black ursula



Issa Rae (First black woman to create and star in a premium cable series)

Oprah Winfrey (First woman to own and produce her own talk show)

Serena Williams (First tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the open era)

Shonda Rhimes (First woman to create three hit shows with more than 100 episodes each)

Ava DuVernay (First black woman to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar)

Gabby Douglas (First American gymnast to win solo and team all-around gold at one Olympics)

Dr. Mae Jemison (First woman of color in space)

Mo’ne Davis (First girl to pitch a shutout and win a game in a Little League World Series)

Patricia Bath (First person to perform laserphaco cataract surgery and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent)

Aretha Franklin (First woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Ursula Burns (First black woman to run a Fortune 500 company)

Rita Dove (First black U.S. poet laureate)

Loretta Lynch (First black woman to become U.S. Attorney General)

#TheyAreTheFirst #BlackExcellence


Illustrations from the novel Black Dogs by Ursula Verson that I worked on back in 2006.

  • At the time I had just finished my first introductory photoshop class and was still figuring out what I could do with a tablet.
  • I was taking a lot of printmaking classes so the passages of flat tones and darks was A Thing I Was Thinking About. 
  • And I had just seen the original 1954 Japanese release of Godzilla, not the American version.  Y’all should see it: makes a fine case for black and white film.

The novel came out in 2007 paperback and just recently I was contacted about negotiating the image rights for the leap to digital e-reader platforms for a 10th anniversary release.  So this project came to mind.  

In academic terms this would be late sophomore to early junior work, which seems about right to me.  We were all friends and collaborators.  Some trying out writing, some trying out art, some trying out publishing, some trying out reading within a self-organized culture (furry) and building the literature.

  • Me: *Listens to Calling All the Monsters by China Anne McClain (from like 2011)*
  • Me: *Watches What's My Name music video*
  • Me: *Remembers a funny line China's character said on Ant Farm half a decade ago*
  • Me: *Gets really hype for CW's Black Lightning in 2018, staring China. Anne. McClain.*
  • Me: "And I think to myself, What a Wonderful World!"

Titled: Poor Unfortunate Souls.

Been listening to Jonathan Young’s Metal version of Poor Unfortunate Souls and got inspired to draw this,
which was very much needed to push out of my art block.
Be expecting more Pitch-creature hybrids.

PLEASE do not repost/claim credit or steal this image. If reblogging, do not remove my username and sight source. Thank you so very much!~<3

Me starting Hunger Pangs in early 2016: lol what even is this, okay, so there’s a vampire and a werewolf who fall in love and hilarity ensues, maybe have something in there about overcoming prejudices or something, throw in a war or cultural divide idk PUNS so many puns this is going to be the fluffiest piece of feel good shit ever.

Me reviewing final draft of Hunger Pangs in 2017:

“He promised us,” the vampire wailed as blood streamed from his nose, shrinking in on himself as Nathan stepped toward him again, “I didn’t think it’d come to this, I didn’t think—”

“You didn’t think,” Vlad interjected coolly, “that a megalomaniac with an insatiable lust for control over death, wouldn’t try to control vampires, a part of the undead race, and use them to open up a portal to the Underworld? Are you mad?! He’s been using zombies for centuries!”

“But we’re—”

“Melville, I swear if you say ‘better than them’ I will personally twist your head off and sew it on backwards.”

“He promised us freedom!”

“Freedom from what?!” Vlad shouted, and Ursula took a prudent step back. She could feel the electric charge in the air, thrumming between her teeth. “We’re a race of immortal parasites sitting on top of centuries of wealth and privilege, founded on war and slavery, what could you possibly need to be liberated from?!”

“Elizabeth was right,” Melville spat, still trying to avoid Nathan even as he sneered at Vlad, fangs on show, “You’re weak. You let this dog and his,” his black eyes darted to Ursula, “bitch get into your head. But then again you always were a human lover. Anyone could see it, the way you doted on that half-breed sister of yours. She’ll be the first up against the wall, her and her little pet huma—”

Lightning flashed.

Nathan reached up, tentatively checking to see if he still had eyebrows. “I didn’t know you could do that.”

Vlad, staring wide eyed at the blackened spot where Melville had been, doubled over and threw up.

“There, there,” Ursula soothed, patting him lightly on the shoulder. “Most people don’t know their own strength until they have to use it. You did very well though,” she smiled as he looked incredulously up at her, ”keep it up and we might just win.”

……..I did not intend for this…

Ursula Andress and Jean-Paul Belmondo on the set of Les tribulations d'un chinois en Chine directed by Philippe de Broca, 1965