To end Black History Month, I wish to highlight a recent event held in San Diego, California, home of the world-famous San Diego Comic-Con and of local comics publisher IDW.
On February 17th, the augural Black Com!x Day was held at the Malcolm X Library. The organizer for the event, Keithan Jones, is also the founder of local independent publisher KID Comics, whose mission statement says they simply want to, “have fun making the coolest comics on Earth.”
The likes of comic book writer and author David F. Walker and comic artist Ray Height were in attendance, as well as other black comic creators and vendors. Though the event was isolated for the most part to one room, resembling something along the lines of SDCC’s beginnings in the Grant Hotel’s basement, there was still an intimate and jovial feel to the entire thing. I can honestly say I had never been to a comic convention with the likes of “Sexual Healing” playing on loudspeakers until now.
As the sales of Marvel’s Black Panther heads towards 1 billion dollars globally at the time of this article’s writing, it is a clear that black fans are over joyed to see characters of color finally given the full Hollywood treatment. Not to say that there haven’t been comic characters and comic creators of color until now, but it appears they are beginning to see some of the recognition that they deserve. The comic industry also saw something very similar with last year’s Wonder Woman, who not only was heralded as a “home-run” for DC Entertainment, but also showed that not only boys were interested in comic books and comic related toys. Since then, company Mattel has even received an award for their DC Super Hero Girls toy line.
Indeed, the world of comics is seeing a steady transformation with this wave of diversification, especially evident by such events as San Diego’s 1st Black Com!x Day. For creators, vendors, and fans of the medium, it will be exciting to see what else is in store for the industry.
Nicholas Eskey is an avid reader and writer. When not contributing to The Beat, he works on his personal projects, the latest being a fantasy novel called “My Personable Demon.” He lives in San Diego, California, and is frequently bossed around by his cat.