2nd February, 2005 - Mat Johnson on Papa Midnite
    Quote Mat Johnson -

    "I'm a 'Hellblazer' fan, too, and I'm black, and I was always disappointed with Midnite, particularly his original incarnation," admitted Johnson. "I have an immense amount of respect for Alan Moore and the 'Hellblazer' writers come and gone, but to me Midnite was this two dimensional archaic black stereotype- the Noble Savage. Wearing a grass skirt like out of a 1930s Tarzan movie, with a top hat and tails over his naked body just to emphasize through contrast how primitive he was, how uncivilized, how less than human. I love the series so I wanted him to be a fuller character, not just a racist fantasy.

    I tried to make this character more human, give him motivation that, while not always benevolent, are understandable," continued Johnson. "And I tried to add to the idea of his power as well. In comics, Voodoo, or Voodon, is often dismissed as an evil, inferior religion/magic. I want to reveal more about what it is: an amalgamation of ancient West African religion, particular from the Yoruba and Akan peoples. What we see today is still a leftover of the idea that if something is African, or black, it is corrupt and inferior.

    I think ['Papa Midnite'] adds a lot of depth to this odd character individually, as well as a dimension to his relationship with John Constantine. We find out, for instance, that Midnite was the associate of one of John's distant ancestors, Hugh Constantine- a character based on an historical character involved in the 1741 conspiracy"

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