Saturday AM is back with another hit interview featuring our notable CEO Frederick L. Jones. In this article, we talk with We Need Diverse Book about our phenomenal partnership with Quarto Publishing.
Saturday AM was formed from a burning passion in our CEO’s heart, Frederick sat down with We Need Diverse Books to discuss Saturday AM’s origin, accomplishments, and future.
“I’ve been a lifelong fan of anime manga. I grew up falling in love with it. Back in the late ’70s, when I first discovered the art style, it just stood out to me. As time went on, the decades passed, I became an executive in the video game industry where many games in the ’90s and early 2000s had that Japanese feel to them, so I was able to connect with it again in a professional context. It wasn’t until around the mid-2000s as I was starting to transition out of the video game industry that I saw just how big manga and anime had become. The thing that stood out to me more than anything was the lack of diversity. It’s almost like going backwards a little bit, but at the same time the fan base was becoming more diverse than ever. What inspired me was the fact that I thought this was an art form that I had loved as a kid that I thought had such an incredible skill and inventiveness to it, but I wanted to see it be more representative of the world that so many people live in and see ourselves represented.”
Frederick filled us in on the journey of Saturday AM, has it been rewarding so far? Let’s find out.
“Definitely seeing young creators of all backgrounds feel comfortable being able to express themselves and then seeing the reaction, people being really excited that they got to see themselves. I remember we got a note from a young man from South Africa, the first issue came out and he wrote to us. You could just feel the emotion in it because he was talking about how he loved the artwork; he had seen anime manga before and was inspired by it and thought it was awesome, but he just never believed that someone who looked like him could do it. He had no frame of reference to believe that he was allowed to do it. I’ll never forget that note because you could feel how emotional he was to the fact that for the first time he saw someone, saw a group of people who looked like him who were doing this, and just gave him such confidence to try to do it. I think that’s been the most rewarding thing is just knowing that we’re changing people’s perceptions of this type of content.”
Saturday AM has done many big things in recent years in such a short amount of time, Fred tells us about of few of Saturday AM’s milestones.
“The goal has been, since the very beginning, to build a brand. It was very important for me for the creators to own their intellectual property so the majority of the creators do. We want to make sure that young people of color and everyone who’s working with Saturday AM that they have the ability to leave a legacy for their families.
We’ve had toys made of our series, called Massive Multiplayer World of Ghosts. We got a few more on the way. We had a video game appearance and a mobile game called Flick Solitaire and so we had a whole deck designed for Saturday AM of our characters.
Past that, the big thing is we have this graphic novel program we’re about to launch with our portal group that begins in June of this year. We got 10 books coming out this year so I think that’s a real testament to us and what we’ve built with our brand and with our characters.”
Excited for more? Click the link to read the rest of this interview: https://diversebooks.org/qa-with-frederick-l-jones-quartos-saturday-am/