Honoring Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, Aspen Comics will be celebrating Black History Month by pointing the spotlight on Black creators with whom they’ve collaborated. This will occur three times a week on their website, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, along with the creator’s picture. Put together by Fathom: Sourcebook writer Tabu, there will be a showcases from Koi Turnbull, Khary Randolph, Talent Caldwell, Emilio Lopez, Hannibal Tabu, Eric Battle, Rob Stull, Larry Welch, Saleem Crawford, Keron Grant, Marla Johnson, and Khari Evans.

Tabu spoke about the project by saying:

I have to give it up to my editors, Andrea Shea and Vince Hernandez, who came up with the idea to have this happen. In a time when some people are giving lip service to diversity, Aspen is showing how it’s worked towards that for years. I’m extraordinarily proud to work with everybody at Aspen. It was an honor to help spotlight and honor the overwhelming talents involved in this project. Reading comics and looking at names that seemed like the ones in my neighborhood made me wonder if there could be a place for me on comic book shelves. Now that I’m on those shelves, I am happy to share these voices, these hands, these people and their stories, especially if there’s a Black child out there looking at these pages and asking the same questions.


This is a truly wonderful thing for Aspen Comics to do in honor of Black History Month. It’s important to not only put the spotlight on the well known names that we have all come to learn about since grade school, but to also show the creativity that comes out of every genre and medium. I look forward to seeing all of the spotlights throughout the month. You can look for them, beginning Feburary 3rd, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9am.

Eric Battle


“Philadelphia-based artist Eric Battle illustrated Aspen’s The Scourge, collaborating with writer Scott Lobdell and colorist David Curiel on what he considers one of the definitive creative highlights of his career.  He strove to bring a big-budget horror movie feel to the 2010 series, pouring the pure intensity he felt while drawing down on each page. Currently he’s mid-way into penciling a 10-issue series with Brandon Seifert at Legendary Comics called The Harvestor, the first issue of which debuted this month. Battle also regularly collaborates with renown science fiction and fantasy authors. He’s worked with L.A. Banks on her Vampire Huntress Legends novel series, George R. R. Martin and Daniel Abraham on Martin’s Wildcards: The Hard Call mini-series for Dynamite, and most recently Nnedi Okorafor on her upcoming novel Book of the Phoenix. Battle considers these some of the most artistically fruitful collaborations of his career, as they’ve given him the opportunity to hone and challenge his visual language with great authors.” 


Emilio Lopez Emilio_Lopez-Char

“Charismagic, Homecoming, Soulfire, and Executive Assistant Iris colorist Emilio Lopez has brought vibrancy to many comics for DC, Image, Boom! Studios, and more He often works together with penciler and fellow Aspen artist Khary Randolph.”

Koi Turnbull Koi_Turnbull-Fathom

“Born in Elmhurst, Queens, Koi Turnbull got his start in comics working at a shop with future inker John Wycough, living in Asheboro, North Carolina. Turnbull moved back to New York at the age of 21 and began doing background art for Marvel Comics with Adam Pollian and Walter McDaniel. Turnbull’s big break came at the 2002 Wizard World Chicago when Aspen’s Frank Mastromauro and Peter Steigerwald saw his work during a portfolio review and hired him to work with the company. Turnbull moved to California to work under the direction of Michael Turner and followed the legendary artist on Fathom Volume 2. Following this popular string of eleven issues, Koi found work with DC Comics and Marvel Comics.”

Keron Grant Keron_Grant-Idolized

“Jamaican-born illustrator Keron Grant got his start doing a pin up in one of the final issues of Dale Keown’s Pitt. After doing an unpublished comic with Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Comics, he moved into online comics for the Matrix films. An inker there named Rob Stull brought Grant to the attention of Marvel editors, leading to a run on Iron Man. He’s since moved on to turn in work for Marvel, Image and DC, recently doing covers for Dark Horse’s Father’s Day. His work on Aspen’s Idolized brought him into the Aspen family of creators, bringing his detailed, kinetic style to even more fans.”
 Khari Evans Khari_Evans-SoulfireCREATOR SPOTLIGHT: KHARI EVANS
“This talented penciler has worked extensively for Image, Valiant and Marvel. For Aspen, he depicted some of the company’s most popular characters in Aspen Seasons Spring 2005 and Aspen Splash 2006 Swimsuit Spectacular.”

Talent Caldwell

“A Tennessee native, Talent Caldwell has done a variety of things before his career in comics, including being a dancer in music videos such as “Denial” by Sevendust and “Bug-A-Boo” by Destiny’s Child. He broke into comics in the year 2000, doing background art on Fathom, soon taking on the miniseries Fathom: Killian’s Tide.  His time at Aspen gave him room to grow as a creator, co-writing and drawing the Fathom: Dawn of War and has seen his art in Charismagic, Dellec, the Aspen Sketchbook and Executive Assistant Iris.  Caldwell went on to work for many companies, including Wildstorm, Zenescope, DC, Dynamite and Marvel.”




Saleem Crawford Saleem_Crawford-Soulfire

“Inker Saleem Crawford, proud father of five, helped define the artwork of Soulfire, Aspen Splash 2006 Swimsuit Spectacular, and Shrugged for Aspen Comics. He’s also worked for Marvel, IDW, Archie, DC Comics, Image, Wildstorm, and Dark Horse. He’s currently working on the latest Call of Duty title: Advanced Warfare.

