During DC FanDome last October DC Comics announced the Milestone Initiative, a program designed to support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry. Today the selected participants for the inaugural class were officially revealed.
Find out all about the first class and details about the program in the official press release below:
Today DC, Milestone Media and WarnerMedia, in collaboration with Ally, announced forthcoming plans for The Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program, set to begin March 15. The program creates access and opportunity for Black and diverse storytellers in the field of comics.
The 10-week program will offer participants opportunities to learn from industry experts and sharpen their storytelling skills to become part of the upcoming generation of great comic book writers and artists. WarnerMedia Access will provide the participants with training in equity and inclusion so it will be instilled in them as they hone their creative mindset. The immersive training program will be comprised of a virtual technical course through the prestigious Kubert School and an in-person seminar at DC’s offices in Burbank, CA.
The mission for The Milestone Initiative – to empower the next generation of Black and diverse comic book creators – will be supported across a multi-pronged marketing campaign from WarnerMedia and Ally. Building off the historic storytelling rooted in the Milestone comics, WarnerMedia’s brand studios and Ally have united to create brand storytelling that uses the full might of the WarnerMedia ecosystem – including its advertising inventory – to focus on the pertinent topic of representation and diversity in media.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF COMIC BOOK 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 IL
- Dorado Quick, Inglewood CA
- Greg Burnham, Norcross GA
- Gregory Maldonado, Bronx NY
- Jarod Pratt, Detroit MI
- Jarred Luján, Del Rio TX
- Jerome Rhett, Charleston SC
- Jordan Clark, Baltimore MD
- Julio Anta, Miami FL
- Kameron White, Houston TX
- Lucas Silveira, Indianapolis IA
- Marcus Smith, Chicago IL
- Miguel Hernández, Cleveland OH
- Morgan Hampton, Chicago IL
- Nathaniel Cayanan, Corona CA
- Petterson Oliveira, Naples FL
- Tiah Ankum, Atlanta GA
- Yasmín Flores Montañez, Toa Alta PR
- Zipporah Smith, Los Angeles CA
Learn more about the participants here.
“This is a monumental day for Milestone and the broader comic book community. We’ve always believed in the importance of sharing underrepresented stories, so we’re thrilled for new creative voices to join us in our mission,” said Milestone partner and Emmy award-winning producer Reggie Hudlin. “Mentorship has always been a critical aspect of our comic book world, and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and I are excited to share the tricks of the trade and learn a thing or two from our new peers!”
REVIVING THE LEGACY OF POWERFUL STORYTELLING
Throughout the 10-week program, participants will engage 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 across DC, WarnerMedia, Milestone Media, Ally and The Kubert School will address participants and provide insights into building a career in the comic book industry and elevating their voices as underrepresented talent.
The comprehensive curriculum will allow participants to improve their storytelling skills and understand the creative process from ideation to execution, providing education that goes beyond the drafting table. Programming will focus on the history of comic books, creating content that spans cultural differences, incorporating dynamic perspectives to create a better product, navigating the industry as an underrepresented talent, learning best practices for financial and entrepreneurial success and much more.
Speakers set to participate in the program include but are not limited to:
- Jim Lee – Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of DC
- Marie Javins – VP, Editor-in-Chief, DC
- Chris Conroy – Editor, DC
- Benjamin Le Clear – DC Staff Historian & Archivist
- Marquis Draper – Assistant Editor, DC
- Reggie Hudlin & Denys Cowan – Milestone creators, Milestone Media
- Karen Horne – SVP, Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia
- Erica Hughes – Director, Multicultural Marketing, Ally
“I’m incredibly honored and excited to be working with The Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program participants,” said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. “These writers and artists bring so much creative energy and spirit to the process, and the staff and I are looking forward to helping them hone their skills as working comic book professionals.”
WARNERMEDIA, DC AND ALLY UNITE FOR MARKETING CAMPAIGN
WarnerMedia, DC and Ally are joining forces for a marketing campaign in effort to share meaningful stories about the experiences of underrepresented creators and foster a dialogue about the importance of allyship.
The storytelling series kicked off with “SuperFan”, a video profiling 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, CA. The video discusses the lack of Black representation in the comic book world in the 1990s and how Milestone ignited the founders of Black Star Collectibles to become the businessowners they are today.
This month, “The Power of Representation” launched as the next installment of the year-long campaign. The branded vignette from Ally and Courageous Studios focuses on Ally’s mission to promote equity and inclusion inside and outside of its organization. The branded short film 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, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Ally. “It is critical that our marketing efforts further this cause, and we believe our collaboration with DC, Milestone Media and WarnerMedia allows us to build upon our efforts for lasting social impact that directly reaches Black and Hispanic communities with generation-changing opportunities.”
WarnerMedia is leveraging the power and scope of its media properties to distribute “The Power of Representation” content across linear, digital and social media. The WarnerMedia portfolio reaches 75% of multicultural audiences in the U.S. – a total of 68 million people – across its digital and linear platforms.
“The stories we are telling as a part of The Milestone Initiative illustrate a variety of perspectives and voices in an effort to further 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 producing documentary-style video to animated stories – along with our ability to leverage our incredible IP in meaningful ways, allows us to connect with our audiences and inspire real change, across communities and society at-large.”
ALLY EQUIPS YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WITH FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Ally’s team will be providing participants with the financial lessons needed to set them up for success as they embark upon their creative careers. Ally is currently surveying the participants to gauge the financial topics most important to them and will tailor the curriculum 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 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.