This past weekend I attended The Schomburg Center’s 6th Annual Black Comic Book Festival!!! The event was Jam-packed all day with lines of super excited fans anxiously waiting to get inside. This free event was held January 12-13, 2018 , Friday and Saturday at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
“The Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival (BCBF) celebrates the rich tradition of Black comix featuring panel discussions, film screenings, a cosplay show, and exhibit tables with premiere independent Black comic creators from across the United States. The annual extravaganza, which drew close to 12,000 attendees in 2017, connects diverse comic readers, creators, bloggers, nerds, independent publishers, and collectors of all ages.” – New York Public Library
This family friendly event featured dozens of independent comic book creators showcasing their talents. I had the pleasure of speaking with so many creators about their work, and even picked up some new comics that I can’t wait to check out. I saw so many familiar faces from bloggers, to creators and fans alike; an amazing supportive creative community that I am glad to be a part of. I also met many talented and inspiring people that I had the opportunity to see some of their awesome projects. Check out some of the creators below:
COMICS TO CHECK OUT
Dendren Snead: Sorghum and Spear
SORGHUM & SPEAR is an expansive saga that unfolds in the fantasy world of Tal’Jazar, also know as the Eternal Realm. The An’fre, those of the Golden Lineage, rule the largest kingdom of Watan. As the peacekeepers of the realm, the Bronze Army is beset by the malevolent Spora demons, led by the mysterious BRIGHT LADY.- Sorghum and Spear
N Steven Harris: Ajala
The Story Revolves around the coming of age sci-fi Adventures of AJALA STORM a twelve year old junior agent for a C.S.C., a covert group who operate out of franchise of community centers across the United States. -Peep Game Comix
Regine Sawyer: Lockettdown Productions and Women in Comics Collective
Lockett Down Publications is a multi-media company specializing in Comic Books and promotional apparel. It was established in December 2007 by Owner and Founder Regine L. Sawyer, and was first publically debuted at the New York Comic Con, April 2008.
LDP pub has several properties in production: “The Rippers”, its signature series, “Ice Witch”, “Death Mask” and “Chimera”. Each series is interlocking, focusing on the mysterious reaches of outer space and the relationships of the characters that reside in it. – Lockett Down Productions
I have featured Regine and the Women in Comics Collective in previous coverage of the WINC con and Ice Witch in 5 NEW BADASS SUPERHEROES IN HONOR OF BLACK COMICS MONTH.
Anthony Pugh: Kid Buster
KID BUSTER is the story about an orphan misfit kid that gains superpowers. As Buster is trying to figure himself out he finds himself with incredible powers and abilities but with no guidance what will this Kid…Buster do? -Kid Buster
Khary Randolph, Kwanza Osajyefo, Sarah Litt, Tim Smith 3: Black
In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?
After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free. -Black
BLACK: writer: Kwanza Osajyefo; co-creator/designer: Tim Smith 3; artist: Jamal Igle; covers: Khary Randolph; editor: Sarah Litt
Greg Anderson Elysee: Is’Nana The Were-Spider
Is’nana, the son of Anansi the Spider God of Stories, must team up with his father to stop creatures of horrors from inflicting chaos in our world. But can he find his own place in the world and his individuality while attempting to live up to his father’s name and legacy? -Peep Game Comix
Taylor J Sterling: Okemus
Okemus is a sci-fi martial art action thriller featuring Cale..a young scientist with latent superhuman abilities that are essential to saving the world of the present and future. Cale is being pursued by 4 mysterious superpowered warriors on a mission to acquire this unique ability Cale possesses. These 5 characters are on a collision course that breeds action, drama and cool plot twists. -RAE Comics
Check out my interview with Taylor here and Okemus featured in 5 NEW BADASS SUPERHEROES IN HONOR OF BLACK COMICS MONTH!
Whether you like mainstream comics, indie comics, or children’s books there was something for everyone to enjoy! The festival had a number of panels which discussed topics such as diversity and gender representation in comics, how to run a successful kickstarter, a youth program: Heroes of Color, social justice, a screening and interview: exclusive clip from Black Panther presented by Florence Kasumba, differential powers in the African Diaspora, and black geekdom in social media.
Black Comics and the Digital Community: How Black Geekdom has taken over the Worlds of Social Media
This panel discussed what platforms work best for them, how social media plays an important role in getting work out and targeting an audience. They also talked about knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, and what resources are good for marketing and interacting with fans.
How to run a successful Kickstarter Pt. 1
Presented by Greg Anderson Elysee (Is’Nana the Were-Spider)
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is generally recognized as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. For over 90 years the Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent. Educational and Cultural Programs at the Schomburg Center complement its research services and interpret its collections. Seminars, forums, workshops, staged readings, film screenings, performing arts programs, and special events are presented year-round. More information about Schomburg’s collections and programs can be found at www.schomburgcenter.org.
BE SURE TO FOLLOW Schomburg Center AND SEE WHAT IS IN STORE FOR UPCOMING SHOWS!!
Co-founders Deirdre Hollman, former Schomburg Center Director of Education and Exhibitions; Jerry Craft, Mama’s Boyz; John Jennings, Black Kirby/UC Riverside; and Jonathan Gayles, Georgia State University
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter: @SchomburgCenter #blackcomicbookfestnyc