10953416_10155138996215371_7349222351937864934_n Hannibal_Tabu-Sourcebook

“Born in Rockford, Illinois; raised in Memphis, Tennessee; matriculated in Tacoma, Washington and broadcasting live from Los Angeles, Hannibal Tabu is a writer, a brother, a husband, a misanthrope, a son, an emcee, an uncle, a poet, a father, a designer, a nephew, a romantic, a storyteller, and by god, a fan. He spent more than ten years doing the journalist thing for Vibe, Slave Trade, MTV Online, Rap Pages, America Online, the Los Angeles Sentinel, Spinnerrack.com <http://spinnerrack.com/> , Speak, and The Source. Hannibal has worked as a web designer/producer and graphic artist for American Honda, eHobbies.com <http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2FeHobbies.com%2F&amp;h=wAQG3t0eP&amp;enc=AZNvjCim-Htc0wrFu1HslLvi0gYKzkv-vUjHcWwVSeS95mG7zqO7pFOVPUXB_EGzZhk_aMqeT26Cl8ZT3q-VnktqQJ7MQP51VlkNexTXI0IAI0QsxxRQSkiDEqm5AMnYuYE7rbmGcg7PndM4IT8p66DVkOcfql72Wr6tORJfIBB2> , Quicken.com <http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2FQuicken.com%2F&amp;h=4AQHA78–&amp;enc=AZN8au10YNgfMqwhM9-Yvd_kGwOKLN19N7ovqsRTZPKYWJcN0jJiGcyvy91c3vWrdT6V9rfRmYmoIxPtYTyU-Crcvn2asrMQiaDi_DGkpcsE1eeBh3SJ78mTKk9N7y8vBTdTpkJ_AvMP6L_ybFIzhDQz45iM19x1Uj1AoX0HQpC8V> , Express.com <http://express.com/> , the California Association of REALTORS, Disney Channel, NextPlanetOver.com <http://nextplanetover.com/> , Toyota Motor Sales, Kaiser Permanente, California Bank & Trust and many more. As a poet, Hannibal has been published in The Drumming Between Us, (sic) Vice Verse, Drumvoices Review, Voices From Leimert Park and other anthologies, as well as being author of the collection BORN BENEATH AN ANGRY STAR and co-author of FLIGHT MANUAL. As a novelist, he’s written THE CROWN: ASCENSION and FARAWAY (both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Smashwords) and the upcoming sci-fi political thriller ROGUE NATION. He’s the winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, writer of Waso: Will To Power for Stranger Comics, Project: Wildfire for Legends Press, Fathom Sourcebook for Aspen Comics, and co-writer of an issue of Watson & Holmes (alongside 2 Guns writer Steven Grant) for New Paradigm Studios. For six years he was the editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Herald-Dispatch group of newspapers, is currently the co-owner and editor-in-chief of Black geek website Komplicated at the Good Men Project, and uses his Operative Network website (www.operative.net <http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.operative.net%2F&amp;h=VAQFllat3&amp;enc=AZP2BQLRMOWIzCfEcR0QXcuFi3TR6TZMfi4uKtJrmPoq2MYT9gtL1Yok_Rb-qElJZp7JGjXu7Biry2vXienjf2Ajnuz4QKvy-OvfpZ4e7RhlolBqCoRAbnV6r0hA4BtgxDDj7RLO6bWMjdFccRJRyeFJ2oO0Ob0yAk7oTJn> ) to publish his poetry, market what he’s doing, rant at the world and emit strangled cries for help. In addition to all that, Hannibal collects comic books, has scores of action figures, DJs private parties, is a Mac OS zealot, sings and sometimes even hosts karaoke, practices a form of spirituality based on ancient Egyptian belief, and goes to bed every day, secretly hoping that half the world will commit suicide in his honor.”

Marla Johnson Marla_Johnson-Aspen

“Brought up on comics, 80’s nostalgia and manga, Johnson always wanted to draw and make a statement. With a little sweat, a lot of grinding and persistence, she got the chance to create a piece for Aspen’s Summer Swimsuit Issue.

Rob Stull Rob_Stull-Dellec

“Rob Stull is an accomplished illustrator, curator, penciler, inker, designer and creator of comic books. He has worked over two decades for every major publisher in the industry, including Marvel and DC Comics, where his projects include Spider-Man Adventures, Iron Man, X-Force, Wolverine, 52, Nightwing and more. He is featured in the ground-breaking book Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture and in The History of American Graffiti. He created, organized and curated Sequential Art: The Next Step; a first of its kind 10-year traveling exhibition spotlighting the contributions of African Americans to mainstream comic book art and popular culture, featured at the National Center of Afro-American Artists (Boston), Words and Pictures Museum (Northampton MA), Afro-American Cultural Center (Charlotte NC), Tubman Museum (Macon GA) and elsewhere, and his work has been shown in galleries around the United States. He is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.”

Larry Welch


“Larry started his inking career in 1990, inking over J.H. Williams III on Demonic Toys. Since then, he has inked over a variety of well known pencilers in the industry, from George Perez, Gil Kane, Robert Roach, Barry Wndsor-Smith to Terry Dodson and Michael Turner, to name just a few. Larry helped bring fan favorite Cannon Hawke to life in the debut issue of the character’s own mini series. Currently, Larry is working on his degree in 3D Modeling & Animation, and penciling his own creator-owned project.”


Khary Randolph Khary_Randolph-Char Khary_Randolph-Char2


“Boston-born Khary Randolph moved to New York in 1996 to attend the School of Visual Arts, gaining his BFA in Cartooning and Illustration. He worked on books at Boom! Studios, Image Comics, DC, Devil’s Due, Zenescope, Marvel, and Action Lab. For Aspen, Randolph worked on The Scourge, Worlds of Aspen, Homecoming, Soulfire, Executive Assistant: Assassins and Charismagic. He’s moved into the world of animation, employed by 4Kids Entertainment as Lead Character Illustrator on Chaotic. Khary is currently drawing Tech Jacket for Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics.”