Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, an ongoing exhibition, celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s Black Comic Book Festival, through photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs.
In addition, join The Schomburg on Wednesday, September 28th from 5:00 to 9:00pm for an after-hours preview and a movie screening of ‘Milestone Generations‘ ~ a film chronicling one of the largest Black comic book publishers in the country (partially filmed within the Schomburg Center). This is a free event ~ Register Here.
Drawn from the Schomburg Center’s archival collections, this exhibition illuminates the long history of Black comics and sequential art creators and their motivations to render humor, justice, irony, and futurism in Black aesthetic and liberatory practices from the Golden Age of comic books (1938-1956) to the present.
The Schomburg Center Black Comic Book Festival, co-founded in 2013 by Deirdre Hollman (former Schomburg Director of Education) with John Jennings (artist, scholar, publisher), Jerry Craft (author and illustrator), and Jonathan Gayles (filmmaker and scholar), was first conceived to connect Black comics scholars, artists, publishers, and audiences in one multifaceted celebration. Over the last ten years, the festival has grown into a regional hub for Black creative expression and economic opportunity for independent comic book creators while instituting a social network for a wide-range of fandom. Pivotal to introducing a broader public to emerging and veteran creators like Tim Fielder, Vita Ayala, Riley Wilson, David Walker, and Michelene Hess, the festival has attracted over 50,000 visitors and created a huge platform for the diverse range of visual and written content produced by independent creators.
In addition to exhibitors, the festival’s annual slate of talks that contextualize these Black comics with the ideas moving through the currents of popular culture, mainstream politics, and the comic book industry. Past panels have addressed Reimagining the Past: Historical Fiction and Alternative Histories (2018), Blerds and Bleeks Speak: Celebrating, Archiving and Reporting on Black Fan Culture (2016), Black Characters Matter: Social Justice and Representation in Comics (2018), #StrongFemaleLeads in Comics and Graphic Novels (2020) to name a few.
The annual Black Comic Book Festival contributes to the ongoing visionary exploration of the interconnectedness of Black history and Black futures.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (at 135th Street), NYC.
Take a look-back past the Black Comic Book Festivals in years past.
While you’re in Harlem, walk one-block west to the Claire Oliver Gallery for Jeffrey Henson Scales book signing of ‘In a Time of Panthers: Early Photographs’ on September 28th at 6pm ~ and enjoy the gallery’s current exhibition, Robert Peterson: When You See Them, You See Me, on view to November 5, 2022.