At DC Fandome, Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan announced the return of Blood Syndicate in 2022 from DC Comics and Milestone Media with a new series and a lot of silhouettes on the cover, as Milestone Media returns in its second year of new comic book stories and the promise of crossovers to come.
Blood Syndicate was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Michael Davis, Derek D Tingle, Denys Cowan, and Ivan Velez Jr, in a 35 issue series that ran between 1993 and 1996. Differing from other superhero teams, they were the surviving remnants of multiple street gangs (thus the name, a combination of Paris Island Bloods and Force Syndicate), who had gained superpowers in the so-called Big Bang, and decided to use them for a greater purpose. However, their constant in-fighting, the unsustainability of their methods, and their lack of a central vision (particularly after the death of their first leader) led to the Syndicate's eventual disintegration. The Blood Syndicate team included members Aquamaria, Boogieman, DMZ, Dogg, Flashback, Holocaust, Kwai, Masquerade, Oro, Tech-9, Wise Son. How many will return in the new Blood Syndicate, and what the silhouettes will indicate is unknown…
Oh and they also announced a Milestone animated movie alongside the Static Shock live-action movie, and the Milestone Initiative Bleeding Cool talked about earlier today, to serve "Black and underrepresented" comic book creators, to work with DC Comics, as part of their new talent development programme Next Generation DC (NGDC) stating that "if stories are what shape the world we live in, then the storytellers should reflect that world. The Milestone Initiative is looking for the next generation of Black and diverse comic book creators" who are ready to enter the comic book industry at a professional level. DC states that "throughout American history —in the comic book industry as well as in other creative fields —Black and other underrepresented creators have been consistent innovators and visionaries despite systems that work to exclude them." This is intended to be an answer to that. One note, applicants must have the legal right to work in the USA or Canada, which may restrict applicants. But if you do, it seems that they will pay for your international flight too.
Do you have a story to tell? Do your experiences, imagination, and perspective go beyond the limits of what you see on TV, in movies, and in other media? If you live and breathe comics, and you're an emerging Black artist or writer —or a creator from an underrepresented group —we're looking for you to join The Milestone Initiative. The path to a sustainable creative career in this competitive industry will never be an easy one. You already know that —you've spent years honing your craft on your own. But with The Milestone Initiative, we hope to give you the support you need to make that hard work pay off. The next step starts here.
Successfully chosen participants will be invited to a one-week summit from Valentine's Day, the 14th of February to the 18th of February 2022 in DC Comics HQ in Burbank, California, hosted by WarnerMedia, DC, and Ally, where it is intended that they'll make connections, create community, and begin an immersive course to help hone creative skills and better understand the comic book industry, meet creators, editors, and executives in the comics and entertainment industries. Travel and accommodation will be met by DC Comics. Participants will get mentored by known comic book figures, financial experts and receive "in-depth, substantive instruction about building a creative life and earning a living in this field. You'll hone your creative skills, but you'll also learn the business of the comics industry and receive advice on sustaining a long-term career." Following the Milestone Summit, participants will participate in an 8-week virtual course from The Kubert School, which will leave creators with a portfolio or work, knowledge and skills, with a pathway into DC talent if they wish to take it up, with DC remaining in contact with all participants in the months following, to find the, appropriate comics assignments and other work
Applicants will fill in a form about themselves, including providing links to existing completed work. They will be given a short assignment to complete over the next week, artists to draw three pages based on a script, writers to create an 8-page story based on an idea. Participants will have to complete short essay questions about themselves, who they are, and what they want to do. Here is the FAQ:
- How do I apply and what is required for me to apply?
All submissions must be made through our online portal. Submissions via email or physical mail will not be accepted. All elements of the application the application must be completed.
- How long do I have to apply?
The Milestone Initiative Development Program application process will open on Saturday, October 16, 2021 and close on Sunday, November 14 11:59pm PT. There is no application fee. Please do not call or email inquiries. Due to the high volume of applicants, we are not able to give information on application status.
