Desiree Marshall (aka Dezi) and I go way back. Okay, not way, way back, but I’ve known her for at a little over 10 years. I met the diminutive entrepreneur over a decade ago at a natural hair show where she debuted her clothing line Afrodelik. Taken by her unique and funky pieces, I did what I normally do when I meet someone remarkable…I asked if I could write about her and share her passion with my audience.
I wrote a few articles and felt great knowing that I was able to let the city (and world!) know about her business.
Then, in November 2015 – almost 10 years later, I bumped into Dezi at Emily Mills’ #HowSheHustles pop up shop. It was kinda cool because it felt like no time had passed. She told me about how her business had grown and matured over the years, but she was still dreaming of growing her brand.
After this second meeting, I chose to feature her another time – just so that I could update my audience on what life has been like for her over the past 10 years as a businesswoman, wife and mother.
In early spring of this year, Dezi announced that she would be launching a comic book called – AfroCity: The Twenty First Night of September- An Afrodelik Tale, centered around the characters from her clothing line. I thought it was a genius idea and added the launch to my list of “must attend” events.
Comic Book Launch @ A Different Booklist
I wandered into A Different Booklist and saw a group of attendees admiring Dezi’s intricately drawn artwork which was hung on the walls, while a sea of people were flipping through Dezi’s comic book and limited edition t-shirts. The DJ was playing jazzy, funky tunes while a few people sipped on rum punch. I felt so proud of Dezi and felt privileged that I was able to see her business grow and blossom.
Seeing that she was the woman of the hour, I didn’t get to speak to her for too long, but I did take a moment to congratulate and give her a big hug.
Around 8 pm she took center stage and answered a few questions posed to her by Anne-Marie Woods (the interviewer for the night) and the attendees.
Once the excitement died down, I got in line for a signed copy of the comic book and let Dezi know that I wanted to write about her again (third time’s a charm!) and speak about her journey of getting the comic book off the ground. Here’s what she had to say.
Why did you create the comic book?
I created the comic book because it was time. I’ve had the idea of a comic book since the conception of my AfroCity characters…over 10 years or more. The AfroCity characters were the very first collection that I drew for my AFRODELIK brand – I believe I drew Miss Foxy first, and then her cousin Rudy. While creating them, I gave them each a personality, and that was one of the funnest things to do. It all came so easily. It’s like I knew them. At that point I knew I wanted to see them speak and see them move.
So a year ago or so, I met this amazing comic book artist named Paul Pate through social media. He illustrated a comic book for a business friend, and I contacted him and we started working on the book. I originally hired him to redraw my original characters and create the comic book based on my imagination, but then it became a collaboration, hence the conception of AfroCity: The 21st Night of September- An AFRODELIK TALE
How does it feel to have the comic out?
It was a dream come true. It has been something I’ve wanted to do for over 10 years, and it happened! I am so happy, I can’t express the satisfaction of having this special addition to my brand, and seeing my original characters, my creations, move in the direction that I was hoping for
Where can we purchase the comic book?
At the present time, you can purchase AfroCity: The 21st Night of September- An AFRODELIK TALE, at A Different Booklist in Toronto, as well as, online on my website: http://www.afrodelik.com and at various shows and events in which I will be selling my AFRODELIK brand.
Will there be others?
Yes absolutely…more AfroCity comic books and more AFRODELIK designs to come.
Isn’t it cool that the second time I met Dezi she told me she wanted to grow her brand and almost 2 years later she released the comic book? Wow, she is a testament that you should always stay focused, do what you love, and feed your passion. Congrats, Dezi!
For more information on Dezi and Afrodelik, please visit the following sites: