DC Announces First Class of Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program
DC Comics has a program in place to help cultivate the next generation of black and diverse comic book creators. DC and Milestone Media, in collaboration with Ally, are launching The Milestone Initiative talent development program. The inaugural class has been officially announced, with their studies beginning on March 15. The 10-week program will provide participants with opportunities to learn from industry experts and sharpen their storytelling skills as they transition into comic book storytelling. Experts and speakers from DC, WarnerMedia, Milestone Media, Ally and The Kubert School will address attendees and provide insight into building a career in the comics industry and raising their voice. as an underrepresented talent.
“It’s a monumental day for Milestone and the wider comics community. We’ve always believed in the importance of sharing underrepresented stories, so we’re thrilled to have new creative voices join us in our mission,” the Milestone and Emmy partner said. award-winning producer Reginald Hudlin. “Mentoring has always been a vital aspect of our comic book world, and Milestone co-founder Denys Cowan and I are excited to share the ropes and learn a thing or two from our new peers!”
The incoming class for the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program includes:
- Andrea Rosales, Portland GOLD
- 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 Lujan, Del Rio TX
- Jerome Rhett, Charleston SC
- Jordan Clark, medical doctor from Baltimore
- Julio Anta, Miami Florida
- Kameron White, Houston, TX
- Lucas Silveira, Indianapolis IN
- Marcus Smith, Chicago Illinois
- Miguel Hernandez, Cleveland OH
- Morgan Hampton, Chicago Illinois
- Nathaniel Cayanan, Corona CA
- Petterson Oliveira, Naples Florida
- Tiah Ankum, Atlanta GA
- Yasmin Flores Montañez, Toa Alta PR
- Zipporah Smith, Los Angeles, California
Programming will focus on the history of comics, creating content that spans cultural differences, integrating dynamic perspectives to create a better product, navigating the industry as underrepresented talent, learning best practices for financial and entrepreneurial success, and much more.
Some of the participating speakers include, but are not limited to:
- Jim Lee – Editor and Creative Director of DC
- Marie Javins – Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, DC
- Chris Conroy – Editor, DC
- Benjamin Le Clear – DC Staff Historian and Archivist
- Marquis Draper – Deputy Editor, DC
- Reggie Hudlin & Denys Cowan – Creators of Milestone, Milestone Media
- Karen Horne – Senior Vice President, Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia
- Erica Hughes – Director, Multicultural Marketing, Ally
“I am incredibly honored and thrilled to work with the participants of the Milestone Initiative Talent Development Program,” said Jim Lee, Creative Director and Publisher of DC. “These writers and artists bring so much creative energy and spirit to the process, and the staff and I look forward to helping them hone their skills as comic book professionals.”
A DC, WarnerMedia and Ally marketing campaign is also being released to share meaningful stories about the experiences of underrepresented creators and foster a dialogue about the importance of the alliance.
The storytelling series kicked off with “SuperFan,” a video featuring Denys Cowan, co-founder of Milestone Media, in conversation with Feon Cooper and Kareem Burton, co-owners of Black Star Collectibles, the first-ever pop culture collectibles owned by people. Black. store in Carson, California. The video discusses the lack of black representation in the comic world in the 1990s and how Milestone inspired the founders of Black Star Collectibles to become the business owners they are today.
This month, “The Power of Representation” was launched as the next installment of the year-long campaign. The Ally and Courageous Studios brand vignette focuses on Ally’s mission to promote equity and inclusion inside and outside of its organization. The trademark short 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 Officer and public relations at Ally. “It’s critical that our marketing efforts advance this cause, and we believe our collaboration with DC, Milestone Media and WarnerMedia allows us to leverage our efforts for lasting social impact that directly reaches Black and Hispanic communities with opportunities for generational change.”
“The stories we tell through The Milestone Initiative exemplify a variety of perspectives and voices in an effort to further Milestone’s mission of illuminating underrepresentation in comics,” said Michal Shapira, Head of Comics. marketing solutions and brand studios, WarnerMedia. “Our studios’ wide range of storytelling capabilities – from documentary-style video production to animated stories – along with our ability to leverage our incredible intellectual property in meaningful ways, allows us to connect with our audiences and inspire real change, in communities and society at large.”