REPRESENT! Digital Series

DC ADDS MORE NEW VOICES AND INSPIRING STORIES TO CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED REPRESENT! DIGITAL SERIES

New Chapters Available Weekly Beginning February 1, 2021

From DC Comics:

DC Reveals More Talent and Stories for Acclaimed REPRESENT! Digital Series! | DC

BURBANK, CA (January 22, 2021) – Today, DC announced more stories on the way for its REPRESENT! digital series, adding another five digital “chapters,” releasing weekly beginning February 1, 2021. The chapters will be available on participating digital platforms, including Comixology, Apple, Amazon Kindle, Google Books, and others.

This past September, DC took an evolutionary leap forward in graphic storytelling with this digital-first series featuring stories from underrepresented voices, spotlighting personal stories outside the regular comic book medium. The debut story, “It’s A Bird,” was written by Christian Cooper with art by Alitha E. Martinez and Mark Morales; the story was inspired by Cooper’s viral encounter with a Central Park dog owner while bird-watching.

“REPRESENT! is the kind of innovative and personal storytelling I’ve always believed in,” said Marie Javins, DC editor-in-chief. “Throughout history, stories have been catalysts to expand hearts, minds and culture; having the chance to do so with this group of talented writers and artists has been invigorating and has been embraced throughout DC.”

The next chapter, “Heritage,” is written by Jesse Holland with art by Doug Braithwaite. Holland is a former Associated Press journalist, host of C-Span’s “Washington Week,” editor of the upcoming Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda prose anthology and the author of the Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther? prose novel, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2019. Braithwaite is a fan-favorite DC penciller, inker and cover artist whose notable works include the recently released Generations: Shattered, Future State: The Next Batman, Justice and others.

“Heritage” is based on Holland’s Mississippi farm, which has been in his family since their first ancestor was freed from slavery—tended by his grandfather and his father before him. But as Jesse grows into a man, he’s unsure if a patch of land in the Piney Woods and a life of tilling soil is his true destiny. But destiny can mean so much more than dirt and a tractor…

Future stories include:

Book Three: “Food for Thought,” written by Regine Sawyer, art by Eric Battle

Sawyer, a comic book writer and founder of Women in Comics Collective International, and artist Battle have both contributed to DC individually and have united to tell the story of Lanice, whose passion for cooking and desire for a career in the culinary arts is challenged by the source of her inspiration—her father—who is concerned about his only daughter working in a kitchen, like so many Black Americans before her.

Book Four: “Believe You,” written by Nadira Jamerson, art by Brittney Williams

Howard University alumni Jamerson makes her comic book debut with Williams, who recently provided art for DC’s middle grade graphic novel Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge. A young mother, Mai, has been struggling with her health ever since the birth of her daughter, Dira. She’s exhausted, gaining weight and experiencing shooting pain through her legs, and she wakes up with numbness spreading across her entire body. She is in constant agony. But the doctors don’t think anything is wrong with her—she’s stressed, she’s a hypochondriac, it’s just fatigue—and despite everything Mai does to make herself better, she still feels alone. Until she finally finds a way to advocate for her health and finds an ally who does more than prescribe…they listen.

Book Five: “My Granny Was A Hero,” written by Tara Roberts, art by Yancey Labat

Roberts, a National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellow and avid scuba diving enthusiast, teams up with DC Super Hero Girls artist Labat in a story of a little girl realizing her dreams of heroism.

A little girl with Afro puffs, a potbelly, and a gap-toothed smile dreams of being a hero. She reads adventure books voraciously; she practices sword strokes and judo kicks in her bedroom in case she ever has to fight a dragon; she devours superhero movies, cartoons, and popcorn with big eyes. And every night, she looks out of her window and wishes upon the moon with all her heart to be called upon to help someone in a big way…when she discovers the story of her great-grandmother Cocu, and how Cocu’s superpower led to a heroic struggle for freedom.

