In this episode of “Wealth, Actually”, we get to dive into the comic-book industry with Gevian Dargan. Gevian is about to launch his comic imprint, Animated Concepts, which is focusing on getting some of the great comic stories from people of color that are out there, but not getting the attention they deserve. The industry itself is going through significant upheaval as the economics of developing IP come under considerable question and distribution systems face significant challenges with digital competitors and a new view of what makes a cool (and monetizable) story.

Gevian and I tackle this subject as well as the magic of growing up with the excitement of going to your “local”, discovering characters and forming tastes. It’s this formative development that we wonder aloud that might be missing and may make it difficult to develop the next Marvel, DC, Harry Potter or other franchise.

Here’s Gevian on the “Thinking Critical” podcast talking about reaching new black comic readers. (This is a terrific interview BTW)

Here’s the outline of our fun conversation (we recorded for over an hour, spoke for two and probably could have gone on all day):

  • Quick introduction- what are you’re doing now and dramatic foreshadowing of your Animated Concepts project-
  • Where did the love of comics come from? 
  • Talk about the relationship with the Comic Book Shop
  • Where you used to buy comics and where you buy them now?
  • Favorite Characters / and what drew you to them?
    • Robin
    • Shazam
  • Favorite Issues/ Stories
  • Favorite Artists  
  • Who are the artists and writers we should really be looking out for?
  • History, Craft, and Business of Comics (Diamond, New Readers, Promotion, Writing, Drawing, etc.)-
  • How the COMIC BOOK industry has become so tribal politically, whereas before it used to be Marvel vs. DC vs. Indies (just weird now)
  • MCU vs. DCEU 
  • What does the future of the comic industry look like?
  • Animated Concepts – Tell us the concept behind it and what are your plans for it?
  • How do we keep in touch with you?
    • INFO@ANIMATEDCONCEPTS.BIZ (Focus Groups are forming in July- reach out to Gevian for more information)

A quick aside: many of you know of my love of comic books and the myth-making engine of that industry. My pal, Jim Harberson, and I (written under a pseudonym) dipped our toe in the water of the industry with our book, Stay Alive. We wrote our first (the horror/comedy, Stay Alive) and published it through the UK-based, Markosia Enterprises. It was a great experience to work with the multitalented and super-nice Stephen Baskerville. His art is amazing. The industry itself is tough. It’s opaque and the chances of publishing, let alone success, are slight. Here’s our first foray . . .

and here are some of Gevian’s favorite covers:

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