AFUA – Docta Foo
Celebrated comic book illustrator, musician and self-described “Jane of All Trades,” Afua Richardson. Richardson takes us on a journey through her creative process and gives us a peek into her much-anticipated graphic novel Genius.
Have you imagined a alternative community?
How much comics work had you done before Genius?
I’d done some work on the 24seven anthology under Image Comics, covers here and there. Genius was my first full-length comic. I’m happy it’s coming out now. It provides a platform for people to talk about things that are easy to ignore if they’re not happening to them—the reality of the police state that’s slowly creeping up in America.
Of course, in every profession there are really great folks and really crooked folks. But what seems to be becoming regular practice is ignoring people’s rights, seeing people who are self-reliant as enemies of the state, and taking more military-like actions on civilians, as if the American people are the enemy. Some of the things being done, like the selling of military-grade weapons to local police enforcement, leaves too much room for that kind of power to be abused. What’s happening in Ferguson, that’s not an isolated incident.
There are some really great cops out there, some that have saved my life, so this is not an “I hate police” statement. They’re getting their orders from somewhere. This is something that’s over their heads. Bringing attention to that in a comic book, where people can accept the reality of fiction for the time being—that provides a really great space to say “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t wait until it happens to us. Maybe we should talk about what we can do to remedy it now.” The police should be our friends, and they should be accountable.
Your Comicon bio mentions that you won a Nina Simone Award.
It focuses on arts and activism, and I had the honor of receiving one, since there aren’t a lot of women of color working for Marvel and Image and DC. –NC Comicon Interviews Afua
*Readers here know that we often discuss alternative communities and solutions.
Skills and talents to be nurtured in a community of self governance and self education.
Rather than crying about what skill-sets are missing we will be nurturing and developing them… The elderly and young will learn, because of joyful personal desires [no coercion, nor forced to earn a living], invitations, with community foresight & innovations would be the motivations. Growing collections of knowledge archives and access to gnu (copyleft) “Free Source”, as well as open source, and public domain information would be needed.
Entertainers, artists, cooks/chefs, engineers, tinkerers, mechanics, craftsmen, plumbers, electricians, farmers, armed self defense, and more are needed for a community to thrive.
I consider Afua’s art portraying urban community challenges a timely story for increasing awareness. ~Ron