jonathan gayles

Black Comic Book Festival

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening! Whenever you might be reading this post, welcome!

Over this weekend on Friday and Saturday January the13th and 14th was the Fifth Annual Black Comic Book Festival held at the Schomburg for Research in Black Culture.

Admittedly, this was my first visit to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. However, it will most definitely not be my last. Something I do plan on rectifying in the near future, a  point made more poignant as I write this on the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. (Not only as a historian but as an inquisitive Black person living in NYC)

A short history: The Black Comic Book Festival is a convention held yearly at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. Co-founded in 2012 by Deirdre Hollman, Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft, John Jennings and Jonathan Gayles. Black Comic Book Fest celebrates Black artists and writes in the comic book industry.

The Black Comic Book Festival was pretty dope, and very fulfilling! As an expanded effort on my part to attend more conventions other than Comic Con it’s nice to go check out other Conventions as they grow and expand. Not to mention have the time to speak to writers and artists in a more casual (not to mention less stressful) environment. A sentiment I think many a fellow nerd can identify with when attending heavily crowded and populated events/conventions.

Earlier last year, I took the opportunity to check out the Women in Comics Convention (WinCon) held at the New York Public Library’s Bronx Library Center, founded by Regine Sawyer (author of Eating Vampires) through her organization Women in Comics. Which will be coming up soon on March 25th if interested in going. Take the time to check it out if you have the chance!

I spoke to Regine Sawyer briefly, much to my surprise she remembered me from Women in Comics Con last year. Which in and of itself was delightful and refreshing I might add.

Maia Crown Williams was also in attendance representing MECCA Con (Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Art) and Bronx Heroes as well!

A major shout-out to many of the artists and writers as well as teams that put out some spectacular work in the last couple years now: BLACK (Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith, Jamal Igle), Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams, Greg Burnham), E.X.O. (Roye Okupe), Ajala (Robert Garrett, N. Steven Harris), Brother Man (Dawud Anyabwile, Guy A. Sims, Brian McGee), Shaft (David F. Walker).

Overall, Black Comic Book Fest was a blast and thoroughly enjoyable. If you’ve read down to this point or just skipped down for a TL;DR I’d definitely suggest checking it out next year. If you have the time on March 25th, check out Women in Comics as well.