Over the weekend, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City held the 5th installment of its annual Black Comic Book Festival, which was expanded to 2 full days this year, an indication that it’s growing.
Co-founded by Deirdre Hollman (Director of Education and Exhibitions at the Schomburg), Jerry Craft (“Mama’s Boyz” and “The Offenders”), John Jennings (Black Kirby/UC Riverside), and Jonathan Gayles (Georgia State University), the festival kicked off on Friday January 13, running through Saturday, January 14, with a program that included exhibitions by comic creators, a youth program, film screenings, a cosplay show, and several panels covering a wide range of comic book related subjects. And thankfully, each panel was live-streamed and videotaped for those who couldn’t attend the festival, giving wide access beyond New York City. The videos (ranging in length from 1 – 2 hours per) are all now available online to watch. I’ve embedded them below, along with descriptions of each one, so check them out, or bookmark to watch later.
— Youth Program: My Creative Life in Comics and Kid Lit
Panelists: Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz and The Offenders), David Miller (Khalil’s Way), Zetta Elliot (A Wish After Midnight, Ship of Souls), Alex Simmons (Blackjack, Archie, Kids Comic Con), and Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground). Moderated by Deirdre Hollman.
— How to Draw Afrakan Superheroes (Lecture/Demonstration)
Presented by Akinseye Brown, Sokoya Productions
— Tribute to Jackie Ormes, 1st Black Syndicated Comic “Torchy Brown”
— Curating Comics: Creating Exhibitions in Galleries and in Digital Spaces
Panelists: William Villalongo (Black Pulp!), Tim Fielder (Black Metropolis), John Jennings and Stacey Robinson (Black Kirby). Moderated by Jonathan Gray
— Comics are Lit: Graphic Novel Adaptations of Literature
Panelists: John Jennings and Damian Duffy (Kindred), Dawud Anyabwile (Monster), Kyle Baker (Nat Turner), and Andrew Aydin (March Books 1-3). Moderated by Jonathan Gayles.
— Black Heroes Matter
Panelists: Mshindo (BlackOps, Indigo, and Anikulapo), Trevor Von Eeden (Black Lightning, Thriller, and Jack Johnson), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), and Dewunmi Roye Okupe (E.X.O.-The Legend of Wale Williams). Moderated by David Walker (Powerman & Iron Fist, Occupy Avengers, Shaft).
— Tribute to Dawud Anyabwile, Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline
Moderated by Jonathan Gayles
— Fierce Femininity & Fandom
Panelists: Maia Crown Williams (MeccaCon and BSAM), Regine Sawyer (Ice Witch, Eating Vampires, Women in Comics), and Micheline Hess (Malice in Ovenland). Moderated by Ja’nell Ajani.
— Comics and Hip-Hop
Panelists: Eric Orr (Max the Robot), Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (DMC, Darryl Makes Comics), Ron Wimberly (Prince of Cats), Sole Rebel (SoleRebelArts), and Andre LeRoy Davis (The Last Word). Moderated by Jonathan Gray.