Atlanta Graphic Novelists Write Tuskegee Airmen Sci-Fi Comic

Feb 9, 2016

It was 70 years ago, during World War 2, that the legendary aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen took to the skies and became the first African-American pilots to fight for the U.S. military. 

Now, their legacy may be continued in a futuristic comic book titled “Tuskegee Heirs.”

Local illustrator Marcus Williams and children’s book author Greg Burnham describe the graphic novel as a sci-fi adventure following a cast of African-American teenagers who learn how to fly and save the world.

The two recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to make their idea a reality, and so far they’ve raised $50,000 -- five times their original goal.

In a conversation with Stephannie Stokes, Williams said he believes a comic book or franchise featuring a set of young, honorable black superheroes is something that’s been missing.

“It’s something special to see yourself in any kind of positive role through another character, like you’re role-playing, almost,” Williams said.

“For a young African-American kid, we process so many shows where I wasn’t the hero, the main star," he said. "Maybe there was a token character I could see myself in. But I didn’t look at that character and identify with that.”

So, to have seen African-Americans leading in a story like Williams and Burnham want to do, Williams said, “would have been amazing. It would have changed my life.”