On Tuesday, February 18th, Brooklyn’s own Anyone Comics was host to the latest comic book release from Marvel Comics, Marvel’s Voices #1.
This new anthology from the House of Ideas was spun out of their podcast appropriately named Marvel’s Voices hosted by podcaster, writer and all-around super geek Angélique Roché. The Marvel’s Voices podcast and the comic is a platform for creators to come and tell their stories from their unique point of view.
The list of talent that was brought together reads like an Avengers annual. You know, that special event where there’s a wedding or cosmic crisis? Contributors to the book include comic veterans, rising stars, academics, and Superstar mega nerds like Vita Ayala, Kyle Baker, David Betancourt, Tamra Bonvillain, Chuck Brown, Natacha Bustos, Bernard Chang, Charlamagne the God, Roxane Gay, Sanford Greene, Yona Harvey, Ray-Anthony Height, Matt Herms, Karama Horne, James Monroe Iglehart, John Jennings, Tatiana King Jones, JJ Kirby, Jahnoy Lindsay, Emilio Lopez, Marcelo Maiolo, Rob Markman, Alitha E. Martinez, Don Mcgregor, Method Man, Brandon Montclare, Evan Narcisse, Anthony Piper, Khary Randolph, Rachelle Rosenberg, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Regine L. Sawyer, Damion Scott, Brian Stelfreeze, Geoff Thorne, Luciano Vecchio, and Brittney L. Williams.
A day before its release Anyone Comics had a special event hosted by Angélique Roché and Karama “The Blerd Gurl” Horne, with special guests Tatiana King Jones, Alitha Martinez, Brandon Montclare, Khary Randolph, Regine Sawyer, and Damion Scott on hand to help launch this masterpiece.
I was able to speak with some of the people that were involved with the book, the event, and folks that came out to support the new release.
I started with Angélique Roché and asked her what it means when you can cross-pollinate your nerdiness with spotlighting people of color on and off the page? What does this book mean to you as a fan and a professional? She told me, “It means life, it means I’m getting to do exactly the thing that I love to do. All of this is interconnected within stories and you can’t have more good stories from nerds of color if you’re not also promoting those nerds of color so they can tell more stories.”
“As a fan, there is nothing more surreal than turning the first page of a comic book. And there’s your face and your name, so let’s be very real. But also to be in a book with Roxane Gay, Method Man, Vita Ayala, Stellfreeze. You know how Kyle Baker, Ray Anthony Height like all these amazing creatives that some who are really good friends of mine and just really are intrinsically just storytellers. It feels a little surreal. I mean, it feels like we’re having a community party. That’s what an anthology is. Right?”
I asked Dimitrios Fragiskatos owner of Anyone Comics about how important this book is and his response was “My Prime Directive for Anyone Comics is in the name, we have to reach out to anyone. In other words, the comic fans were already on lock, we know what we like, we know what we want, but we need to be able to reach out to non-comic collectors and broaden the horizons of who collects comics. And Marvel Voices already accomplished what I think I’ve set out to do, which is to reach out to people who don’t think they’ll find themselves in the books that they’re reading either behind the scenes or in front of the scenes.”
Also on hand was Marvel Comics Assistant Editor Chris Robinson who spoke with me about the genesis of this project, telling me, “We’re always looking for projects to do and we did, a bunch of like 80th-anniversary stuff last year and even though we weren’t gonna make the 80th year window, we wanted to spotlight creators and characters of color, that’s something I was very passionate about, I wanted to make sure that we found a place to do that no matter how long it took.”
“We also had been doing the Marvel Voices Podcast and video series, so we already sort of had a brand within the company. It was just putting two and two together and you know, made it happen.”
Marvel’s Voices #1 is being solicited as “THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW! Marvel’s acclaimed podcast series focusing on telling the stories of diverse creators and their unique perspectives becomes a one-shot of brand new adventures! The X-Men find their place in the world after declaring a new nation! Killmonger strikes! Moon Girl and Devil Dino return!” You can find Marvel’s Voices is on sale now for $4.99 at your local comic book shop.
And if you were wondering I copped the Scott and Stelfreeze covers.
George Carmona 3rd is an Artist/Writer, former Milestone Media Intern, former DC Comics paper pusher, current book lover, and lifelong comic geek. He is the author of the DC Super Friends Joke Book from Penguin Random House. You can find his work at FistFullofArt.com or follow him on Twitter atGCarmona3.