Author, screenwriter and producer, Rodney Barnes is teaming up with rapper, actor and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg (Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) to release a horror anthology graphic novel called Tales From The Crip. In an Instagram post, Snoop Dogg informed his followers (https://www.instagram.com/p/CZjGhA4liyP/) about the forthcoming collaboration.
“Be on the lookout for the graphic novel, Tales From The Crip, written by Rodney Barnes, starring Snoop Dogg. Yeah, Tales From The Crip. You better know it,” he said in the video clip.
Barnes, an Annapolis native confirmed that the project will be coming soon. He was visible in the background, giving a slow nod at the end of the audible announcement, while a beat flowed in the background. He grew up in Eastport and Primrose Acres in his youth, recalling a time when comic books were plentiful. There was no need to take a trip to the comic bookstore. The cost of them was about twenty cents.
He now lives in Los Angeles, Ca. while delving into creative pursuits which entails writing and producing shows through Zombie Love Studios for comic books he creates or owns, Rodney Barnes Productions, and creating content offered through Image Comics. Barnes works with others on a contractual basis, too. And now, he is working to bring diversity to a venture with Snoop Dogg— Black representation in the graphic novel space.
“It’s an anthology series like The Twilight Zone or Creep Show or the Tales from the Crypt show where there will be urban theme shows that Snoop will introduce like the Crypt-Keeper that are set in an urban environment,” Barnes said. “So instead of typically what you usually see, it’ll be shows or stories— more towards our culture and other ancillary cultures.”
Despite Barnes’ remarkable achievements which range from collaborating with Snoop Dogg to working as a co-executive producer and writer on television shows such as Everybody Hates Chris and Marvel’s Runaways, the journey to move to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of a screenwriting career upon advice he received from comedian, writer and actor, Damon Wayans.
While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., Barnes worked as a production assistant on the comedy film, Major Payne with Wayans. After working on a second project with him, moving to the hub of entertainment came up in conversation. The idea of relocating did not come without much sacrifice.
“And at the time I was commuting from Maryland to LA, so I would get in my car and drive the three-day drive— get here and start working. We (Damon Wayans and I) had a frank conversation one day where he said, ‘You know, if you really want to write, you have to move here,’” Barnes said. “And, this was before the Internet was the Internet in the same way it is now. There was no social media. There was no way to communicate the same way you can now. It’s not the same if you’re a writer and you want to make it now, but back then you had to be available to have meetings and do things on the fly. So I packed up, moved to LA, lived in my car for like eight months, and started my journey.”
Barnes invested in his success, while working in production for nearly ten years. After building momentum, he became a member of The Writers Guild of America (WGA), a union representing film and television writers in 2000 or 2001.
During an interview with The Annapolis Times and The Baltimore Times newspapers, Barnes reflected on his partial recipe for success in overcoming barriers or obstacles to break into writing production or these creative pursuits.
“Really being self-aware is the key. Because what happens is things are going to go well for a minute, then things are going to go down,” said Barnes about the peaks and valleys of the business. “I can say that there’s a correlation between me being better as a person and me being better at my career.”
Learn more about Rodney Barnes via https://rodneybarnes.com/about/. Follow him on Instagram @therodneybarnes to learn more about his work and the forthcoming project with Snoop Dogg, which will be released later this year.