How does America react when only black people have superpowers? In the sure-to-be-controversial six-part comic book series WHITE, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, Inkpot-Award winning artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph reunite for the sequel to their acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation, BLACK.
“How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” said Kwanza Osajyefo. “Our story asks: In a time of supposed inclusion and diversity, how far will those in charge push back to retain the status quo?”
In WHITE, Theodore Mann, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for Mann First, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program. The main person standing in the President’s way is X – once known as Kareem Jenkins – who has become a symbol of resistance against the Mann Administration.
In 2016, the BLACK Kickstarter campaign was a crowdfunding sensation, and both the campaign and the comic book series’ subsequent publication generated national headlines and coverage including the NEW YORK TIMES, EBONY, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, and THE WASHINGTON POST. For WHITE, the original BLACK creative team―Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, Sarah Litt, Derwin Roberson, and Dave Sharpe―will return for the second part of a planned trilogy, and will be joined by inker Juan Castro. If funded by Kickstarter, WHITE will be a 6-part, ad-free periodical comic book series. The first printing – with variant covers – will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers. Comic book retailers will be able to order standard editions directly from Black Mask after rewards are shipped.
“We’ve been lucky to build the world of BLACK through Kickstarter and at Black Mask Studios, but to continue telling stories the way we want, we need to keep challenging ourselves, and the publishing paradigm, by making these special first printings of WHITE exclusively available through this crowdfunding campaign,” said Kwanza Osajyefo.
The number of backers of WHITE will unlock Kickstarter exclusive variants by comic book industry legends: Ashley A. Woods, Jamal Igle, Jeremy Love, ChrisCross, Sanford Greene, and Denys Cowan. “My goal with the BLACK covers was to evoke an emotion that would stop the reader in their tracks,” said cover artist Khary Randolph. “I’m thrilled that some of the biggest artists in comics will also be a part of the Kickstarter for WHITE.”
Issue One of WHITE is estimated to be delivered to backers October 2019. The limited edition variant of the graphic novel and comic book shop retailer bundles will ship to backers in early 2020.
“We’re thrilled to return to the world of BLACK,” said Tim Smith 3. “This is the second part of a planned trilogy and we can’t tell the story or finish what we’ve started without the support of Kickstarter and our fans who have encouraged us.”
“The overwhelming support we received from the Kickstarter community took us all by surprise,” said Jamal Igle, the artist for WHITE and the creator of MOLLY DANGER. “We were initially a little taken aback by just how much BLACK resonated with readers. As a comic book creator, there’s no better feeling than getting this kind response. Meeting fans of BLACK at comic book conventions and hearing from backers is gratifying and inspiring. We’re thrilled to be back, telling the story in the way we envisioned it, on our terms.”