A Creative Odyssey

Graphic featuring panels of comics. The graphic includes the text
This exhibition has closed
February 2–March 29, 2024
Bronx Library Center
Fully Accessible
Headshot of the artist, Manny Knight.



Artist Bio: Manny Knight is an NYC-based illustrator and comic artist who draws inspiration from 90s anime, comics, and JRPGs (Japanese Role-playing Games). He loves developing fantasy realms and combining them with visual communication elements such as typography and poster design. His creations span a diverse range, from captivating comic books to dynamic motion comics and stand-alone illustrations. Through his art, he seeks to capture a profound sense of awe and wonder in the world. Each piece serves as a heartfelt tribute to the elements of his childhood that sparked his journey into the realm of artistry.





Installation Sneak Peek

Portion of the exhibit, "A Creative Odyssey."
Portion of the exhibit "A Creative Odyssey" featuring pages of manga drawings.
Image of the left side of El Cuartito.

Artist Statement: In this exhibition, I retrace visual footprints to tell the story of how I became a manga artist. I explore what art meant to me as a small child living in East Flatbush in the 90s, and the trails, tribulations, and inspirations that got me where I am today.

Magna Ax is a multimedia series that is a love letter to my childhood in the 90s/2000s and pulls references from the media of that era, especially anime and manga of the 90s and Japanese role-playing games. On a non-media level, Manga Ax tackles themes such as survivor guilt, love, loss, and moral conviction—all the things I have grown up through and have experienced in my life. Together, Manga Ax weaves together a tapestry of thrilling and thought-provoking stories meant to be accessible to all audiences, from anime fans to people seeking relatable themes they can reflect upon.

In this exhibition, I endeavor to share a vulnerable chapter of my life, a time of incredible adversity, as well as one characterized by perseverance, belief, and kindness. My story is a testament to the truth that our lives are creative odysseys, as epic and timeless as any tale of heroes and monsters. It also underscores the vital role of community—encompassing family, found family, as well as other supporters who help elevate you while you, in turn, uplift yourself.

In this era where anime and manga enjoy peak popularity, children of color and people from all walks of life find resonance in stories of characters navigating ‘otherness,’ embarking on their own odysseys, and ultimately discovering where they truly belong. Such characters forge ahead through struggle, celebrate triumphs, and learn invaluable lessons along the way. It’s crucial to acknowledge that people of color are not only consumers but creators of these narratives, offering their unique perspectives and voices to the cultural landscape. Representation matters deeply, influencing how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world.

In a time when such representation was scarce for me, I felt adrift until I embarked on the journey of becoming the person I longed to encounter, the mentor I aspired to have.

I’ll leave you with a poignant quote by Viola Davis on representation.

“…People need to see a physical manifestation of their dreams. I don’t care what anyone says. And listen, I love so many actors out there. But there is something about seeing someone who looks like you that makes it more tangible. You can see it, you can touch it, and it gives you the possibility to look through your imagination and you know what? Redefine yourself.”

Interview with Manny Knight

Tell me a little about yourself. What would you like people to know about you as a creative?

Hi, I’m Manny Knight. I’m an NYC-based Illustrator and Manga Artist. I grew up in East Flatbush and various parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. I’ve always been attracted to stories of adventure, wonder, and growth. I’m a big fan of anime, gaming, and all kinds of storytelling.


What does your art/ writing process look like?

I often think about feelings and moments when creating art. For an illustration, I start by imagining characters and deciding on the moment I want to depict. I jot down feelings or corrections as bullet points while doodling. I keep revising until I'm comfortable with the piece or until my brain says, "That's enough for now!" haha.


What inspires your manga?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot about how I’ve grown and come to see myself as a manga artist. I think what inspires Magna AX ( my manga series) is a combination of my personal life experiences along with what I grew up watching, reading & playing as a kid. I grew up on 90s anime, comics, cartoons, and video games. Those things captivated me at a young age and I knew I wanted to give back to what created the fire in me. As I got older, I started to think more about my experiences and how I could relate them to my work as well and began to marry them. 


What will you be featuring in the exhibit?

In this exhibit, I'll showcase my manga series, Magna AX, alongside a comic memoir detailing my life journey for visitors to explore. Additionally, there will be interactive elements, such as a translation station where attendees can learn about the in-universe language of Irdian and try their hand at translating. I'll also present the original manuscript of Magna AX that I completed at sixteen, displayed alongside the finished product, providing insight into the creative process and the evolution of Magna AX. The exhibition will feature original works, including a character wall for getting to know the characters. My goal is for people to connect with both me and Magna AX, sharing in my journey through this showcase.


What do you hope people will find or learn through your work?

I hope people can discover something new about manga, whether they're new to it or already fans of the medium.


Is there anything else you would like to share about your work, such as upcoming projects?

I made Magna AX when I was 10 because I wanted others to feel the same emotions I did while watching and reading stories. Whether it's my story or Magna AX's, I hope my works can pass on those feelings. Thanks to everyone who believed in me and helped me grow as a person and artist.

Showcase Tours and Events

Exhibit Opening- Friday, February 2 | 5-6pm @ BLC

Manga Drawing Workshop- Friday, March 29| 3-5pm @ BLC 

Exhibit Closing- Friday, March 29| 5-6pm @ BLC