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Changing the Perception of Blacks in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

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When people think of superheroes and science fiction, they often imagine the strong chiseled features and extraordinary powers demonstrated primarily by white male characters. Critically-acclaimed television director Eric Dean Seaton wants to remind comic book and sci-fi fans that Black people can be superheroes, too.

With the launch of his third book in the Legend of the Mantamaji graphic novel series on February 11th Seaton hopes positive representation of people of color in comics will go a long way to shatter stereotypes about Black involvement and interest in science fiction and fantasy.

"Science fiction and fantasy stories give people of all ages something to dream about. What does it say to children when the only heroes they read about are white?" Seaton, whose television hits include Disney's "Austin & Ally," NBC's "Undateable" and Nickelodeon's "Bella and the Bulldogs" said. "Black people do survive the zombie apocalypse, people of color exist in the future. They don't have to be the first person the monster eats. And our interests go beyond civil rights and slavery. Our history is incredibly important, but so are our dreams and creative imaginings. Legend of the Mantamaji is first, a really great story with lots of action, fun plot twists, a rich history and well-rounded characters. The characters are as diverse as the world around us. It's a point of view that really isn't represented regularly in the comics and literary world."

The third book in the Legend of the Mantamaji series tells the story of Elijah Alexander, an Assistant D.A. who has learned that his childhood storybook of legends are actually the true stories of his heritage and that he is the last of a race of mystical knights known as the Mantamaji. After realizing he's only part human, Elijah has struggled with the shift in his world and becomes a hunted man charged with ridding the world of an ancient evil no other Mantamaji has ever been able to defeat. The full-color, action packed series has landed on several "Top of 2014" lists for it hair-raising plot twists and smart storytelling for superhero fans of all ages.

"As a kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, there were two things I wanted to be when I grew up---a director and a comic book creator," Seaton said. "Heading from Ohio to L.A. to become a director in Hollywood seemed like the harder dream of the two, but funny enough, it happened first. However, throughout my career, I carried my comic book dream with me. The time is right for a graphic novel like this featuring a strong, black male lead who's not saving the hood from drugs or any of the earlier Black superhero tropes."

The Legend of the Mantamaji series is available at Barnes & Noble bookstores, comic book shops and online at, iTunes, Comixology and Legend of the

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