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Behind the Panel: Khary Randolph on Black, returning to Mosaic, Black Panther and more

Contributed by
Feb 5, 2018

Comic book artist Khary Randolph is best known for his Spideyverse work (Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider, Spidey) for Marvel Comics and creating the Inhuman black superhero Mosaic, who headlined his own comic book title following his debut in Uncanny Inhumans #11 (2016). The artist also worked on several other titles, such as X-Men (he recently drew a sketch of Storm) and The New Mutants and also produced some amazing cover artwork for Black Panther and Black Mask Studios' Black.

Co-created by Tim Smith 3 and written by Kwanza Osajyefo, Black debuted in late 2016 and was illustrated by Jamal Igle, with Randolph providing the cover art. The comic started off as a Kickstarter project, which sparked social conversation. The premise is simple: What if only black people had superpowers?

Randolph spoke with SYFY WIRE's Mike Avila about the creation of Black and its social relevance: "Kwanza and Tim, the creators of the book, they had been kicking around the idea for about a decade. And I think to both, it was shocking to them that the subject matter was still relevant a decade later. And so eventually, [with] the advent of Kickstarter, they were like, 'Now's a good time to make this thing happen.'"

He also talked about the importance of Marvel's Black Panther as a much-needed representation for the African-American community, drawing covers for comiXology's Black Panther: Long Live the King, and chatted about the importance of Christopher Priest's Black Panther run.

Interestingly, Randolph reveals how stressful it was being a cover artist as opposed to illustrating a comic book title, and he plans to return to the monthly comic business with a project at Image/Skybound Entertainment. The conversation also involves whether he'd return to Mosaic, what were his first comic book loves, and how Image Comics later influenced him as an artist.

 

Additional material by Nathalie Caron.

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