HIP-HOP AND COMICS [NYCC 2019]: Cultures Combining.

Rob Deep Maldonado

HIP-HOP & COMICS: CULTURES COMBINING (Thursday, Javits Center) – I walked in on talented panelists Eric Orr (@orrdesigns), and Andre Leroy Davis( @alderay ) talking about Public Enemy. @AdamWallenta described his Public Enemy comic. Adam Wallenta, an Mcee, an also avid fanboy and comic creator, then goes in with Punk Taco. Adam ties his Punk work to underprivileged youth and speaking up. It jumps from Adam to a b-boy and Wallenta collaborator DJ Johnny Juice, giving a history lesson on breaking.

Adam interjects and makes a magnificent parallel when he compares the minimalist verbiage in word balloons and panels in current comics to the scene of Hip Hop contemporaries, as the mainstream lacks its Chris Claremonts. It’s beat heavy and word light in trap rap. Another panelist, Rich Nice, covers the graphic art element of hip-hop and how he painted Afrika Bambata’s jacket after meeting Bam and Keith Herring at the Roxy. A lot of name dropping and validation occurs throughout the panel until B-Boy Juice clears the air.

DJ Johnny Juice

B-boy, DJ Johnny Juice explains how Hip Hop shouldn’t feel victimized when Hip Hop has been jacking beats or “borrowing and repurposing” from the get. To Hip Hop’s credit, Juice represents as Hip Hop as the ultimate upgrade consultant that doesn’t collect a justifiable fee. The host, DJ Patrick Reed preaches to the choir about the credit Hip Hop needs in various art forms. The choir, which had almost filled the entire room, cheered the panelists.

More points gearing towards progression and evolution could have been made. Reed seems to lead with nostalgia which prompted most panelists to reflect. Progressive artist, Likwuid had little time to express her endeavors to connect Hip Hop culture with comics. Bridging comics back to Hip Hop roots is an honorable task.

Reed has been hosting this same panel from some time which went from the Nuyorican Poet’s café into the doors of the Jacob Javitz center this year. That is progress. It can be more grounded in the present and future, from the usage of Hip Hop music, style, and lingo in Teen Titans Go to the revolutionary undertones of Jonathan Hickman’s House of X & Powers of X,to the Greatly Hip Hop inspired works of Marvel artist, Mike Del Mundo. The most current topic briefly touched upon was Marvel’s Hip Hop covers and Heroes in Starter Jackets. Patrick made light of the Con’s rescheduling, bumping, and stepchild’ing of this panel. Where was Mike Del Mundo? Problem solved, Pat. 3.25/5 Mics.

-Rob Deep Maldonado

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