The Colorful World of Comic Books Discovers the Power of Black

The Black Comix Arts Festival comes at a time of new visibility for African American characters like the Black Panther.

The Black Comix Arts Festival comes at a time of new visibility for African American characters like the Black Panther. (Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Marvel’s Black Panther hits theaters Feb. 15, and the original comic book is experiencing a renaissance in popularity. But it’s historically been slim pickings for African American comic book fans looking for representation in those colorful panels.

Which makes the 4th annual Black Comix Arts Festival, running Jan. 13-15, a much-needed intervention in the often racially homogeneous world of science fiction, comics and fantasy. The lineup looks dazzling, including science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor, tapped to write the new Black Panther series Long Live the King. Also speaking is John Jennings, one of the illustrators, and Tony Medina, the writer, for I Am Alfonso Jones, a terrific graphic novel from Lee and Low about the Black Lives Matter movement. And look for one of my favorite Bay Area illustrators, Ajuan Mance, a Mills professor who has posted a series of online portraits called One Thousand and One Black Men. If you like cosplay, this seems a good time to try out that Luke Cage, Falcon, or Black Panther costume. Details for the Black Comix Arts Festival are here.

The Colorful World of Comic Books Discovers the Power of Black 10 January,2018Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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