The Black Power Interviews: Nikia, the Pandora

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

My name is Nikia Lynott. I am an Eve, an Anesidora. Americans called me Pandora, from the Greek mythos. I – and my sisters – are descendants of Lilith, Lucy, Mawu.

I am a mystical being, bestowed with magical powers of life and death, good and evil.

So you aren’t human, then?

As a descendant of Lucy, the oldest human on record – an African woman, whose bones were discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 – I am human… but much more.

What makes you much more?

Lilith… Mawu. Have you been listening?

*Clears throat* Apologies.

Accepted. I have been a “superhero all my life. It is the destiny of the Anesidora to protect the world until another takes her place.

And what do you do, then?

We live. We open businesses; we travel the world, clubbing, gambling and drinking ourselves silly; we get married and have children; we save the whales. However we choose to live and enjoy our lives.

So, who were some of your favorite superheroes growing up?

I assume you mean in comic books and other media.

Yes.

Well, as an avid reader of comic books, as well as a fan of superhero cinema and television, I have many, but I really love the independent stuff – there’s more creativity there. Of course, I love the classics, like Brotherman, Urban Shogun and Bayou but I also love the brilliant new works like Ngolo, Jagunjagun Lewa, T.A.S.K. and Dasu.

Wow! You really DO know comic books.

 An Anesidora is not all about saving the world and fighting supervillains.

Speaking of Supervillains… do you have a particular villain who is your nemesis?

Yes! He is called the Black Russian. I despise him. Not because he denies his blackness while claiming Black Pride; not even because he belittles and hate on Black women to justify only dating Caucasian women – he is a hot mess of conflict and contradictions. I REALLY despise Black Russian because he is always trying to kill ME.

Is Black Russian as powerful as you?

Please. I’m Nikia, the Pandora. You’d better ask somebody. Better yet… read about me yourself in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology.

Oh, I already have and your story is amazing. Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology.

Lance Oliver Keeble, resides in Los Angeles, California, where his blue collar experience and diverse exposure helped shape his current style.

In his youth, he dabbled in the arts: stage, music, photography, poetry, scripting, and many other passions.

His current work is Nikia, the Pandora, my story in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology and Globes Disease, the Best Book Awards Finalist in Horror/Fiction.

Thank you, for a great interview, Nikia!

Thank you, for the opportunity. Now, I’m off to save the world again…hopefully, for the last time.

Black Power

The Black Power Interviews: Are You Experienced?

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

Call me Foxy Lady.

The one in the black trench coat, shirt and trousers with the red scarf-bandanna around her lower face is the Red Jaw.

The luchador over there is Mr. Strong.

The woman fidgeting in her seat, dressed in the Buddhist nun’s garb and faceless mask is the Flaming Calm Before the Storm…

Umm… she’s starting to glow… are we in danger of her burning down the place?

Not as long as she keeps moving.

Finally, that ten-foot steel coil over there is Emperor Coil.

Oh, I thought that was one of your weapons.

(Emperor Coil) Hey, watch it with the anti-coil racism!

How is that racist? Coils are not a race.

(Emperor Coil) A racist WOULD say that. Next you’ll be building a wall!

Umm… like the Bata Taun wall at the border of the Canadian-Japanese Union territories?

That would only work if you had a forty-foot tall samurai wolf, like the Canadian-Japanese Union. And to answer your question, my weapons are these two rapiers… this pistol… and these two guitars on his back.

And your incredible powers.

Yeah… those, too. As far as how long I’ve been a superhero… well, for quite a while, but I had gone into retirement and was happy just being a single father when these good people convinced me the world needed me to be much more.

So they inspired you to… wait… you said single father. Don’t you mean single MOTHER… Foxy LADY?

Long story… that you can read in Are You Experienced? my story in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology.

So, who were some of your favorite superheroes growing up?

Were? Those superheroes still exist. In fact, it was those superheroes who caused the collapse… AND who are rebuilding the world and taking it back. I was one of those superheroes.

I meant in comic books. You DO have comic books in your world?

MY world is YOUR world. I’m from a different time, apparently. My grandma used to read comics, though. She mentioned loving some guy called Brotherman… and some series called Jagun Jagun Lewa, or something like that.

Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: A Superhero Anthology.

The Red Jaw can tell you better than I can. She recruited him… and me.

Please, Ms. Jaw… if you will?

