Jackie Ferguson: Hello everyone, and welcome. My guest today is Brian Hawkins. Brian is a freelance writer of comic books, novels and scripts. Additionally, he is an editor for Mad Cave Studios, a freelance writer for Black Box Comics and Zenescope Entertainment, and author of two children's chapel books for North Star Editions Publishing. Brian, thank you so much for being here.
Brian Hawkins: Thanks for having me.
Jackie: Of course. Would you tell us a little bit about your background, your family, your identity, anything you'd like to share?
Brian: All right. Background, family identity. Oh man. My origin story, right?
Brian: I'm from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Born and raised, I've lived in Virginia, my whole life. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad, a construction worker. so he worked long hours. he was the quote unquote sole provider. So with me being home with my mom, you know, a lot of love, lot of nurturing, and also where I believe I got my love for storytelling watching soap operas with her,
Brian: just sitting on a couch, watching soaps
Jackie: Yes. Every, every black child's afternoon, right.
Brian: Yeah. Some days when I skipped school, you know, I would stay home and watch Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives in the era when Beau and Hope were together. So, oh Yeah. From there, you know public school, did well in high school. ended up going to, to VCU for undergrad.
The interesting thing was that college wasn't necessarily the plan. My mom and dad really left up to me what I wanted to do. and so when I decided when I was a junior, like, you know what I think, I don't know what a college, you know you know, I figured out how to do it and, you know, touch base with a lot of the community groups that was helping with that.
And, and we made it happen, you know, loans, et cetera, et cetera, because, you know, we were in a, you know, one income family, so wasn't easy. But you know, I I've always felt provided for, you know, even though I know that not everything that we did have was easy to have. So, you know,
Jackie: Lots of sacrifices, right.
Brian: Lots of sacrifices, absolutely. And, and, and my mom and my dad both did that for me and for our family. So, and I'm what I was aware of it then, in hindsight, you know, it, it really is even more crystal clear. right? so from there I went to VCU, I ended up majoring in English. I advanced play writing classes. Love, I love Shakespeare.
So I had a Shakespeare class, favorite teacher of all the time, Professor Bill Griffin, a profound influence on me. so, didn't have the best advisors, so when undergrad was wrapping up, I was like, man, what am I going to do? Right. I threw my hat into the ring, I guess, you know, for journalism couldn't let anything.
And I ended up substituting for that first year out of college, and at my first class that I subbed for was an English class and I'm like, ah, this is it. I'm like, that's perfect because I, I liked talking about literature. I, like being around kids. I, I had this thing about talking, while I feel like I'm an introvert. I also like to, I like to be social too, so I don't know.
Jackie: So teaching and Brian, was it high school that you're teaching?
Brian: Yes. Yes. Yes. And so I ended up, you know, I enrolled to get my teaching license, which was a combo of also my master's. And so I ended up getting my master's and I ended up teaching.
And I taught for 17 years, predominantly high school but I did three years in middle school, eighth grade, just a phenomenal experience. And it really as much of influence that I hoped that I had on the students, you know, they, they impacted me greatly and in who I am and how I perceive myself and in the things that I'm about, and it also affected my writing.
So yeah, I was still writing and so I started a after so many rejections for screenplays, I'm like, you know, I want to try this. I love, I love I'm going to try this on my own. So I ended up starting a theater company. I wrote, produced, directed, taught myself how to play guitar a little bit. So I wrote songs, and we did two different plays in the span of four years. They were fairly successful. But then I got married, had kids, break from, and we're getting close now. I feel long-winded on this.
Jackie: You know, the thing about it, Brian is just to, so many times with, with young people, they think they need to have it all figured out. And one of the things that I love to share through the guests that come on the show is there's sometimes long and winding roads too you know what your passion is and what your purpose is and what you're meant to do in the world, and that's okay. You don't have to have it all figured out and just, how you went from thinking about journalism to being a teacher for so long to, you know, owning a theater company like, wow. And we haven't even gotten to what you're doing now, right.
