“It started in my imagination…a vision, a daydream. Then slowly it grew into a full-blown thought. See, I grew up watching movies from the 30s and 40s on TV. I knew the heroes, fictional and otherwise. I also knew — though we were conspicuously absent – that Black people were part of that era and not just as domestics and laborers. So I took what I knew, mixed it with what I imagined … and Blackjack was born.”
— Alex Simmons, 2008 —
Alex Simmons is a professional freelance writer, teaching artist, and public speaker, as well as an arts & education consultant. Simmons has written children’s books, an original Sherlock Holmes play, and lots of comic book stories from Batman to Archie. He’s also wrote 12 interactive mysteries for the Tiger Toys electronic game WHO DONE IT (which received three educational awards); penned articles for magazines; two educational documentaries; two more stage plays; three movie novelizations for Disney, and three biographies, including one on Denzel Washington.
Simmons is the founder and co-producer of the annual KIDS’ COMIC CON (an age appropriate comic book convention for children, families, and educators), which has brought fun, art, literacy and science to children from New York to Africa.
Simmons is also the co-founder and curator of the COLOR OF COMICS art exhibition (containing images from artists around the globe) representing the portrayal of people of color in comics. This event was chosen by the American Embassy Dakar to be part of the Fessman International Cultural Arts Festival in Senegal Africa, in December 2010.
But Simmons is best known as the creator and writer of the acclaimed mini series, BLACKJACK, which are tales of an African-American soldier of fortune globetrotting during the turbulent 1930s. The series found fans from Cairo to Copenhagen, kids and adults, both male and female.
Even after the comic book went on hiatus, Hollywood producers, and video gaming agents worked to develop a deal that would bring this character, and the rich history and vision he represents to a larger audience.
Now after several years of work and travel, including Africa, Simmons is bringing Blackjack back with new stories, more artists, and an exciting new project that will look at his hero’s legacy in the past and the present.