Celebrating Black Creators: Jeyodin

Happy Black History Month people! We are here for a celebratory post of our very own black creators! *applause*

First up we have a man whose laughter is so contagious it should be considered a biohazard! Its Jeyodin creator of Hammer and Rick & Morty Illustrator! Lets start the Jeyodin experience!

Saturday AM: How has your experience as a Black creator influenced your creative process and the themes you explore in your work?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that someone like me in this position should show representation in my work. It’s a shame that a medium as big as manga doesn’t have more prominent black characters. With that said, since HAMMER’s lead character isn’t black, I’ve been wanting to add more black characters that could fill that role. Which you all will see in the upcoming arcs.

Saturday AM: Can you share a specific moment or experience where your identity as a Black creator intersected with challenges or obstacles within your industry?

In all honesty, I haven’t had many obstacles in my way because of my identity I’ve been blessed because of it. If I remember correctly, Lemonade Code was a script I drew from the ‘our voices’ program in Oni Press, and even though I was already working with them on covers and stuff, I think being in that position helped.

Saturday AM: In what ways do you navigate the complexities of diversity and representation in your creative projects?

When It comes to HAMMER, I tend to think about the character that Stud is about to meet. I think about what they look like, what does their home environment look like, and a myriad of other choices that make that character seem cool and uniquely different.

Saturday AM: How do you address or challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about Black creators and their work?

Most people who discover I’m a mangaka are surprised when I say it, and usually impressed when they see my work. Luckily I haven’t had to address any stereotypes about black creators in years, if at all.

Saturday AM: Have you encountered racism or discrimination in your career, and if so, how have you responded or overcome them?

Thankfully, I have not encountered racism or discrimination in regards to my career. Maybe I’m just highly favored and blessed, but that’s been my experience.

Saturday AM: What aspirations or goals do you have for yourself and the broader Black creative
community in terms of representation and recognition within your industry?

I personally really want an anime/ cartoon that is based off of my series and shown around the world in different languages. I’ve always wanted what the biggest mangaka in Japan have; A successful manga series, toys, video games, merchandise, etc. For the broader black creative community I would like to see us reach a point where we can work together to further a collective goal. If we were able to create a system that worked like Shonen Jump, then my dream of having an anime sooner rather than later, having a production and distribution network that sold my manga around the world, and having this be a full time career the way I want it to be would all be feasible.

Saturday AM: Being a part of the comic book industry, has it been everything you thought it was? What are some things you enjoy, somethings you wish you could change?

It has been everything I thought it would be. I knew before becoming a professional and getting published that it would be difficult and at times not worth it, but it all still seemed doable as long as I don’t give up. I enjoy the grind and the fact that your talent and skill is just as important as who you know in this industry. I dislike the politics of the industry, but that’s basically everywhere so you just gotta deal with it.

Saturday AM: How do you use your platform and voice as a Black creator to advocate for social justice and equity in your field and beyond?

I would assume through my stories. I rarely do much advocating for social justice causes outwardly, but I believe if I can put out a different point of view for someone who may not have thought of it in that way just to expand their thinking on a subject, then It might just challenge their thought process and make them think, and that’s a pretty cool thing to do.

Saturday AM: Can you give a piece of advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Set a goal for yourself and then slowly move towards that goal day by day until you reach it, making sure not to give up along the way.

CHECK OUT JEYODINS SERIES HAMMER AVAILABLE NOW!

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