Book Six: “The Lesson,” written and drawn by Dominike “DOMO” Stanton

Stanton has been drawing comics for the last ten years; most recently, he provided art for House of Whispers, part of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated The Sandman Universe line of titles.

Stanton’s protagonist Dom got his butt kicked in school a lot…like…a lot a lot…for no reason. He got caught up in fights that had nothing to do with him or would get jumped simply walking the halls of his school or waiting for the bus home. Fed up and angry, he decides to join a local gym and learn how to box. But what starts out as a mission to fight back turns into something greater, and Dom is given the opportunity to stand up for himself in more ways than one.

Each new 10-page digital chapter will be available on Mondays for $0.99 each. For more information on REPRESENT! and the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, visit the website at www.dccomics.com, and follow on @dccomics and @thedcnation.

I feel that the highlight from this set of chapters will be “Heritage” by Jesse Holland and Doug Braithwaite.

And for Doug Braithwaite’s art if nothing else.

I felt he did excellent work on JUSTICE, so I expect nothing less from him here.

The other artists on these upcoming chapters I’m not at all familiar with. After doing a search I found that most of them have a nice “cartoony” style.

This may be for the best, because the first entry in the REPRESENT! digital series, “It’s A Bird,” I personally felt was a little heavy-handed. So hopefully this next wave will take a lighter approach, and the art style may well play a part in that.

Briefly again on Jesse Holland and Doug Braithwaite’s “Heritage”…

“Heritage” is based on Holland’s Mississippi farm, which has been in his family since their first ancestor was freed from slavery—tended by his grandfather and his father before him. But as Jesse grows into a man, he’s unsure if a patch of land in the Piney Woods and a life of tilling soil is his true destiny. But destiny can mean so much more than dirt and a tractor…

…the story in this chapter reminds me a little of a few of the episodes from The New York Times’ “1619” audio series.

Anyway, I applaud DC Comics for doing this.


[Note: I originally created a topic for this when it was first announced on January 22nd. I then started experimenting with some of the posting functions and accidentally deleted that post. I assumed a warning would have appeared first, asking if I was sure that I wanted to delete the post; or something to that affect. That did not happen.] :blush:

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The topic so nice you were forced to post it twice! :facepalm_catwoman:

I’m so excited to see the meaningful stories coming out of DC Comics. Yes, superheroes live here, but it’s those stories rooted in human experience that help us call it “home”.

The Doug Braithwaite art you highlighted- seeing the images come to life in the shading, it looks like it will just be breathtaking when it’s inked and colored.

Thank you for sharing IL! :heart:

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Yeah, again, I guess I’m just appreciative as a whole for the Digital First initiative. It’s a platform where we can get stories that may not have otherwise been seen.

I remember back to the Zuda Comics days from DC Comics, and Jeremy Love’s BAYOU.

Funny, my most anticipated titles are Digital First, REPRESENT! and John Ridley’s THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON.

Granted, I haven’t bought a physical comic since 2010, since the iPad, so pretty much everything has been digital first for me anyway…

But yep, Digital First with things like REPRESENT! are a golden opportunity for meaningful stories to be told.

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Well said, sir. Well said.

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Glad to see it’s coming back, was getting worried that it wasn’t going continue.

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Okay, so “Heritage” is out, and it was a nice, somewhat heart-warming story.

“Heritage”
Jesse’s Mississippi farm has been his family since their first ancestor was freed from slavery – tended by his grandfather and his father before him. But as Jesse grows into a man, he’s unsure if a patch of land in the Piney Woods and a life of tilling soil is his true destiny. But destiny can mean so much more than dirt and a tractor…

At the end it turns out to be bit of a passing the torch kind of story.

And I believe it may be semiautobiographical, because the writer, Jesse Holland, his parents are owners and operators of the Holland Family Farm in Mississippi (from the credits page and the beginning of the issue and the final page).


