EXCLUSIVE: The artist gives a glimpse of his latest project — the sequel to Black…
In 2016, writer Kwanza Osajyefo, designer Tim Smith 3 and interior artist Jamal Igle launched Black, a series that asks a very basic, yet provocative, question: What if only black people could get superpowers?
The project was as successful as it was controversial and led to the release of the spinoff Black (AF). Now, the original creative crew is back with a sequel — White, which shows how an America led by an authoritarian race-baiter responds to the whole situation.
White, like Black, is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign and you can check it out here.
Igle has popped in at 13th Dimension a number of times over the years to share his insights on the creative process. Here, he discusses the artistic challenge of going from Black to White — and shows off three pages of his art in progress…
By JAMAL IGLE
Almost four years ago, Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 came to my apartment and pitched me a simple, but brilliant, concept: “What if only black people had superpowers?”
It was such an obvious idea that I was surprised no one had ever proposed it before, as far as I knew. At that moment I knew I had to be involved with the project – the six-issue series Black, which became the first part of what we’ve dubbed “The Black Superpowers Universe” and led to spinoffs and a lot of attention.
That brings us to today, as we continue production on our current series, White.
I don’t like working the same way twice, in terms of how I tell a story. Last year, I began pencilling a series for AHOY Comics called The Wrong Earth, which is heavily steeped in different styles of American superhero comics and required me to switch between my approaches to the story. That led me to rethink how I was going to tackle White.
I had the opportunity to visit Japan — particularly Akihabara and Shinjuku in Tokyo, as well as Kyoto — and do a deep dive into manga and anime. It has seriously affected my view on how to tell this latest story.
It also has changed how I approach working with the team. Even at this advanced stage in our careers, I can see how much Kwanza and Tim have grown as writer and designer over the last few years. It shows in the words and the scope of what they give me to work from. I’d like to think that my evolution as an artist has continued as well.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m the utility player here. This is their world, and I’m Bootsy Collins to Kwanza’s George Clinton, but I’m thrilled to continue this story, to contribute in my way.
Thank you for helping us keep this going.