Comic book series chronicles saga of Black secret agents
‘Legends of Mantamaji’
Manny Otiko OW Contributor | 6/7/2018, midnight
Marvel’s “Black Panther,” was a huge hit at the box office and also raised questions about the lack of African Americans in comic books. But Black Panther isn’t the only black superhero. Television director Eric Dean Seaton has a created an original series of books titled “Legends of the Mantamaji,” based around an African-American hero.
In a phone interview, Seaton says he remembers going to watch a James Bond movie when he was a child and asking his father “Are there any Black secret agents?” Seaton was also a fan of the fantasy classic “The Lord of the Rings,” when he was growing up. But none of the books or the movies, which are more than six hours long, features any Black characters.
Seaton had been a fan of comic books since he was a child. And about three years ago, he decided to create “The Legend of the Mantamaji.” The book centers around, Elijah Alexander, a district attorney, who discovers he ‘s part of a group of knights who fight mystical powers. Alexander has to decide if he is going to leave his comfortable life behind or join a more important battle. The comic book also features a female heroine and several other multicultural characters.
According to Seaton, the series contains elements of the superhero and fantasy genre.
“The Legend of the Mantamaji,” might be a superhero comic book, but it does tackle some serious issues. Seaton says one of the themes that runs through the book is choices.
“Every character in the book, even the villain, has to make a choice,” he said.
This can be an important way for parents and educators to teach young people useful life lessons. And this issue has been picked up on by readers of the book. Seaton and the other creators of the comic have responded to the interest and created a curriculum guide to go with the series.
“Legend of the Mantamaji,” is slightly different from other mainstream comic books, because it tends to attract a lot of younger readers. Although comic books started off as something cheap that were geared towards children, in modern times readers tend to be older.
“Lots of parents by them for younger kids,” said Seaton.
Seaton said the book was originally sold in comic book stores, but now it’s strictly available on the website and at other digital retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
He admits that producing an independent comic can be challenging when it comes to marketing the product, but he still retains ownership of the series.
Seaton got his start in the entertainment industry as a director. He has twice been honored by the NAACP for his directing work and has helmed projects such as “Modern Family,” “Life in Pieces” and “Raven’s House’s.” But he’s enjoying his work on “The Legend of the Mantamaji” series. There is more information about the background of the book and it’s characters on the website. The website also features a live-action short based on the series.
“We really enjoy making the book and would love to hear from people,” said Seaton.
For more information go to www.legendofthemantamaji.com.