Brian: I mean, you're spot on, you know, you're, it's a process and, and, you know, I remember when I got to comics and how I got there and everything that was before led me to comics, and it was kind of a, a return or rebirth to some of what I love in my childhood.
And it was like a breath of fresh air, and so while I was not no longer doing the playwriting that, that energy, that creative energy, that wanting to tell a story had to go somewhere. And so, you know, I wrote, you know, some prose and self-published a novel, but it was still something like script writing is just my thing is what I'm most comfortable with. It's, it's how I see the stories is, I'm a very visual person. So when I found comic book writing and I got to dive back into my love for those characters and my love for comic books. It was really cool. And, and I've been writing comics ever since, and that was 2012.
Jackie: Wow. And so, Brian, what was the impetus that moved you from teaching and playwriting into comic books. Was there, was there something that occurred or how did you come to that realization?
Brian: Well, interestingly, I will say with, I mean, hindsight being 2020 that I was always going into direction. I just didn't know, you know, fate free will, maybe fate and free will work together. So I think the catalyst for it was maybe a year out from finishing up our last play. And so, you know, I had started a family and so my time was kind of different.
And so I remember. I've started watching the Walking Dead show. It was like the very first season. And I was like, huh? I mean, the show is it's incredible. And you see on like, you know, as the show comes on, based on the graphic novel, I'm like, huh, graphic novels. Man, it's been a long time since I've read a comic, I'm like, I took myself to the comic book shop and it had been like a year since I had been in a comic book shop and I just rediscovered the comic book medium and scene. And when I was younger, when I was a child, it was all about like Marvel and DC.
Like, I really didn't know much about independent comic books at that time. I mean, they were there, but you just didn't hear about them, especially, you know, as a young, young, black kid, right. You didn't hear it, you know, it was Spider-Man or Superman was Batman. And so when I went into the comic book shop and you have all these other comics with all these other stories, oh, it was, I mean, I hate to be cliche, but it was like heaven. And I'm like, this? Is I picked, I picked I of course got the Walking Dead.
And so, I looked at it as I enjoyed script writing and screenwriting so much, and I saw the similarities and, I think I would be able to do this. So I ordered a how to write comics book by Dennis O'Neill, and I taught myself how to script comics, which is similar to other script writing, but there's certain nuances that are not the same it's way more flexible. but so I taught myself how to do that. And I've been writing ever since.
Jackie: Wow. That's so amazing, and you know, one of the things that I'm picking up from you, Brian is you, you teach yourself a lot of things, right? You taught yourself how to play guitar. You taught yourself how to write comic book scripts, and that's really interesting because for some of us, we get a lot of our learning in, in school, in college, right, but there's a learning along the way that can help us find those passions. So I love that.
You mentioned DC and Marvel, one of the things that I always loved about something that Stan Lee said about Spiderman, you know, even way back in the day is Spiderman could be anyone, right? When you see Superman or so many other characters, there's a, a face for that, right, and, and very often that face doesn't look like us. And so the idea that Spiderman could be, anyone was, was really cool. So I'm going to ask you, of course, DC or Marvel?
Brian: That's the question. Isn't it? Oh, man. Overall, I'm going to have to say, I'm at the edge out Marvel some definitely when it comes to the cinematic universe I’m all in all Marvel, there are certain DC comics, that I'm more into especially everything with the return of Milestone.
I love reading Daredevil for Marvel, definitely my favorite one. Daredevil, Spider woman. So I'm an edge Marvel out a little bit, but I do have a special place there for DC.
Jackie: Love it. Okay, awesome. So Brian, there aren't many Black comic book writers around. Tell us how your full identity and experience gives you a unique perspective to storytelling in comic book.
Brian: Well, there's an essay by Langston Hughes. In this essay, he's, you know, he's having this conversation with this poet and this poet doesn't want to be known as a Black poet. The poet just wants to be a poet.
