I am J.T. Martin (1988), veteran, activist, artist, and author, was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, in an drug impacted neighborhood. My turbulent childhood was spent impoverished but drowned out these circumstances by focusing on Hip Hop and cartoons like 'Gargoyles' and 'Dragon Ball'.
In my adolescence, I was placed in foster care in Washington, DC, where he met his foster mother, who discovered his creative mind and nurtured it. It wasn't until I began learning to animate in college did I realize he had a talent for composing stories. From that point on he has been turning his dreams into ink on paper making them tangible for all to read. I published my first book, "Judgment Day" on June 17th, 2015. The first of a trilogy. It took me six years to write this and near 14 years to develop the series into the diverse Action-Adventure, Urban Fantasy masterpiece it has become. Now, to adapt it into a graphic novel series.
Ogun Orisha calls me.
My obsession with Gargoyles then Dragon Ball Z drove me to draw. Mimicking the characters created by Greg Weisman and Akira Toriyama. In grade school it was almost a competition to see who could draw the best, specifically Super Saiyan’s. So, I got pretty good at copying them. I was just following the trends, until l my father asked, “Why you only draw white people?”. This set me down a path of awareness. I began to realize that there isn’t any cool combat driven Black characters in any of the cartoons I watch, and when there are they’re never the main character. This also got me into African gods, like the Orishas. Which at the time I only ever had access to information on Shango/Xango Orisha.
So, from that point on I began trying to create my own characters. At first they started as pallet swaps but then I began journeying out of what I knew, drawing original characters and even creating their own power set, my favorite being “Black Matter control”, which was inspired by my school counselors speech about colorism.
At the same time, I was obsessed with cartoons/anime, I was also heavily into Rap, specifically East Coast Hip Hop. Now you would think my writing starts with me writing rhymes, but it doesn’t. While I dabble and always wanted to be like my favorites. Here’s what I grew up on:
Wu tang Clan (Method Man)
Hip Hop has always been able to create these ‘movies’ in my head. My favorite being rappers who tell stories in their music. The lyrics paint a vivid movie in my head, and I thoroughly enjoy that.
At the time, I had just finished creating my main character and his antagonist. Their appearance and power sets were all done but there was no back story and then I heard the song ‘Judgement Day’ By Method Man. Then I saw it. A whole story played out in all 6 minutes of that song. From that point forth I began writing ‘Judgment Day’ but there was only one problem. I had NO IDEA what I was doing.
College > HMF> Afronaughts> Afronomenon Studios
A decade or so later, attending the Art Institute of Washington in a character design class, my teacher, Michael O’Sullivan, a head writer at Marvel, taught me how to create a guide for stories making using the ‘Henson Method’. This is exactly what I was missing. Then I also had the privilege of learning from with Sam Ellis, and Artist on ‘Archer’, who re-enforced this all.
The original stories I wrote for my characters Abel, Anarchious, and Eva stayed in writing purgatory. Kept going nowhere and being scrapped due to lack of confidence and STRUCTURE. Now that I had a base, I spent most of my free time coming up with concepts for stories but most importantly started Judgment Day. Which was meant to be a comic but I had no confidence in my art, so I settled to finish the book as a Novel Series until I was ready to draw it.
While in college, like most animation students, a group of friends and I came up with the idea to come up with our studio. A studio focused on created all inclusive, all diverse Comics that pushed boundaries. We all had projects, that we intended to turn from a great idea to a great piece of art. HMF was born but like 99% of these start up studios, sadly died. From it rose Afronaughts, the eventually turned into Afronomenon studio.
I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.