Monday, April 11, 2011
Meeting Dawud Anyabwile: Brother Man
My man Zumbi, the owner of the black owned book store Stiltwalkers in Philadelphia, hipped me to Brother Man comics. Zumbi had all of the latest issues in his shop. I loved the art, the story, the covers, and the dialogue. It was hip and it spoke to me on so many levels. It's flavor was Philly. You could see it in the small details on each panel.
I was in the Navy during that time. I actually stopped reading comic books but was still reading Brother Man comics. I was also building up my library of books. Personally, I don't think I would have later returned to comics if it wasn't for Dawud Anyabwile. He demonstrated that you can write stories outside of the formulas the majors were doing. During that time in the early to mid nineties, Image was a burgeoning line but I found it to produce the same stories found in Marvel and DC with the exception of Spawn and the Savage Dragon.
Sometime around 2000 or 2001, I ran into Anyabwile through my brother from another mother Keidi Obi Awadu, the Conscious Rasta. I didn't know who he was until he flashed back issues of Brother Man and then gave it to me. I felt like a kid in the biggest candy store in the world: I always talked about what I would do when I got there but when it came to it, I was shooked. My comics were stolen by a “fellow” shipmate who borrowed my books then took flight and never returned like many of the books I loaned to my shipmates. I never had the opportunity to buy them again because after we left Philadelphia in 1995, Zumbi had closed his store down. This was before the internet became more accessible so I had no way of getting those issues back.
I was open when Anyabwile did that. We lost contact but reconnected several years later through his blog. It was great to learn that he was a capoeirista as well. I ran across this video the other day, and I thought I would share it with you.
Please support folks like Anyabwile. These are the sisters and brothers who are really pushing the envelope and inspiring the next generation of fans and artists. Not to mention the fact that we owe to our babies to do this.