NEW VOICES. NEW VISIONARIES
IT’S TIME TO WRITE A NEW CHAPTER IN THE SUPERHERO STORY.
If stories are what shape the world we live in, then the storytellers should reflect that world. The Milestone Initiative is looking for the next generation of Black and diverse comic book creators.
In 1993, four Black creators created Milestone Comics: a new universe of Black Super Heroes, brought to life by Black creators and other artists of color. Milestone didn’t just change the way our heroes looked. It built a pipeline for talent who had been excluded and marginalized for too long, and an ecosystem in which Black creativity could thrive. Now, with the relaunch of Milestone Comics and the creation of The Milestone Initiative, we want to honor the creators of Milestone by continuing their mission. But we can’t do it without you.
MAKE YOUR MARK
Do you have a story to tell? Do your experiences, imagination, and perspective go beyond the limits of what you see on TV, in movies, and in other media? If you live and breathe comics, and you’re an emerging Black artist or writer —or a creator from an underrepresented group —we’re looking for you to join The Milestone Initiative.
The path to a sustainable creative career in this competitive industry will never be an easy one. You already know that —you’ve spent years honing your craft on your own. But with The Milestone Initiative, we hope to give you the support you need to make that hard work pay off. The next step starts here.
Participants in The Milestone Initiative will be invited to a one-week summit, hosted by WarnerMedia, DC, and Ally, where they’ll make connections, create community, and begin an immersive course to help hone creative skills and better understand the comic book industry.
WHEN: 02.14.22 – 02.18.22
WHERE: BURBANK, CA
If you’re selected to participate in The Milestone Initiative, your journey will begin with the Milestone Summit. You’ll travel at our expense to DC’s headquarters in Burbank, to meet legendary creators, editors, and executives in the comics and entertainment industries.
Under the mentorship of some of the most prominent names in comics, as well as Ally’s team of financial experts, you’ll receive in-depth, substantive instruction about building a creative life and earning a living in this field. You’ll hone your creative skills, but you’ll also learn the business of the comics industry and receive advice on sustaining a long-term career. Following the Milestone Summit, you’ll go home and participate in an 8-week virtual course, where you’ll receive technical training through best-in-class cartooning and graphic art school The Kubert School.
It won’t be easy —throughout this multi-week course, you’ll be working as well as learning, crafting stories with your fellow participants. At the end of this journey you’ll come away with polished work that will showcase your unique talents, new knowledge, and skills and you’ll have a pathway into the DC talent community if you want to pursue it.
The Milestone Initiative doesn’t end with the the completion of the coursework. The team from DC will remain in contact with all participants in the months following and will work with them to find appropriate comics assignments and other work that will help them continue to grow as creators and further their careers with DC and in the comics world.
HOW TO APPLY
The Milestone Initiative is open to Black and other underrepresented creators who are ready to enter the comic book industry at a professional level. You’ve got the talent, you’ve put in the hours of practice, and this is the opening you’ve been waiting for.
Think you have what it takes? Get ready to dive into the application. You have a story to tell. We want to hear it.
Now a quick reality check: we know you’re serious, and we’re serious too. So this application is going to take some time. We think it’s worth it.
STEP 1: 10-20 MINUTES
First, we’ll ask you for a bit of biographical information. We’ll also ask you to provide us with links to a few existing pieces of completed original work, to give us a sense of your creative voice and vision.
STEP 2: 5-7 DAYS
The next sections are where you should plan wisely. We’ll be asking you to put your talent and skills into action by completing a short assignment. If you’re an artist, that will mean drawing three comic pages based on a script we provide; if you’re a writer, you’ll be creating a script for an 8 page story based on a loose prompt we’ve created.
STEP 3: 2-3 DAYS
Finally, we want writers and artists to answer a few, short essay questions and tell us who you are as a creator. Describe your voice and your vision —what do you believe you have to offer the world? The answers won’t take long to write, but they will take some time to think about. (And artists, don’t be intimidated if writing isn’t your thing. We’re looking for substance here, not style.)
Got it? Get started. You don’t have to complete everything now —our system can save your work, just make sure to click “Save Draft” at the bottom of the page so you can begin now and tackle it a piece at a time.
WHAT IS THE MILESTONE INITIATIVE?
Superman wasn’t just the first superhero: he was an immigrant, an American, and an enduring symbol of our shared ideals. But as an explosion of comic book heroes took place over the second half of the 20th century, there was something missing. Despite an enduring Black readership, it took decades before the first Black heroes appeared, and once they did, they remained uncommon. Even the most prominent Black heroes usually appeared in stories written and illustrated by white creators.
Enter Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. With talent, vision, and tenacity, these four Black creators carved a place for themselves in an industry that didn’t always welcome or understand them. Despite their success, they were frustrated by the dearth of other Black creators in their field, and the resistance they met in trying to tell stories that reflected their own experiences and perspectives.
Milestone hit like a space pod crashing to Earth —and its impact has continued to this day. Now, Milestone Media, is helmed by Reginald Hudlin and Denys Cowan, and DC is relaunching Milestone Comics and reintroducing its characters to new audiences, but we understand that there’s still much more work to be done to continue the mission of Milestone’s founders.
Throughout American history —in the comic book industry as well as in other creative fields —Black and other underrepresented creators have been consistent innovators and visionaries despite systems that work to exclude them. Now, as comic books take center stage in popular culture, DC, WarnerMedia, and Ally want to change that with The Milestone Initiative. The Milestone Media founders started the mission. It’s time for you to pick up their mantle.