Sunday, October 24, 2010

Liberated Muse in Chicago for the Black Age of Comics

Liberated Muse member Turtel Onli is founder of the annual Black Age of Comics Convention that celebrated its 13th year this year last week, Oct. 15-16. Maceo and I traveled to Chicago to support Turtel and to represent Liberated Muse at this annual event. Turtel had invited me to perform and share readings from the Liberated Muse publication Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and Maceo was asked to facilitate an artist meeting that was held after the convention with illustrators who were at the convention displaying their work. We both arrived before the convention and got a chance to check out the city before the convention began.

For starters, Chicago is an arts town. However, you probably wouldn't know that because it hasn't received the attention that places like New York and LA receive as being art meccas. However, Chicago epitomizes an arts town. Everywhere you turn, there is a splendid example of artistry- from the architecture in the downtown area, to the sculptures sprinkled throughout the city from folks like Picasso, there is art everywhere. Performance art is abundant as well, as it should be. The Blues grew out of Chicago. Here are some shots I snapped while on a tour of the city.

On the 15th when I performed readings and my original tune "All of Me", I was part of the Bronzeville Art Trolley tour which took folks to different art galleries in the Bronzeville community in Chicago. The venue I performed at, Little Black Pearl, was part of the tour and folks got off the trolley car to come in and view art on the walls by illustrators from the Black Age of Comics. Little Black Pearl does amazing things in the community, providing after-school programming for youth in addition to showcasing art. Check them out here. I got to introduce these visitors to the Liberated Muse book and represent DC while I was at it. It was a blast. I performed with a Chicago-based keyboardist, Aki Antonia, who actually hails from Bronzeville. Regina Brown, a vocalist who tours as a support vocalist for artists like Gladys Knight, shared the stage with me prior to her amazing performance the next day at the Black Age of Comics Convention. Check out some of the photos below that Aki's son Atiba took of us performing. Also, be sure to visit Aki's blog here. She blogs about arts happenings in her community.

Me (Moon) and Aki Antonia at Little Black Pearl performing

Turtel describes the convention as a group exhibitions, lectures, vendors, signings, and workshops. The year's convention was amazing, featuring well-known author LA Banks and Black illustrators from across the country, including artists Eric Battle, Arie Monroe and Afua Richardson.

I got video of LA Banks giving an author's talk during one of the lectures and was inspired by her testimony of why no one should give up on their talents. Here is one video out of the four that I was able to get. Visit our site at to view all four (each is less than 10 minutes)to hear her hilarious personal stories.

The world's first Black Age of Comics Convention was given in Chicago IL Feb. 1993. The term, "The Black Age of Comics", meaning creators & products derived from the Urbane, indie, or cosmic experience and independent creativity. It welcomes all positive creative professionals, innovators, students and fans.Turtel should be proud of his event-- Maceo and I had an incredible time. Here are some photos from the event. Make sure you plan to attend next year!
Me (Moon) and Maceo representing Liberated Muse in Chicago

Illustrators and Artists of the Black Age (photo by Maceo Thomas)

Artist Arie Monroe

Me (Moon) with artist Ken Ray

The Fringe by Steven Harris. Love this comic. Bought this t-shirt.

Read more about the Black Age of Comics here

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