Michael Davis Static Static Shock

Dear AT&T: Static on the line is a GOOD thing

TO: Randall L. Stephenson, Chief Government Officer, AT&T
CC: John Stankey, Chief Government Officer, Warner Media

Dear Mr. Stephenson,

My identify is Michael Davis. I’m positive you recognize me as I’ve been a loyal AT&T telephone buyer for many years.

I know what you’re considering. You assume I’m a bit off my rocker. How ON EARTH might you realize me just because I’m an AT&T telephone buyer?

That’s just silly.

You understand me because I have my house, cellphone in addition to my Web and cable with AT&T.

I’m informed you might have a humorousness and I hope my opening gave you a chuckle. What the the rest of this letter holds is far from humorous.

I’m positive you’re aware when AT&T purchased Time Warner, it turned the owner of DC Comics. DC Comics holds some media rights to Static a.okay.a. Static Shock by means of an association with the copyright proprietor and content material creator Milestone Media a company I co-founded.

Full disclosure: DC Comics and I have history. Once I was a welcomed creator; nevertheless, the final 20 years have seen me banned, actually blacklisted. Long story brief; I stated the proper thing to the fallacious individual. Please don’t take my phrase for any of this— the paperwork is available at DC. Nevertheless, this narrative isn’t about me. This article is about property now beneath your control— the aforementioned Static Shock.

I am not a part of Milestone, they usually don’t have anything to do with this letter. I’m representing myself and the hundreds of thousands of fans of Static Shock ready for his return.

Merely Googling Static Shock will enlighten you to the sheer power and attain of the much-beloved character. There are literally thousands of fan clubs and fan films. Static is a favourite selection of latest and seasoned cosplayers from youngster to grownup.

Right here’s the kicker—the overwhelming majority of the fans of Static have been born after the collection had run its course both on television and the comics.  In different phrases, its sheer word of mouth behind the monumental attraction of Virgil Hawkins, aka Static.

AT&T is the nation’s second-largest advertiser— think about spending no promoting dollars but seeing the demand in your product develop yr after yr.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence of Static Shock.

“AT&T gives you more for your thing, More entertainment, Internet, and unlimited plans. More for your thing. Yeah, that’s our thing.”

The Your Thing nationwide marketing campaign from AT&T and BBDO targeted on the uniqueness of its clients’ request for things that mattered not simply words spoken in help of a product.  How vital AT&T’s help of the Black group is evident to me by your doings with Consider Chicago.

I don’t point out AT&T’s investment in the African American group, both monetary and social, to suck up. I’m not that man— if I was, I consider I’d still have a residence at DC. No, I point out your involvement as a result of I feel there’s a probability, albeit a slim one my plea and the pleas of hundreds of thousands of followers won’t be lost in the abundance of requests acquired by a company the measurement and scope of yours.

Put bluntly, Static is a nationwide treasure amongst tens of millions of followers, both black and white. Nevertheless, among black youngsters, he’s extra much rather more. As a black man who grew up with so little black representation in media and virtually none in the superhero area, so few I had to create my own— it saddens me past measure that at present is simply as bleak as yesterday.

Ignoring the influence of Static makes little sense financially. Nevertheless, ignoring Static‘s prominence in the black group is company callousness at its highest degree, for my part.

History apart, I however contemplate DC’s universe the greatest in the business, and the vast majority of those employed there are amongst the elite in comics.

Dan Didio and Jim Lee are exceptional people who find themselves actual fans of the medium. Earlier than they joined DC, I used to be in enterprise with Dan at ABC-TV and Jim at Picture Comics. Nothing however good came from those artistic arrangements.

There are corporations on the internet as I write this selling Static Shock merchandise as if that they had licensed them legally from DC and Milestone they usually haven’t. They achieve this brazenly with no fear of being caught, not to mention punished by considered one of the world’s strongest firms.

If that doesn’t underscore the banking energy of Static, then nothing will.

Static Shock generates hundreds of thousands of bootleg dollars whereas black youngsters continue to make their very own Static Shock content as a result of Warner Bros. and DC Comics won’t.

Sir, I’m completely and painfully conscious of authorized agreements that supposedly make inconceivable resolutions to what appears a simple repair.

My response is— so what?

Static‘s influence can do wonders with boys and girls of shade who see little to strengthen id put much to weaken it. A president who typically speaks of the first black president as unintelligent and lazy. A country returning to a time when if black merely ready for a pal at Starbucks can get you arrested.

