This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
Did you know that February is Black History Month? You probably do, but you may not know it’s also Black Comics Month. I sat down with the founder of #BlackComicsMonth, Vixen (you can find her at @MizCaramelVixen on Twitter) to talk a bit about the history of Black Comics Month, its goals, and how we, as consumers, can help.
Swapna Krishna: We know that February is Black History Month. But what is Black Comics Month?
Vixen: Like you said we all know that February is Black History Month and we recognize people in the black community that have accomplished amazing things. For #BlackComicsMonth, I wanted to do the same thing and put a spotlight on the black comics community. There are many that have dropped some amazing books and many don’t know about them. So I created BlackComicsMonth.com and the hashtag so all someone has to do is click, scroll and hopefully find a comic by a black comic book creator that grabs their attention.
SK: Why did you start Black Comics Month?
V: It was the second week in January and the Milestone 2.0 announcement was made, of course I was thrilled, but I saw several tweets from people asking if there were black superheroes. I’m still not sure to this day if they were trolls or not. I won’t lie, I was ticked off that people had no idea that black superheroes existed and if they didn’t know about them, then they probably wouldn’t know about the creators. So, I took a sworn oath in my head and came up with #BlackComicsMonth.
SK: Black Comics Month has become a movement that extends beyond just the month of February. Did you ever envision it becoming such a huge thing?
V: I made the decision in the middle of the month that I had to extend BlackComicsMonth beyond February. After realizing that the black comic creators I featured were dropping books every month, I just had to keep the movement going and I changed the slogan to “Every Month is #BlackComicsMonth!” As far as the feedback, it was intense! Never in a million years would I think that Marvel, Image, Dynamite, Boom, etc would tweet about #BlackComicsMonth. I certainly wasn’t expecting to receive comic donations from a few of these publishers; Dark Horse Comics sponsored #BlackComicsMonth for the whole year! #BlackComicsMonth even went on to have a panel at SENYC as well as NYCC; it was standing room only with over 300 seats filled. Yeah. I definitely never expected this at all!
SK: What impact has Black Comics Month had, and what can individual consumers do to help further the goals of Black Comics Month?
V: #BlackComicsMonth has opened up many people to a world of comics that are created by black comic creators. They’re learning more about them and they’re seeing that there’s a diverse comics world out there. Many have come up to me and thanked me personally for starting #BlackComicsMonth. #RepresentationMatters and not just in the pages of comics, seeing a creator of color’s name on the cover means the world to many. Everything that I do for #BlackComicsMonth is for creators and consumers; the satisfaction I receive is when I get a picture of the book they purchased that was spotlighted during #BlackComicsMonth!
RT’s and likes are all well and good, but if you do not open up your wallet and purchase comics that are featured during #BlackComicsMonth, then not only are you doing yourself a disservice, but you’re missing out on some amazing talented men and women.
SK: If you could make everyone pick up 5 comics, what would they be?
V: Oh crap. You WOULD put me on the spot wouldn’t you? These are in NO particular order!!!!
1. Kelly Sue and Valentine De Landro’s Bitch Planet.
2. Genius by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman and Afua Richardson.
3. Nutmeg by James F. Wright and Jackie Crofts.
4. SHAFT by David F Walker and Bilquis Evely.
5. Postal by Bryan Edward Hill, Matt Hawkins and Isaac Goodhart
6. Concrete Park by Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear
Yeah, I know you said 5…SORRY!
Thank you so much for this great interview. Stay tuned to #BlackComicsMonth and subscribe to BlackComicsMonth.com, you won’t want to miss what’s happening next! Remember: Every Month is #BlackComicsMonth!
Pick up the comics that Vixen recommends and make sure you check out BlackComicsMonth.com and the #BlackComicsMonth hashtag for more comics you should buy!