Brian: And he's like, why can't I be this? And why do I have to be a Black boy? I just want to be able to express myself, et cetera, et cetera. And so Langston Hughes, you know, he goes on to explain how, it's critically important to understand who you are as a Black poet, because as a Black poet, there's no one else that is a Black poet, Black poet can only be a Black poet.
A poet who is white or another race, can't be a black poet. And he unexplained how it's, it's your story. You are the only one that can tell and express and can share what it is to be Black, this way, and it's, it's a role, it's a position, it's an honor, it's a burden. It's a lot of different things, but to cast off being a Black poet is to surrender or abandoned some of your identity.
It's always stuck with me, and so as a comic book writer and creator, I'm a Black comic book writer and creator, and I hundred percent own it. I accept it. I want it. I will never say I just want to be a comic book writer because that cuts off part of my human experience.
My human experience is as a man, but I'm a Black man. And, and those things are linked together. They cannot be separated and nor do they need to be in order for you to know who you are. And I think that's very important when it comes to storytelling. We're meant to tell the stories that we're meant to tell, and you have to tell those stories from who you are, and I'm a Black comic book writer.
Jackie: I love it. I love that. And it's such a good perspective, right? Because we as individuals bring all of our identity to who we are in the workplace, who you are creatively, how we show up in our communities, and I think that's such a great point. Thanks for sharing that, Brian.
Brian: Absolutely. Absolutely
Jackie: So Brian, tell me what inspires your stories and we'll get into a couple of those, but what inspires you to write the stories that you do?
Brian: The human condition and that term has just stuck with me for years. And like even going back to like teaching in an author's purpose and I would always teach within my English classes about the human condition and in how all stories are revolving around that it's pulling from that.
I'm inspired by that. It’s what makes me love Shakespeare, because I felt like Shakespeare, he really examined exegeted like what it is to be human in so many different ways, and while it is kind of centered in of course his era, his time, that experience, the human condition, it transitions, it transcends, you know, through time. And so the stories that were told then, and what was happening, you know, with the, the character in their obstacles, right? Those things are still happening today is just a different setting, which of course time plays into that.
So, the human condition, which is the human experience really inspires me to write, to tell stories. And I think that I'm always looking at myself, I'm always looking at what it is to be human, what it is to be a person, what is to be a father, what is to be, you know, a husband, you know, before I wasn't married, what is mean to be single? What does it mean to be, you know, there's so many different roles that we play throughout our life and all of it is found within the human condition and how that experience just rolls out? So it's a, it's a big answer, but the human condition just really inspires me.
Jackie: That's awesome. So, Brian, let's talk about your series, Black Cotton, speaking of the human condition. Right? Tell us what that's about. I'm so intrigued by that, that series and it's so interesting. Talk to us about it.
Brian: Absolutely. So I was fortunate this really happened, because I was a teacher. it was in my last year of teaching. I have a close friend named Luke Wright, who is an author speaker, great guy. He was like, yo man, like I have a friend who he he's really into comics, he has this idea and I told him you, and you know, he never written anything. So like, you know, I thought you guys should meet. So I’m like okay. And so it was maybe six months later, it was January 2020 before the pandemic.
And so we finally met, and we had lunch on a Sunday and, you know, we were just talking to us, hanging out me, Luke and Patrick Foreman. We didn't even talk about the comic until I, we were almost done eating. He was, hey, let me ask you a question. And so he said, look, I'm thinking of a reality where like the world is totally reversed. And then he said even the cotton's black, I said stop, whoa, Black Cotton, that's it! And he said, that's it!
And from that point on, we sat there and we built out the story, right then, right there. And we left, we ended up leaving and we went back to Patrick's house and just, you know, we, we created the characters, like we'd spend like six hours from that point on just building out what Black Cotton would be.
That's how it came into existence. Now, I think I got off on a tangent because I think there's more to your question than that...
