“We wanted to put something fun into it,” she says. “A kid can do anything at all in that moment, and we wanted to find a way to have them have fun.”
A lot of it was about the timing. “The fact that we’re in New York for Comic-Con is important,” she explains. “That’s when kids are going to see and meet a lot of artists and writers, because we want them to stay in touch and follow the same trends as us. There’s an art of staying in touch that’s different from most of America.”
The artists they wanted to showcase were young black and Latino creators “because they don’t necessarily get the exposure that they should have, and they’re also trying to show what they’re doing is different than what’s not being done, which is sometimes frowned on in publishing because you can’t have all the artists. But you have to give kids something to aspire to.”
The idea is not to “try to be a good role model, like we’re trying to be like Oprah,” says Buhac, but “to just try to do the best artwork that I can.” It’s a message that may not be so much a concern to the industry as it has been traditionally in pop culture.
“It’s a very complicated conversation about how do you create your own voice as an artist and tell your own story,” says Buhac. “Some kids go in with a particular approach of what they’re doing, and so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.”
In the end, they didn’t have many “artists,” and had to make a decision to focus.
“It was really about a sense of urgency,” says Buhac, “just because we’re moving into a new year and we want to do different things.”
One artist might use the spotlight to take chances, say on a comic, or a video game, or an animation. Another might make work that is less than stellar, say on a comic book that some critics think is not worth his or her time.
Even without a name to point to, there are signs that some young creators will be changing their game. “I think of myself as an artist as a child of the 90s,” says Buhac. “And now I don’t look at it as an artist, but as a person, and as someone trying to get out there — to be a character artist,
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