Interested in checking out more comics by Black creators, or supporting Black-owned publishers, but not sure where to start? A new book that’s releasing next month will help get you started. The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021 is the first in a new series of guidebooks intended to introduce readers to Black comics creators, publishers, and even retailers. The book is written by comics shop owner Dimitrios Fragiskatos, editor Joseph Illidge, and journalist (and Beat contributor) George Carmona 3rd, and published by Anyone Comics. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to The Dwayne McDuffie Fund.
Here’s the cover, featuring the superhero Good Girl from Kwanza Osajyefo‘s Black series, as illustrated by Chriscross and Andrew Dalhouse:
Here’s how the announcement describes The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021:
The purpose of the book is to showcase Black creators who have comics or graphic novels that have come out in 2020, as well as showcase publishers themselves and the ideas and goals they are setting in the new year. Additionally, the book will highlight stores and conventions that are Black owned or run. The book will be a vehicle for casual readers, who feel overwhelmed by the options the comic book industry provides, or from store regulars who may want to expand their horizons.
As Dimitrios, Carmona, and Illidge state in the announcement, their ultimate goal is to bring more people to comics while boosting creators, publishers, and shops that might not otherwise see the limelight:
“Our goal, and what everyone in the industry’s goal should be, is to get more people into comics,” Dimitrios emphasized. “Comics books are a medium that benefits from more perspectives contributing to them, and of course, with more people reading them. To us the Access Guide is something that is needed.”
“Working on this project could have been just a job for me, but it’s become a new source for comics that even in the age of optimized search engines, without the proper algorithm driving your request, you might not discover some of the people and places in this guide.”, said Carmona. “The research we’ve done has helped me as a reader find new talent and quality books to support.”
“Black creators and executives have been movers and shakers in the comic book industry for the last fifty years.”, said Illidge. “Now that their voices and contributions have become more prominent, it’s our honor to spotlight Black creativity in what we hope is the yellow brick road to today’s imaginative and courageous Black comic book entrepreneurs.”
More visibility for creators of color and Black-owned businesses is always a welcome thing, and a guide like this one should come in very handy in helping readers discover new talent and support minority-run comic shops and publishers. Check out a preview of a few pages from the forthcoming book below. The Access Guide to the Black Comic book Community is available for preorder now, and is set to arrive in comic stores on Wednesday, February 17th.