Issue #134 | May 16, 2023
Black superheroes have been around since 1947’s Lion Man, but it took until the ’90s era of Spawn and Blade before this kind of representation went mainstream. Today, thanks to the ubiquity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black superheroes like Sam Wilson, Black Panther, and Luke Cage are instantly recognizable to fans of the franchise.
But independent creators have also been hard at work for years—on platforms like Tumblr, Wattpad, and Webtoon—creating more diverse representations in storytelling, fantasy, and the superhero genre.
This week, we’re excited to shine a light on Tony Weaver Jr., an exceptional manga writer, content creator, and entrepreneur whose work is a testament to the power of diversity and integrity within the realm of manga. In 2020, Tony’s debut series, The UnCommons, took flight, featuring a diverse group of superheroes led by Iris, who receives a prophetic vision of the world’s end. Beyond fiction, Tony’s commitment extends to the real world—in February 2023, he uniquely collaborated with Crunchyroll to donate a manga library to a school in honor of Black History Month.
In a recent interview with Passionfruit, Tony delves into his unwavering dedication to diverse storytelling, entrepreneurial principles, and his experiences as a Black creator in 2023. Join us in celebrating his work.
– Grace Stanley, Newsletter Editor
Manga marvels: How one writer is revolutionizing the world of Black superheroes
29-year-old Tony Weaver Jr. creates rich, fantastical worlds featuring diverse characters.
By Marquis Taylor, Passionfruit Contributor
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“When you know a content creator that is fighting mental health, fighting to get up every day, fighting to keep going… Be understanding that they will express if they want to or feel ready to on stream. Private message them. Streaming is sometimes an outlet to just chill and enjoy something with you.”—Twitch streamer DreaGG advocates for healthy boundaries between fans and creators.
5 creators share the media kits that got them lucrative brand deals
When you’re ready to start looking for brand deals, it’s essential to have a media kit.
By Jen Glantz, Passionfruit Contributor
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Faced with harsh censorship, TikTok cannamoms fight against the stigma around weed and motherhood
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re revisiting this story about weed-loving moms.
By Grace Griffin, Passionfruit Contributor
IN THE BIZ
- Some major Hollywood studios, including Amazon, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, Disney, and CBS Studios, have suspended some writers’ first look and overall deals due to the WGA strike.
- Meta is expanding its ads program for Reels, and it will start testing a performance-based revenue-sharing model that pays creators based on views.
- Twitch launched an editing tool that will make it easier for creators to translate their streams into vertical short-form videos on apps like TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
- Elon Musk named Linda Yaccarino, formerly NBCUniversal’s head of global advertising, as the new CEO of Twitter, although Musk will continue to play a large role in the future of the social media platform.
- Controversial streaming platform Kick teased a potential convention when it posted an image of a ticket to “KickCon 2023” in Las Vegas in a tweet. Some are speculating that the event could happen the same weekend as Las Vegas-based TwitchCon in October.
- Creators are debating the future of chatbots after learning about CarynAI, an AI chatbot that replicates social media influencer Caryn Marjorie’s voice, mannerisms, and personality to give fans an immersive experience that is almost like talking to Majorie herself for $1 per minute.
- Meta has made Stories an eligible media type on the Instagram Graph API, meaning third-party social media management tools can now schedule and publish Instagram Stories.
YOUTUBE MADE ME DO IT
This Freaky Friday-esque sketch is helping us not take our mothers for granted.