MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Frederick Jones, a UNC Chapel Hill graduate, is a former video game executive who dropped that title to pursue something he’s more passionate about — diversity.

What You Need To Know

  • Saturday AM launched in 2013, calling itself the world’s leading showcase in diverse anime

  • The digital comic book focuses on diverse characters with unique storytelling

  • Creator Frederick Jones is also a former video game executive

“The thing about Japanese manga … is that being an American, an African American, they don’t look like me,” Jones said.

Manga are Japanese-influenced comic and graphic novels, typically illustrated in black and white.

In 2013, after traveling the world and Japan, Jones created Saturday AM, a digital comic book brand fixated on promoting diversity.

“I wanted to challenge the idea that manga can be for anybody, [it] doesn’t have to just have someone with pale skin, spiky hair and blue eyes,” Jones said.

Jones teased his next big title, “Clock Striker.” It's a piece he wrote and created. The comic book features a young Black female lead character.

“Who wanted to become a Smith, which in this world is kind of like a Jedi, they’re like engineers,” Jones said.

Saturday AM averaged nearly one release per month last year, and this year it's launching another 15.

But Jones isn’t stopping there.

Jones says plans are in the works for more graphic novels, toys, and video games for Saturday AM

And the fanbase is already a large one for Saturday AM. Its Instagram page has 25,000 followers, and continues to flourish.

Jones and some members of Saturday AM will be at West Regional Library in Cary next Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Those interested can head out to get signed autographs, talk about all things manga and enter free Saturday AM book giveaways.