Sometime back when I used to write for this mag called BadAzz Mofo, I’d go to these conventions and there’d always he some loud crazy wildin out negroes at this one booth, always with dope beats coming out of their warped stereo. They did a comic magazine called Hood. This was back when Giant Robot was first doing its thing for Asian Culture and there was still an open sense about the comic book game. These cats always had love for any black face they saw and their comics portrayed the same love for hip-hop culture. But you knew you were at an underground comic expo If Hood comics was there. At the time I was working at a comic book store and always knew the hood readers when they walked in the door. They weren’t thugs, they were just street geeks. They’d pick up their Shadowhawks and incredible Hulks, but they had to open their hood comic in the store just to get the little chuckle it promised.
Time went on and I got semi-grown, catapulted into academic worlds and the like . Naturally I still read comics but I forgot about some of the underground stuff I used to pay attention to. I ran into Age Scott, H.I.C (Hustler in charge) of Fambooks, the company that put Hood comics last week at the first Hip-hop comic book day I’ve ever heard of and we chopped it up about the industry, beefs, and the future.
ME: How’d you get an idea for Hip-hop comic book day?
AGE: At these conventions we …, hip hop comic books were getting crapped on extremely hard. So I figured we’ve got to make our own lane, our own convention so that the folks could, you know come on out to.
AGE: Fam books is official been around for ten years. Been doing it for years! We gonna do for comics wheat hip-hop did for music.
Me: What’s that mean?
AGE: Keeping your shit. Owning your shit. Using it as a barter system. You know like one book may go major and keep everything else underground. We got a plan.
ME: It’s like a studio mentality.
AGE: It’s all Hip-hop! When we do a hip-hop comic, it’s not spoofing hip-hop. We do it from ground up. I’m talking street teaming, dropping consistently when no else know what you doing. Like a Tupac type work ethic. Cats ain’t ready for this. Me alone I’m on my 50th book. These streets of Berkeley, they know me for my shit. By myself. The team, Captain, he’s on fire. We’re in a good way.
ME: I was talking to Jerry over there and I was asking him about his book and he was all just buy one of these other cats books and you get one of mine for free. IS that the way you all roll?
AGE: That’s core Hip-hop! We’ ain’t fucking with no non hip-hop type shit man.
ME: Ok but what kind of Hip-hop? You talking Flava Flav hip-hop, you talking Will Smith Hip-hop?
AGE: That’s the beauty of it, we’re talking Flava flav and Will Smith and MF Doom and Kayne West and Jay-z and Supernatural and Busta Rhymes and dead prez and Outkast and Aseop rock, and lprd, buck down, no limit, Suge knight, papoose, scarface. The whole thing. It’s no bullshit. It’s the real shit. It’s not no flash in the pan. See comics are like hip-hop. You got all these flash in the pan people out there doing hip-hop comics.
ME: Whose a flash in the pan?
AGE: Name drop?
ME: Give some names son!
AGE:I ain’t gonna beef with no artist individually, but I’ll tell you the label. FUCK IMAGE!
ME: For real Fuck image?
AGE: Fuck Image up they ass. I ain’t beefing with no artist cause I understand you gotta eat, but I’m gonna beef with your label. Fuck Image. They don’t want none.
ME: Is this personal? Something they did to you or…
AGE: Look, it’s all competition, it’s all fair. It’s all love. Me, I ain’t gonna pull straps and buck you down. I’m just needing an idol to beef with, an Image to take down.
What’s the future hold for Hood? Well it’s official that they’ve got a phat ass distribution deal with Last Gasp. That means their local scene is about to go national. Plus I got it on the under that they might be reprinting some Hood magazine stuff in graphic novel format. After that, with these cats on the grind, the sky’s the limit.