Comics Lowdown: The Diversity issue

Black comics festivals, indy publishers, and the history of women in comics.

Festivals: West Coast: It’s Martin Luther King Day, and this past weekend brought festivals celebrating black comics to both sides of the country. In San Francisco, Nanette Asimov writes about the Black Comix Arts Festival, which runs through today, and interviews creators Tony Medina and John Jennings as well as an attendee.

Festivals: East Coast: At the New York Times, George Gene Gustines turns his focus to the Black Comics Festival, which took place this past weekend at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and he interviews David Heredia, the creator of the animated video series Heroes of Color and a guest at the festival.

Publishing: Abraham Riesman profiles four comics publishers that are emphatically diverse: Lion Forge, Emet Comics, Iron Circus Comics, and Black Mask.

Creators: A new exhibit at the Library of Congress, and an accompanying book, spotlights women comics creators, from Jackie Ormes to Roz Chast.

History: Sarah E. Bond discusses the use of graphic narratives from antiquity through the Middle Ages, regarding this form of visual storytelling as a precursor to modern comics.

Influencers:’s Person of the Year is Jay Edidin, comics editor, journalist, and podcaster, and one of the writers of the influential Buzzfeed article about sexual harassment at DC Comics.

Local Hero: The Seneca College newspaper profiles faculty member and big-time comics writer Jim Zub, whose Avengers: No Surrender debuted last week.

Manga: At the Japan Times, David Morales explains yon-koma (four-panel) manga and provides links to some current examples on the web; unfortunately for non-Japanese speakers, these are all in Japanese, but it’s an interesting article nonetheless.

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