Chicago – When Erica Austin was a child traveling around the globe with her family, comic books were her refuge; and like most wildly imaginative children, her mind’s eye saw the characters leap from the pages and come alive. Now an adult, Austin, a former IBM employee and computer tech, has created her own comic book series, “Against the Grain,” and the heroine, Leslie, makes her childhood dreams a reality by leaping from the screen and coming alive via brilliant animations. Austin’s innovation, one of the first of its kind, comes in the form of an app she has created from her company Slightly Off Productions. Her “Against the Grain” app, named for her comic series, is destined to revolutionize the way comics and graphic novels are read.
Author Archives: blakcitrus
Veteran documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson is raising money for the theatrical release of his new film, The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of A Revolution. Nelson’s new film looks at the history of the organization and the conditions that brought about its formation in the ’60’s and how many of those issues are prevalent today. The Black Panther Party became known for their scrutiny of police brutality while using the open-carry laws to bear arms while doing so and their free breakfast programs for school age children. FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover described them as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and created COINTELPRO to successfully dismantle them. Nelson’s film is the first feature length film about the Panthers and to support the Kickstarter campaign for it head over to the project page here.
“Burundi” featuring Emily Kokal of Warpaint is the first single from Saul Williams’ upcoming Martyr Loser King album. The album will come out in July on the Fader label. Williams explains the story behind “Burundi” which starts in Paris:
Burundi is one of the 1st songs I recorded for MartyrLoserKing. I initially recorded it in Paris after returning from a month of travel thru Senegal, Swaziland & South Africa. I focused on [the country] Burundi as I was studying the coltan trade & black market networks. Also because of the role of the drum/tambour in Burundi & how those drums became the backbeat for new wave… Adam Ant etc. I’m a huge Warpaint fan. Justin [Warfield] mentioned that he knew Em when I was playing him my demoes and I asked him to invite her to the studio. From there, she just sang along.
De La Soul is joined by Nas on “God It” and they want everyone to know they still have their soul over James Brown-sounding horn stabs and beats. “God It” is a bonus because it won’t be on their upcoming And The Anonymous Anybody which the fans have funded beyond expectation on Kickstarter. They’ve raised almost half a million dollars which is three times the amount of their goal and the campaign still has 10 days to go. Their Kickstarter efforts are not only important because of their welcomed return but it also dispels the myths that rappers over 40 don’t sell, Old School hip-hop does not sell and that fans don’t spend money on music anymore.
London-based R&B pop singer Mi’das unveils his video for “Wish Road.” The new artist is prepping for the April 30th release of his Stronger EP. The EP was partially recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios and is part of three-EP series leading up to his full-length album in 2016.
Jun 2-28: One-Woman Show By Rain Pryor, Daughter Of Richard Pryor, To Premiere At National Black Theatre
NEW YORK (April 20, 2015)—Rain Pryor’s one-woman autobiographical play will have its World Premiere at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) in Harlem, running Tuesday, June 2, through Sunday, June 28. “Fried Chicken & Latkes” is the actress-writer-comedian’s funny take on her mixed-race heritage and growing up the daughter of one of the world’s most beloved and iconic funny men, comic genius Richard Pryor.
“We are so excited for Rain to join the NBT family and round out the 46th season with ‘Fried Chicken & Latkes.’ This season, NBT has navigated the world through the eyes of the Black female playwright; and we complete this year-long journey with the healing power of laughter, through the nuance of identity. Our mission here at NBT is to create a home for every person that walks through our doors, to allow members of our community to see themselves in ways they may have never experienced before, activated by the unabashedly authentic stories on our stage. We hope you come out and enjoy Rain’s piece as she serves up home on a comically diverse and complex platter,” said Sade Lythcott, CEO of NBT.
Wax Poetics has Chris Read doing another Tribe Called Quest Mixtape and this one is a tribute to the 25th anniversary of their genre-expanding debut People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm.