I had a invite to a cool HipHop & Comics event at contemporary art gallery Wall Works NY in the Bronx. Now you know this is right up my alley so I had to come through and represent.
The HipHop And Comics art gallery was curated by Patrick Reed and it showcases the works and creators who have combined the elements of comics and HipHop cultures in their art. From the classic early works to the next generation of artist that continue to push the craft forward.
Artwork by HipHop and Comic pioneers/legends, Eric Orr and Andre Leroy Davis were on display at the event, I also saw my dude N.Steven Harris in the building. He had some of his pieces on display too. Check out the gallery below to see what you missed! It was a dope event!
Notes from the Curator:
Comics and comic culture have been a notable influence on Hip-Hop culture
since its earliest days, as graffiti writers, dancers, DJs and MCs assumed largerthan-life
alter-egos and artists worked to create the most colorful and thrilling
images imaginable, drawing inspiration from the media that excited them:
comics, Saturday morning cartoons, kung fu and action movies, fantasy and
science fiction. It took comics bit longer to repay the attention, but once the “rap”
and “breakdance” craze hit in the mid-80s, it was open season on Hip-Hop—
publishers tried to connect with their audience by incorporating these new forms
into their stories, and characters suddenly became rappers, DJs and B-Boys,
while graffiti and murals appeared in the background of pivotal scenes.
In the years since, the two cultures have become ever more closely entwined,
even as they gained mainstream acceptance and critical respect—comics
became not just “cool”, but ubiquitous, acclaimed for artistry while also spawning
blockbuster film series and innumerable adaptations in other media. Likewise,
Hip-Hop has gone from the underground to the inescapable, the sounds and
styles of the culture infiltrating every aspect of modern media.
It makes sense that comics and Hi-Hop would share this kinship, as both are
hybrid forms, built on the combination of elements: words and pictures, beats and
rhymes, empty spaces and paint, dance and martial arts and cartoons and
fashion and nearly everything else get thrown into the mix, and emerge as
something totally unique and new.
And beyond that, both cultures are often misunderstood and misrepresents,
boiled down to their single, most visible aspect, without understanding all the
elements that encompass. Hip-Hop isn’t just tap music; its street art, DJ-ing,
dance, design, style, attitude. Its records and images and stories and feelings.
Likewise, the world of comics is hardly just comic books: its also comic strips,
anime, cartoons, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, horror, video games and a million other
things that spark and inspire the imagination.
This is a small sampling of the works and creators who have combined these two
cultures in their work, and the media that has ensued over the past five decades
and those that continue to push it forward, on and on, ‘til the break of dawn and
– Patrick A. Reed
Totally Rad Illustration by Jay Reed
One of our favorite Designer/illustrators Jay Reed recently dropped a dope BMX inspired illustration called “Totally Rad” on his IG page!. It’s a modern day take on the classic RAD movie poster. Jay Kept the font similar to the original but this time he has a kid doing a tail whip with some cool graphics in the background.
This joint had us hyped!! Hopefully Jay will be doing more dope BMX pieces! You can follow his IG below
Raleigh Nelson Vails Inspired “Teaba”, Frame Art By Zephyr
We’re loving this new Nelson Vails inspired fixed gear/single speed complete called “Teaba” by Raleigh.
“Designed for street riding and track racing, the Teaba is a fixed gear single speed steel bike with higher-end componentry for serious riders. This bike boasts a lightweight alloy frame, carbon fork, FSA stem and seat post, and fixed free capabilities (to run as a single speed or fixed gear), as well as removable brake hardware/cable guides for a clean, finished look. The Teaba comes with bullhorn pursuit bars and toe clips (for legal racing), an extra set of riser bars to swap out for riding around town, and extra brake levers and grips.”
“The Teaba was inspired by Nelson Vails—the first African-American cyclist to win an Olympic Medal in cycling. Created by Raleigh in collaboration with Nelson and his best friend, famous graffiti artist, Zephyr, the Teaba’s story actually takes place before Nelson’s Olympic days when he rode fixed gear bikes as a messenger in NYC.”
“The frame features unique top tube art and meaningful original illustrations by Zephyr including Nelson’s signature Converse Chuck Taylor Hi Tops, an iconic dime (what Nelson used to call his messenger service for the location of his next job), the flags of the Checkered Cab (onto which Nelson grabbed bumpers to catch rides), the notorious TOGA bike shop (where messengers hung out), and Cat’s Paw Hill in Central Park (where Nelson and the crew met to ride and skate), among others.”
Below is a series of video Raleigh produced featuring Nelson Vails and Zephr talking about the Teba and their early days in NYC
Kid Carvers & The Backyard Bike Bandits
133art released the cover to volume #2 of the their comic book series Kid Carvers & The Backyard Bike Bandits and had to share it with you!! We got the co-creator of the comic, Jason Reeves of 133art to let us know all about it!
“So Kid Carvers, named for one of Black history’s great polymaths Gorge Washington Carver, is our contribution to the Black Speculative Fiction movement. It is first, an all-ages action adventure about genius twins Marley & Charlie Carver, who in the wake of a rash of bike thefts in the neighborhood decide to take matters into their own hands, and solve these crimes. The become junior detectives, using their brilliant minds and gadgets to unravel the mystery of the Backyard Bike bandits. Its a childhood romp through the city of New Orleans(where I’m from), that’s one part Goonies, one part Scooby-Doo, last part Doctor Who.”
“At the same time, Kid Carvers is our statement to the masses, Black kids and kids of color can be their own heroes, they are brilliant, and when they put their heads together they can solve the problems that challenge us. Doing a ton of conventions in the past few years, we saw that there were few, if any, all-ages books that the kids could take home with them. As much as we love our rated pg-13 and mature style comics, having to tell parents that maybe this book or that was a little too old for their little ones, was a problem for us. Alverne and I remember being inspired to create from the comics we got to take home and consume as kids and we wanted to provide that. So we set out to fill that need as we saw it, and Kid Carvers was born.”
“In issue #2 (which dropps Saturday Feb. 17, 2018 at Black Comix Day in San Diego:
the twins are deep into their investigation and we introduce a few new mysterious characters, like Dr. Lance Beaudrox. The twins’ is the prime suspect and owner of Beaudrox’s Bike Shop. And we also get to flashback to a New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, when all the kids including Joe Carver (the twins’ Dad) raced their bikes in the Crescent City Cross!”
Pre Order your copy of Kid Carvers & The Backyard Bandits HERE