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The 2022 Black Comic Book Festival celebrates the show’s 10th anniversary next month

A whole decade of inspiration

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Ten years is a long time – and to make it through a whole gosh darned pandemic in that period warrants extra kudos. Come 13 to 15 January, the 2022 Black Comic Book Festival will hit that magic number with a mix of virtual and in-person programming.

The 2021 event was forced to be go all-virtual as public buildings were forced to shuttered as a precautionary measure. The 2022 Black Comic Book Festival will be the first time in two years that people will be able to experience the event in person, with the inclusion of virtual programming for those unable to attend for travel or health reasons.

New York’s illustrious Schomburg Center has hosted the show since 2012. Via a post on the New York Public Library website, the Schomburg’s Communications and Publications Manager Lisa Herndon begins the countdown for next month’s big event.

Herndon,

Founded by scholar Jonathan Gayles, educator Deirdre Hollman, illustrator John Jennings, and writer Jerry Craft, the Black Comic Book Festival will mark a decade of bringing together animators, Blerds, bloggers, cosplay lovers, fans, families, illustrators, independent publishers, and writers in 2022. The festival provides a platform to celebrate Black comic books and graphic novels and get materials directly to readers of color…

Since 2012, the BCBF has grown from the Friday and Saturday event with a few thousand in attendance to over 6,500 supporters coming through the doors of the Schomburg Center in 2020 over three days. Attendees come from Harlem and all the way from the West Coast.

Attendees experience, enjoy, and step into an Afrocentric universe. Black culture, people, history, and creativity serve as the backdrop to showcase positive images and shatter narratives promoting degrading stereotypes, half-truths, and historical omissions. Past events have included panel discussions, film screenings, workshops, book launches, and cosplay competitions.

Covering four rooms at the Schomburg Center, the BCBF has also provided a platform for over 40 independent publishers each year to share and sell their works directly to Black and Brown readers.

Artists introduce new superhero characters whose origins are rooted in their Black and Brown identities. Women of color, underrepresented in the industry, have a platform to expand the universe of storytellers, publishers, illustrators, and leading characters.

Black history becomes more accessible to young readers as illustrators draw the stories in vibrant colored graphic novels and comic book form. Their works cover the stories of people of the African diaspora not included in school textbooks. Real-life Black history heroes take on literary superhero status.

Festival co-founder John Jennings posted on Twitter,

This year’s official show poster is by New York based artist, designer and art director Micheline Hess.

Check out the NYPR page for a six-part blog series to give people insight into the history and people that make the show.

The full event programming will be announced on Friday but we do know that the show will open with a virtual panel featuring three of the founders (Gayles, Hollman, and Jennings) where they will discuss the show’s origins, the past decade and their plans for the future. This panel will take place January 13, at 12pm – keep an eye on the event page for registration details.

An advance congratulations to the crew for hitting this auspicious number.

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