In New York, an exhibition celebrates world of Black comic books

  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

In this 2013 primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. Photo: Handout

A New York museum is launching a new exhibit to celebrate Black comic books and a decade of its Black Comic Book Festivals.

Boundless: 10 Years Of Seeding Black Comic Futures features memorabilia, photos and comic books by Black writers and illustrators that focus on Black heroes. It is organised by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, a research library that is part of the New York Public Library system.

The Black Comic Book Festival has provided a platform for over 40 independent publishers each year to sell their works directly to readers of colour from 2012-2020, the New York Public Library said on its website.

The festival has a feeling of community even though the Covid pandemic forced this year's event to be held online, said comic book creator and panel moderator TJ Sterling.

"I think for me, you know, comic conventions as a whole, there's not a heck of a lot of diversity," he said. "I think even the comic book field itself doesn't really give us a diverse look as to types of stories, types of characters... it seemed like this was the place where I could really speak to the people who like my work."

Sterling's graphic novels focus on diverse stories about under-represented characters.

David Crownson, the creator of Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer and the upcoming Nightmare In Newark, called the exhibit space a safe hub where history can be preserved and celebrated.

"It's important just for the next generation to see where we've been and also to empower us and energise us to move forward." - Reuters

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