The New York Times recently did a story about Black farmers.

Two of the Biden administration’s biggest priorities — addressing racial inequality and fighting climate change — are converging in the lives of Black farmers. Farms run by African Americans make up less than 2 percent of all of the nation’s farms today, down from 14 percent in 1920.

Evicted sharecroppers in New Madrid County, Mo., in 1939.
Credit: Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress


As I suspected before, and as was touched on in the New York Times “1619” project audio series, “Heritage” did address this from a historical perspective.

Anyway, yep, overall a nice story.

And Doug Braithwaite on the art; one of my top two or three favorite comic book artists.

EDIT: Related, a Vice News piece from November, 2019…

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“Food for Thought.”

Somewhat surprisingly, I could relate to this story.

“Food for Thought”
Cooking is in Lanice’s blood – ever since she was a kid, she’s been drawn to the wonder that is crafting a recipe and feeding those who are hungry. But as she grows up and wants to pursue a career in the culinary arts, her father—although the inspiration for her passion—is concerned about his only daughter working in a kitchen, like so many Black Americans before her.

I could relate to this story on the level that, I remember my mother once telling how, when she was a little girl, that she wanted to grow up and become an architect. Being a little black girl though, growing up in Georgia in the 50s and 60s, becoming an architect really wasn’t something that was going to happen.

She ended up becoming an educator, a teacher. Like both her parents were, my grandparents. She’s of course retired now, and I don’t believe she had any regrets, she had a fulfilling career. But it may be one of those of cases of “you never know,” of what could have been.

On the 50s and 60s in Georgia, I also remember her telling me about going to the drug store to pick up prescriptions, and how she didn’t know that she wasn’t supposed to sit at the counter and drink a milkshake. She told me that it was okay though, because the people who ran the drug store knew her parents, so they let her come in and sit down like anyone else and have a milkshake while she waited for the prescription to be filled.

Also, when going to the movies, how she had to sit up in the balcony. She told me that she didn’t mind it though, she actually liked sitting up in the balcony.

That’s mom. And I guess that’s where I get my positive attitude from…

Anyway, like “Heritage” from last week, “Food for Thought” ends on a nice note.

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“My Granny Was a Hero.”

This was fun, and a little uplifting.

Note: last week’s issue, “Believe You,” was just so-so to me, so I didn’t bother to comment on it.

“My Granny Was a Hero”
A little girl with afro puffs, a potbelly and a gap-toothed smile dreams of being a hero. She reads adventure books voraciously; she practices sword strokes and judo kicks in her bedroom in case she ever has to fight a dragon; she devours superhero movies and cartoons with big eyes and popcorn. And every night, she looks out of her window and wishes upon the moon with all her heart to be called upon to help someone in a big way…when she discovers the story of her great-grandmother Cocu, and how Cocu’s superpower led to a heroic struggle for freedom.

I turns out little Taralynn had a hero in her own family history. And end-ed up liking both Wonder Woman and her great-grandmother.

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“The Lesson”

A little weird this week. I actually felt a little sorry for the kid in the story, that surprised me. And the ending was kind of weird to me. [insert smiley face]

“The Lesson”
Dom got his butt kicked in school a lot…like…a lot a lot…for no reason. He got caught up in fights that had nothing to do with him, or would get jumped simply walking the halls of his school or waiting for the bus home. So one day, fed up and angry, he decides to join a local gym and learn how to box. But what starts out as a mission to fight back turns into something greater, and Dom is given the opportunity to stand up for himself in more ways than one.

This is another one of those issues where I imagine it’s autobiographical, or semi-autobiographical. I’m not sure though.

Either way, the scene where the guy who runs the gym gives Dom a hug, that’s the part where I actually felt kind of sorry for him…

The story continues, they train, and…

And it ends kind of weird, I thought…

That was like, “Okay, I didn’t really see that coming.” (Ha!)

