underrepresented in American comics. Static’s civilian identity was named after the first African-American to go to law school in 1949. Milestone closed in 1997, but Static was saved by the WB animated series Static Shock, which aired for four seasons and led to several comic book series. Static has appeared in video games and comics, has action figures and, of course, is famously known for his cartoon Static Shock. In October 2014, it was announced producer-director-writer Reginald Hudlin is developing a live-action Static Shock series for Warner Bros with Jaden Smith rumored to be playing Static.
1. Black Panther (T'Challa)
First appearing in July 1966, the Black Panther is the first Black superhero in mainstream American comics. Black Panther is not only a superhero but an African king of a highly advanced unconquered albeit fictional African nation of Wakanda. The Black Panther is married to Storm of the X-Men. In 2006, their wedding was a central theme during Marvel’s civil war story arch. The Black Panther has been featured in several video games, has an action figure and has been in several animated cartoons including BET’s animated series voiced by Djimon Hounsou. In 2014, Marvel announced that the Black Panther will be played by Chadwick Boseman and will debut in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, with a solo Black Panther film to be released in 2017.