Comic book artist wants Black youth to see themselves represented in his stories

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ByLeah Hope via WLS logo
Thursday, August 11, 2022
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A Chicago comic book artist has been selected to be part of the first cohort relaunching a program that adds diversity to the world of comic books.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago comic book artist has been selected to be part of the first cohort relaunching a program that adds diversity to the world of comic books.

"I loved to draw, it was a way to draw, and I like visual storytelling in general," Daimon Hampton said.

Hampton is largely self-taught. He creates fantastical stories with grounded messages, all told through diverse characters, on his tablet.

"It can be disappointing when the only Black character is a big dude with 17,000 muscles," he said. "Everyone else centers themselves, why wouldn't I want to center myself, especially as a young person?"

Hampton was recently chosen to be part of the first cohort in the relaunch of the Milestone Initiative, which has helped him focus on comics as a full-time career. HBO Max produced a documentary on the initiative, which is now a collaboration of Milestone Media, DC Comics, Warner Brothers, Discovery and Ally.

"Comics has been an underserved industry," said Erica Hughes, director of multicultural marketing for Ally. "Much like a lot of other industries in entertainment that's underserved by Black, Hispanic, Asian writers, directors, producers in comic books."

Ally is a digital financial services firm that focuses on women as well as Black, brown and LGBTQ+ communities.

"When you have little Black and Hispanic and Asian kids seeing themselves in a capacity of saving nations, being a superhero, that's inspiring."

Hampton said he didn't see himself in the comics he loved while growing up in Calumet Heights, but he wants kids now to not only see themselves but see the possibility of doing something you love as a career.

"I want kids to know it's worth it to do something they're excited about. It's not a waste of time, it's not a waste of energy," he said. "You got to do what you care about. Do what you love."

The Milestone Initiative is currently taking applications for its second cohort. You can see more from Hampton at DaimonDrewThis.com.