The anti-Disney princess

Malcolm Harris, born and raised in Oak Cliff, intends to make his mark on the world with comic books. Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Created by a Cliffite, she’s about to become a movie star

Princess Lucinda would probably pick a fight with Cinderella or Ariel. She was born in an evil kingdom far away, and all was well until forces of good invaded her family’s evil paradise, and her parents had to send Lucinda and her sister to Earth.

This evil princess is the subject of a comic book series read the world over from Australia to Europe, and created right here in Oak Cliff by Malcolm Harris.

As a kid, Harris’s mother and brother took him to a local comic book store to meet Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, the writer and artist of his favorite series, “The New Teen Titans.”

“I saw them and thought, ‘These are real guys, they are real people,’ ” Harris says. “Once I saw that there were real people behinds these books, I decided, one day I’m going to be that person.”

Harris is not your average comic book writer. For one, his writing approach includes listening to music that fits with his characters and the story he’s trying to tell. Some days it’s ’80s heavy metal; the next it’s New Age.

Also, Harris says that when fans meet him, many of them are surprised to see that the writer of their favorite series is black.

“At first it was hard because I didn’t know that there were others out there like me, but with the internet, I have connected with a lot of other black writers,” Harris says. “We realized we are not alone.”

His self-publishing approach, instead of going to work for some of the well-known comics brands like Marvel or DC, is another distinction. In 2002 he self-published his first series, “Witch Tales,” centered on Princess Lucinda. He launched Channel-M Publishing in 2010 after deciding to write full-time. Harris enjoys both the freedom to direct his own storylines and working with a small group of people to produce their books.

“As a small writer, it was so hard to get noticed by the big companies,” Harris says. “I wanted to prove that small companies can go out there and make it big. We are just as valid as they are.”

Now, he has developed more than 1,000 characters and is currently working on three series to be distributed to retailers all over the world via his Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. A short film featuring the story of Princess Lucinda is his next project. Hopefuls have traveled from all over the world to audition for the part of Lucinda, and a campaign recently began to solicit donations for the film. Production will begin this month, whether or not the $10,000 fundraising goal is met, and Harris is excited. A born and raised Cliffite, he wants his new project to showcase his neighborhood.

“I want to show how creative people from Oak Cliff are,” Harris says. “I want to help put Oak Cliff on the map.” 

Malcolm Harris’s books are sold at Zeus Comics on Oak Lawn and in the Kindle ebook store.

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