Black Salt is a black created, self-published action-adventure indie comic book series created by Owen Ratliff on the come up. Ratliff created Black Salt in 2014 with two expressed goals. One, he wanted to see more minority heroes on the big screen with roles that he felt had “real social value”. And two, he wanted to create a story with a threat so immense that all races across the world would need to work together for humanity’s survival. Fusing his fascination with Shaolin and martial arts with modern-day espionage and political intrigue to create this unique black comic book.
And Ratliff always had an ever bigger vision for his project. And after the release of the comic, he self-produced a short film based on it. He then successfully crowdfunded and created a proof-of-concept film. The film stared Kinyumba Mutakabbir (of Fox’s hit show Star) as Samuel Lincoln Tharpe, the story’s protagonist. And it was directed Ben Ramsey (‘Blood and Bone’). The short film won the 2015 Cinemax short film competition, and Ratliff and his team secured a licensing deal with HBO.
But again Ratliff’s vision for The Black Salt empire was even grander. He has a feature film and animated series in the works, an apparel line, toys, a potential NFT launch, and even a nearly completed videogame. The game is 3D arena fighter which is actually out now in early access for PC gamers on Steam with the end goal of reaching consoles once completed.
All of this is a huge deal for a young creator for The Culture. Without major financial or technical backing, Owen Ratliff has managed to create a successful and ever-expanding indie franchise lead by a black superhero. All respect due to Mr. Ratliff.
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Written by @TalentedMrFord