“Underground” a new show whose storyline takes place during the antebellum south is set to premiere on WGN March 9. It stars Aldis Hodge (Leverage, Straight Outta Compton) and Jurnee Smollet-Bell (Friday Night Lights, The Great Debaters) as a field slave and a house slave respectively, who plan and execute a daring escape from the plantation where they’re being held captive. Underground is is being produced byJohn Legend’s production company Get Lifted and also stars Jussie Smolett (Empire) and Christopher Meloni (Law and Order SVU) . The actors as well as the show’s writers Misha Green (Spartacus, Sons of Anarchy, Heroes) and Joe Pokaski (Daredevil, Heroes, CSI) were on hand during New York Comic Con last year and were all very vocal in pointing out that the show is not “another slave narrative”, but instead should be seen as an adventure about a daring escape. I was lucky enough to interview Hodge to get his take on things and ask him some questions about what made him decide to play a slave on network television.
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I met David F. Walker in the press area of New York Comic Con on Friday, Oct 9, 2015 at the Javitz Center this year and he was nice enough to grant me an impromptu interview for a few minutes. (Honestly? I could have talked to him for an hour.) He’s REALLY friendly, crazy talented, hilariously funny, a serious music buff and genuinely wants to engage with his fans. Black folks in particular. Here’s the scoop:
I’m starting a new series here on theblerdgurl where I interview people who inspire me or I feel are change agents in some way. I’ve been not-so-silently stalking by Shawn Pryor since I first heard him on a blackcomicschat podcast a few months ago. At the time he was one of the few voices I felt were actually speaking the truth about People of Color (POC) in the media and comics. Since Shawn has extensive experience on the business end of the comic book game, I wanted him to share his thoughts and ideas about growing a successful indie comic. Shawn talks about crowdfunding, marketing, being a POC in the business and why there are no such things as magical unicorns. He even tells us who some of his favorite underrated artists are right now. So grab a pen kids, you’re gonna wanna take notes.
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The second guest on my interview series is none other than the impeccably dressed Joseph P. Illidge. ( I have never seen this man in sneakers, seriously). For those of you who don’t know, Joe has worked for Milestone, DC Comics, his own company Verge Entertainment and he also contributes a weekly column called THE MISSION over on CBR.
But today we’re not going to talk about all that.
Joe and I met about 4 years ago at a mutual friend’s art show and I was introduced to him as “The girl that’s into comics I was telling you about.” (Thanks Jason). Joe and I proceeded to talk for the next hour about Wonder Woman and the fantasy dominatrix concept of her character (and costume) as told by the white male dominated comic book industry and why they just can’t seem to make a movie about her.
Um…but we’re not actually talking about that today either.
This interview was inspired by a series of DMs on twitter we shared about the lack of support for not just characters of color, but the people who create them. We were both lamenting the need for constructive criticism of not just the way mainstream comics deal with PoC (People of Color, and no that term does not just apply to Black folks) but also of the quality of work that comes from many indie creators of color.
I asked a few questions and Joe (in true fashion) went in. So make yourself something to eat, (or drink, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere) and sit back and learn something.
Hi! I'm the blerdgurl. I’m a comic book reading, anime watching, TV live tweeting, K-Pop listening, blog writing, geek gurl. I will be using this blog to shine a light on