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FOG! Chats With ‘BLACK’ Writer Kwanza Osajyefo, About Kickstarting, ‘WHITE’

How Does America React When Only Black People Have Superpowers?

With this single sentence concept, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 launched their successful Kickstarter campaign for BLACK which became a phenomenon, garnering both an array of mainstream press and critical acclaim.

Now, the entire creative team have reunited and have launched the sequel, WHITE.

Kwanza took some time to discuss the project, it’s premise, his influences and more.

* * * * *

FOG!:  Three years ago, you and co-creator Tim Smith 3 successfully launched your acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation BLACK, which focused on a world where only black people have superpowers. Did its success take you by surprise?

Kwanza Osajyefo: BLACK was a story that meant something to us, but you never know if something you’ve poured yourself into is going to resonate with other people. We were taken totally by surprise by how well it did – we feel very lucky.

This week you launched a new Kickstarter, WHITE. What’s the premise of the new storyline?

The story takes place three years after the first book and has the characters now dealing with a public that is aware that only black people have superpowers. I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to say that knowledge is disruptive to society, so the people elect Theodore Mann as President of the United States to deal with the empowered population.

This project reunites you and Tim Smith 3 along with penciler Jamal Igle, inker Juan Castro, cover artist Khary Randolph and editor Sarah Litt. Has it been satisfying to reunite the creative team for this venture?

It’s great to have everyone together again. We’ve all taken on other projects since the last book, but we were all excited to come back for the next part of the trilogy with WHITE. Sarah has us running like a well-oiled machine, Tim’s taken the character designs to the next level, and Jamal and Khary… well, I’m very excited for people to get their hands on this next book.

Since the original BLACK came out, you wrote two stories set in the BLACK universe, BLACK [AF]: Widows And Orphans and BLACK: America’s Sweetheart. Are there plans for other one-shots set in the universe?

Perhaps, but my goal is to focus on the main trilogy and let others play around in the BLACKSUPERPOWER universe. I really want to focus on setting the framework and hope that it can be a foundation for others to continue building on.

One of the Kickstarter rewards for WHITE are alternate covers by Ashley A. Woods, Jamal Igle, Jeremy Love, ChrisCross, Sanford Greene, and Denys Cowan. Are there any other dream collaborators that you’d like to work with?

That list is pretty endless. Top of mind, I’d love to see David Walker take on a corner of this universe, Bryan Edward Hill, and Brandon Thomas, too.

Who or what have been the biggest influences in your work?

Dwayne McDuffie without a doubt – not just his writing, but I wouldn’t have a career in comics if not for his direct influence. He basically gave me the Green Book for navigating the comics industry.

What are you currently geeking out over?

Because I’m so busy, when I do have time, I just binge. I did Umbrella Academy in one sitting. Right now for music, I’m really into Gary Clark Jr. and the Japanese House. I was pretty hyped that Glyn Dillion’s The Nao of Brown is now on ComiXology. I have the book but it was great reading it again on my iPad. Recently I finished Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility – which obviously was research material for WHITE.

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To support this campaign on Kickstarter, Click HERE!


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