Tuesday, September 18, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Be glad we're not indoors."

Black Comix Day in San Diego with Keithan Jones

Written by Greg Anderson-Elysee on Sunday, February 11 2018 and posted in Features

Black Comix Day in San Diego with Keithan Jones

KID Comics' frontman Keithan Jones talks about upcoming Black Comix Day convention and juggling a convention, family, a comic company, and every position of his own comic book!



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GREG ANDERSON-ELYSEE: Keithan Jones! How are you today, man?

KEITHAN JONES: I'm good. Super busy putting shows together and doing promos. Takes away from me doing my book but it's a necessary evil. Well, not evil but you know what I mean.

A-ELYSEE: Heh. I get you. Tell us a bit about yourself, for the fine folks who are meeting you today. What are you about?

JONES: I'm about moving the needle, man. I'm SO over talking about what WE need to do and then not really doing it. So I'm out here forcing the conversation of empowerment into real tangible action. I own a publishing company called KID Comics. Check it out at kid-comics.com. I created my first series called The Power Knights and I'm currently at 3 issues, on sale with the 4th issue being produced as I speak.

 

A-ELYSEE: Tell me about Power Knights. I understand you're the creator, writer, and artist for Power Knights?

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JONES: It's a fun book, man. I'm the fun, action adventure guy. The story is about a KING who wants to control ALL THINGS, all worlds. In order for him to do this, he has this sorceress collect all of the greatest warriors across the galaxy and have them conquer worlds for him. They did this against their will, in effect making them powerful slaves. Eventually they broke the spell and defeated the King. Unfortunately they were still found guilty of the hell they unleashed on hundreds of worlds so they were sent into a Black Hole to die. However, they somehow survive and actually pass through on the other side and end up on Earth! Now they are free to live and lead their own lives. What will they do with a new lease on life and the power to shape life on Earth however they choose? Well one of them has an idea but let's just say the rest of them might have a real problem with it.

 

 

A-ELYSEE: Dude, that sounds like a fun book indeed. Who are the characters that the book focus on and what are their dynamics?

JONES: The main protagonists in the story are two young brothers. The older brother is Davion Watson and the younger Kandle Watson. They're just two regular human beings thrown into this intergalactic power struggle brought to Earth. Their father died of cancer leaving Davion to grow up fast and be a father figure to Kandle. Unfortunately, like a lot of young people who lose their parents early in life, he is consumed by anger and finds himself hanging with the wrong crowd, one of which is the chief villain of the story, Warseed.

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A-ELYSEE: What inspired this book and what's your thought and working process creating and developing it?

Initially I came up with the idea from reading Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. I was really into that series as a teenager. I could relate to those characters in my real life. So I wanted to duplicate that type of story; life as a teenager. As I got older it became more important for me to also inject characters of color within the story. All the years I've been collecting comics, it is still a novelty to see black leading protagonist in comics. That's kind of ridiculous in modern times that it's still a big deal to see black men and women, along with other minorities as the hero of a story in America. I realized I had nothing stopping me from doing it myself. So in essence, I broke the mental chains that even I had suffered from and went about the business of creating a predominantly black cast of characters in my books.

A-ELYSEE: Tell me about KID Comics.

JONES: KID means Keithan Is Distressed! No, just kidding. (smiles)

A-ELYSEE: It works though! (laughs)

JONES: KID Comics is a way for me to greenlight my own projects. Again, there were no rules saying I couldn't own, create, and print my own books. We as a people MUST have a foothold in the corporate world of the American economy to really induce the change we want for ourselves. So all you folks online yapping about doing things for free, out of brotherly love, or removing yourselves from the "system," please miss me with that self-defeating garbage. No one is coming to hand us the bag.

A-ELYSEE: Putting your plans to action and money where your mouth is. I feel you, man. Aside from Power Knights, what other books do you have in your roster and who are behind them?

JONES: We have Purge by Roosevelt Pitt Jr., The Dragonfly by Michael William Tener, and Vegas Baby by C.R. Ward. All fantastic titles worth your time. Vegas Baby is actually an adult title, only for adults. Purge and The Dragonfly are for general audiences. To find out the synopsis of all our books simply got to kid-comics.com.

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A-ELYSEE: Doing all the positions for your book and running of your company, how do you juggle everything including family life?

JONES: LONG HOURS, bro. And it's really not healthy. But like I said earlier, it's a necessary evil. When I start earning enough capital to delegate some of these duties then obviously my time would be freed up to relax a little more but for now, it is what it is. But I do remind myself to spend time with my family whenever I can. I just know if I don't take care of business, the family ain't going to be too happy about that either. (Laughs)

A-ELYSEE: Adding to your busy schedule, next weekend (Feb 17th) you're launching a Black focused comic book convention in San Diego. Can you tell us about that, the mission statement, etc?

JONES: Sure. I'm VERY excited to announce the 1st Annual Black Comix Day in San Diego! It takes place on the 17th of February, the day after the premiere of The Black Panther movie. The Malcolm X Library is hosting the show and we have an awesome line up of black artist and writers such as David Walker who wrote Luke Cage, Shaft, Cyborg, and more. We have artist and writers from Lion Forge such as Brandon Thomas and Ray-Anthony Height. But primarily it's a show celebrating independent black creators such as yourself, Greg. We also have food and prizes. Don't miss out on this special day, yawl!

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A-ELYSEE: Why the same weekend as Black Panther?

JONES: I felt that was the best date to do it. Whatever excitement you garner from watching that film, bring it to BCD 2018!

A-ELYSEE: Why do you feel that an event like this is needed?

JONES: It needs to be made because sometimes you have to build your own doors to walk through. We need venues to sell the things we create and own. The one thing that makes Black Americans different from other minorities is that we are the only group in this diaspora that have almost ZERO ties to our past culture. Meaning we don't know our native tongues, language, foods or names. Other minorities such as the Chinese, Japanese, Latinos still through it all have maintained their heritage. They are able to sell culture in America and thus build an economic foothold here. We are more or less forced to assimilate to survive.

A-ELYSEE: Thank you, Keithan. Where else can people find out more information about the convention?

JONES: Go to Facebook and search: Black Comix Day 2018 event page. Get all the info you need there.

NOTE: Or, just CLICK HERE! - Greg

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That was Keithan Jones of KID Comics and one of the founders of the upcoming Black Comix Day in San Diego! Be sure to stop by if you're in the area or spread the word!

 

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About the Author - Greg Anderson-Elysee


Gregory Anderson-Elysee is a Brooklyn born and based filmmaker (director and editor), playwright, comic book writer, model, and part time actor. He was one of the first writers and interviewers of The Outhouse. He is the writer and creator of the upcoming book Is'nana the Were-Spider. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.


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