Comics are rewarding, but they can also be confusing – that’s why Newsarama does what it does, and that’s why the 2021 book The Guide to Accessing the Black Comics Community has become such a resource. . The joint effort of publishing director Joseph Illidge, journalist George Carmona 3rd and retailer Dimitrios Fragiskatos, The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community has offered a sort of roadmap for comics, creators, publishers. and the conventions of the black community.
And just like the roadmap, there is uncharted territory they wanted to explore but couldn’t. So they’re back with a 2021-2022 edition of the Guide to Accessing the Black Comics Community, in what they hope will now be an annual tradition.
“Each volume is created to be an entry point or an expanded view of the wide variety of people and stories in the black comic book community,” Illidge told Newsarama. “The 2021-2022 book is more up-to-date and comprehensive, and because they are reference books, having both volumes provides the reader with the opportunity to see the progress of the industry relative to the last year.
“The growth of publishers like Second Sight Publishing, the significant increase in the number of black creators and black characters featured in the editorial output of DC Comics, the beginnings of Abrams’ Megascope imprint. We see change in real time and Access Guide To The The Black Comic Book community will continue to be chronicled year after year. “
When asked for recommendations for some black-made comics that aren’t on everyone’s radar, Illidge recommended Bass reeves (Kevin Grevioux and David Williams), Pax samson (Jason Reeves and Rashad Doucet), and “everything published by Stranger Comics”.
The new Black Comic Book 2021-22 community access guide recently hit its Crowdfunding goal of $ 7,000 on Kickstarter, and is scheduled to go on sale in February 2022. The new volume will not only be an updated edition of the original, but will contain new sections and a few previous pages now in color.
“One of the first things that my partners Dimitrios Fragiskatos and George Carmona and I discussed at the start of planning for this new book was how to add more value to the reader, so this volume will be in color and have more pages, in part because the comic book industry really got stronger in 2021 in terms of visibility and presence of black creators and businessmen, ”Illidge explains.“ There are more books to discover, which is great because in terms of pure imagination, comics are still the most essential storytelling product for ideas of any genre that you can immediately think of. ”
One of the new sections that the 2021-22 Black Comics Community Access Guide will include is a section on podcasts.
“Podcasters are a bonding agent for the community. When the pandemic hit us all very hard in early 2020, podcasters helped us all stay connected to each other. They were broadcasting and raising black voices, and l ‘The comic book industry as a whole, before it got all the rage, “Illidge says.” No two podcasts are the same from the black community. For all nerds, Black Comics Chat, Comicidal Terrahawks and many more, all different in their vibes and identities while working towards the same goal. “
If the new edition’s Kickstarter exceeds $ 9,000, the trio plan to add another section describing reference books describing “the historical significance and evolution of the black comic book community over the decades.”
Recently, big publishers like DC and Marvel have started doing targeted campaigns for black characters and black creators. Illidge, who worked at both Milestone and DC in the ’90s, says these can be “great”, but only “as long as the editors realize they are a starting point but not the end goal. of a marketing approach “.
“Everyone loves good stories, and a significant number of these stories are designed by black creators. That’s why the Black Comic Book Community Access Guide is for anyone who loves good stories. stories and wish to support various creators, ”Illidge said. “After all, Marvel Studios marketed the Black Panther movie to a wide variety of communities, so major publishers can do the same.”
Illidge learned even more about the black comic book community after releasing the original Access Guide, but one of the key things was the number of black-owned comic book stores.
“It makes me want to do a national tour in the New Year and visit all of them!” Illidge said. “Grassroots efforts have gone a long way in raising awareness of the book.”
The Black Comic Book 2021-22 Community Access Guide goes on sale in February 2022 and is available for pre-order now as a contributor to its Kickstarter.
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