Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It is almost over

As I sit in a train car near one of the world’s largest mines, I wanted to assess the value of the past two and a half weeks. The end of my journey in Scandinavia is coming soon. I met, learned from and shared with many people. I proved to others and myself that Badin and the Secret of the Saami is a valuable tool to inspire and teach adults and children. I was blessed with trials and triumphs. If I never return again, I feel at ease that I did my absolute best. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Natural Allies: The Saami and the Afroswedes



Natural Allies: The Saami and the Afroswedes
You are invited to an open lecture entitled: Natural Allies: The Saami and the Afroswedes with guest lecturer, graphic novelist, Eric C. M. Basir, from Chicago, Illinois. Eric will share his motivation and methods for incorporating South Saami culture into his recently released historical fiction graphic novel Badin and the Secret of the Saami (2017).

The lecture is held in conjunction with HIF-3620 Indigenous Revitalization: Languages, Literatures and Arts course. The lecture is open to everyone, but students and researchers with an interest in Indigenous, diaspora, and minority representation and issues, graphic novels, and transmedial narrative are especially encouraged to attend.

Date: Monday, October 16th, 2017
Time: 13.15
Room: TEO H4 4.262

Official webpage:  http://www.badinsecret.com/


Contact: Ellen Marie Jensen
Lector, Indigenous Studies
Ellen.marie.jensen@uit.no

Special thanks to Ellen Marie Jensen for writing this description.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Going Back to Sweden for Badin

If all goes according to plan, a week from the time I write this, I'll be in Sweden. I hope to post regular updates about the trip and include pictures and video. So far some events are scheduled. Others are not yet confirmed or not public. Some of my time in Norway will be with students at Folkhøgskolan. Here's what I have confirmed so far:

October 4: A Night about Afroswedes at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, Sweden. Special thanks to Kitimbwa Sabuni and Michael Law-Barrett for making this happen.

October 16: Natural Allies: The Saami and the Afroswedes at the University of Tromsø in Norway. Special thanks to Åsa Virdi Kroik and Ellen Marie Jensen for arranging everything. I also thank Terry Marttinen for inspiring the title of this lecture. She is a Medical Historian specializing in the history of colonial genetics.

Again, there are many things up in the air and I'd rather not put them out here until they are confirmed. Stay tuned through Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Working For a Better Sweden—and the World

Part of the website promoting my return to Sweden
Four years ago in October, I swore I would never return to Sweden. I hated the country, the white people who lived there—and in the USA—and could not wait to get over the pain of a humiliating experience.

However I did it for my mother and her family. They had lost all contact with relatives in Sweden almost a century ago and I became the bridge to reunite them. That was a worthy sacrifice.

Nowadays, I just hate one white person (he's actually more like an orange person with raccoon eyes and hideous comb-over). However, I have never met a Swede that likes him either.

Much has changed. In fact, thanks to my fellow Afroswedish brothers Kitimbwa Sabuni and Michael Law-Barrett, I have been invited back to Sweden as an honored guest at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm for a series of events during Black Swedish History Week. However, this time I'm not going as recipient for a gift from the Swedish people. I am going as a gift-giver to the Swedish people: The sharing of a tool to heal the divisions in its society through a completed graphic novel about—and a full vindication of slander for—Sweden's most famous citizen of African descent: Adolf Ludvig Gustav Fredrik Albert Badin.

As a supporter of my work, I need to ask for your immediate help. No, I won't bother you about my 2018 book tour right now. I have something more immediate: If you live in Sweden, I need you to attend this event—and events through October 7. Moreover, I need you to invite politicians, community organizers and religious leaders. This includes media.

Frankly, I have had very poor luck getting any response from anyone! I believe all my email messages are being sent to junk mail. I especially need to meet with the Swedish government's Minister of Culture: Ms. Alice Bah-Kuhnke. I can do this while I am in Stockholm. I hope she and others can come to me while I'm at the museum. However, I think I can arrange ways to meet with them in their offices. It is important that we get the ball rolling for an official government recognition of Badin as a member of the Royal Family and a Prince of Sweden.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

One Month Until I Go To Sweden!

A snapshot of the program brochure draft
In a little over one month, I will return to Sweden as a guest panelist for a program at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm.

I am very excited to be on this panel. We will talk about historical pictures of Black Swedes. This panel will be moderated by Ylva Havel of Södertörn University. With me will be art historian Catherine Anyango-Grünwald and Joachim Östlund from the University of Lund.

It made me so happy to see that Michael Law Barret and the team at the museum used my re-imagined portrait of Badin in the brochure (top-left). I have been studying the Swedish language for 3 years now. So I am hoping it comes in handy, as the other two segments will be in Swedish.

Do you remember my book tour in Sweden? Well, it's still going to happen. Unfortunately, due to my failure to raise enough money in time, it must be postponed until 2018. So please spread the word and contribute. I need your help to inspire a new generation with a new folk hero: Sweden's forgotten Black Prince: Badin.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Comic Book Convention Report (Retcon)




I was thrilled to sell copies of Badin and the Secret of the Saami and do a lecture at the Chicago Retcon earlier this month. I met many new customers and allies. The privilege of speaking about Telling Historical Fiction Through Sequential Art was the highlight. I have posted a video of it from Facebook live to my YouTube channel above.

Fun cosplayer TV-Head with #BadinSecret at RetCon
Retcon was alot of fun. Traffic was a bit slower than I expected. But the staff, volunteers and overall spirit was fantastic. This was their first year and this was my first convention as a creator. It was very affordable, child-friendly and I am looking forward to doing it again. Geeks A Gogo wrote a detailed article about the convention. They even featured me in one of the pictures drawing a doodle.

One of the highlights was a surprise meeting with the man who first taught me how to draw cartoons, Tim Jackson. I hadn't seen him since grade school. I got a picture of us along with his granddaughter at Retcon. He is the author of a fun to read history book: Pioneering Cartoonists of Color.
Tim Jackson (center) with granddaughter

Please check out and support the fascinating people I met (some of who bought Badin and the Secret of the Saami or helped me out):

Kimberly Mosberry, Illustrator
Katie Armentrout, Illustrator.
Monica Gonzales, founder of Geeks A Gogo
Asia Dye, Illustrator
Jon Brown, Illustrator
Alex Hernandez, Writer
Victoria Perez-Segovia, Illustrator
Alejandro Rosado, Illustrator
Markisan Naso, Writer
Dimitri Fisher, Illustrator
Sean Kleefeld, Writer
George Kant, Illustrator
Ben Miller, Illustrator
Rafael Nieves, Writer
Kevin Sheller, Writer
Jessica Lynn, Illustrator
Max Bare, Illustrator
Rebecca Rothschild, Illustrator

My next convention is Wizard World Comic Book Convention in Chicago. I'll be in booth E16 with a fantastic writer and creator of the Yi Soon Shin historical fiction graphic novel, Onrie Kompan.



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lecture: Telling Historical Fiction Through Sequential Art

Eric Basir's lecture at Chicago Retcon 2017
Please join me at Chicago Retcon, a new and innovative comic book convention on August 12 and 13. I'll be there as a guest speaker and a vendor. If you want an autographed copy of Badin and the Secret of the Saami, I'll be there for that as well.

I am very excited about this because it will be my first lecture about Badin and the Secret of the Saami and artwork. For 15 years I have lectured about photo retouching. But never about writing and illustrating. So I cannot wait to incorporate my speaking experience with this exciting topic about creating historical fiction graphic novels.

Here's the official description for the lecture: From ancient folktales in every part of the planet to modern history, storytellers have inspired future generations to avoid past mistakes, improve themselves and build better societies. There is not one aspect of our lives that is not affected by some precept or idea put forth through a legendary tale. Moreover, every legend, myth or tale owes its existence to an actual historical event. Historical fiction is indeed the most ancient genre. Using his own historical fiction graphic novel, Eric C. M. Basir will share the methods he used to tell a new story about an obscure African man who was adopted by a Swedish queen.

My lecture will be on Sunday August 13 at noon. The convention will be open from 11 am to 6 pm August 12 and 13. Please check out the official Chicago Retcon website and look over all the great things going on. Of course you should buy tickets! There will be plenty for children to do as well!