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May 2009


Jan 2015




Tucked away in the cultural melting pot of a section of upper Manhattan,‭ ‬Harlem,‭ ‬NY grew an amazing comic show called The Schonberg Black Festival,‭ ‬located on‭ ‬515‭ ‬Malcolm X Blvd,‭ ‬New York,‭ ‬NY‭ ‬10037.‭ ‬It was not just the show that drew the masses but the work of many artists.‭  ‬One caught our eyes,‭ ‬the work of a younger,‭ ‬driven‭ ‬artist/writer/creator and‭ ‬entrepreneur‭ ‬-‭ ‬one Nigel Carrington‭; ‬owner of his adventure series Ant Hill.‭ ‬He is the focus of this month‭’‬s artist spotlight:‭ ‬Talent on the rise‭!‬:‭ ‬This month‭’‬s Artist on the rise spotlight‭!  ‬Originally born on the beautiful‭ ‬island of Trinidad,‭ ‬this landscape became a‭ ‬haven for creativity and cultural richness.‭  ‬This little island is tucked away in the heart of the West Indies,‭ ‬just off the coast of Venezuela,‭ ‬in the heart of the Caribbean.‭ ‬ From the beautiful country side,‭ ‬to the gorgeous hues of the sun lit coast,‭ ‬art,‭ ‬in all of‭ ‬its splendor,‭ ‬was virtually within reach.‭ ‬

Coming from a long,‭ ‬artistic lineage,‭ ‬his grandfather was a master architect in charge of a‭ ‬housing development in Trinidad.‭ ‬ Carrington‭’‬s‭ ‬father was an‭ ‬insurance salesmen and‭ ‬musical artist that‭ ‬played the‭ ‬steel pan‭ (‬Trinidad‭’‬s nation instrument‭)‬.‭   ‬His mother was an assistant accountant for the government as well as an artist who painted portraits.‭  ‬Carrington‭’‬s‭ ‬artistic connections don‭’‬t just ends there,‭ ‬he also had uncles,‭ ‬brothers and sisters‭ ‬who were‭ ‬into art,‭ ‬fashion and make-up.‭  ‬But Nigel‭’‬s‭’‬ own artistic abilities began when he was very young‭ ‬-‭ ‬about five years old while he was growing up in St.James,‭ ‬Trinidad.‭ ‬ Nigel recalls how he and his older brother,‭ ‬Nicholas,‭ ‬would take tracing paper and trace over the drawings in their coloring books.‭  “‬I learned to draw freehand at the age of‭ ‬13,‭”‬ Carrington recalls.‭ “‬While visiting my grandmother,‭ ‬I asked my artist uncle to draw a picture of actor‭ ‬Kevin Costner,‭ ‬who played Robin Hood,‭ ‬and he told me he was extremely busy at the time,‭ ‬so I drew it myself.‭ ‬Then at the age of‭ ‬16,‭ ‬when I fell in love with Japanese‭’‬s animation and comics,‭ ‬I started drawing from my imagination.‭”‬

This was Nigel‭’‬s first move into what would shape up to be a strong,‭ ‬independent comic breakout‭!  ‬Nigel is no newcomer to the independent comic book world‭!  ‬He has worked for‭ ‬three different comic companies‭!  ‬The first company was based in his homeland of Trinidad,‭ ‬called Cape Comic.‭ ‬Here he wrote and illustrated his self-‭ ‬titled‭ “‬Ant Hill,‭”‬ along with two other titles owned by Cape Comics‭;‬ “The Truth Amongst The Bones‭”‬ and‭ ‬“The Ananci.‭”‬  Next he worked on a story for another independent company called Electro-arc Comics where he drew the back story for a book called,‭ “‬Terror of The Midnight Robber.‭”‬ Besides drawing the back story he also provided‭ ‬some pin up artwork for that title‭ (‬which can be purchased‭ @‬‭)‬.‭

The third independent company was one based in NY called Super Ink Comics.‭  ‬He did a couple of‭ ‬yet to be published covers for them.‭   ‬This was the point where Nigel decided to branch out on his own and form Starr Skills Studios out of Rochester,‭ ‬NY where he now resides.‭ ‬This is where he developed‭ “‬ G.U.N‭”‬ Genetically Upgraded Nano-Being‭ (‬One of his newer titles‭)‬.‭  ‬Along with‭ “‬G.U.N.‭”‬ Nigel‭ ‬re-introduced his smash hit‭ ‬title,‭ “‬Ant Hill‭!”‬   “Ant Hill is a story based on a‭ ‬secret government project built in a‭ ‬space station called‭ ‬“The Hill.‭”‬ Here,‭ ‬“The Hill‭”‬ emits a force‭ ‬field around the earth and is filled with ant-soldiers to protect it from grasshopper aliens called the Acrididae.‭  ‬This brings us to our super powered being,‭  ‬Fhoalan Beckles aka Ant-78‭ ‬who,‭ ‬at an early age,‭ ‬witnessed the death of his mother leaving him‭ ‬alone‭ ‬to take care of his younger brother alone.‭  ‬It isn‭’‬t until later he finds out that he is,‭ ‬in fact,‭ ‬a part of this government project and their main ant-soldier.‭  ‬The action kicks up as his powers take hold and secrets are revealed,‭ ‬but he must protect those secrets at any cost and protect his brother as earth‭’‬s very existence dangles in the balance.‭ ‬Now I would love to give you a review on this book but unfortunately,‭ ‬I have to hold out as that is coming up in the next blog focusing on his work.‭ ‬What I can tell you is that I read it and the blog is well worth the look‭; ‬but on with the interview‭!

