Update: DC's Daniel Cherry III and Ally's Andrea Brimmer shared perspectives on the program during a video interview at Advertising Week. Watch below.
Online financial institution Ally is tapping into the DC universe to help support diverse comic book creators as part of a new marketing campaign that’s debuting this weekend.
Launching during the Oct. 16 virtual DC FanDome event, the Ally-sponsored Milestone Initiative is part of a deal between WarnerMedia, DC and Black-owned comic book publisher Milestone Media.
It will allow members of the next generation of artists and storytellers of color to attend a one-week training session at DC’s California offices followed by an eight-week online course. The initiative is the first program from Next Generation DC, a talent recruitment and development project from the well-known superhero publisher created to address underrepresentation in the comic book industry.
“For many Black and diverse artists and writers, Milestone is part of their comic book DNA,” said Daniel Cherry III, senior VP and general manager of DC, “and we are thankful to partner with Ally to help these new voices be heard in addition to adding to Milestone’s legacy.”
Black comic book creators currently make up just 4.9% of writers and 3.4% of artists, with Asian and Latinx creators not faring much better, according to data from career site Zippia that’s cited by WarnerMedia and DC.
“We really have this passion around creativity and providing spaces for diverse creators,” said Ally’s chief marketing and public relations officer, Andrea Brimmer. “So when DC and WarnerMedia approached us with this opportunity, we thought it was a great way to extend our efforts we’ve already had around creating new spaces for people of color.”
WarnerMedia unveiled the Milestone Initiative during its upfront presentation to advertisers this spring as a way to provide a platform for “Black stories and Black imagination to flourish.” The initiative was born from Milestone Media, best known for creating Milestone Comics, which served as a proving ground for Black comic book creators in the 1990s. Similarly, Milestone Initiative aims to provide mentorship, tools and access to emerging writers and artists of color who are trying to gain a foothold in the comic book industry.
Ally is the first brand to strike a deal with WarnerMedia as part of this initiative.