Jackie: No. Yeah. I definitely love the origin story of that, but I, I want to get into, tell us about this dystopia, right? Where its Black people are the majority and then the underrepresented and the marginalized people are, are white, and tell us a little about how that story evolves.
Brian: So it said an alternate reality, right, where the social order of white and Black is reversed, and we really focused on like, that's a logline even now where it's the social order, white and Black university, because white and Black first and foremost, you know, in this culture is a social order.
You know, at the end of the day, I'm actually brown. And with melanin, we all are just different shades of brown, really light brown or brown or darker, or, or, you know, so we wanted to deal with the social order of white and black and how our identities are found within, you know, as, as a Black man in a white man or Black woman, white woman.
And so from there jumps into an elitist family, the Cottons who, you know, they're like, they're like your Kerrington's from dynasty, like they're billionaires. And what ends up happening is their, their oldest son is kind of like the quote, unquote, I guess this world would be white sheep of the family.
Brian: And he wants to separate himself from what the cottons are and that 1%. And so he becomes a police officer and where this story starts, you know, he tragically shoots an unarmed white woman, who's wearing a hoodie, and that kind of sets off the, the story. That's our event where you have this elitist, this one percenter, who's in this role of a cop and he shoots a minority white woman. And so social tensions from there just explode, very much how in our world, it parallels our world and you get to see how the cottons deal with the fallout of what there's done has done.
And from that, you learn more about who the cottons are. You learn more about the girl's family and in this version, the girl doesn't die, you know, so we get to see what a survivor of a tragic event like this gets to deal with. I mean, how, how it plays out.
Jackie: Brian. I'm so excited to read this and I, I ordered it. It's going to be here today and I'm planning to spend my weekend just like combing through it. And one of the reasons why I'm so excited about this is when we think about inequities or marginalization or the systemic issues, right, and injustice that we have in our society.
There's that implicit bias that we all have about what makes sense or what should happen, but you in this comic have flipped it on its head. So how are you identifying with characters that have, and characters that don't have characters that are marginalized when they all of a sudden look more like you,
Jackie: and can that help us think about having more empathy for other people right, of different identities, because there's, there's often a, just the callousness of not being able to reach across based on our experiences and who's around us. But when you like really flip that on its head, how do you relate to those characters? How do you identify with those experiences and, and does it change your empathy, and I'm so excited to get into that? And I think that can be useful in, in the work that I do in DEI, and I, I'm just super, super excited about that.
Brian: It's funny that you say implicit bias because that was a key term that Patrick and I, as we were writing it, like we talked about, and we talked about stepping back from our implicit bias, trying to see clearly trying to tell the story from the perspective of not being a one side or the other. Implicit bias was so important that in you'll see it when you read it, like it's actually in the book is actually in the very first chapter in the very first issue, and you'll see when you read it. And that really came from us. It was us talking about our own implicit bias.
Writing Black Cotton was extremely challenging. It was extremely challenging. I always in under speak for myself. I always felt a weight because I knew that this was a story that was being told because going back to like the Black poet thing, because I'm the only one I can tell it. Me and Patrick are the only ones that can tell it because we are the Black comic writers, and it was meant for us to tell.
I always felt challenged, I felt the weight but we didn't, you know, run away from it. What we did, we attempted to carry it and how we attempted to carry was to make sure that it was not this soap box project to where we just began to preach what we thought. And we were just in just preach our implicit bias. In order to do that, we had to take the step back, had to examine why do we think this way? Or if that happened, then why wouldn't this happen? Or how does a group of people respond in like that?
Or how did they not respond like this? what does it feel like to hear this say to you, what does it feel like to see or have this happen? And so there was a lot of questions, a lot of introspection, it, it goes back to like the human condition of, and apparently believe that the best thing about storytelling, I don't want to say best thing, but at its heart, it's a mirror.