An America the place a black man simply saying ‘lower Alabama’ can get you thrown out of a Hilton Lodge and threatened with arrest. Protesting to the police the Hilton’s prejudicial actions can get you killed. So, the thing to do was depart the lodge humiliated moderately than face that risk.

That happened to a man I do know.

Static is extra essential than a contract, and extra vital than any settlement meant for commerce and revenue. A beloved black character not just stored alive by phrase of mouth but flourishing alone is a goldmine for AT&T if it makes a billion dollars or not a dime.

Agreements are very important; I’m just saying exceptions made for the higher good I might argue maintain us dare I say civilized. I’m presently breaking an agreement preventing me from discussing the very matters this text covers, doing so for the larger good.

That “agreement” is a damning smoking gun evidence of a determination made with malice. What did I do to justify a sustained coverage of exclusion?

My contributions to the firm have been by no means in query; they are stellar. So stellar are my doings at DC it begs the query: is Static Shock being held back because of a private dislike of Michael Davis?

I’ve been labeled troublemaker, amongst different things. That’s true—I’m hassle when approached like I’m a youngster talked to like I’m stupid.

I’m far from silly. Can’t say the similar for the one that sent a fraudulent letter with false info in a bid to cease me from turning into President & CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks.

That’s silly.

Having two staff misinform attempt to body you?

That’s legal.

I stated Milestone is capable of exploiting Static with or with out DC’s involvement, but I hope it is with DC that the next stage of Static occurs. DC does the greatest books in the business, and the energy of AT&T and Time Warner’s attain is awe-inspiring.

The knock, on black content material, is variety doesn’t promote. That often comes from those who don’t sell variety as a result of they will’t.

Milestone’s Reggie Hudlin Derek Dingle and Milestone’s inventor Denys Cowan can promote variety. They’ve executed so all their professional lives.

Static has a worldwide following ignored by DC and Warner Bros. With help from AT&T Warner Bros. and DC Comics I consider Static will do the sort of numbers as a movie to rival or even surpass Black Panther.

Lastly, I depart you with this.

I’ve history with AT&T additionally. Your organization are sponsors of my discussion board the Black Panel. I’ve additionally been invited to participate in numerous AT&T artwork exhibits at AT&T corporate in New Jersey.

Talking of artwork, AT&T has considered one of the most celebrated art collections in the world.

Amongst the acquisitions are paintings by William T. Williams, underscoring AT&T’s dedication to Black America. Mr. Williams was the first Black artist inducted into Janson’s History of Art.

When that moment occurred, he refused. He refused because he felt Janson should acknowledge other black artists that came before him.

Janson did just that; they included other notable African American artists.

The Janson History of Art did that regardless of the money and time it took to accomplish this. Janson is the world leader in art historical past publications, and to take action was a large enterprise.

Nevertheless, it was the proper thing to do.

There’s a DC Comics connection to Mr. Williams. The portray used to symbolize his work is referred to as Batman. Just so happens, Batman is my favorite superhero, I used to be obsessed with the 60’s TV present.

So much so it drove me to like drawing Batman, which stored me inside and helped maintain me alive. My sister and grandmother each died violent deaths that would have easily been me and virtually was.

My love of drawing Batman was loving art that led to working at Mr. Williams studio. I was working in the studio of a world-renowned artist at a very younger age.

I was ten.

He had me ‘work’ in his studio to maintain me protected.

William T. Williams is my mentor, my hero, and my cousin. Batman was named with me in mind. So, a DC Comics character is featured in the most influential art history e-book in the world due to me.

I wanted heroes to help me stay alive and when actual ones weren’t obtainable, I discovered them in comics. I’d wish to work with DC once more but when it’ll help get Static to the subsequent degree, I’ll signal an agreement stating I gained’t use the letters D or C for the rest of my life.

That’s ridiculous, I do know.

Not as ridiculous as ignoring the virtually 800,000 views David Kirkman’s Static Fan Film has in only weeks on YouTube fueled by just phrase of mouth. Now think about that number with the energy of AT&T Warner Bros. DC Comics and Milestone all working in live performance.

Please contemplate taking a second and look at what may be attainable.

“AT&T gives you more for your thing, More entertainment, Internet, and unlimited plans. More for your thing. Yeah, that’s our thing.”

All the hundreds of thousands of Static Shock followers ask is so that you can do your thing.

—Michael Davis, PhD
Los Angeles, CA
July 2019