Anyway, another fun issue.

A fun series. Thank you, DC Comics.

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“Fight Fire with Spray Cans”

I thought this issue was going to get a little “preachy,” but it turned out okay. And it had really cool art.

“Fight Fire with Spray Cans”
The Graffiti Era during the emerging Hip Hop subculture in New York City was spearheaded by teenagers, primarily Black and Hispanic ones from the South Bronx. These kids, whose environment was bleak, were heard by society through the medium of ‘tagging’: drawing their moniker on the side of subway cars, buildings, street posts, wherever. A kid in the Bronx may never leave his own neighborhood, but before the day was over his tag had made rounds throughout the city…and in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, one such kid, the 14 year old son of Nigerian immigrants, is about to learn just how powerful his voice can be when it comes out of a spray can…

Again, with Trayvon Martin being the subject I thought it may go a little overboard, but nope, it was fine.

And the ending was cool, I thought.

And seeing an accurate portrayal of the New York City subway throughout the issue was neat. The writer, Onyekachi Akalonu, is apparently from The Bronx so that would explain things.

The artist, Valentine De Landro, I have no idea where he’s from, but if he’s not from New York it’s not like it’s hard to get reference images.

Writing it though it does help to be from New York; or at least lived there like I have.

Overall, okay story and cool art.

Good and good.

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I thought that this series was over, but no, it just took a break. And there’s going to be at least 12-issues.

So, issue #8, “In Defense of Free Speech.”

This just came out of nowhere and it’s my most favorite comic that I’ve ever read.

Surprise, surprise to me.

IN DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH

In the summer of 1991, a professor gave a speech on slavery and some of the groups of people responsible for it. These groups…weren’t happy. The professor was threatened, called a professor of hate, and was concerned for his safety. As a member of a community organization based out of City College in Harlem, Steven and a group of his friends became the professor’s ad hoc security team. They knew they couldn’t save him from serious threats, but maybe they could save him from an assassination attempt. And in doing so, they were making a statement on freedom of speech-not just random speech or speech for shock value, but speech based on historical facts, backed by scholarship. Steven and his friends provided security for many at-risk Black Americans, and usually this sort of work went off without incident…except one time, when he and his friends were called upon to protect the professor at a college demonstration, and it almost cost them all their lives…

First, I could relate to this comic, because in 1992 I too was swimming in information from books, and from traditional news outlets in my case. But 1992 was a great year for learning and self-discovery for me.

“Tech-1” is who I most relate to in the story because I wore my hair similar to that back around that time. :relaxed:

Not in '92, but around '89 to '91 and thereabout.

And so it’s like, “Hey, he looks like me.” :relaxed:

I never wore a beard though. And I guess “Batman” with the glasses looked like I did too at that time. So an amalgamation of “Tech-1” and “Batman.”

I remember I was trying to look like Plug 1, Posdnous from De La Soul, before he grew his beard.

Speaking of '92 though and reminiscing, Pete Rock and CL Smooth…

Rain or shine, yes, in any weather
My Grandmom Pam holds the family together
My Uncle Doc’s the greatest, better yet the latest
If we’re talking about a car, Uncle Sterling got the latest
I strive to be live 'cause I got no choice
And run my own business like my Aunt Joyce
So Pete Rock hit me, 'nough respect due
When they reminisce over you, listen

By '92 though I was bald-head slick…

Like Guru from '97 with his George Lucas THX 1138 homage.

Anyway, I guess the story itself in this issue is fine, but it’s the imagery of those two main characters that strikes a chord and resonates with me.

And the writer and artist…

I’d want to read a series about these guys. About Tech-1 and Runner, and Chef and Quick, and Batman. :relaxed:

Good job, N. Steven Harris.

EDIT:

And speaking of De La Soul and Plug 1, Posdnous – De La Soul’s “Eye Know”…

That was the jam!

God, I loved that song.

The summer of '89 was so great.

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