From the late Dwayne McDuffie who served as a writer and editor at Marvel to Black Panther World of Wakanda artist Afua Njoki Richardson, Black creators have tapped into the power of innovation to shape the landscape of the comic book industry. According to Variety, a new initiative has been launched to ensure that more Black comic innovators have a seat at the table.
The collaborative project—dubbed the Milestone Initiative—is being led by WarnerMedia, Ally and DC Comics. Its was designed to amplify the voices and work of diverse illustrators and writers who are often shut out of mainstream projects. The initiative’s moniker is an homage to Milestone Media; a comic book company founded nearly three decades ago by a collective of Black creatives. Through the program, participants will have the opportunity to attend a development session at the DC Comics headquarters in Burbank, California and a virtual training course led by the Kubert School.
“Superhero and comic culture is massive and has a broad reach,” Andrea Brimmer, who serves as chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally Financial Inc., said in a statement. “We can authentically show up in that and there is a heavy focus around all kinds of content that will come out of this, things where we definitely plan on there being a part for us.” The digital financial services company is sponsoring the initiative.
News about the Milestone Initiative comes as there is a stagnancy around diversity within the comic book industry. Research shows that a mere 4.9 percent of comic book writers are Black compared to 80.5 percent who are white. DC Comics is putting the focus on increasing representation within the pages of their books. Last year, they released a young adult novel dubbed Wonder Women of History. The book highlighted trailblazing women across different spaces including athletes Serena Williams and Dominique Dawes, singers Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.