It's a mirror that humanity has been holding up to itself for years through even the oral traditions of being able to see ourselves and storytelling is that mirror. It allows us to look at ourselves when we can't actually see ourselves, but that mirror was show us who we are if we're willing to look at it.
And so what we attempted to do was hold that mirror up to who we are as, as Black men and, in who we are as a Black person and who you are as a person, who you are as a human being, as part of your species, and we just dissected it. And we looked at like, you know, as a man, you know, let's step out of this role in and what is it like, like mean for a woman in this position? What does it mean for a black Woman in this position? W what does it mean for a white woman in this position? And so we really tried to look at it from so many different perspectives. We intentionally try not to put our implicit bias and our perspectives into the story. We let the stories speak for itself.
Jackie: Wow. That's so amazing, you know, and it's, it's so important to think about, you know, all of us do have implicit bias and how does that show up in the way we think, and the way we behave in the way we speak and the way we write, and so I love that you're addressing that. Let's talk about your novel Confessions of a Black Man's Soul. Tell us what that's about.
Brian: Confessions of Black Man's Soul. That's really taking it back. Oh, so the Confession of a Black Man's Soul was actually my first play. And after I stopped doing plays, you know, I said, you know what, I'm going to try my hand at some prose writing. So I turned the plate into a novel, and what Confessions of a Black Pan's Soul is all is about it's about this one young man. Tyler Mayfield, a teacher. I was a teacher at the time, so I took some of myself and I put it into that main character, but I also put some of myself into multiple characters and I was almost like, kind of talking to myself some from different perspectives.
And what it was about was a young man who had been a womanizer, a cheat, a liar most of his younger life. And he had decided that that he was done with that. Like he, he realized that he needed to do better. He had found his Christianity and like, God was really big for him in helping them to overcome everything that he had been. He wanted to move forward, but he couldn't move forward unless he addressed his past. And so with the urging of his very strong-willed mother, he shares with his fiancé what he's been, because like you can't move forward in untruth. And so when he shares well, instead of sharing first, he tries to, he hadn't officially broken everything off yet with everyone else, he had stopped, but he hadn't told them he stopped. So he, so he goes through this process of breaking it off with three women that he was seeing that at the same time.
You get to see him interact with these three different women and how different they are, but how he tried to balance out with each of them. Like, and so you get to see how much of a player he was without him actually being a player in the story. He finally wants to tell, you know, once he broken everything off, he goes to tell his fiancé, but she already knows because one of the girls, had, you know, as revenge had already told her. And so
Jackie: Oh, wow.
Brian: Yeah. So he, he, so he spirals into like trying out how to try and figure out how to keep her and questioned if trying to do what right. What is right. What's the right thing. Why couldn't he just move forward without her knowing? it really was an examination of myself not saying that was life that I lived, but there are bits and pieces of his journey that existed within my journey. And then there were some things that was not I'm like, I would never do that, but it was that mirror again, it was me at 25, 26, just looking at myself in and, and learning about myself.
Jackie: Yeah. Oh, I love that. That's it's interesting to turn a mirror on ourselves, right. And certainly that's part of the storytelling experience, but one of the things that, that I read in many of the bios that I see about you is that you're a knower of self, and I think that has to do with being able to turn that, that mirror around and say, okay, who am I? Where am I going? What does that mean, knower of self, Brian and how can we each become a knower of self?
Brian: My journey to that was interesting one. So my, I have a Christian background on, I'm, I wouldn't call myself a Christian today but I have a Christian background and One of the things, you know, I, I, I've always loved philosophy and religion, and as a kid, I always felt this pull towards just what is God and who is God? And like, it was just always there. And so, I decided that I wanted to not just. Be told, but I wanted to know for myself. And so I in, in the midst of all the other things that I'm doing, I enrolled in seminary and I went through that for three years, and got a couple more degrees, I got a degree in divinity and then theology.
