Update: DC’s Daniel Cherry III and Ally’s Andrea Brimmer shared their views on the program during a video interview during Publicity Week. Look below.
Online financial institution Ally is tapping into the DC Universe to help support various comic book creators as part of a new marketing campaign kicking off this weekend.
Launching at the October 16 virtual DC FanDome event, the Ally-sponsored Milestone initiative is part of a deal between WarnerMedia, DC and black-owned comic book publisher Milestone Media.
It will allow members of the next generation of artists and storytellers of color to attend a week-long training session at DC’s offices in California, followed by an eight-week online course. The initiative is the first program of Next Generation DC, a recruitment and talent development project from the famed superhero publisher created to address underrepresentation in the comics industry.
“For many Black and diverse artists and writers, Milestone is part of their comic book DNA,” said Daniel Cherry III, Senior Vice President and General Manager of DC, “and we are grateful to partner with Ally to help these new voices to be heard in addition to adding to Milestone’s legacy.
Black comic creators currently make up just 4.9% of writers and 3.4% of artists, with Asian and Latino creators not faring much better, according to data from careers site Zippia cited by WarnerMedia and DC.
“We really have this passion for creativity and providing spaces for diverse creators,” said Andrea Brimmer, Ally’s director of marketing and public relations. “So when DC and WarnerMedia approached us with this opportunity, we thought it was a great way to expand our efforts that we already have in creating new spaces for people of color.”
WarnerMedia unveiled the Milestone initiative during its initial pitch to advertisers this spring as a way to provide a platform for “black stories and black imaginations to flourish.” The initiative grew out of Milestone Media, best known for creating Milestone Comics, which served as a proving ground for black comic book creators in the 1990s. Similarly, Milestone Initiative aims to provide mentorship, tools and access to emerging writers and artists of color trying to break into the comics industry.
Ally is the first brand to enter into an agreement with WarnerMedia as part of this initiative.