Filmmaker Vernard S. Fields of the Black Cincinnati Cinema Collective recently released his horror short film Jumper Guy, which one “Best Screamplay” at the 2021 Cincinnati Fright Film Competition. Midwest BSFA talked to him about the film, his favorite films and filmmakers, and his path to filmmaking.Continue reading “Vernard S. Fields Talks Filmmaking”
We recently interviewed Pittsburgh-based author Schereeya about their new book of poetry, Prayers & Pixies, which will be available starting Nov. 1 through Red Hawk Publications. They tell us about their love of poetry, seeing more Black people in fantasy settings, and their novel in progress.Continue reading “Schereeya’s Prayers & Pixies Drops on Nov. 1”
We recently talked to Broooklynite Noa M., the creator of #BIPOCWitchDay, which takes place on Oct. 23 & 24!
Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the idea for BIPOC Witch Day?
NM: Since I’ve seen Black Fae Day and BIPOC Vamp Day take off so well, I thought to myself, why not make my own day? I thought about it one day and asked my friends if I should do it. When they immediately said yes, BOOM, BIPOC Witch Day was born.
We recently talked to Virginia native Alexandra H., the creator of #BIPOCWerewolf Day, which takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 20!
Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the idea for #BIPOCWerewolfDay?
AH: After seeing the reception for Black fae, BIPOC vamp, and Black mermaid days, I wanted to have the werewolves have their own, too. I debated about it a lot about actually doing it…not sure how people will take it. Werewolf media hasn’t always been the best and many werewolf fans have to fall back on creating their own stories and works to make up for it.
We talked to Jasmine La Fleur (aka Halcyon Crowe), the creator of Black Fae Day! This weekend, she and her fae following are celebrating the Sankofa Solstice, the virtual wrap-up event for the 2021 Black Fae Day season.
Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the idea for #BlackFaeDay and the Sankofa Solstice?
La Fleur: I was scrolling through all the cosplays from #28DaysOfBlackCosplay in February and didn’t want the magic to end. For the last couple of birthdays, I’ve done something special for myself. Over quarantine lockdown I had a “costzoom” party with my family and wanted to replicate that fun. I knew Twitter had the potential to send my dream to many different people, but I had little social media presence. I only knew that the best case scenario would be social media flooding with positive images of Black people in fantasy and fairytale cosplay.
#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.
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!
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.
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.
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.