Magazine article Black Enterprise

Betting on 'Blak': Comic Book Creators Hope Their Hip-Bop Superhero Becomes a Hit

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Betting on 'Blak': Comic Book Creators Hope Their Hip-Bop Superhero Becomes a Hit

Article excerpt

Flipping through his art portfolio one day, Mark Davis inadvertently introduced a concept that would take Imajimation Studios--the startup animation business where he worked as an illustrator--to the next level. The characters he sketched donned baggy jeans, do-rags, and gold medallions. Mark called them "the heads on the block."

The studio's chairman, who had been peeking over Mark's shoulder, was impressed. He wanted to see more. The Blokhedz comic book was soon born, and now a Blokhedz animated feature film is in production.

Los Angeles-based Imajimation Studios, which began creating animated spots for UPN, Adidas, BET, and R&B singer Toni Braxton in June 2000, launched Street Legends Ink, its publishing and toy division, in December 2003. "We had these high-profile clients but we really came into the business to have our own original property out there--our Donald Duck, our Mickey Mouse," says Brandon Schultz, 31, president of the company. "That's where Blokhedz came in."

Blokhedz is the story of Blak, a project-dwelling aspiring rapper who finds out he has a supernatural power to control people with his rhymes. The same company that distributes comic book giants Spider-Man and Batman, Diamond Comic Distributors Inc., distributes Blokhedz.

Shultz and his father, Michael Schultz--director of Car Wash, and Cooley High,--started Imajimation with two friends and about $30,000 from the older Schultz. They bought a couple of Macintosh computers, set up an animation table in a small Santa Monica, California, office, and began working.

Mark, 29, quickly joined Shultz's operation and soon after, his twin brother and Blokhedz co-creator Mike, began working with them, too. They all knew each other from attending college in Atlanta, where the twins constantly drew in sketchbooks at Morris Brown and Shultz wrote screenplays at Morehouse. …

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