Ethnic Gem: Al Tariq Harris

School: University of Hartford
:Cinema, University of Hartford
GPA: 3.66

Written by Doron Monk Flakes, Senior Contributing Writer

Sardonic nihilist Kiki haunts the halls of her school, subjugating the will of any hapless inkblot in her path. She drags her BFFs kicking and screaming in her wake of destruction. She takes relentless aim at the fourth wall. She tap dances in and out of her animated format gleefully. She is the creation of Newark native cartoonist Al Harris.

April 2017 EGM Al Harris Article Picture“I decided to follow in the footsteps of Incredibles and Mission Impossible director Brad Bird and go to school for Film in order to pursue animation afterwards,” said Harris. His web cartoon, The Power of K features Kiki, an Adult Swim-bound latina anti-Charlie Brown and her school body of potential victims —er, friends. The humor is less G-rated than the visual style would imply, but it has shades of Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks or The Amazing World of Gumball in its tendency to eschew the expected limits of the medium.

“I see it not only being so popular and substantial by then that I live off of creating it,” said Harris, “but I won’t rest until it goes down in history as one of the greatest pieces of animated art in existence. I want the series to open doors and opportunities for me to enrich people and entertain with animated entertainment until the day I die.”

Harris has a 3.66 GPA and is a member of the nonprofit arts community known as the Dominant Collective. He credits his high school art teachers as great mentors: Kennis Fairfax, Faust Sevila and Bob Richardson. He learned branding from Newark’s Kern Bruce.

Find the Power of K is available on Harris’ Wix site: hairycarr.wix.com/powerofk

“Ethnic GEM in the Making” Al Harris, remember that name, I have a feeling Hollywood will be knocking on his door!

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