Interview With The First African-American Writer And Editor In Comics Part 2

In 1985 at the age of 24 Christopher Priest (aka James Owsley) became the editor of the Spider-Man lines of comics for Marvel. Not only did he become the youngest editor ever he also became the first black editor and writer of comics.

February was Black History Month and children everywhere in the US were learning about the important contributions of African-Americans in American History. They will be taught that Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player and that Barack Obama was the first black President of the United States. But will those same students ever hear the name Christopher Priest?

Like most Americans you have probably never heard the name Christopher Priest but in a time where comic books are influencing movies, TV shows, video games, and every day life that is a glaring ommission that needs to be corrected.

In 1985 Christopher Priest (then James Owsley) was given the editorial reigns of the entire Spider-Man line of comics for Marvel Comics which he guided for several years. This made him at the age of 24, not only the youngest editor ever in the history of comics, but also the first African-American editor and then writer not only for Marvel Comics but the first for any comics company. He would then later move over to DC in 1990 to become the first African-American editor and writer for DC Comics.

In his almost 30 years in the business Christopher Priest has written and influenced the direction of almost every major character for both Marvel and DC comics. For example, many of the basic elements of the movie Batman Begins were based upon stories that he wrote. He has also created his own creator-owned works such as Quantum and Woody and helped write the Bible for DC Comics' Milestone Media line geared towards the African-American community.

Today the man has moved away from New York City, the hub of comics production, and lives in Colorado. He is an ordained minister and spends his time tending to his congregation and pursuing his love of producing music, photography, and doing the occasional writing job.

He rarely gives interviews with the public but The Dollar Bin was given the opportunity to sit down for a 2-part interview that lasted over three hours and covered over 30 years of comics history.


Categories: Books

Tags: christopher priest, dc comics, impact comics, james owsley, marvel comics, milestone media


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Joel Mangrum
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