The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will host its 11th Annual Black Comic Book Festival on April 14 and 15. The festival returns in person to the historic research library for the first time since 2020, following several years of virtual programming due to the pandemic.
The two-day festival offers Blerds, bloggers, cosplay lovers, fans, families, illustrators, independent publishers, and writers the opportunity to celebrate Black comic books and graphic novels, while providing a platform to get the works directly to readers. The annual event features panel discussions, workshops, and cosplay showcases, and highlights the work of creators from across the country.
“As the festival returns to in-person programming, the Schomburg Center has been energized and honored to see the anticipation from our community for the Black Comic Book Festival. Entering its 11th year, the festival continues to showcase the expansiveness and importance of Black imagination, representation, and culture,” said Kadiatou Tubman, Schomburg Manager of Education Programs and Outreach. “Not only is it a platform for bringing together enthusiasts and artists – it’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of comic books and comic book culture.”
The all-day festival will feature:
- Banned Books and Diversity in Comics panel with Joe Illidge, Dr. Monique Couvson, Mike Haynes-Pitts (April 14, 1 – 2 PM)
- The first-ever Black Comic Book Festival Trivia Night with Karama Horne, John Jennings, and Regine Sawyer in a nerd-off of Black characters and events from comics, tv, movies, and the culture, for ultimate bragging rights. Attendees can play along on their phones or tablets to see if they are as knowledgeable as our panelists. (Friday, April 14, 6:45 – 7:45 PM)
- How to Draw Black Superheroes & Comics with Tim Fielder (Infinitum, DieselFunk Studios) – a master class on drawing comics for ages 5 and up. (April 15, 11 AM-12 PM)
- Discussions on inclusion in the field with Speaking for Ourselves: Black Women & Marginalized Voices in Comics featuring Erika Hardison, Keisha Parks, Shauna Grant, Karama Horne, Elizabeth Colomba, Barbara Brandon-Croft (April 15, 1-2:30 PM)
- The SchomCom Cosplay Showcase, open to participants of all ages and caliber to exhibit their best cosplays (April 15, 6 PM).
- Featured guests including Black Sands Entertainment, TJ Sterling, Phillip Boutte Jr, Alitha Martinez, and more.
On both days throughout the halls of the Center, the festival will stage an all-day vendor’s market of indie comic book exhibitors. A full list of programming this year and highlights of last year’s virtual festival can be seen at SchomCom.org.
About the Schaumburg Center for Research in Black Culture ~ Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the preservation, research, interpretation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diasporan, and African experiences. As a research division of The New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center features diverse programming and collections totaling over 12 million items that illuminate the richness of global black history, arts, and culture. Learn more at schomburgcenter.org.
The 11th Annual Black Comic Book Festival will take place on April 14-15 at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 101 West 135th Street, Corner of Malcolm X Boulevard, NYC
If you missed talks such as Banned Books and Diversity in Comics or the workshop How to Draw Black Superheroes & Comics, they—and all discussions from #SchomCom2023 —are available to view online. ow.ly/w0Ub50NK5VE
Take a look back at The Schomburg’s Black Comic Book Festival (a virtual event) in 2022; And in 2020; in 2019; 2017.
Check out past events at The Schomburg.