Multimedia mogul and best-selling author Lenard “Charlamagne Tha God” Mckelvey, has announced the strategic expansion of his media empire with plans to develop new lines of graphic novels and comic books series. Charlamagne Tha God has tapped renowned creator and comic book professional Kevin Grevioux as writer for an original graphic novel project, Darkstorm, to be released under Charlamagne’s Black Privilege Publishing, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Additionally, Charlamagne and Grevioux have partnered with AWA Studios, the independent developer of bold and relevant stories from the world’s most outstanding artists, writers, and artisans, to develop original comic book series.
“If you know anything about me, then you know how much I love comics. I’m the guy who got Wolverine holding a microphone tattooed on his arm when he was 17 because of my love of comics. Partnering with Kevin Grevioux to present this new universe, filled with Black and Brown GOD Level superheroes is a dream come true. A lot of the black superheroes I loved growing up were street level and that’s cool but I want to see Omega Level superheroes that look like me and people around me and that’s exactly what we are giving you with Darkstorm and The Vindicators,” said Charlamagne. “I AM Blessed and excited to continue the important work with my Black Privilege imprint on Simon & Schuster and begin partnerships with comic book veterans like Bill Jemas, Axel Alonso and the whole team at AWA Studios. It’s collaborations like this that help to build an empire and I’m grateful to have found good ones.”
Charlamagne and Grevioux are developing original IP to be brought to life as graphic novels and comics. Grevioux is a seasoned entertainment professional with decades of experience as a creator, screenwriter, producer, director, actor, and comic book professional. A graduate of Howard University, he is best known for the creation of the Underworld film franchise and recently made his directorial debut with his screenplay King of Killers based on his graphic novel. With experience writing for both Marvel and DC Comics, Grevioux brings a multitude of expertise to the partnership.
Grevioux commented, “I feel blessed to be working with a guy that is as successful as Charlamagne, a one-of-a-kind cultural icon with global reach. He also has an incredible genre IQ for science fiction, comics, and fantasy. So, I truly believe that he is the absolute perfect partner for these ventures. The world’s really not ready for what we have in store.”
The first project from Charlamagne and Grevioux will be a signature superhero epic series, Darkstorm, to be published and released by Charlamagne’s Imprint, Black Privilege Publishing. The graphic novel, featuring art by KEN LASHLEY, will chronicle the tales of a PTSD-laden and reluctant superhero that is projected as an anti-hero except to those that know him best. The stories told in this project will reflect Black Privilege Publishing’s mission to amplify Black and brown narratives.
Lashley added, “When you get the opportunity to work on some great characters you jump at the chance. l am drawn to strong characters of color, and there are not many in mainstream comics, but Darkstorm is just that. It’s also created by Kevin Grevioux who is a very talented writer and created another powerful character in The Blue Marvel, so it’s a win-win… it’s very exciting.”
In addition to the Black Privilege graphic novel series, Charlamagne has finalized a deal with AWA Studios – the burgeoning comic entertainment company founded by former Marvel executives Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso – to develop original comic book series. The first series in development is entitled The Vindicators, which presents a unique and stimulating take on a diverse superhero team, with an uber-realistic origin basis that is relatable even against the backdrop of a dystopian future, a backdrop that is admittedly bleak.
AWA CEO Bill Jemas commented, “Charlamagne Tha God is one of the most compelling voices in culture today. His passion for comics was abundantly clear when we met him. But what truly blew us away was his handle on comic storytelling. We look forward to working with him and bringing his amazing concepts and vision to life starting with The Vindicators.”
More details on these exciting upcoming projects will be announced soon.