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.
Midwest BSFA: What were your favorite comic books/characters growing up?
Dandridge: Ooh, that favorite tag changed quite a bit when I was growing up. Some of the mainstays were Superman (he opened the door for me), Gambit from the X-Men (between the ’90s X-Men relaunch and the cartoon, he had me!), Captain Marvel (the Shazam version — one of the first underrated heroes who could put Supes on his back), and Black Bolt (this is a bit of a cheat; Black Bolt was my dad’s favorite character and since I idolize my dad, he had to be mine too).
Midwest BSFA: Who inspires your work?
Dandridge: Personally? It’s always my family that inspires me — everything I do is to create a legacy that they can be proud to witness or be a part of. That’s my energy, right there. Professionally, I’d have to give credit to Mark Millar, Robert Kirkman, Grant Morrison, Dwayne McDuffie, and of course, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee.
Midwest BSFA: What are you working on right now?
Dandridge: I’ve got a couple titles in production — sequels to some of the first books I released under the Vantage:Inhouse Productions imprint. Affectionately dubbed, V:IPhase 2, the kick offs would be Point of Authority: Family Ties (sequel to Origins Unknown: Points of Authority), Never Too Late (sequel to The Trouble w/Love), and Samaritans: The Mantle (sequel to The Samaritan). I’ll be following up with 3 more series that will add to the expanding V:IP shared multiverse.
Midwest BSFA: What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
Dandridge: It’s absolutely my goal to cultivate the next generation of comic book readership. With my U Cre-8 Comics line, I’m able to go where the future readers are — in schools and show the merits of comics by sharing their educational value. From there, my self-published comics can serve as entrance points or age-appropriate continuations, allowing new readers to have accessibility of stories not bogged down with decades of continuity. And hopefully, a few will want to make comics themselves!
Midwest BSFA: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Dandridge: Find something you’re truly passionate about and make that your profession. I won’t say you’ll never work a day in your life, but I will say you’ll enjoy the work a whole lot more!
You can find out more about Victor’s company at www.vantageinhouse.com
Queen City Black Comix Day virtual comics creators panel take place at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 31, on the Midwest BSFA YouTube channel.