Published on March 5th, 2019 | by Dana Folkard
Now Live on Kickstarter: WHITE, The Sequel to the Acclaimed Graphic Novel BLACK
How does America react when only black people have superpowers? In the sure-to-be-controversial six-part comic book series WHITE, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, Inkpot-Award winning artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph reunite for the sequel to their acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation, BLACK.
“How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” said Kwanza Osajyefo. “Our story asks: In a time of supposed inclusion and diversity, how far will those in charge push back to retain the status quo?”
In WHITE, Theodore Mann, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for Mann First, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program. The main person standing in the President’s way is X – once known as Kareem Jenkins – who has become a symbol of resistance against the Mann Administration.
In 2016, the BLACK Kickstarter campaign was a crowdfunding sensation, and both the campaign and the comic book series’ subsequent publication generated national headlines and coverage including the NEW YORK TIMES, EBONY, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, and THE WASHINGTON POST. For WHITE, the original BLACK creative team―Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, Sarah Litt, Derwin Roberson, and Dave Sharpe―will return for the second part of a planned trilogy, and will be joined by inker Juan Castro. If funded by Kickstarter, WHITE will be a 6-part, ad-free periodical comic book series. The first printing – with variant covers – will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers. Comic book retailers will be able to order standard editions directly from Black Mask after rewards are shipped.
“We’ve been lucky to build the world of BLACK through Kickstarter and at Black Mask Studios, but to continue telling stories the way we want, we need to keep challenging ourselves, and the publishing paradigm, by making these special first printings of WHITE exclusively available through this crowdfunding campaign,” said Kwanza Osajyefo.
The number of backers of WHITE will unlock Kickstarter exclusive variants by comic book industry legends: Ashley A. Woods, Jamal Igle, Jeremy Love, ChrisCross, Sanford Greene, and Denys Cowan. “My goal with the BLACK covers was to evoke an emotion that would stop the reader in their tracks,” said cover artist Khary Randolph. “I’m thrilled that some of the biggest artists in comics will also be a part of the Kickstarter for WHITE.”
Issue One of WHITE is estimated to be delivered to backers October 2019. The limited edition variant of the graphic novel and comic book shop retailer bundles will ship to backers in early 2020.
“We’re thrilled to return to the world of BLACK,” said Tim Smith 3. “This is the second part of a planned trilogy and we can’t tell the story or finish what we’ve started without the support of Kickstarter and our fans who have encouraged us.”
“The overwhelming support we received from the Kickstarter community took us all by surprise,” said Jamal Igle, the artist for WHITE and the creator of MOLLY DANGER. “We were initially a little taken aback by just how much BLACK resonated with readers. As a comic book creator, there’s no better feeling than getting this kind response. Meeting fans of BLACK at comic book conventions and hearing from backers is gratifying and inspiring. We’re thrilled to be back, telling the story in the way we envisioned it, on our terms.”
WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLACK:
“Daring, exhilarating.”―AV CLUB
“BLACK is at the forefront of social art in comics. If you read one thing, read this.”―DOOM ROCKET
“Brutally encapsulating themes like police brutality and racial profiling, aside from telling a thoroughly grounded superhero story, Black paints an astonishingly vivid and at times ugly picture of the trials and tribulations of African-Americans in modern America, using the power and symbology of superheroes to speak to social injustices that are all too real.”―io9
“Ambitious.”―GOOD MEN PROJECT
“Fascinating.”―DEN OF GEEK
“Despite new strides in diverse storytelling, superhero comics are still too often a mostly white affair. This comic turns that tradition on its end, envisioning a world where only black people have superpowers.”―ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Revolutionary.”―ATLANTA BLACK STAR
“Brilliant.”―NERDS OF COLOR
“There is, unfortunately, no better time for a comic book like BLACK to be announced and created than right now, because the visual of the young Black man wearing a hoodie and being confronted by the gun(s) of police officers is burned into our collective conscious. It is the image of one of the most prevalent and gross generalizations of our times.”―CBR
“Very important.”―GEEK MOM
“Critics have accurately pointed out that these nonwhite characters are all too often written by white creators — and that their stories rarely take on real-life racial issues. Writer Kwanza Osajyefo and artist Jamal Igle want to change all that.”―NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s VULTURE
“An exciting ensemble of black comics creators who are telling a story they’d probably not be able to tell with the “Big Two” publishers.”―MENTAL FLOSS
“Excellent.”―GEEKED OUT NATION
“Having a black Captain America and a half-black, half-Puerto Rican Spider-Man is great, but where are the superheroes that better reflect the modern day African American? Bringing more diversity to comics, former digital editor at Marvel and DC Comics Kwanza Osajyefo and writer Tim Smith 3 have co-created a graphic novel that takes on issues such as racial profiling from the perspective of its black cast of characters.”―TECH TIMES
“Fascinating.”―DEN OF GEEK