Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Invention of E.J. Whitaker: Issue #1 Takes Flight March 2018

(The Invention of E.J. Whitaker: Issue #1, Comic Book Cover Art. Pencils and inks by Mark Hernandez, Colors by Sharifa Patrick and June Park)

After months of production, The Invention of E.J. Whitaker, Issue #1 is set to take flight on March 7th, 2018.

With the help of an amazing team of artists, and 442 Kickstarter backers, our vision for a diverse steampunk comic following the adventures of one young woman to become a bonafide inventor at the turn of the 20th Century is finally realized and it feels so good.

We began our journey to tell the story of The Invention of E.J. Whitaker five years ago, inspired by our research of early 20th Century entertainers, including circus performer Princess Wee Wee and Broadway star Ada Overton Walker. We wrote a screenplay about Princess Wee Wee’s fascinating life, and Ada Overton Walker proved such an inspiration for us, that we named our lead character "Ada" in her honor.

Invention of E.J. Whitaker inspirations 1900's African American circus star, Princess Wee Wee (left) and stage star, Ada Overton Walker (right)

The early 1900s was such a wonderful time of innovation in this country that we couldn’t resist setting a story in it. We chose Tuskegee University in Alabama as our setting for two reasons: First, because legendary inventor, George Washington Carver lived on campus and was a teacher there, and second: Tuskegee, a university built by its students, was in the early 1900s, an education mecca for African American people and a source of tremendous pride for its community.

Our heroine, Ada, and Tuskegee Professor and Inventor, Dr. George Washington Carver

For the art style, we wanted the artwork to feel like nothing we’d quite seen before and possess a vintage quality all its own. Mark Hernandez’ pencils have such a timeless feel to them and Hasani McIntosh’s colors give the book a hand-crafted flavor. The 32 pages of The Invention of E.J. Whitaker feature inks by the incredible Shanna Lim and letters by the fabulous Emi Roze, who like us, is an alumnus of the Ladies Night Anthology collective.

Panel art from The Invention of E.J. Whitaker: Issue #1

Artist Earl Womack, rendered “Jessie Rides The Rails,” a short story featuring our female automaton character, Jessie, a delightful invention of our main character, Ada’s. The short story speaks to the complicated history of the U.S. railroads and its “chain gang” workforce. In our story’s case, children are the exploited laborers and our little heroine, Jessie is compelled to do something about it. Earl’s line work and colors are breathtaking, and we couldn’t be prouder of how this powerful short came out.

Panel art from the short story "Jessie Rides The Rails"

The Invention of E.J. Whitaker comic book series will be available for purchase on March 7th, 2018. To order the first issue of The Invention of E.J. Whitaker, please visit:



Shawnee´ Gibbs and Shawnelle Gibbs (The Gibbs Sisters) are Writer/Creators from Oakland, CA. “The Invention of E.J. Whitaker” is their sixth comic book offering. The sisters currently reside in the Los Angeles area where they write, produce and create content for comics, animation, film and television. They are members of The Writers Guild of America, West, The Academy of Arts and Television Sciences and Women in Animation.

For more about the launch of the project, see: [Comic Book Writers, The Gibbs Sisters Launch The Invention of E.J. Whitaker, Issue #1]

Labels: , , , , ,