1001 Black Men #766: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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This brother was my favorite costume at Comic-Con, hands down. He was a young, shirtless, Black Uncle Sam in American Flag Bermuda Shorts. I passed him strolling down the aisles of the Small Press section of the Exhibition Hall. I wish I’d taken a moment to ask him about whether or not he was dressed as a particular hero or character. I know there was an Uncle Sam comic book series back in the 1940s, and DC Comics’ the The New 52 (2011) seems to include an Uncle Sam character who is African American; but I don’t think this guy was dressed as either of these. I prefer to imagine that he was wearing his costume both ironically and as an act of reclamation, in the spirit of other outsiders (like Abbie Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg) who used the imagery of Uncle Sam to stake their claim as the most patriotic of all Americans, the dissenters.

Ajuan Mance

 

 

1001 Black Men #765: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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Personally, I prefer SNG (Star Trek Next Generation), but I have much respect for the fans of the Original Series (TOS). And there’s something about my brotha and sista Trekkies that gives me a little bit of a thrill. Even if we aren’t into the same version of Gene Roddenberry’s vision, I recognize that TOS fans are kindred spirits. We are brothers and sisters just the same, even if we salute a different captain.

Make it so.

Ajuan Mance 

1001 Black Men #764: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

1001BlackMen764Web Three Comic-Con attendees conferring outside the Sails Pavilion, shortly before the beginning of the Masquerade Ball which, for the first time in five years, we chose to skip. Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #763: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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I really do want to do a ‘zine on the Black hairstyles of Comic-Con; and, if I do, this brother and the brother in drawing #762 will feature prominently. Their style, the men’s version of the TWA (teeny weeny afro) is a very popular look among the Black geek/dork/nerd crowd, second only to the shaved head, and just edging out the bumpy afro (more on this one later).

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #762: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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This brother was one of the surprising number of people who lined up to ask questions at the costume designers panel. He had apparently done quite a bit of costume design on smaller film and television projects, but he hadn’t yet made it onto any blockbusters; and he wanted some tips from the panelists, all of whom had done significant work for major big-budget films and television series.

Ajuan Mance

 

 

1001 Black Men #761: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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I ran into this brother several times during Comic-Con, and each time he was wearing a crisp white shirt. The thing that really caught my attention, though, was his beautifully maintained dreadlocks. The second or third time we crossed paths, he notice me starting at his hair; and he shot me a look out of the corner of his eye that seemed to say, “Sista, I see you see me, and it’s all good.”

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #756

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As you might have guessed, this is not a Comic-Con sketch. I’m not sure how I managed to skip drawing #756, but this drawing depicts a conversation I saw between two young guys who were speaking with each other on that little stretch of Fruitvale that’s right near the big Farmer Joe’s. I was struck by his candor and by his friend’s patience and understanding.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #760: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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Raising a hand to ask a question of Jeremy Love at the “Comics of Future/Past: Constructing Race, Space and Identity Through the Visualization of the EthnoSurreal” panel. (Since I couldn’t remember the title of the panel, I looked him up).

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #759: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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This is my drawing of Arif S. Kinchen from the Cartoon Voices #1 panel at Comic-Con. If you keep in mind that I was drawing him based on what I could see from at least 50 yards away, then you’ll think I’m a genius!

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #758: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014

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This guy with the amazing pharoah’s beard walked past me as I was finding a seat for the voice actors’ panel. Mad props to the brother for taking a style risk. He wasn’t even doing cosplay; he was rocking the Tutanankhamun beard for the simple sake of looking fly.

Ajuan Mance