But the interesting thing is, is that in learning and wanting to know for myself and to like, I didn't want a preacher to just preach to me, or I wanted to know what they knew or if possible more. And so, through the course of my study, and there were so many things that presented, like I would read one thing and I'm like, wait, well, wait a second.
Where did that come from? So I ended up like Googling or researching, not in a, buying a whole other book and going into that book, like I started three years, but after seminary, I was still getting books and still peeling through just learning. And what ended up happening was a lot of things that I believe was questioned and I'm just the kind of person to where I'm not, there's something in me that just wants to push forward. And I didn't want to retreat back into just a belief and say, and just kind of say, well, I'm just going to have faith. If, if I have faith, then my faith should be able to take me through, through anything.
My faith also should be able to be malleable. It should be able to be flexible, and I decided for myself, not everything has to fit historicity in order for faith to exist, because if you're basing your faith, all the history, is it really faith? Faith is the absence of things, hope where the evidence of things not yet seen. So history doesn't have to be in place in order for faith to exist.
So with that I challenged all of my beliefs and some of them, I got rid of, some of them I kept, because that was the truth for me. And I call it like the process of evolving and I was willing to evolve. I didn't convert to anything I just evolved, and so seeing all of that in part of my studying and learning, I, I eventually had the opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor at a community college where I taught religion and I dealt with multiple religions and I had as students who had different belief systems.
And so as we're interacting, I'm learning from them and they're learning from me and we're looking at we're questioning everything and all the while I'm still searching, still seeking. And what I eventually come to is Gnothi Seauton, know thyself. And it really stuck with me.
Um, especially when you get into the nose, the Gnostic gospels, where you have a representation of a Jesus that is not necessarily talking about heaven, that's beyond, but what's inside. And he begins to talk about like gnosis and knowing who you are and that you're twins with him. And, and, you know, and then you look at within King James and it literally says like the kingdom of heaven is nigh.
And you know, the father is in me, I'm in the father. And so my, I really just connected all the dots in my mind, all the different religions with like Hinduism and Brahman becoming one with Brahman, and you are Brahman. And it came to me as this really is about me. This is about who I am like and I just thought about it. Like, if I don't believe then what happens, if I do believe what happens? And there's a scripture in Mark where Jesus tried to do a miracle and he couldn't do it because no one believed. And that always stood out to me because then Jesus' power was dependent upon someone else to believe.
So the power of the individual and who they are extending out to what they do affected the quote unquote, son of God. And so that really just began to just ruminate and, and cultivate. And I connected knowing thyself to that, like this whole journey, this whole human experience is about some form of knowing who you are and religion and human interaction and everything is, they're all tools to help you know who you are. And so if I was to say, so my belief, the best way to phrase it is I would call know thyself like my belief system, it, it all comes back to me being willing to look in that mirror through stories, or even literally sometimes looking in the mirror, or if you're whatever relationship you're in, why did you do that? Or how did you come to this idea? And it's a constant examination, even exegeting like your character and your identity and those different layers of who you are for you to understand yourself better.
Jackie: That's so that's so powerful. You know, one of the things that I, that I love about what you said is you didn't want to take something just at face value. You wanted to really dig into it and understand, and one of the things we're experiencing in our society, and I think we've always experienced, but it seems to be, in my opinion, really pronounced right now is taking things at face value, depending on what news channel you're watching.
Right. You're, you're getting that perspective only, depending on, you know, if you're in church who, who you're listening to, who your, your path or minister is, you're getting that one voice, and that's, that's your truth when really you should set, you should be questioning things you should be asking yourself, you know, what do I think about this? Let me find more background. Let me find more information. And if we all did that, I think we'd all be a little bit closer to what the truth is, or at least be able to make a decision as to how we want to believe about everything, about people, about religion, about you know, what's going on in the world.
So I love that, that that's something that you pursued. And I think you know, the, the rest of us should endeavor to pursue that, that level of truth for, for us in, in the way that we're approaching things in the world.
