DC Announces a Class of Comic Book Creators in Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program
[BURBANK, CA – March 10, 2022] – Today, DC, Milestone Media and WarnerMedia, in conjunction with Ally, announced upcoming plans for The Milestone Initiative Talent Development Programwhich is due to start on March 15.
The program creates access and opportunities for black and diverse storytellers in the field of comics.
The 10-week program will provide participants with opportunities to learn from industry experts and sharpen their storytelling skills to be part of the next generation of great comic book writers and artists. WarnerMedia Access will provide participants with equity and inclusion training to be instilled in them as they hone their creative minds. The immersive training program will include a virtual technical course at the prestigious Kubert School and an in-person seminar at DC’s offices in Burbank, CA.
The Milestone Initiative’s mission – to empower the next generation of black and diverse comic book creators – will be supported by a multi-pronged marketing campaign from WarnerMedia and Ally. Building on historical storytelling rooted in Milestone comics, the brand studios of WarnerMedia and Ally have come together to create brand storytelling that uses the full power of the WarnerMedia ecosystem – including its advertising inventory – to focus on the relevant topic of representation and diversity in the media.
THE NEW GENERATION OF COMIC CREATORS
The incoming class for the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program includes:
Andrea Rosales, Portland OR
Ashley Allen, Orono MN
Atagun Ilhan, Syracuse NY
Charles Stewart III, Washington D.C.
Cheryl Lynn Eaton, New York NY
Daimon Hampton, Chicago Illinois
Dorado Quick, Inglewood CA
Greg Burnham, Norcross GA
Gregory Maldonado, Bronx NY
Jarod Pratt, Detroit MI
Jarred Lujan, Del Rio TX
Jerome Rhett, Charleston SC
Jordan Clark, medical doctor from Baltimore
Julio Anta, Miami Florida
Kameron White, Houston Texas
Lucas Silveira, Indianapolis IA
Marcus Smith, Chicago Illinois
Miguel Hernandez, Cleveland OH
Morgan Hampton, Chicago IL
Nathaniel Cayanan, Corona CA
Petterson Oliveira, Naples Florida
Tiah Ankum, Atlanta GA
Yasmin Flores Montañez, Toa Alta PR
Zipporah Smith, Los Angeles, California
Learn more about the participants here.
“It’s a monumental day for Milestone and the wider comics community. We’ve always believed in the importance of sharing underrepresented stories, so we’re thrilled to have new creative voices join us in our mission,” said Reggie Hudlin, Milestone Partner and Emmy Award-Winning Producer. “Mentoring has always been a vital aspect of our comic book world, and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and I are excited to share the ropes and learn a thing or two from our new peers!”
REVIVING THE LEGACY OF A POWERFUL STORYTELLING
Throughout the 10-week program, participants will participate in an immersive workshop to learn the ins and outs of being a professional comic book creator in a collaborative setting. Experts and speakers from DC, WarnerMedia, Milestone Media, Ally and The Kubert School will address attendees and provide insight into building a career in the comics industry and raising their voice. as an underrepresented talent.
The comprehensive program will allow participants to improve their storytelling skills and understand the creative process from ideation to execution, providing training that goes beyond the drafting table. Programming will focus on the history of comics, creating content that spans cultural differences, integrating dynamic perspectives to create a better product, navigating the industry as underrepresented talent, learning best practices for financial and entrepreneurial success, and much more.
Speakers who will participate in the program include, but are not limited to:
Jim Lee – Editor and Creative Director of DC
Marie Javins – Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, DC
Chris Conroy – Editor, DC
Benjamin Le Clear – DC Staff Historian and Archivist
Marquis Draper – Associate Editor, DC
Reggie Hudlin & Denys Cowan – creators of Milestone, Milestone Media
Karen Horne – SVP, Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia
Erica Hughes – Director, Multicultural Marketing, Ally
“I am incredibly honored and thrilled to work with the participants of the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program,” said Jim Lee, Creative Director and Publisher of DC. “These writers and artists bring so much creative energy and spirit to the process, and the staff and I look forward to helping them hone their skills as comic book professionals.”
WARNERMEDIA, DC AND ALLY JOIN FORCES FOR A MARKETING CAMPAIGN
WarnerMedia, DC and Ally are joining forces for a marketing campaign to share meaningful stories about the experiences of underrepresented creators and foster a dialogue about the importance of the alliance.
The storytelling series kicked off with “SuperFan,” a video featuring Denys Cowan, co-founder of Milestone Media, in conversation with Feon Cooper and Kareem Burton, co-owners of Black Star Collectibles, the first-ever black-owned pop culture collectibles store in Carson, California. The video discusses the lack of black representation in the comic world in the 1990s and how Milestone inspired the founders of Black Star Collectibles to become the business owners they are today.
This month, “The Power of Representation” was launched as the next installment of the year-long campaign. The Ally and Courageous Studios brand vignette focuses on Ally’s mission to promote equity and inclusion inside and outside of its organization. The trademark short will explore Ally’s approach to increasing access for marginalized members of their communities and historically disenfranchised groups.
“Ally is focused on improving financial literacy, economic mobility, and access to opportunities and products that help all communities gain financial stability and independence,” said Andrea Brimmer, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Ally. “It is essential that our marketing efforts advance this cause, and we believe that our collaboration with DC, Milestone Media and WarnerMedia allows us to leverage our efforts for lasting social impact that directly reaches Black and Hispanic communities with opportunities for generational change.
WarnerMedia leverages the power and reach of its media properties to distribute “The Power of Representation” content across linear, digital and social media. WarnerMedia’s portfolio reaches 75% of multicultural audiences in the United States, or a total of 68 million people, on its digital and linear platforms.
“The stories we tell through The Milestone Initiative exemplify a variety of perspectives and voices in an effort to advance the Milestone mission of illuminating underrepresentation in comics,” said Michal Shapira, Head of Marketing Solutions and Brand Studios, WarnerMedia. “Our studios’ wide range of storytelling capabilities – from documentary-style video production to animated stories – along with our ability to leverage our incredible intellectual property in meaningful ways, allows us to connect with our audiences and inspire real change, across communities and society-at-large.
ALLY GIVES YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Ally’s team will provide attendees with the necessary financial lessons to set them up for success as they embark on their creative careers. Ally is currently surveying participants to assess the financial topics most important to them and will tailor the program to their needs.
Ally is a digital financial services company committed to advancing economic mobility and empowering underrepresented communities by providing funding, mentorship, and access to the opportunities and information needed to succeed.
To learn more about the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program, fans can visit the website at www.dcuniverse.com/milestone.