Jared Sams talks about SPACE NEGRO: THE LAST NEGRO

Jared Sams is a young African American writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. By day he works a mild-mannered job, but at night he’s a mad scientist creating madcap comics and channeling his hip-hop and punk influences on the page. His north star is to produce impactful art and use his talent as an amp for those that struggle to be heard. He was nice enough to stop by First Comics News and tell our readers all about Supernova Watkins.

First Comics News: Who is Ronnell Watkins?

Jared Sams: Ronnell Watkins is just an everyday dude. A perennial underdog trying to find his way in a beautiful universe that seems hellbent on killing him. That’s the heart of all this. What happens when you take an everyday black guy, shoot him a million years into the future and tell him the fate of the universe rests on his shoulders? Awesome comic hijinks! Well, first a nervous breakdown… but then awesome comic hijinks!

1st: Why do people call him Supernova?

Jared: Supernova was an old nickname from his youth when he was a local high school football superstar, the way he’d explode off the line. He burned bright for a hot minute, only to watch it all fizzle out when he injured himself on gameday. It was a tough break, but the name stuck. Lucky, considering our hero’s new line of work.

Original Mini-Comic

1st: Ronnell Watkins first appeared in 2012, how has the character changed in the last decade?

Jared: Man! That’s a deep pull! Space Negro started out as a snot-nosed, nappy-headed mini-comic, and now it’s a beautiful black swan, regal and demure in its ongoing splendor. That’s what this first issue—and first volume– is about. The universe has changed so much, so how can one negro cope? When you’re so far removed from your reality, what’s worth discarding and what’s worth evolving? When the decision is up to you, what kind of person will you choose to be? He also learned a couple of dank dance moves on Space TikTok.

1st: Is the magic waterfall story about Ronnell as a child?

Jared: No, it isn’t… but it is? Does that make sense? The magic waterfall story is actually a very offensive joke about someone who has been left alone, abandoned and sent down the proverbial river. It’s a relatable impulse. Who hasn’t felt that way before? I am Space Negro! You are Space Negro! We are all Space Negro! It’s like Spartacus, but maybe don’t go around yelling it at people.

1st: Who is Clementine Corker?​

Jared: Clementine is the breakout character of the millennium! She’s the wife of a GOP senator who, upon her death, had her personality digitized and shot into the great void of space. Now she’s been bonded to Supernova as a helper AI, which is laughable because she’s the most unhelpful white person that’s ever existed.

1st: Why did Senator Walton Corker have his wife turned into an AI?

Jared: Both Walton and Clementine were supposed to get the digital treatment and spend forever together, but after his wife’s death, Walton grew tired of the myopic dogma of his political peers and reinvented himself, dedicating his life to advocating for the disenfranchised of all races, genders, and denominations. I told you this is a science fiction story, right? Let a brother dream!

1st: Why didn’t anyone ever change their personality over the years?

Jared: If you’re asking why racism and intolerance still exist a million years in the future, then may I present Exhibit A…*aims laser pointer at world* A million years in the future, and Earth is looooong gone. What survived is all the media transmissions we beamed out into space. That’s why you still see some familiar Earth stuff in the universe… our culture won’t die! But don’t worry, the best stuff lived on, like the Housewives shows and 8Chan memes.

1st: Ronnell is the last black man in the universe, isn’t he also the last human?

Jared: Who knows if he’s, in fact, the last human. Stay tuned.

1st: What is the Klu Klux Klang?

Jared: The Grandmaster Mold! Robo-racist death bots from another galaxy! For Supernova, it’s the most exhausting thing he can imagine. Seriously, how the hell is the Klan still a thing?!

1st: Who are the Black Quantum Disciplines?

Jared: We do not speak of the Black Quantum Disciplines. Just mentioning them in my book put our world in terrible jeopardy. Everyone suffers for my art. Totally worth it.

1st: Is SPACE NEGRO: THE LAST NEGRO #1 a one-shot or the first issue of an ongoing comic?

Jared: Ongoing! We’re keeping this train going until we run outta steam, or we get canceled and digitally flogged. It’s a coin toss, really. But I hope to keep this going for a long time. The Universe of Space Negro is vast and weird and profoundly dumb in the best ways possible.

1st: Where can fans find SPACE NEGRO: THE LAST NEGRO?

Jared Sams signing at the SDCC

Jared: The issue we launched at San Diego Comic-Con is an artist’s proof. We were just so excited to get the book in people’s hands. You can cop a copy on the 1First Comics website (https://1firstcomics.com/), check out my insta for links to all my stuff (@spaceman_jared), and keep a keen eye out early next year for when we do the official series drop!

1st: What makes Supernova Watkins so cool, no true comic fan should miss this comic?

Jared: Black-ass Buck Rogers! Fly Flash Gordon! Sucka Free Star Wars! Yo guys, what if Jim Starlin made Blazing Saddles? Space Negro, mother fucker, that’s what! I honestly believe there’s nothing else like this book on the stands. If you love weird space shit and black people, then this book is gonna hit you in the jollies. And, look, even if you’re only into one of those things, pick up the book and I promise you’ll still be in for a crazy ride.

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