SEQUENTIAL ART: THE NEXT STEP was a first of its kind traveling exhibit spotlighting the contributions of African Americans to mainstream comic book art and popular culture.  It was created and curated by yours truly (Rob Stull) in 1994.  The exhibit’s mission was to increase the understanding, appreciation and awareness of sequential art.  The secondary aspect was to empower people of all ages and races, by bringing attention to the fact that talented artists of color not only work on characters like Batman, Spider-Man, JLA and the X-Men, but we also create, write, illustrate, produce and publish our own properties as well.  The Next Step debuted at The FESTIVAL OF CARTOON ART in 1995; an event organized by Ohio State University’s Cartoon, Graphic and Photographic Arts Research Library, which is the world’s largest archive of original cartoon art.  1995 marked the centennial celebration of the American comic strip and my exhibit featured the first ever gathering of comic book artists in the history of the festival.  From that beginning, The Next Step was featured at The NATIONAL CENTER OF AFRO-AMERICAN ARTISTS in Boston, The WORDS AND PICTURES MUSEUM in Northampton, MA, The AFRO-AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER in Charlotte, NC and The TUBMAN MUSEUM in Macon, GA.  The exhibit traveled for a total of ten years and showcased over one hundred works of art by both independent and mainstream contemporary African American comic book artists.

Credit is given where it is due to anyone who ever participated or supported.  The Next Step IS Black History.  You were all a part of it.  And for that, I thank you…

Dawud AnyabwileDarryl BanksEric Battle,  Gloretta BaynesJeff BruceStanford CarpenterLucy Caswell,  Chris CrossSaid Dabinga, Malcolm DavisShelton Drum,  William H. Foster III,  Barry Gaither,  Keron GrantGreyN Steven Harris,  Harry Harrison,  Don Hillsman,  Jamal Igle,  Georges Jeanty, Hannibal KingMshindo Kuumba 1,  Ken Lashley,  Tonia Magras,  Walter McDanielMark MoralesJason PearsonFiona Russell,  Alex Simmons,   Louis Small Jr,  JD Smith,  Jeff Smith,  Brian StelfreezeLarry StromanBettye Stull,  Dexter VinesKaren Holmes Ward,  The Afro-American Cultural Center,  The National Center of Afro-American ArtistsCity Line (WCVB-TV),  The Boston Globe,  Heroes Convention,  King Arts Complex,  Ohio State University,  PBS (WGBH-TV),  The Tubman Museum and The Words and Pictures Museum.

Rest In Power to fallen soldiers Tom Feelings and Steven Hughes



(left to right) Hannibal King, Alex Simmons, Mark Morales, the late Steven Hughes, Grey and Jamal Igle (front) Louis Small Jr and Rob Stull (at The Words and Pictures Museum in 1998)

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  1. – this Next Step Photo brings back memories of good friends up north – You, Hannibal and Louis _ somewhat know Mark, I knew Steven. Alex looks familial but I am pretty sure I never met the Ingles.
    I was having a chat with someone about publishers that don’t pay or never return your artwork. And I mentioned Said (I believe his label was red Scorpion or Scorpious?) so decided to do a google search and see what happened to him This photo came up so maybe you mentioned him at some point in your blog.
    Last time I saw him is when he and 2 of his buddies came over to my table at a Boston show and threatened me. Apparently he was upset that I was upset about not getting paid and/or getting some artwork back and then mentioned it to some teen who came over mwhile chatting to my Table-mate Jordan Raskin and asked who he should show his stuff too and which publishers were good and were looking for artists etc.
    I keep seeing your posts and it looks like your doing awesome brother! Keep it up

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