October 22, 2014

NYCC: The Black Dynamite Experience Pt 2!


The hit animated series, Black Dynamite, has returned for it’s second season on Adult Swim and we had the chance to speak with Carl Jones, Michael Jai White, Kym Whitley, Byron Minns, and Tommy Davidson at NYCC. For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the show, it was spawned from the live action Blaxploitation spoof film of the same name. There is also a comic published by IDW which captures the spirit of the film and animated series perfectly. The success of Black Dynamite is no accident and when you see these creative individuals come together it’s easy to see how their chemistry has transferred to the various mediums Black Dynamite is represented in.

After being seated it wasn’t too long of a wait as the cast of Black Dynamite walked in and were welcomed by applause and cheers from those in the room. Though I’m pretty sure that as prepared as most of us were there is nothing that can prepare you for the energy and wit of superstar comedian, Tommy Davidson. The man is a legend and he commanded that room the entire time he was there. The amount of laughter before the interviews began could have powered the Monsters Inc. world forever! And if you didn’t get that reference then you need to watch Monsters Inc.

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L to R: Byron Minns, Michael Jai White, & Carl Jones

Once again was lucky enough to get the first round of interviews so we sat with Byron Minns, Michael Jai White, and Carl Jones. As the questions flew regarding favorite superheroes and other projects from various media outlets, wanted to know if there was a new approach taken in going into the second season whether it was dealing with the animation or improving the story process. Michael stated that they did go back and see what did and what didn’t work in the first season and used the time wisely between seasons. Carl’s response centered around the social commentary and how they used season one to “test the waters a bit” and see how far they can go with the more controversial issues and satire. Those who watched the first season are well aware of how far the envelope was pushed and hopefully you weren’t too busy laughing to get the message.

When it comes to any animated series fans always want to know who the voice actors will be. So with the crazy cast of characters that tend to show up in Black Dynamite we wanted to know if there were any special guest appearing like in last season. After the three of them looked at each other for the nod of approval several names started to come out like Erykah Badu, Samuel L. Jackson, Mel B., and more! We were also told that Kurtis the Frog would be returning along with a character called “Black Jaws”. Carl Jones also assured us that boundaries will definitely be pushed in the season finale.

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Tommy Davidson & Kym Whitley

Earlier I stated that Tommy Davidson commanded that room from the minute he walked in and over hearing what was happening during our break this was going to be quite the round of interviews. As he and Kym sat down it wasn’t long before things were underway. Tommy attributed his start in the hit comedy sketch show, In Living Color, to his success with the Black Dynamite cast. Stating that he “was brought into comedy in an atmosphere of teamwork.” and carried that mindset from project to project and carried that chemistry over to the animated series. also asked Kym what changes she is bringing to her approach to her character “Honey Bee”. This took a few minutes to get an answer because Tommy took the opportunity to point out my large hands and dub my technique as “Tarantula Style” interviewing. Once the laughter subsided Kym informed us that she leaves her character’s involvement  in the story to the writers and animators however she is making it a point to improve her voice acting skills. Tommy asks her how she does this and he did his imitation of Carl Jones and the two gave us a hilarious peek at what happens in the recording booth. Both gave a lot of credit to the writers and stated they’re allowed to improv a bit but they all can’t be in the booth recording at the same time because nothing would get done.

With promises of another great season the cast wrapped things up and it was time to go. It’s easy to see how their comedy comes across so well on the show when you see them together. Their professionalism also gives more gravitas to the social commentary and satirical wit that has extended from the film to the comic and now the animated series. Which also had a hilarious debut episode this past weekend and hopefully you were able to get the message between the laughs!

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For Black Dynamite Season 1 NYCC coverage click here!

All photos courtesy of E. Snell Design


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