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'Black Age' Founder Challenges Snoop Dogg's Black Superhero Claim

By Bruno Gaston

International Editor

April 3, 2010, 4:30 p.m. - A black comic activist is questioning the motives of rapper Snoop Dogg after hearing his complaints about the lack of black superheroes on a video posted on YouTube.

In the video, "Behind the Scenes of Malice N Wonderland The Movie", Snoop, who is featured as superhero "Malice", said:

"Why there aren't any black superheroes? What's wrong? We can't get a superhero on? Not to the effect of an X-Man or Ironman, but just something that you know that's relatable to the hood to where we could sit down and [inaudible] that's a cool little superpower he know I can relate to him.

"Not know what I'm sayin', disrespect Will you know you my nigga you know I f**ks wit you, but I'm talkin' bout on some real nigga sh* Supa Nigga or Malice or something to that effect."

Black Age of Comics Convention founder Turtel Onli says Snoop's voice is a welcomed call, but feels his participation in the Black Age is what is missing.

"I think Snoop is positioning himself to be featured as a superhero and since the Black Age movement is not in his camp, he simply is functioning like we do not exist," he said. "This is even with him and Dr. Dre having a deal with Marvel Comics in the '90s."

A spokesperson for Snoop declined to comment.

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Snoop's deal came from a project called "Marvel Music" which was a brand of comics that featured popular musicians and rappers, Onli said. The comic book line shut down in 1995.

A spokesperson for Marvel Comics would not confirm or deny a deal existed with Snoop Dogg.

"Since the Black Age movement started, the mainstream industry has responded by giving comic book or character deals to blacks with a high name and image profile in other entertainment forms such as film or TV," Onli said. "Once optioned, these projects generally did not include any of the services of the creators who have been mining the Black Age of Comics Movement."

In 1993,
Onli held the first Black Age of Comics Convention in Chicago which has since given rise to more conventions like the East Coast Black Age of Comics in Philadelphia and ONYXCON in Atlanta.

The Black Age has also inspired its own media. Urban Voices of Comics Magazine is a black-owned publication that covers the many authors and illustrators who headline forums for the movement's fans.

What's more, serves as a museum for black characters featured in the larger comic book firms like Marvel and DC Comics.

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