Michael Davis was one of the co-founders of Milestone Media, and used his own life story when creating the background and bible for their most successful character, Static. He ran a mentorship programme through his production studio Bad Boys, which he used to help find talent for Milestone, including the late John Paul Leon, whose first comic book job was drawing Static #1.
This weekend, DC Comics announced the new Milestone Initiative at DC Fandome to serve "Black and underrepresented" comic book creators, 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 was all news to Michael Davis, of course. DC hasn't involved him in any of the new Milestone projects. So he did the next best thing. And I have to say, when he told me, I burst out laughing. Michael Davis has applied to join the Milestone Initiative.
So what kind of credentials has he given, as well as a co-founder of Milestone Media and co-creator of the original launch titles? Well, his Bad Boy Studios launches the careers of Aaron McGruder, John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, Brett Lewis, , Christopher Sotomayor, N. Steven Harris, Shawn Martinbrough Kevin McCarthy, Phil Jimenez, DC Comics' first Latina editor Alisande Morales, Walter McDaniel – the owner and CEO of Red Dragon Studios, the only African American-owned animation studio in China, Jason Medley – now a senior designer at Warner Bros, TV art director/producer Chuck Drost, hip hop designer Willie Esco and Jamaican TV anchorman Basil Reid. In 1996 he was Mentor Of The Year according to Mentor Magazine. It was also the year he had T%he Michael Davis Auditorium named after him at the Gordon Parks Academy.
As well as being a facilitator for comic book projects such as The Fifth Beatle, he also created and hosted The Black Panel at every San Diego Comic-Con, becoming the most non-Big Two attended regular panel at the show. Then there was his Guardian Line Universe was launched by Christian publishing and media firm, UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc) developed to appeal to a multicultural audience, with a focus on African American youth, selling over two million issues directly into the Black household and church. He also created The Action Files, a low-level reading program for schools to be integrated into Viacom entertainment companies, first distributed through Simon & Schuster, and still, the only comic book reading program curriculum taught in any school system to this day. The program now published through Pearson Learning has added a curriculum-free version available on Amazon. And recently, has been working on a new publishing initiative called Level Next with Wayne Brady.
Maybe some of those will help him be picked for the Milestone Initiative? You know, as well as co-founding Milestone in the first place?