(Red Jaw) Alhamdulillah! It would be my honor…

Liberty Blair Charissage is the chronicler of our story – and the story of the resurrection of Foxy Lady – in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology. He is a fan of obscure, weird fiction, surrealist films, and psychedelic 60’s music. He has been telling stories since he was three, and started writing when he was thirteen. He attends university in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Thank you all, for a great interview!

(Mr. Strong) Hold up! I didn’t get to say anything. (the Flaming Calm Before the Storm) Me either!

(Emperor Coil) See. Racist!

Umm… apologies. What would you like to say?

(Mr. Strong and the Flaming Calm Before the Storm) Goodbye!

*Sigh* Goodbye! And Goodbye, dear reader. Check back tomorrow for more Black Power Interviews!

The Black Power Interviews: Ghost

Who are you? How long have you been a superhero?

My name is Malik. My last name isn’t important. I have been what you would call a superhero since I acquired the Ghost tech.

You wouldn’t call yourself a superhero?

I would call myself a survivor… and sensible. Running around in a cape and a g-string isn’t sensible and will probably get a fool killed, too.

What is the difference between a superhero and a vigilante?

A superhero is crazy as batshit. A vigilante is crazy as batshit and mad as batshit on your sharkskin suit.

DO Black Heroes Matter? If so, why?

Of course, they do. Why? Because our heroes define our values. Without them, we don’t value much… not even our lives.

What do you think about the current mainstream interest in Black characters in comic books?

It’s about time folks recognized how dope Black people are; especially us. Of course, mainstream interests are fickle, so longevity is with the independent Black comic book creators.

Who were some of your favorite heroes growing up?

Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Buck, from that old Buck and the Preacher movie.

What about superheroes?

I really dig Luke Cage. He reminds me of my best friend Bryce – big, black, strong, smart and a ladies’ man.

You’re NOT a ladies’ man?

I’m a family man.

That’s admirable! Any other favorite superheroes?

I really like Brotherman. His only powers are his wits, his determination and his love for his people, but that’s enough to change the world and to ensure that “everything’s gonna be alright.”

Tell us a bit about the chronicler of your adventures in BLACK POWER: The Superhero Anthology.

I allowed this brother named Milton Davis to tell my story, which is entitled Ghost. I gave that allowance because Davis is a scientist, like some folks very close to me. I agreed to let the story be told in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology because the anthology is cutting edge, like my tech.

What is so cutting edge about the anthology?

First, and foremost, all the stories are about Black superheroes, which you rarely see much of. Yes, we are often the sidekick, or the advisor to the white hero, but rarely are we the hero ourselves.

Second, the stories in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology are not your typical cookie-cutter “spandex” stories. They are original, bold and deal with current issues without being preachy, or corny as hell.

Tell us more about Mr. Davis.

Milton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. Milton is the author of ten novels; his most recent is the Steamfunk adventure From Here to Timbuktu. He is the editor and co-editor of seven anthologies; The City,  Dark Universe with Gene Peterson; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griots: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; and The Ki Khanga Anthology , the Steamfunk! anthology, and the Dieselfunk anthology with Balogun Ojetade. MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade and Abegoni: First Calling by Sword and Soul creator and icon Charles R. Saunders.

Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

So what powers does your tech provide you with? What can you… Malik? Malik, where are you? Malik!

Umm…I guess this concludes this session. Check back tomorrow as we continue the Black Power Interviews.

Black Power: The Superhero Anthology is available NOW!

This groundbreaking anthology brings together twenty authors to craft original short superhero stories.

Black Power: The Superhero Anthology offers BANG-POW-THOOM action, searing satire, and thoughtful social commentary from a people too often overlooked in mainstream comic books and heroic cinema and television.

The superheroes in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology come from all walks of life. Some have superpowers that make them something more, or less, than human, but others face a dangerous world with only their wits and willpower to aid them. Some of the heroes fight against racism, sexism, gang violence and police brutality. Others combat evil on a cosmic scale. ALL of the stories are entertaining and enlightening.

Black Heroes Matter. Read Black Power: The Superhero Anthology and find out just how much!

Black Power

NGOLO: The Graphic Novel Is Coming!

In 2014, authors Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis joined forces to create the near-future Afrikan Martial Arts screenplay, Ngolo. That screenplay went on to win Best Screenplay at the 2014 Urban Action Showcase competition in New York.

