The Milestone Initiative gives potential comic book creators in the U.S. the opportunity to apply for The Milestone Initiative Development Program, which includes a one-week in-person training seminar in DC’s Burbank, CA offices, followed by an eight-week virtual technical training course through the prestigious Kubert School. Participants in the courses can learn how to hone their storytelling skills and become part of the next wave of great comic book writers and artists.
The Milestone Initiative is the inaugural program from DC’s Next Generation DC, a talent recruitment, mentoring and development program designed to increase access and opportunities for writers, illustrators, and creatives from underrepresented communities across the globe. The program provides the opportunity for creators to contribute to DC comic book content, expand representation and tell authentic stories featuring some of the most recognizable characters in comics.
Milestone Media was created to address not only the lack of superheroes of color in comics, but also the lack of storytellers of color creating the content. In collaboration with DC, Milestone Media created the fictional city of Dakota, and some of the most unique and innovative characters in comics, such as Static, Icon, Hardware, Blood Syndicate and others.
Milestone Media stepped away from comics in 1997, but after adding award-winning producer Hudlin (73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, 52nd NAACP Image Awards, Django Unchained, Marshall) to its team, Milestone Media rejoined forces with DC this February. The relaunch began in May with the release of the Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition one-shot comic (John Romita Jr).
Daniel Cherry III, Senior Vice President and General Manager, DC said:
“The Milestone Initiative Development Program is the perfect project for debuting Next Generation DC. Our current lineup of Milestone titles have released to great critical and sales success, expanding the loyal fanbase, while at the same time inviting new readers to experience the ‘Dakotaverse’ and its heroes. For many black and diverse artists and writers, Milestone is part of their comic book DNA, Cherry continued, “and we are thankful to partner with Ally to help these new voices be heard in addition to adding to Milestone’s legacy.”
At a time when comic books are at the center of pop culture, creators in the field are largely homogenous. According to Zippia, Black comic book creators make up only 4.9% of writers and 3.4% of artists. Asian creators make up only 4.2% of writers and 8.4% of artists, and Hispanic or Latinx creators make up 7.1% of writers and 11.7% of artists.
To amplify The Milestone Initiative Development Program, WarnerMedia’s ad sales division will create a full slate of content in collaboration with Ally, a digital financial services company committed to advancing economic mobility and empowerment for underrepresented communities by providing funding, mentorship and access to opportunity that individuals need to succeed.
The Milestone Initiative will span linear, digital and social touch points, while incorporating elements of social good, equity and inclusion along the way. Distributed across WarnerMedia’s ad-supported ecosystem, the campaign includes documentary-style videos and interactive digital assets to inspire a new generation of creators and far-reaching audiences. WarnerMedia reaches 77% of multicultural audiences in the U.S. – a total of 69 million people – across its digital and linear platforms.
To learn more about The Milestone Initiative Development Program and submit an application, fans can visit the website at www.dcuniverse.com/milestone.