CREATOR SPOTLIGHT Glyph Award Nominee Marcus Roberts

First Comics News: Marcus Roberts, may I ask some background information? Where were you born, grow up?

Marcus Roberts: I am originally from a small town in Georgia, but have now lived in Florida for 30 years. I am a family man who enjoys spending time with his grandson. I am a certified Life Skills Coach as well as a certified Grant Writer and Non Profit Manager.

1st: When did you first get interested in comics?

Marcus: I am what you would call a generational comic reader. By that I mean that my father and one of his closes cousins read comics when they were younger and introduced them to me when I was a kid. My first comics were War comics. Books like “Our Army at War” which featured Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos”, and “Two Fisted Tales”

1st: Who are some of your influences in comics past and present?

Marcus: I started collecting the Savage Sword of Conan books, and it became the only book I would buy for many year, Stories by Roy Thomas, Larry Yakata, Michael Fleisher, and Charles Dixon were some of my favorites, along with the amazing covers by Joe Jusko, Earl Norem, Vince Evans and Dorian to name a few.
I presently keep up with the works of Brandon Thomas, David Walker, Milton Davis, and Jerome Walford to name a few,

1st: Are you a writer, an artist or both?

Marcus: I am a writer with serious artist envy.

1st: One of your successful creations is The Protector, please tell us about it.

Marcus: The Protector is the story of Dumbara; a warrior who brought shame to his tribe by killing an opponent during a contest. The tribe punished him by beating him and exiling him into the wilderness to die. Dumbara pleaded for forgiveness from the tribe’s deity and wished he could right his wrong by becoming the eternal protector of his tribe. It is a story of duty, loyalty, and sacrifice.

It is now included, along with one of articles in Volume 5 of the 4 Pages 16 Bars comic anthology.

1st: You were nominated for a GLYPH 2019 RISING STAR AWARD, what can you tell us about the GLYPH AWARDS and how did it feel to be nominated?

Marcus: The Glyph Comics Award was founded in 2005 and recognizes the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color from the preceding calendar year. Although it is not exclusive to black creators, it seeks to recognize those who have made an impact to the comic community both critically and commercially.

Being nominated was one of the biggest moments in my professional career, I started out in 2012 writing articles, doing interviews, reviews and character biographies for the World of Black Heroes website, and have had the opportunity to interview past Glyph award winners and see firsthand the high standard that had already been set by. This being my first solo project and having it considered to meet that standard is a very humbling thing. I was very much honored to say the least,

1st: Marcus, you are also a contributing writer for Mississippi Zombie on a story called Zombie attack on Horn Island. What can you tell us about the story, is itself contained or multiple parts?

Marcus: I was surprised and pleased that Bradley gave me the chance to contribute to this anthology. I had interviewed Bradley a few years back so I was excited to be able to work with him. The idea for the story came to me while doing my research on Mississippi. I found out about the islands off the coast and their history and decided that they would be the perfect spot for a Zombie outbreak. The story goes that during the Civil War the Confederate Army which was currently occupying an outpost on Shipp Island wanted to establish another outpost on Horn Island. Once they arrive they are warned to leave and when they don’t all hell breaks loose.
Even though the story is contained, Horn Island and one family in particular thatis tied into the events of the past while revisit each other in Mississippi Zombie 2.

1st: What is it like working on an anthology as compared to single story title?

Marcus: I like doing short comic stories. I like the pacing of the stories. With an anthology, you get a contained story that if done right, gives you the same reading satisfaction as if it were an entire book.

1st: Marcus, what other groups and projects are you involved in? Which are you most passionate about?

Marcus: I am a member of several independent creator groups on Facebook I am probably the most passionate about the Comic Initiative group. We are dedicated to emphasizing the importance of comics as not just alternative reading sources, but also as tools for reflecting inclusion and diversity.

1st: You have been part of a lot of conventions lately, what advice do you have for convention goers and fans

Marcus: My advice is whether you purchase or not, stop by and let the comic creator tell you about their book. You might be surprised. Also, stop in on the panels. There is a lot of good information going on and it is also an opportunity to get in on the topics that are going on in comics today.

1st: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into comics?

Marcus: Stick with it. You have to understand that if this is going to be your career that it is a marathon and not a 100 yard dash. Set goals and celebrate when you achieve them and any milestone you experience.

1st: What are some of your future plans?

Marcus: I recently finished up a book due out this year entitled Hedge Hollow and am finishing up scripts for issue 2 of the Protector, issue 3 of Mississippi Zombie, and a project I am scripting for Brasie Jones titled The Indomitable Black Assassin. I also have stories that will be coming out at Advent Comics for their Black Star Line comic book series and Chamber of Terror which is a horror anthology as well as another horror comic I collaborated on with Sonica Ellis and Dorphise Jean.

1st: is there anyone you want to give a shout out to or group that hasn’t been covered in this interview?

Marcus: First off I have to shout out Ryn Fraser over at the who initially gave me the opportunity to join the comic community and get established, next would be Terance Baker with ICC/ICC Anthologies, and Rob Andersin with the Indie Advocate Network and the COMIC Initiative. There is also a whole host of folks I have called on to get help and advice that have helped me get where I am today.

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