Today, we are happy to announce that MVmedia, Roaring Lions Productions (Atlanta, GA) and Pedastudio Ltd. (Lagos, Nigeria) are joining forces to produce the Ngolo graphic novel!

We will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce this exciting book that will also act as the storyboards for the Ngolo movie, which will go into production later this year.

Stay tuned for more details!

Here’s a sneak peek, courtesy of Milton Davis, Peter Daniel and Balogun Ojetade:

Ngolo

Ngolo

NubiaOne Fest Rises this summer as Blacktasticon (SOBSFCon) satellite!

The Co-Chairs of Blacktasticon (SOBSFCon) have decided to present Blacktasticon every two years, so the next convention will be in the summer of 2018.

Bummed out? Cheer up…NubiaOne Fest is coming THIS June 17th and it is guaranteed to be hotter than fish grease!

NubiaOne is the next level of Black Speculative Fiction – a multi-media platform focusing on the development and distribution of Black Speculative Fiction entertainment. The platform consists of various social media sites, including the NubiaOne Channel, which will soon feature original short and feature films and webseries.

NubiaOne has partnered with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History to bring you a full day of Black Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror created by – and about – heroes and sheroes of Afrikan descent.

NubiaOne Fest features dynamic, educational, entertaining and interactive panel discussions and workshops, an art exhibit, cosplay photoshoot sessions, and vendors of comic books, novels, Afrikan artifacts and maybe even gourmet pot pie, vegan chocolate cake and other goodies.

More details coming soon.

Don’t miss it!

NubiaOne Fest

A Sneak Peek at the Ki Khanga Custom Playing Card Deck!

With the release of Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game in about a month, the custom cards will release shortly thereafter.

Here is a sneak peek. The artwork – by James Eugene – is stunning!

These custom cards are sure to enhance your Ki Khanga gaming sessions AND your Spades, Solitaire, Go Fish, Poker and Pitty-Pat games, too.

Ki Khanga Cards

 

The Father of Sword and Soul Speaks: Ki Khanga: Always Something New Out of Africa

Charles R. Saunders, the Father of Sword and Soul and the man who coined the term, chimes in on Ki Khanga.
Read on, and enjoy!

Diversity is the watchword for the Africa of the world we know. In terms of differences in climate, culture and creativity, the continent that gave birth to humanity is beyond compare. Language alone is one example: more than 700 distinct tongues are spoken in Africa. And there is more genetic variation among the African people than there is anywhere else in the world.
It is no wonder, then, that such a place can serve as a nexus for the literature of the imagination – a foundation upon which new additions to the already vast history and mythology that thrived in Africa during pre-colonial times can be built.
Ki-Khanga is one of those additions.
Ki-Khanga is an Africa that could have been, located in a world that might have been. Sprung from the fertile minds of Milton J. Davis and Balogun Ojetade, Ki-Khanga is a place of magic and mystery, heroism and horror, spears and seduction. It is a place roiled by the long-reaching repercussions of an ancient feud between pre-human races and the subsequent wrath of an affronted deity. Not only does magic work in Ki-Khanga – magic defines Ki-Khanga, in more ways than one.
Conceived originally as the setting for a forthcoming role-playing game, Ki-Khanga provides fertile ground for Sword and Soul fiction as well. Together, Milton and Balogun have spun a series of fantasy tales for this book that do full justice to the alternate Africa they’ve created. The stories take place in a wide range of cultural backgrounds that both mirror and diverge from those in the Africa of our world’s past, from Khem (Egypt) to Oyo to Zimbabwe. Creatures from both African folklore and the authors’ fertile imaginations abound.
The human characters populating Ki-Khanga are memorable as well. In the stories in this book, you will meet the likes of Nubia, a vengeful warrior-woman; Adjoa and Kwadjo, a pair of royal twins who vie for their father’s throne; the Old Hunter, who protects his homeland from arcane threats; Kiro, a fisherman who is more than he appears to be; Shaigu and Pandare, a team of reluctant assassins; Timneet, a sorceress and patient mentor; Akhu, an inventor and animal-trainer extraordinaire; Edfu, a foppish noble who must defend a fortress against a mystical threat; Anju, a prince who lives in the shadow of a dire prophecy; Akinah, a king’s daughter who is also a sorceress; Omolewa, a resourceful young woman with a ferret and a secret; Zaakah, a tattooed woman who is a potent user of magic; Omari Ket, a mercenary warrior who squeezes out of scrapes he just can’t seem to avoid getting into …
This anthology is more than just an introduction to the wonders of Ki-Khanga; it’s an immersion.
With the breadth and depth of their new and different Africa and its inhabitants, Milton and Balogun have accomplished a significant feat of world-building and character-creation. It is a milestone in the continuing evolution of Sword and Soul.
There are twelve days left for you to help make history as we give the world its very first Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game!
Ki Khanga
Ki Khanga
Ki Khanga

9 Reasons YOU (and Your Children) Should Play Ki Khanga

Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game is a table top role-playing game.