Now,‭ ‬there are various advantages and disadvantages to the Indy comic market and being your own boss.‭  ‬It is tedious work,‭ ‬first off,‭ ‬in shaping your craft.‭  ‬Nigel puts in an easy,‭ ‬4‭ ‬to‭ ‬6‭ ‬hours of drawing and sometimes more a day.‭  ‬And then there is the administrative side.‭  ‬Nigel elaborated further on that,‭ “‬Advantages.‭  ‬Well,‭ ‬being a creator and artist make your idea more concentrated‭; ‬meaning there is no one forcing their interpretations of what they think you have in your head or what they think you should put on the page‭; ‬your vision is yours and yours alone,‭ ‬and no one disrupts that.‭“‬  “As for the Indy market,‭ ‬I have had good experiences with it as in getting exposure and getting paid for my art.‭  ‬Commissions for me is always a challenge when you don‭’‬t know the character well,‭  ‬you don‭’‬t know the character well and you‭’‬re doing it at a show with limited time and I‭’‬m always hungry and tired‭”‬ [something tells me that‭’‬s due to his tedious work ethic‭…‬ just a guess‭…‬ hee-hee‭]‬.‭ “‬Other than that,‭ ‬I never really feel that challenge about it all,‭ ‬because it all is the same to me,‭ ‬lines on a page so I know I could draw anything with enough time and food‭…‬ lol.‭”‬

In the comic world there are more challenges than just the time factor and ample enough rest‭ [‬and squeezing‭ ‬in a great subway sandwich‭…‬ sorry Nigel‭…‬ but wasn‭’‬t sure of your favorite food so had to improvise‭…‬lol‭]‬.‭  ‬There are,‭ ‬sometimes,‭ ‬cultural biases and color biases as well.‭  ‬Although there are,‭ ‬and have been,‭ ‬many creators that have broken through,‭ ‬such as(ex)and recently Reginald Huddling jar(example‭) ‬there still is a major amount of communities,‭ ‬creators and characters still left out of the fold.‭  ‬We asked Nigel,‭ ‬as artist/writer and black business man,‭ ‬what his views were on this as it stands,‭ ‬and where he thought things were headed‭? ‬Would this,‭ ‬impact change‭?  ‬“I love this question‭!‬” Carrington replied,‭ ‬“Some of the challenges I face as a person of color is being in an industry that is slow in accepting a more diverse world of characters and ideas.‭  ‬I also must not give any attention to the wrong thinking and,‭ ‬at certain points,‭ ‬ignorant thinking I might receive from other creators‭; ‬but that exist in everything.‭  ‬That‭’‬s America‭!  ‬But there is advantages too.‭

‬The advantage of being black is always that we are building a foundation of greatness,‭ ‬whether it be sports,‭ ‬politics,‭ ‬etc.‭  ‬We are always present and significant in our contributions throughout history,‭ ‬so no one can erase any of our efforts or contributions.‭  ‬With an all the new artist,‭ ‬black titles,‭ ‬shows and blogs going on,‭ ‬I know I‭’‬m at the beginning of something great.‭  ‬I am truly blessed‭!”‬
So what have I learned‭? ‬First,‭ ‬that Nigel has a huge family and is supportive of them.‭  ‬Secondly,‭ ‬that he has a long lineage of art in his blood.‭  ‬Third,‭ ‬that he is paving the way for an almost pre-ordained future as a great artist.‭ ‬Faith:‭ ‬that he can work at top game as long as he isn‭’‬t tired or hungry‭ ‬-‭ ‬and that he is a hard,‭ ‬diligently working,‭ ‬and driven dude‭!  ‬Among other things,‭ ‬he is certain that Ant Hill is on the rise and‭ ‬worth keeping an eye out for‭!  ‬He and his title are bound to be a huge success‭!!!  ‬So if you are at a show,‭ ‬try to weave your way through the crowd to the most mobbed table‭ ‬-‭ ‬it is bound to be Nigel‭’‬s.‭  ‬And remember,‭ ‬in Nigel‭’‬s words,‭ “‬You can do anything you put your mind too‭!”‬

Signing off,‭  ‬it‭’‬s been a pleasure to blog about Nigel and his great work and for those who haven‭’‬t gotten a chance to pick up his book,‭  ‬I would say rush out and get your‭ ‬copy of‭ “‬Ant Hill‭!”‬  I‭’‬ve got mine‭!  ‬Also keep checking back on‭ ‬our web-site to read our follow-up review of Nigel‭’‬s hit book,‭ “‬Ant Hill‭”‬ and while you are here please check out some of his links below for some sneak peeks at his phenomenal work‭!‬ Until next time,‭ ‬over and out‭!


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