Yes, yes, y’all! Nothing better than finding that hot new mixtape or that comic on Kickstarter that looks like fire. This is about the latter (but if you know a hot new mixtape let me know, fam – I need some new music) as Purge is coming back to bring an encore performance of Black excellence on panels.

Does the name sound familiar? Purge began in the 90s as one of the building blocks of the Black indie comics movement and sold over 20,000 copies. It’s set to return now in Purge: Past Unspoken being funded through Kickstarter, meaning not only can you reserve your copy now, but take a small part in bringing more exposure to Black heroes and creators.

Check out this USA Today headline from 1993. It makes me think of how far representation and diversity has come over the past 2 decades – from publishers like Milestone and their recent return, to the wonderfully diverse cast of CW’s The Flash – but it’s also strikingly familiar. After over twenty years, would that headline seem surprising if it were published today? When it comes to diversity, the comics industry – and media at large – is still in the midst of a conversation that should be over.

USA Today Article

Yet with the sales and rising popularity of Black leads in both nerddom and mainstream TV and movies, that conversation becomes less empty talk and more actual progress and action. My favorite thing about Kickstarter is being a clear and direct means to prove an audience exists for unique and creative properties. Even more profound is fans willing to front the money before the product even exists, simply in hope that their small contribution will collect along with likeminded others’ and bring to life exactly the project they want. In many ways, crowd sourcing is one of the purest ways of learning what’s “marketable,” and I hope the answers continue to change the entertainment industry.

When it comes to Purge, readers can expect an open and intentional delve into certain themes. Take it from creator Roosevelt Pitt:

[quote_simple]”There are many that have asked, ‘Do you always have to be so serious about why you create? Shouldn’t it be for fun?’ My answer has always been the same for over twenty plus years: fun is always a crucial component of why I do what I do, but not the foundation; responsibility is. As creators we are all responsible for our creations and the negative or positive influences they have on those around us.”[/quote_simple]

And that’s a message that is pretty resonant for many. Purge is meant to be a vehicle of awareness, openly offering social commentary as it helps inform ideals around what a hero should or can be.

The creative team behind the title carries a lot of weight, including Mshindo Kuumba and Larry Stroman. The two boast over sixty years of experience, working for numerous mainstream companies as well as building their foundation as entrepreneurs and humanitarians in their communities.

Purge 1

Purge 2

Purge: Past Unspoken is going to be a 64-page graphic novel, and one you should be proud to support. Take it from a few backers who have already added their financial support:

[quote_simple]“This is an amazing project, and I’m excited to be on board. Kudos for such a compelling vision.” -Jomo D. M. Greenidge[/quote_simple]

[quote_simple]“Blown away by the promise of what’s to come. Looking forward to this.” -Ramel Rocket-Man Hill[/quote_simple]

Support Purge: Past Unspoken by going to their Kickstarter page here. You can see more art samples, browse their rewards, and see a full breakdown of what your money goes to finance. Nickelodeon isn’t the only one bringing the 90’s back – Purge is coming, too. Be part of its return.

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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