Yeah, I know, tabletop RPGs have long been associated with nerdy teenage boys huddled around a table in someone’s mother’s basement living out their fantasies of being the hero. This image – along with a renewed interest in role-playing games among our youth – has been renewed with the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things. This love letter to the ‘80s horror and science fiction pop culture that captivated a generation is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young, nerdy boy vanishes into thin air after playing a tabletop role-playing game with his nerdy friends and fellow gamers, who – along with the boy’s family and a few others – become the heroes of the story. As they search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. All the while, the children rely on strategies and principles they learned from playing the tabletop role-playing game.

Ki KhangaWhile so-called nerds – and self-proclaimed “blerds” (“Black nerds”) – DO play tabletop AND MMO-RPGs (role-playing games), Ki Khanga has something for everyone. In fact, here are 9 reasons why YOU – and certainly any tween or teen you know – should play Ki Khanga:

1. You Get to Be the Hero of the Story

Ki Khanga, similar to, but even more so than, video games, gives you the chance to be the hero. What happens throughout the game is largely up to the players, who all have an equal chance to “save the day.” Or, if being a hero doesn’t appeal to you, playing a villain or playing an anti-hero is also acceptable.

You can be anybody you want to be; YOU have a lot of freedom when it comes to creating your character. Unlike many games that limit you to a certain character class, Ki Khanga; The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game gives you complete control of who your character is.

2. Stress Relief

In Ki Khanga you can experience anything from one on one bar brawls, to solving an ancient mystery, to battles of epic proportions. Nothing is more satisfying – or more stress relieving – than hearing the Griot (the Game Master) describe how you met an enemy, or an obstacle, and you overcame it.

3. The Sense of Camaraderie You Develop

A group of three or more people is required to play Ki Khanga – one person to be the Griot, and then, at the very least, two people to play. Since the average campaign lasts months, if not years in some cases, you tend to build a bond with the people you play with, both in, and out of game. As you defeat wicked sorcerers, hoard enchanted treasure, and train your skills and abilities to a razor’s edge, you start to develop a strong camaraderie between yourself and the other players.

4. You Learn to Work Together

True to the universal African principle of success through cooperation and community, Ki Khanga is a cooperative game. In order to excel you have to work with the rest of your party to accomplish goals and overcome adversity. Ki Khanga provides no space for any one person to hog the spotlight and act alone. Learning to work effectively with others in a Ki Khanga environment is a good way to foster transferable, real-life skills that are easily applied to situations in your everyday life.

5. You Learn to Solve Problems

After you have learned to work together you need to learn to solve problems. Ki Khanga is a thinking man and woman’s game. You are often presented with challenging scenarios and have to come up with solutions given the resources at your immediate disposal. Solving these problems within the parameters of Ki Khanga is a lot of fun. Most Ki Khanga adventures enforce the idea that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem, and that you should not always take the predicable course of action.

6. Learn Practical Applications for Math

Ki KhangaKi Khanga involves some mathematics. But do not worry; it all makes sense in the context of the game. Every action that requires the playing of cards is an extension of a probability matrix. Every time you attack with your sword and play one or more cards to determine whether you hit your opponent or not, you are testing the probability and statistical likelihood of hitting the opponent. When you decide to take one weapon over another because it has a better attack modifier you are thinking about probability and statistics. Every time you are in battle and you determine the size of your fireball blast and who is affected or not because of cover, you are applying the basics of geometry. The math is not in your face, but it IS there. Players will often number crunch to create the most optimized character – another in-game application of math.

Playing role-playing games, and especially creating adventures, developed my love for math and greatly improved my math skills. Math could actually be used to have fun? Once I realized every game uses math to some degree, math became my second favorite subject in school, after Creative Writing.

