By Hannibal Tabu

In 2016, a small but enthusiastic group gathered together to celebrate the idea that having Black heroes for people to look up to and find inspiration from was an important concept. Led by comics creators Uraeus (Jaycen Wise) and David Walker (Bitter Root, Naomi, Number 13), a huge group of Black fans, creators and personalities showed up to send a message without saying a word.

The event was not without its challenges. For the last two years, the group photo was taken on the Grand Staircase, located between the C and D pavilions of the San Diego Convention Center. This year, ominous signs with manned security emphasized that the Grand Staircase was “closed” for the entire weekend with no exceptions.

This led to a strange migration around the convention center via various routes to a rear staircase with a slant. Walker ended up leading a quartet of interested parties to circumnavigate the entire convention, even walking past the Hilton Bayfront and the profanity-laden Adult Swim activation to finally ascend near the docks.

Based on photos, Uraeus led a much larger group of participants on a march through the convention center. Grumbles and confusion aside, the mass of people finally assembled to take the photos (including ones secured by The Beat) and spend at least a half hour chatting and networking.

Like a family reunion, people met amiably. Many congratulated Sebastian Jones on the impending HBO series set in the world of Asunda from his company Stranger Comics. Milestone founder Michael Davis cracked jokes from behind his sunglasses. YouTube celebrity Andre the Black Nerd marveled as independent artist Quinn McGowan showed how he’d created a character based on the personality’s likeness as an homage.

After some time, groups and individuals drifted off with the memory of another emotional and powerful stand for inclusion and representation in the comics industry. See below for a small gallery of photos from the 4th annual Black Heroes Matter Flash Mob.