Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Let's Look At Black Man Magic! Turtel Onli , M.A.A.T. Phd, BFA,  AA

"Why would one think this is important?"

The first Rhythmistic character was created in 1979 and ran as a cartoon strip in the historic Chicago Defender Newspaper.  The Defender was a leading journal in inspiring Blacks to leave the oppression of the American South for better opportunities in the American North.  It championed liberation and prosperity for decades in the 20th Century. This was innovation. A character, style & concept like none other!

"Why would energy be focused on this?"

In 1981 NOG: The Protector of the Pyramides was published as a Rhythmistic Graphic Novel by ONLI STUDIOS. It oozed with the excitement of being the innovative concept and character that would open the door to the growing Black Age of Comics.  Its creator Turtel Onli had been exploring the potential of his Rhythmistic Future-Primitif stylizations in the visual arts in Fine Art and Commercial illustration since 1970.

"On the same wave length!"

ONLI STUDIOS published a 'zine called "Future Funk" in 1982 to celebrate and promote forward thinking artistic practices and related efforts. Onli exuding confidence in reaching into the future. Knowing a path and untapped market was there in the future.  For the emergence of more genre, markets and opportunities for the practice and profitability of Future-Primif and independent Visual Art derived form the Black, African or Urban experience.  He did this without the blessing of any school, group or establishment. 

This was a Black MAN putting his Black Money behind his Black thoughts & creativity. Expressing his Black MAN MAGIC to the benefit of others.

"Did! Not tried!"

Not talking trash and telling lies or wishing upon a star, Onli did it!  Created terms and products along the way to launching the indie movement known as the Black Age of Comics.  A quick Wiki search will yield more information about that history.  The mainstream, the systems of suppressing of denying the brilliance of Black MAN MAGIC along with some serious maladjusted hating,  in-fighting, or orthodoxy in Black circles often  combined to move the narrative and value away from Onli's works and impact.  As seen when a non-Black decides to explain to Blacks for Blacks a term to use for themselves.  Sort of like the discovery of America when it was already there.

"There is no power like an idea whose time has come!"

Summer & Fall of 2021 will see NOG and Future Funk included in the landmark group exhibition, "Chicago Comics: 1960 until now!" Curated by Dan Nadel at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. This show includes better known works such as "Dick Tracy" and "Brenda Starr".  Yet in a wave of rare righteousness ONLI STUDIOS: NOG and Future-Funk were included. with much luv and appreciation for Turtel! Clearly this curator has a brilliant mind and practice of his own.

In this era of racial justice an reckoning Onli's long overlooked yet ever-present BLACK MAN MAGIC deserves your attention, participation, luv and money.  Why keep supporting the mainstream over your dream? ONLI STUDIOS has already been so about you.



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