We interviewed: Davien Watkins
Interviewed by: Arun Sharma
This month, we were lucky enough to catch up with Davien Watkins, the mind behind Superhero Enterprises. So let’s find out what this fresh, new concept is and what it’s all about.
Superpower Enterprises will be a new name for many of our readers but sounds dynamic – what’s the concept?
Superpower Enterprises™ is a reflection of youth culture in America today. “Do The Right Thing” is our brands principal theme. The company publishes and merchandises various consumer products from its library of characters. “Notes”© is the company’s flagship character.
With a universal message and iconic illustrations, the character based business along with its brand managers stay rooted in their fundamentals, drawing inspiration from the comic-book world, street art culture, night clubs, a hip hop lifestyle, music, and the concerts that earned them their reputation as influencers in the entertainment business.
And who are the faces behind Superpower Enterprises?
As Founder and General Manager of Superpower Enterprises I am Davien Watkins the personality, face, and voice of the imprint. Being a professional creator, I make great efforts to stay abreast of the ins and outs of the comic-book business being accessible, friendly and an expert on all things Superpower Enterprises.
So, can you tell us about the material you currently have?
“The Origins Of Notes” is comic-book that will bring your readers into the fictional world of music’s greatest superhero “Notes,” a passionate self-confident teenager who is soon endowed with superpowers and tasked with defending the record industry against a ring of digital music pirates bent on pillaging the world’s most valuable music out of the record business ©.
The story progresses next into “Notes Notations” a newspaper published comic strip depicting the various escapades of Notes and his career in music, chronicled in a collection of short stories. With the introduction of supervillain character’s like Duplicate, Street Man, Noise and a love interest Melody the storyline gets more complex and interesting with each and every new installment.
The superpowered crime fighter Notes eventually confronts a range of topics which currently populate the headlines today. Including day-to-day battles with a city’s growing population of petty criminals to issues of terrorism and gun violence at live music events. The social injustices affecting our youth culture like police violence, corrupt government officials and adult recidivism are all addressed as Notes himself struggles with balancing a moral compass and coming of age at a time of transition in a new music business.
Are you planning on being web-based or do you see a future for yourselves in printed books?
Great question. The short answer is “Yes.” The digital revolution is happening now and the latest technology will insure that digital comic-books become more and more popular as time elapses. As a result of this, Superpower Enterprises launched online with a philosophy for advancement. Witnessing the music industry’s abrupt reconstruction, it was quite evident to us from the beginning that, a new generation of comic-book readers would become more interested in technology…as book stores began downsizing and we learned of more and more comic-book shops closing across the country.
Stories of superheroes and mythology’s that explain nature, history, and our societal norms will go on to be shared for generations; yet the way we share and consume them will change.
The Notes Notations comic strip has been published both online and in print at the Culver City Observer newspaper in Culver City, Ca. since 2015, and we know that a large demographic of comic-book readers are traditional and still prefer reading print over digital and that’s okay. Single issue printed comics will not be disappearing any time soon and graphic novel readers will still get to enjoy the experience of holding their treasured comic-book series in their hands.
‘Notes’ is your principal character and you have an ‘origins of’ comic on your website – what do we need to know about him?
I will leave some of this to the imagination of your readers since Notes is still new and fresh to them. So, let’s let them be the judges for now. Though I will encourage your viewers to visit the SuperpowerEnterprises.com website for more insight into the characters relationships and the Notes music mythology. Notes is a surprisingly thorough character who inhabits a fascinating world. His fictional music industry universe is one of the most exciting, glamorous, and fun places to ever be seen before in modern comic-books.
So, who are your comics going to appeal to? Are you drawing from music fans or do you have a wider target audience?
Superpower Enterprises storyworld’s have a universal appeal. Each character’s story offers readers action, entertainment, and mythological references that traditional comic book readers gravitate to spontaneously; as these characters become more recognizable. A wide demographic of women, men, teenagers, young adults and kids are already responding to the diverse character personalities at our social media websites.
And what have you got in the pipeline – can you tell us about upcoming projects?
Quietly we are in development on a new project however, this is being kept tightly under wraps for now. So, we won’t spoil anything major, just yet!
What are you reading at the moment?
Two books I am currently drawing inspiration from “Our Gods Where Spandex” by Christopher Knowles & “Music and Manipulation: On the Social Uses and Social Control of Music” by Steven Brown & Ulrik Volgsten. Each preoccupy a large of part of the quality leisure time.
Sure, and we all know Chris Knowles knows the business inside out. And with comics, who have been your favorite artists and writers over the past while?
When it comes to putting pencil to paper for various reasons Terrell Bobbet, James Ville, and Gregory Price are in the top 5 of artist in my mind…with the wider-known Jim Lee & Todd McFarlane rounding out that list.
Lastly, what’s your take on the state of the comic book industry at present – don’t hold back!
The sales history will always be the best indicator of how well a particular industry is performing. According to the estimates at Comichron.com after five consecutive years of growth the direct market for comic books declined 10% to $522.25 million for the first time in 2017. That is a significant adjustment. For that reason, to counter the sales slide in 2018 the comic-book industry will require an expansion in its readership to correct the downturn in retail orders.
Digital comic-book sales will play a key role in a return to profitability for the book industry with comic creators and digital publishers currently introducing the latest augmented technologies as a way to publicize real-world environment stories that make the best usage of the flourishing digital medium.
One last obvious observation to make is seemingly apparent for the industry’s progression. The industry has to take advantage of the tremendous spillover from large tentpole comic-book movie adaptations. These films have dominated our box offices for more than a decade and must serve as an aid in attracting new types of readers. A surge towards a variety of storylines and content creation that’s both diverse and inclusive will play an essential role in attracting new audiences which include both women and children.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to throw these questions your way. Chico Comics wish you all the best with the exciting venture and we’re looking forward to seeing it develop and grow.