COMIC BOOKS AND SANTERIA

Joe Quesada art exhibit at the CCCADI to open on February 23

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The Gallery at the Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) debuts their first ever comic book exhibit, Santerians: The Art of Joe Quesada, curated by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez of Somos Arte, a New York-based creative services firm in collaboration with Marvel Comics. CCCADI brings to the world an exhibit of illustrations bridging the gap between super heroes and spirituality, featuring the first Latin American super-hero team, the Santerians. The exhibit offers the public an up-close view of artwork depicting characters that are based on the popular yet, misunderstood religion, Santeria. The exhibition features the original illustrations of Quesada's work from Daredevil: Father where Daredevil meets a new team of heroes, the Santerians. The official opening is Friday, February 23, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 2nd floor gallery at 408 W. 58th Street.

Eleggua sketch

Santerians: The Art of Joe Quesada will be on view at CCCADI's gallery until July 30, 2007 and consists of original concept drawings used to develop the characters who take on the monikers of the Orishas: Ogun, Oshun, Oya, Chango and Eleggua. The Santerians are the first comic book characters inspired by deities from the Yoruba-based sacred traditions from Nigeria that traveled to Brazil and Cuba whereas the religion became known as Santeria. On display and unique to each comic book character, the gallery walls of the exhibition space are colored to represent each Orisha's individuality and powers. The color prints were created from the original full color digital masters from Daredevil: Father, allowing the viewer to witness the process of a comic book being created in a gallery setting. In tribute to his late father, Quesada created the Santerians, based on his coming of age experiences and Cuban heritage. "I looked to my past and beyond. My hero, my Santerian leader, reflects a more modern and accurate representation of the contributions that Latinos across the spectrum are making in our world today," says Quesada. Daredevil: Father was the 2nd time he revisits Daredevil after his last successful run in 1998 with filmmaker Kevin Smith. His new hero, named Nestor Rodriquez is the son of a popular councilman who was an outspoken social justice activist. As a child, Nestor Rodriguez started a vigilante group, the "Street Angels," that would patrol his neighborhood and fight crime. Nestor discovered his father was corrupt and also witnessed his death. He later emerges as an adult as a hip-hop star with his own fragrance and fashion line and goes by the name of NeRo. The young people that were originally part of the "Street Angels" join his entourage as the Santerians – the Orishas: Ogun, Oshun, Oya and Chango. Nestor NeRo Rodriguez becomes their leader, Eleggua. The story, set in Hell's Kitchen, New York, is also the location of CCCADI since its establishment in 1976.

Joe Quesada

Quesada is one of the most highly respected figures in the comic book industry as an illustrator and for rejuvenating the focus and progress of Marvel Comics as its Editor –in-Chief. His career began working as a colorist for Valiant Comics in 1991. He then went on to work with Event Comics and in 1996 worked with Marvel to create a trading card set that combined computer generated imagery (CGI) comic art and photography. In 1998 he launched Marvel Knights which reintroduced popular characters such as Daredevil and the Black Panther to great commercial success. In 2000 he became Marvel Comic's Editor-in-Chief and increased the company's sales by over 75% in their first year. A collaboration between the CCCADI, Marvel Comics and Somos Arte, this exhibition is a unique opportunity for people to see these exciting illustrations in a space that acknowledges the depth of the meaning behind Quesada's work, questions the diversity of characters of color in the comic book industry, the emerging relationship between new generations of Santeros and popular culture, and the Center's mission to make visible the history, culture and welfare of peoples of African descent in the Caribbean, South America and throughout the Diaspora. UPDATE 3/29/07: "Marvel: The Comic Book" Thursday, April 5th 2007 6:30PM | The Gallery @CCCADI 408 West 58th Street, NYC An evening with special guests from Marvel Entertainment, Inc that will discuss the origin of the "Marvel Comic Book." A technical discussion that will include the writing, illustration and coloring of this immensely popular American art form. Special invited panelists include: The Legendary Klaus Janson: Inker for Daredevil (1980s) & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Andy Schmidt: Editor for X-Men titles Chris Sotomayer: Colorist for Squadron Supreme Moderated By: Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Curator Suggested Donation: $5 For more information please call Monthina Williams @CCCADI: Tel: 212-307-7420 ext. 3006 E-mail: mwilliams@cccadi.org UPDATE: 3/9/07 SANTERIANS | THE ART OF JOE QUESADA - SPECIAL EVENTS Tuesday, March 13 2007 6:30 PM BLACK INK: A panel discussion that looks at the diversity of illustrated and animated images of people of African descent from the Caribbean, America, Latin America and worldwide. Moderated by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. FEAUTURED GUEST PANELISTS INCLUDE: Axel Alonso - Editor, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. Eddie Berganza - Editor, DC Comics Rich Watson - Writer, and founder of the Glyph Awards, honoring the best in black comics VENUE: The Gallery @ CCCADI 408 West 58th Street New York, NY 10019 Suggested Donation $5 Also on sale in the CCCADI gift shop Daredevil: Father the graphic novel. For more information please visit: www.santerians.com or contact: Monthina Williams at 212-307-7420 ext. 3006 or mwilliams@cccadi.org +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ CCCADI Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 – 6 p.m. & first Saturday of each month|408 West 58th St, NYC, 10019. Bet. 9th & 10th|Subway: 1, A, B, C, D to Columbus Circle 59th St| Suggested Donation $5|212-307-7420 x3006| ww.CCCADI.org Santerians: The Art of Joe Quesada kicks off CCCADI's 2007 season, Making the Invisible Visible: Connecting Global Cultures with the following Public Programs: Tuesday, March 13th, 2007-6:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: 'Black Ink' - A panel discussion that looks at the diversity of illustrations and animation created by African descendants in the Caribbean, America, Latin America and worldwide. Thursday, April 5, 2007-6:30 p.m. Film Screening: The Men Without Fear: Creating Daredevil-A documentary that examines the origins, story evolution, themes, comic art, and public fascination with the "Daredevil" character. Quesada photo © 2007, Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez, Somos Arte

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