7. It Stretches Your Imagination

Ki KhangaAlthough I have never actually seen a joka – a dragon – or slain a tokoloshe, I can picture what each creature looks like with incredibly accuracy. During a Ki Khanga game the Griot describes the setting, the supporting characters and the events and it is up to the players to fully imagine what these things look like. A friend of mine often refers to playing Ki Khanga as Theater of the Mind. The more detailed the description,s the easier it is to picture in your mind exactly what the situation looks like. Today there are video games that present most of the visual elements for you, but Ki Khanga has always been – and will always be – played in the imagination of the people.

8. You Learn to Love Research

Ki KhangaKi Khanga Co-Creator, Milton Davis and I have taken it upon ourselves to make Ki Khanga: The Sword And Soul Role-Playing Game as cool as possible. To make Ki Khanga more interesting we have done extensive research on African history, politics, geography, sociology, folklore, theology, architecture and warfare. When was the last time YOU read a book or encyclope because you wanted to and not because you were doing an assignment for some class? My love for Ki Khanga has motivated me to visit museums and art galleries. I have grown much more cultured and educated in the process of fact-finding for Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game.

9. To Have Fun

Ki KhangaNo matter what your reason(s) for playing Ki Khanga, HAVING FUN should be somewhere at the top of the list. After all, Ki Khanga IS a game. It may not be the kind of game that has winners and losers – which makes it even COOLER – but it is still a game; a game that will provide you…and your children…and your children’s children a lifetime of ever-increasing enjoyment.

 

We have reached our 2nd Stretch Goal with our crowd-funding efforts for Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game and are now racing toward the 3rd Stretch Goal. With YOUR help, we will get there in no time.

Get ready for YOUR adventure in Ki Khanga to begin!

 

Custom Ki Khanga Cards Coming! Choose YOUR Favorite Card!

Ki KhangaThank you, to each and every one of you for deciding to join our journey to Ki Khanga!

We are less than $200 dollars from those custom playing cards for this exciting game!

Excitement over the cards has led to much discussion about playing cards as of late.

Playing cards, used for games and magic, are so familiar, and so beloved, yet we know very little about the way we perceive and think about them. Are some cards more memorable than others? Are some easier to identify?

Recently, a study was conducted that tested if some playing cards are easier to spot than others.

Ki KhangaNinety-six students were shown visual streams of 26 playing cards on a computer, each displayed for a tenth of a second, and they had to say if a certain target card was present in the stream or not. The students detected the Ace of Spades more easily than any other card, and they detected Aces in general more easily than other cards – probably because of their simple, distinct pattern.

Surprisingly, face cards – Jacks, Queens, Kings and Jokers – were no easier to spot than number cards, despite being more distinctive. Another curious finding was the students’ particular tendency to say the two red sixes (Six of Hearts and Six of Diamonds) were present when they were not. It is not clear why.

Ki KhangaTo test how memorable particular cards are, another study was done. The students saw a stream of cards, each displayed for a quarter of a second, and then they were asked to say whether a particular card had been in the stream or not. Again, the Ace of Spades especially, and all Aces to a lesser extent, were more memorable than other cards.

What about likeability? Students were shown pairs of cards and in each case had to say which they preferred. Regarding numerical value, the participants liked the highest (10) and lowest (2) cards the most. And they had a tendency to prefer Spades and Hearts over Clubs and Diamonds – maybe because of their rank in games, or their curved shape. Two cards were especially popular – the Ace of Hearts and the King of Hearts. There was also a gender difference in taste. Men tended to prefer higher value cards and women to prefer lower value cards.

Ki KhangaFinally, the researchers looked at the verbal and visual accessibility of cards. To do this they asked a new batch of hundreds of students to “Name a playing card” or to “Visualize a playing card” and then say which it was. There was a strong bias for naming the Ace of Spades, followed by the Queen of Hearts and then other high-ranking cards. When participants chose a number card, there was a bias for naming 3s and 7s the most and 6s the least (a phenomenon well known by magicians). Overall, cards from the Spades and Hearts were named more than the other two suits. There was a gender difference again: men tended to name the Queen of Hearts more than women, and women more often named the King of Hearts than men. These same results were pretty much repeated when participants were asked to visualize a card before naming it.

Which playing card do YOU like best?

When you play Ki Khanga: The Sword and Soul Role-Playing Game, will you play with a standard deck of playing cards, or with the custom Ki Khanga playing cards?

Ki Khanga