- What's the selection process?
Those selected after the first round of review will be notified at the end of December 2021 or in early January 2022. In 2022, the final round of applicants must be available for video interviews during the first and second week of January 2022. The final candidates selected for The Milestone Initiative Development Program will be notified by end of January 2022. The final candidates will have the opportunity to travel to the DC headquarters in Burbank in February 2022 to participate in a week-long summit, where you will be able to meet and be trained by legendary creators, editors, and executives in the comic and entertainment industries. To participate in the in-person summit, all selected candidates must show proof of vaccination.
- How many writers and artists will be selected?
We expect to select between 8 to 10 writers, and 8 to 10 artists
- Do you take creative teams?
No. You must apply as an individual.
- Do you accept letters of recommendation?
No. We do not require letters of recommendation.
- Can my agent/manager just send you my stuff?
No. Only applications received through our submission portal will be accepted.
- Will I be able to receive feedback on my application?
No. Due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback.
- Will you confirm receipt of my application?
Yes, upon successful application submission, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to let you know that we have received your application.
- Will I be informed if I am not selected for the milestone initiative development program?
While we will not respond to phone calls or email inquiries due to the high volume of applications, we will send you an email informing you if you are not among those selected to participate in the program.
- What if I left off my information online: can I go back and change it, or do I need to resubmit from the start?
You don't have to complete everything now —the system is able to save partially completed applications if you click "Save Draft" at the bottom of the page, so you can begin now and tackle it a piece at a time. You can use your login and password until November 14, 11:59 pm PT, to enter back into the application. But once you have submitted your application, there is no going back —you can no longer make changes
- What should I do if I have technical difficulties with the online application website?
Email us at TalentRelations@DCEntertainment.com and we will try to help you resolve your issue.
- Who should apply?
The Milestone Initiative is seeking the next generation of Black and other diverse comic book creators, and the application is open to anyone eighteen years or older with the legal right to work in the United States or Canada.
- If I don't live or work in the United States, can I be accepted as a participant in the program?
To be accepted as a program participant, you must submit verification that you have the legal right to work in the United States or Canada for the duration of the program.
- Do I need to have professional comic book experience?
- What if I have worked as a freelancer for DC in the past? can I apply to this program?
Yes, you may apply. Please be sure to list your DC experience in your application.
- If I work for WarnerMedia or DC or one of its WarnerMedia affiliates/productions, am I eligible to apply?
No. If you are a current employee at DC, WarnerMedia, or one of its affiliates, you are not eligible to apply to the program.
- What is the duration of the Milestone Initiative development program?
The program will be a total of nine weeks: One week at an in-person summit in Burbank, CA, at DC's offices, and eight weeks in a virtual, class-based learning environment (convening once per week) with top comic book educators. (Note there may be a short gap between the one-week in-person summit and the start of the eight-week online course.)
- Will the Milestone Initiative development program pay for travel and accommodations for the program?
Yes, travel and accommodations will be paid for by the program, along with a stipend for each day of the in-person week in Burbank.
- Is the Milestone Initiative development program a full-time employment opportunity? or will I be paid for my time in the program?
No. Participants may consider additional employment while simultaneously participating in the program.
- Will participation in the Milestone Initiative development program guarantee me an opportunity to work at DC or WarnerMedia?
No, there is no guarantee for future work at DC or WarnerMedia following the program.
- What is Next Generation DC (NGDC)?
NGDC (Next Generation DC) is a pay-it-forward program whose purpose is to increase access and opportunities for aspiring writers, illustrators, and creatives from currently under-served demographics and international markets to contribute to DC comics content. Together we seek to expand representation and tell authentic stories with DC's iconic IP. The Milestone Initiative is the inaugural program of NGDC. Its objective is to recruit Black and other underrepresented comic book creators in the US and Canada, and to provide them training and mentorship to prepare them to become the next generation of storytellers through Milestone and DC characters.
Maybe some of them might be up for creating the next Blood Syndicate?