The second volume of the Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community is now in the process of getting crowdfunded on Kickstarter. The campaign aims to update the project with new creators, stores, and projects that are quickly springing up as the Black community continues to carve out a unique spot within the comics industry. Heavy Metal editor Joe Illidge, our own long-time Comics Beat contributor George Carmona 3rd, and the owner of the Anyone Comics store in Brooklyn Dimitrios Fragiskatos all return for the second book.
The Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise enough funds to cover the cost of several new features in this bigger and more expansive entry. The book will now contain color pages, which definitely adds another dimension to printing costs, while also adding new entries on black-led comics podcasts. This amounts to the book being about a third thicker that the first one.
Artist Jamal Igle draws the cover for the new book, lending his signature style with an illustration of The Wrong Earth‘s Stinger that captures the spirit of the project. Part of the Access Guide’s mission is to offer black voices that don’t have the funds or necessary media outreach an opportunity to promote their work. This is where the community part of the title comes in.
When the first Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community book was released it was common to see comparisons to The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide to the hotels, restaurants, and other establishments that served Black Patrons. It was meant to offer safe passage for black travelers, a kind of map for a better shot at survival on the road.
While the Access Guide does carry a certain quality of that in it, it’s not meant to offer safe travels. It’s meant to take fans of all races outside of their comfort zones and into places that deserve both their time and their attention. Its aim is to inform on the creators, comic book stores, and other black creative projects people should also be looking to.
The book isn’t meant to just be a record of Black voices in the comic book industry. It’s meant as a megaphone, a booming voice that wants to get everyone’s attention focused on what the Black community is doing in comics. It’s a noble endeavor that has more than enough reason to grow with every year.