The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture recently held its 10th annual Black Comic Book Festival, aka #SchomCom2022, from January 13–15, 2022. Taking place virtually, the BCBF celebrated the rich tradition of the Black comic and graphic novels, plus the writers, Blerds, bloggers, cosplayers, publishers, artists, and fans who support the genre.
Are you ready to continue the conversation on Black comics and learn more about its trailblazers? Here are some suggestions of materials to explore in person at the Center and online.
VIEW IN PERSON
Read The Black Comic Book Festival's Origins Story
Jerry Craft, Jonathan Gayles, Deirdre Hollman, and John Jennings cofounded the Black Comic Book Festival in 2012. Learn more about them in a 2017 comic book created in honor of the festival's fifth anniversary.
“It’s hard to believe that five short years ago the Black Comic Book Festival was a mere idea.” Those were the opening words of a special edition 2017 comic book created for the festival’s fifth anniversary in 2017. The Schomburg Center published the issue detailing the event’s history, the year’s schedule of events, panelists and vendors. The Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division has a copy of this once-in-a-lifetime-issue.
Materials Featuring Black Comic Book Festival Cofounders
The Schomburg Center's collections hold materials on three of the Black Comic Book Festival 's cofounders.
Many of the Black Comic Book Festival’s cofounders are also critically acclaimed authors and designers.
Visit the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division to explore a book written by Jerry Craft and another featuring John Jennings.
Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, author and illustrator Jerry Craft’s New Kid tells the story of seventh-grader Jordan Banks. He juggles navigating the culture of his new school, where he is one of the few students of color, keeping his friends from his Washington Heights community, and staying true to himself.
The Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division holds the documentary White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books. Produced, written, and directed by Jonathan Gayles, the film examines how Black superheroes were shaped and burdened by stereotypes of Black men and how the images of men of color changed over the decades.
John Jennings: Conversations (Conversations with Comic Artists Series), edited by Donna-lyn Washington, includes interviews with Jennings where he discusses the need for Black superheroes, the founding of the Black Comic Book Festival, systemic racism, plus the struggle for Black artists to receive payment for their work.
Kid ’N Play Comic Book Collection
The success of the film House Party led to a comic book series for the rap duo Kid 'N Play
The box office success of the 1990 film House Party brought the rap duo Kid ‘N Play to the attention of a wider audience. It also led to a short-lived comic book series published by Marvel. The Kid ‘N Play comic book ran for nine issues. The Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division has every one in its Hip-Hop Archive Project Files collection.
Get your popcorn and catch up on every panel discussion and cosplay competition since 2015 on the Center’s Livestream channel!
Binge-watching can begin with the first talk “Publisher’s Panel.” Festival cofounder John Jennings moderates a conversation with Zetta Elliot (The Deep), Alex Simmons (BlackJack), and Tim Fielder (Matty’s Rocket and Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale).
Want even more information on Black comics, graphic novels, or trailblazing Black women such as Jackie Ormes, the first African American woman cartoonist? Explore the guide, Black Comics and Graphic Novels, created by Rhonda Evans, assistant chief librarian at the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division. It offers an overview of the Center’s collections of materials plus an introduction to the unsung artists who shaped the industry.
Return to the main page of the blog series: The Black Comic Book Festival Is Turning 10!
Return to the Schomburg Center’s Main Page
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