#BIPOCVampDay Creator Interview

Jamila C.

#BIPOCVampDay is Sept. 17-19 and we talked to the creator of the event, Jamila C. of Black Bettie Cosplay.

Midwest BSFA: How’d you get into cosplay? 
J.C.: I have been doing costuming for a long time. I studied it in college and sewed from a young age. I learned that people were dressing up to conventions after I graduated and wanted to continue making costumes as a hobby.

Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the idea for #BIPOCBVampDay? 
J.C.:
I was inspired by the Black Fae Day event this year. As someone absolutely obsessed with vampires since childhood, I’ve always noticed a lack of Black and POC vampires in the media despite the diverse lore that actually exists around the world. Also, I know many BIPOC friends that have experienced backlash for being Black and cosplaying as a vampire. This day is to encourage more representation and showcase all the amazing vampire mythology and characters that do exist but aren’t at the forefront.

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Ricky Pleasant Joins Queen City Black Comix Day Virtual Comics Creators Panel, Part Two

Ricky Pleasant

Ricky Pleasant of Breakaway Comics will discuss his comic book Princess Ziya and the Golden Orchid during our Queen City Black Comix Day virtual comics creators panel at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 31, on the Midwest BSFA YouTube channel!

Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with this concept and why?
Pleasant:
During the height of the pandemic, my wife and I were babysitting our niece and nephew, and the activities they really enjoy doing with us is drawing and storytelling. They were coming up with all of these super imaginative characters and backstories, that’s when the concept came to me: tell half of the story and let the kids finish it how they want. So I came up with my own characters and asked them what they thought would happen to them. I hope that the comics from Breakaway Comics not only encourage kids to read more, but spark their imagination and think about how they want the story to end. It’s a great way for families to come together and get their creative juices flowing!

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Juice Lee Joins Queen City Black Comix Day Virtual Comics Creators Panel, Part Two

Nerdcore rapper Juice Lee will discuss his comic book Skrap during our Queen City Black Comix Day virtual comics creators panel at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 31, on the Midwest BSFA YouTube channel!

Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with this concept and why?
Lee:
I have been a fight fan for the last 15 years. I’ve had an extremely deep love for martial arts nearly all my life. This book started out as more of a side story to another story that I was writing. The main character in this story is the sister of the main character and the other story I was writing. Initially I had no intentions of writing this story off the bat. I ended up getting writer’s block with my initial story and just started spit balling ideas. Those ideas snowballed into this I wrote the story mainly because I wanted to tell the story of a black female UFC champion since there hasn’t been one. But then it started to evolve and change into so many things beyond the cage and it started to really take on a life of its own.

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Victor Dandridge Joins Queen City Black Comix Day Virtual Comics Creators Panel, Part Two

Victor Dandridge of Vantage:Inhouse Productions

We were lucky to snag “the hardest working man in comics,” Victor Dandridge, for part two of our Queen City Black Comix Day virtual comics creators panel at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 31, on the Midwest BSFA YouTube channel! We’ll be choppin’ it up with him and Juice Lee so join us if you can! Below, Victor tells us about his start in comics, what he’s currently working on and the legacy he hopes will endure for years to come.

Midwest BSFA: How did you get into comics?
Dandridge:
This is one of my FAVORITE stories: I HATED reading as a child. You couldn’t pay me to read a book. But I was a big fan of pop culture, so all of that changed the day they announced on the news that Superman was going to die! How do you kill Superman? WHO could even do it?? Immediately, my mind was abuzz with all the intrigue such an announcement was supposed to bring. I had no choice but to admit that I wanted to read that. Luckily, my mother overheard me, and the very next day, she started my comic collection with a stack of random books she picked up. I’ve been a fan ever since.

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Aziza the Graphic Novelist Participates in Queen City Black Comix Day Comics Creators Panel

Aziza the Graphic Novelist

Aziza the Graphic Novelist joins the Queen City Black Comix Day comics creators panel on Saturday, June 26, at 2:30 p.m. EST on Facebook Live! She’ll discuss some upcoming projects as well as her first comic, The Kaaiman’s Cry, which we interviewed her about last summer.

Midwest BSFA: How did you get into comics writing?
Aziza:
In general, I feel like visual media tends to be more engaging. Originally, I started researching how to create my own video game.  However, the more I studied the more I realized that the barriers to entry were way too high and would’ve involved me learning skills that I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed learning.  On the other hand, I’ve always loved writing. And once I started studying on how comics were made, I realized that most of the skills that are required to self publish a comic are skills that I enjoy, want to improve, or do well.  So I decided on comics as the medium to tell my stories.

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Black Fae Day Photos

Black Fae Day on May 8 was an absolute blast! Y’all, we had a Black ass good time at our meetup. There were some familiar faces and some new folks, and the turnout was great – everyone was just vibin on some geeky fae DnD energy. 🧚🏿‍♂️🧚🏾‍♀️🧚🏿 While there were plenty of places around the city where we could have met, Mt. Airy Arboretum in Mt. Airy Forest was the absolute best choice for this type of shoot. We owe a HUGE thanks to all of the photographers, some of whose work is showcased in this post; they showed up and showed out! 🙌🏾 We’re just so happy with how everything turned out…and we beat the rain AND the cicadas! *does cartwheel* Enjoy these photos and start getting your costume together for next year’s event!

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