Brian: I appreciate that. And I think everything that you said, you said it very well. And you're spot on. I mean, we, we are who we are and It's all that we get to be as far as we know. You know, to spend time with yourself in your, in your head, in your skin, in your body, in your emotions, because we're such emotional creatures.
And a lot of times we like how we respond to everything outside of ourselves externally is based on our emotions, but our emotions are based on something too. It just that we never deal with. Why do we have these emotions that we have that cause us to respond the way that way. And you know, there's no way to fix anything.
And that was not a thing. Like I stopped, I honestly stopped trying to fix myself. I stopped trying to find answers and I just began to just seek understanding in order to get an understanding, you have to start with knowledge. So knowledge, wisdom, understanding, 1, 2, 3.
Jackie: Absolutely. Absolutely. Brian, tell us about your most current project.
Brian: So it's a horror, it's going to become an, they can make the announcement probably in the next maybe month and a half. So looking forward to that and breaks, I wanted to be able to talk about it more but some fabulous, fabulous artists that I'm getting to work with.
And behind that Black Cotton volume two. We are about halfway finished with a second arc. Patrick and I are actually, we've been in the process today proofing Issue one of volume two, which is it's, we're really excited about that. so those are two main things along with editing I'm doing with Mad Cave in in some freelance writing I'm doing with black box Black Box, just released a new, a new title last week that I'm the writer on called Dr. Wilder. and that is a set in San Francisco near Future. And it really is about it's about taking down big game and poaching and in a world where animal rights are extremely violated to the extent where the economy is based off of original species versus clone species.
And I got to write this phenomenal character, Dr. Dasia Wilder, who's a Black woman. and she's just, I mean well, I love to write Black women characters. Like that's that it means a lot to me. Each time I, I get to write a lead character, that's a black woman. I always think about my mom. and I think it's important to put that character out there, because there's not a whole lot of lead Black female characters in stories that are not normally like, quote unquote, what you would see, like, you know, in a supernatural story and, you know, the action stories. So that just came out last weekend. I'm excited about it and it seemed to be selling out.
Jackie: That's awesome. Brian, what's the message that you want to leave our listeners with today, as we begin to wrap up and where can people find your comics?
Brian: Start with knowing who you are and let who you are influence what you do, being an extension, towards what gets done in your life. Don't take it the other way around where you're just constantly doing, doing, doing without spending any time being. That's more the most important thing and everything else I think, purpose and everything else kind of will fall into place. And I just have to have that faith to know that you're the center of it. So you have to get your center right.
And as far as finding me or my books, brianhawkinswrites,com that's my website, brianhawkinswrites.substack.com. That's my Sub stack where I am put out content on Tuesdays and Fridays, sometimes Sundays. I'm like what? I'm reading, what I'm watching. my like some storytelling, nuances, elements and thoughts, what new comics I have coming out. Sub stack. I'll be honest, has been so much fun. I read Dan Rather's Sub stack.
it's called Steady and it's so it just, it's just good. It's just so good. And w, and for mine, I want it to be something to where people get something from it. new content, a way to interact, and to build a storytelling community. So those are the two big places. Oh, blackcottoncomic.com exists as well.
so and we have opened up a little store, you know, and we're trying to put more things in there, like coffee mugs and shirts and stuff like that. So
That is the three places.
Jackie: Perfect. Brian, thank you so much for spending some time with me today. I've really enjoyed this conversation and I'm so excited about what you're doing and the storytelling that you're doing as a black comic book writer. Right? I think that's amazing. So thank you again for spending time with us and sharing your insights.
Brian: Thank you for having me. It's been a blast.
Imagine a society where Black people are the majority and White people are the underrepresented and marginalized race. What has this society’s history been like? How is the educational system different than our reality today?
This alternate reality is what comic book creator Brian Hawkins built with Black Cotton, and today he shares his story on his inspiration for the comic, bias, and empathy for races that are different from our own.