NOIR IS THE NEW BLACK! Black Noir Returns in a Bold New Anthology Series Launching Exclusively on Kickstarter
Black Noir may be the world’s best-kept secret in entertainment. A variation on the Noir fiction genre popularized by writers like Dashiell Hammett or Mikey Spillane. Except Black Noir blends this classic style with an African American point of view. A unique and powerful perspective brought to modern literature by authors such as Walter Mosley, Chester Himes, or Paula L. Woods. In movies too, the Black Noir genre proved very popular, from the late 1960s to the 21st century.
And while, many of these early movies, like Shaft, Sweet Sweetback’s Badassss Song (both,1971), Cool Breeze (1972) or any Pam Grier movie, were often part of the so-called “Blaxploitation wave”, the most recent efforts have put black moviemakers in charge of their own creations. Directors like John Singleton, Carl Franklin, F.Gary Gray, and, of course, Spike Lee have explored the Black Noir genre in many interesting ways.
While many comics and graphic novels have featured Black Noir stories through the years, never have these kinds of stories been gathered in one place in such a powerful way. For the first time, some of the best creators in modern comics agreed to band together to produce the finest Black Noir stories ever: a collection of 13 short stories from the past, present, and future. Noir is the New Black will be a nexus, where reality and fiction collide.
“Noir is the embrace of everything that makes human beings weak, and selfish, and compromised. We’re drawn to it because we’re hoping against hope that everything we see, everything we feel, isn’t who we really are. That most people are capable of redemption, of returning from the brink, even though we know, deep down, that so many are not.
Noir reveals the truth about us…and it hurts.” Says Brandon Thomas, writer, and co-creator of the Image/Skybound hit series Excellence, one of the finest talents to contribute a story in the collection.
Comic Book rising star Melody Cooper (writer on CW’s Two Sentence Horror Stories. 2019 HBO Access Fellow, writer H1’s OMNI comic book) adds: “What happens when you use a different lens to explore ignored shades of nuance in the Black experience? You get the beautiful dark and blinding light that lets us examine the past, confront the present, and re-imagine the future through the Black gaze of a new Noir.”
Artist N.Steven Harris (DC’s Michael Cray, Watson & Holmes) even powerfully sums it up: “Black Noir is Black Black without trying, just being. Pushing and breaking boundaries we use to be told were there because Black won’t sell, whites won’t understand, not what they won’t see. Well, but what about what I/we want to see? Our visions matter! Black visons matter.”
The Noir is the New Black anthology is also an occasion to showcase new talents. The popular hashtag #DrawingWhileBlack gave the world a glimpse of the amazing amount of Black creativity. And rather than waiting for other publishers to open doors, new publisher FairSquare Comics decided to make the first move. The next generation of talents as well as creators who’ve been around for a long time but were still undiscovered will take part in Noir is the New Black. A total of 25 writers, artists, color artists, and letterers. Most of the Black Americans, but also a handful coming from France, Italy, or Canada.
TC Harris, co-editor of the anthology shares how it all began: “Representation is one of the most powerful tools to promote the change many have been demanding, and I am blessed to be among those who’ll bring this volume to the world. Like any good origin story, my journey started off as somewhat of a tragedy, ultimately culminating in me arriving at just where I needed to be. A chance encounter with Fabrice Sapolsky back in 2017 has led to a wonderful mentorship, partnership and I’m blessed to say friendship. I cannot express how excited I am at the prospect of getting this anthology into your hands. Why am I passionate about Black Noir? Namely, because I’m living it!”
The Noir is the New Black will debut, through Kickstarter on July 22nd, 2020 at 9 AM EST and will run for 30 days.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Brandon Thomas (Excellence), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Sanford Greene (Bitter Root), Koi Turnbull (Fathom), Brandon Easton (Judge Dredd), Melody Cooper (OMNI), Christian Cooper (Starfleet Academy), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), MD Marie (Vindication), Don Walker (Agent: Wild), Hannibal Tabu (Artifacts), Frank Yeiger (Sword of the Free), Greg A. Elysee (Is’Nana: The Were Spider), Regine Sawyer (Ice Witch), N.Steven Harris (Michael Cray), Sylvain Despretz (Storyboarder for Ridley Scott and Guillermo Del Toro — among others), Ray-Anthony Height (Miles Morales, Midnight Tiger), Afua Richardson (World of Wakanda), Dorphise Jean, Vlad Alexis, David Brame, Mel Milton, Teena Stone, Karen S. Darboe, Guile and more to be announced!
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