How did you get involved with ECBACC, and how does it fit into the aims of Black Heroes Matter (BHM)?
I think I heard of it on the internet. It was a really crazy period in my life. The 2004 ECBACC was the first one I went to. I had never been to a convention before. I was in grad school at Morgan State and had just come back from my first study mission to Kemet. I went over there and had my mind blown, so I was open to everything when I came back. I was almost like a magnet; all these positive things started coming toward me, and ECBACC was one of the things. It was amazing seeing people who looked like me who had the same passions as me. I was introduced to all these new titles I had never heard of.
Another thing that was pulled to me was the Black Superheroes Forum (BSF). A lot of people who attended ECBACC were on that forum. This was before Facebook and Twitter. It was our virtual hangout. ECBACC became that physical place we could meet and chop it up.
In terms of how ECBACC and BHM fit, it's the same frequency. We can't depend on the mainstream to represent us the way we want to be represented. That's our job. We can't be mad at Marvel or Netflix or whoever. That's the theme of ECBACC. Do for self. Build for self. Represent yourself. It's the same spirit as BHM.
What's a cherished memory from ECBACC?
My favorite memory was the first time I went. It opened a new world. I always wanted to make comics. I was always an artist and writer growing up. Seeing professional Black people who were putting out books was an inspiration. It was just like a family reunion with comics. Year after year, we look forward to going out to dinner afterward for fellowship. Family is the best aspect of it.
What would you love to see for the future of ECBACC?
One of the things that bother me is that it's in Philly, which is a major market, but it never got the media coverage that I felt it deserved. I feel like every TV station in Philly should be there. Radio stations should be broadcasting from it.
What are some encouraging trends you've seen in the indie comic book space?
Opportunities have grown immensely because there are 100 times more platforms than there used to be with 24-hour content cycles. Content is king. People want different stories. People are tired of 'white man or woman saves the day' stories. Even white people are tired of it.
A lot of the people who were at ECBACC and BHF are making deals with Hulu and Netlfix. It's not that our content is better now than it was back then, it's just that now they're finally getting around to seeing what we have to offer. I guess it's better late than never, but we've always had hot stuff. Now they're finally catching up to us.
Who are some creators that you keep your eyes on?
Mshindo Kuumba, Greg Williams, Charlie Goubile, Brandon Easton, Love Brothers, Dawud [Anyabwile]. These are OG guys who have been doing it for a long time. They've been at it for decades but they're finally getting the shine they deserve. They're still my favorites.
Where would you like to see BHM go in the future?
This isn't the best business model, but, I want to live in a time when it's not needed. We shouldn't have to say Black heroes matter. Eventually, I don't want to be able to sell any shirts. "Yeah, and water is wet, so what." Right now it is still needed, and people gravitate to the slogan. It has been incredible. I didn't expect this kind of support. We have gangsters and hustlers pimps and hoes but so does everybody else. We also have lawyers, plumbers, teachers, vets, and nurses. Holistic. We have all that.