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Brooklyn's Own Superhero Kid Brooklyn: A NYCC Interview With Jaden And Joseph Anthony.

Written by Tim Midura on Friday, October 20 2017 and posted in News with Benefits

Brooklyn's Own Superhero Kid Brooklyn: A NYCC Interview With Jaden And Joseph Anthony.

On creating a universe, doing good, and saving the world.

Source: New York Comic Con

Joseph and Jaden Anthony are a father/son duo out of Brooklyn, New York self-publishing their own superhero series Kid Brooklyn. 


Tim: What's your background with comics?

Jaden: I loved comics when I was younger. I grew up reading comics.

Joseph: I've been an avid comic book collector my whole life. Huge Marvel fan back in the mid '80s. I'm in my early '40s, so comic books have always been a part of the experience of growing up. To see what the big comic book companies have done in terms of keeping the narrative of certain classic heroes alive. I've always been a fan of that. I'm in advertising. I'm in a creative field and I have a son.

Normally, kids come to you and say "Let's throw a ball around. Let's go to a game." My son came to me and said "What's global warming? What's environmental irresponsibility?" Sometimes as parents we struggle with figuring out how to invest in activities with our kids and bringing our best selves to that experience. When my son started to gravitate towards comics, he gravitated towards wanting to have a voice, to prove that kids can have a voice. I felt this was a great opportunity to bring those two ideas together.

When he came to me wanting to create a comic, I was all in. It allowed me to channel something I was passionate about when I was his age, as well as fuel something he's passionate about now. It became this mission to not only give him a platform to express himself, but also include other partners in this to show comic books can be platforms for philanthropy and communicating causes. That's really where the premise is. I'm a proud dad trying to help his son live his dream. As kids, we would've loved to have a platform like this and be able to be an independent publisher. We can actually bring these types of things to live.

Him and I co-wrote it. We had the assistance of Dennis Calero. He's kind of a comic book OG. We're able with my own relationships, working with illustrators in my advertising career, to bring really cool people onto this project. It's about a year and a half in the making, but the good thing about it is that we have great characters that have made the process easier because it's my kid and his buddies. It's awesome.

Tim: Is this your first comic convention?

Jaden: Yep.

Joseph: As an exhibitor, yeah. This is my son's on either level. For the last two years, we've been so focused on bringing our own thing to market. It's been amazing. The comic book community fans are so passionate. More so than some other industries. Even outside of sports in some respects. They're just so engaged in the culture of their characters and the titles they follow year round. Watching him and how he responds to this stuff allows me to stay young spirited as well.

Tim: How's that going?

Jaden: It's amazing.

Tim: Can you tell me a little more about Kid Brooklyn?

Jaden: Kid Brooklyn is a comic my dad and I created to show kids, teenagers, and adults how to spread the world about the dangers of climate change, global warming, and pollution. The premise of my comic book is that this alien comes to Earth and gives these kids, who are based on my friends in real life, superpowers to defend Earth from evil aliens.

Tim: Do you friends ask you to put them into the comics?

Jaden: Yeah. I have some friends at school who don't want to be main, but a lot of people who want to be in the background. So I get pictures to show our artist to put them in the background, like somewhere in the lunchroom. They don't want to be a big deal. Just a little easter egg in there.

Tim: The hook for me is the making the world a better place aspect. A lot of superhero comics see destruction as a normal part of life. How did you come to that decision to make yours different.

Jaden: I do like comics from like DC, where it can be dark, but I didn't want to give kids comics that are dark and gritty. Because kids. I really wanted a comic book to give kids hope.

Tim: The first volume supported Green For All. How did you land on that cause?

Jaden: Green For All came to us and asked for an interview. They were excited about me and my causes.

Tim: What other causes do you have lined up?

Jaden: Each volume supports a different cause. One may be sponsored by PETA or against global warming.

Tim: How do you decide on charities?

Joseph: We have a couple of criteria. Education is a big pillar and environment is a big pillar. On the education side, my son started at a public school, but now he has the benefit of going to a STEM-based private school. He's passionate about helping kids in public school have access to STEM-based curriculum. That's one pillar for us. We try to look at and find charities that focus on STEM. We also look at charities that focus on environmental subtrends that he's passionate about like animal cruelty, overfishing, climate change, and providing lower income communities access to clean drinking water.

My son suffers from a rare form of diabetes that makes him thirsty all the time. The only thing my son drink is water. He doesn't drink anything else but water. Every once in awhile, we have to force him to drink milk, but he just drinks water. His brain lacks a hormone to regulate his thirst mechanism, so he's always thirsty. He can't comprehend that there's kids around the world that don't have access to clean water. He's extremely passionate about water purity and water access. The first organization we partnered with was Van Jones' organization Green For All. They have a big initiative around helping families in Flint. When we heard what they were doing, he wanted to make that his first partnership.

Tim: What's your long-term plan for Kid Brooklyn? How many volumes do you see it going?

Jaden: This is Genesis one, which is going to be a trilogy to show how the kids got their powers. It depends how far we go into it. You don't want to keep putting out books if no one is reading it. So we're gonna see how far when the whole first Genesis comes out.

Joseph: Kid Brooklyn: Genesis is a three-part series about how he comes to be Kid Brooklyn. Then we'll move into Kid Brooklyn Chronicles, which will be his adventures. We see this as kind of a title that will grow as Jaden grows and ages. We thought that there's not a lot of titles out there with real characters that age. With Harry Potter, the characters aged as the novels evolved. We kind of see that as something we want to do as well. We think it's important to have a mouthpiece as the premise of the book.

We have plans for other spinoffs. We have plans for other titles. We'll turn some of the kids who are in this kind of avenger force into their own titles, as well. This whole idea of continuing to celebrate kids and make sure they have a platform. We're going to be doing a lot of talks. He'll be going around to different public schools doing talks about different issues. That's the goal, to turn this into Marvel. Kid Brooklyn Comics. Captain America was from Brooklyn. Hopefully Kid Brooklyn will be the next big thing out of Brooklyn in the comic world.

Tim: When DC and Marvel come knocking at your door to hire you, do you have a preference?

Jaden: I read more of DC. It all depends how far it goes. I prefer DC right now, but you never know. My dad says his favorite is vice versa.

Joseph: It's so funny. We have debates about this. I was a big Marvel kid. There was more of an edginess to their characters because they were mutants. A lot of the characters were supernatural beings. Growing up, a lot of the DC characters were regular people. Batman was a regular person. I was drawn to the fantasy factor of Marvel. DC wasn't as dark and edgy. I felt that DC was the more commercial option.

My son actually loves DC. Not that he doesn't like Marvel, but I think Marvel has commercialized itself so much. It's because they've had heroes that have translated better to the big screen, maybe in totality, in aggregate, than DC. He feels DC has become this more underground, edgy type of company. They swapped places. He's got me more into DC. Obviously, I'm more of a Marvel guy, but we would be blessed if either of them knocked on his door.


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About the Author - Tim Midura

Born in the frozen tundra of Massachusetts, Tim Midura has long possessed a love for comic books and records. After stealing the beard of Zeus and inventing the pizza bagel, a much more heavily tattooed and bearded Tim Midura has finally settled in San Diego. He's the world's first comics journalist who doesn't want to become a comics writer. Find him on twitter, facebook or by email.

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