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2/12-2/23 EVENTS: Black Comic Day in NYC, Chicago, ATL, and Detroit Featuring Notable Comic Authors (450 hits)


NEW YORK-- Saturday, February 12, bookstores in Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit will host Black Comic Book Day to celebrate and make more widely available the work of African-American comic book writers and artists. In Chicago, four racks permanently dedicated to African-American comics have been placed at venues around the city, including one in the DuSable Museum. New York holds its Black Comic Book Day on February 19, at the Hue-Man Bookstore and Café in Harlem.

While these inaugural events are being held during Black History month, the display racks are permanent, dedicated additions to the stock offered by the hosting bookstores.

Black Comic Book Day is the brainchild of artists/writers Turtel Onli, father of “The Black Age” comic art movement, and Jerry Craft, creator of the award-winning Mama’s Boyz comic strip, distributed by King Features Syndicate since 1995. The idea developed as the duo brainstormed ideas to promote their work along with that of the many other talented artists and writers in the African-American community.

Onli and Craft believe that these events will have many benefits, such as encouraging reading and providing heroes for young readers to emulate from the African-American community.

“The only reason I, and most of my friends, read regularly was because of comic books,” Craft said. “I still remember the excitement of running to the corner store and seeing the new issue of Spider-Man waiting for me. Reading comics helped build our vocabularies. Playing games pretending to be the Silver Surfer or the Incredible Hulk stimulated our imaginations,” Craft said. Unfortunately with technical advancements in video games and movies, that no longer seems to be the case for kids. Craft laments that kids don’t have to imagine themselves as superheroes when all they have to do is pop a game into their X-Box 360 and become a superhero. As a result, many kids aren’t fully developing their imaginations or reading skills.

“We’re creating the opportunity for our kids to get into comics despite advancements in games and movies,” said Onli. “We’re giving them annual conventions such as Philadelphia’s East Coast Black Age of Comic Convention (ECBACC), New York’s Kids Comic Con, OnyxCon (Atlanta), and my Black Age Comic Convention in Chicago. I wish they would demand more. Readers should go into their local stores and say, ‘I want a different product!’ The more books we can sell, the more people we can hire to produce our products. It’s as much about economics as it is about morality and literacy as it is about being artistic. It’s all connected!”

“One of the other critical goals of these events,” said Craft “is to get us, as artists, to realize that we are not competitors, we’re in this together. The bigger we make our audience, the more we let the world know that we’re here, the better we all do! Our goal is to restock these racks every month so we always offer something new.”

Black Comic Book Day will be celebrated at the following locations:

February 19th (NYC) Join syndicated cartoonists Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz), Ray Billingsley (Curtis) and comic book writers and artists N Steven Harris (The Fringe and Ajala: A Series of Adventures), Alex Simmons (The Cartoon Life of Chuck Clayton), comic historian Professor Bill Foster and more as they unveil their rack at the Hue-Man Bookstore and Café in Harlem, 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd, between 124th and 125th Streets. The rack will also feature work by Andre Batts, David Walker, Keith Miller; Ray Billingsley, Omar Bilal, Joe Robinson Currie and Glen Brewer. For more info on the NYC event, email

February 12th (Chicago) Damian Duffy and John Jennings, authors of the art book Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art & Culture, will be signing and speaking at Afri-Ware Books, 266 W. Lake St., Oak Park, IL 60302, from 6-8pm. For more information on this event, go to and

February 12th (Chicago) Join Turtel Onli at the DuSable Museum Gift Shop at 57th and Cottage Grove Ave, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Signing, "NOG NU" full color cosmic comic book, "Team BLANGA" graphic novel/tradebook, presenting the Black Age of Comics' Rack for collectors and educators, and discussing collecting Black Age Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Free Admission. Info: 773-726-1610 For more info check out

February 23rd (Los Angeles) Reggie Hudlin will appear at Golden Apple Comics to launch
Wednesday, Feb 23 from 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Launch party, comic creators and more...
Posted By: Daniel Moss
Saturday, February 5th 2011 at 12:01AM
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