Happy New Year to you all. I hope everyone is well and doing what they need and want to do.
I wanted to share a few things with you.
When I heard Abrams was developing a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred I was of two minds. I wasn’t sure if one of the most important books in the history of literature could be accurately represented in the graphic form. Even though I’m a rabid comic book fan, I felt a comic version of the novel would somehow cheapen it. But it was John Jennings and Dr. Damian Duffy, and I trust them implicitly. They have a decade plus relationship and have put out some of the most interesting and innovative comics work during this time.
They’re geniuses, and this isn’t hyperbole. This book here illustrates the genius of their partnership.
If you’re in the Bay Area this week, you should attend this conversation. It is one of our events leading up to 2017’s Black Comix Arts Festival, a Co-Presentation of MoAD, Cartoon Art Museum, and Black Comix Art Festival.
Join the Cartoon Art Museum and Black Comix Art Festival at the Museum of the African Diaspora for, “Ajuan Mance in Conversation with Shawn Taylor,” an evening celebration of current Bay Area cartooning sensation Ajuan Mance as part of the SF Comics Fest. Writer Shawn Taylor from The Nerds of Color will chat with Ajuan about her latest projects in illustration, cartooning and writing, her creative process, her recent rise in popularity, and what she plans to achieve next.
This past weekend was so much more than a con for me. I’ve been to over one hundred cons in my life, and I have never felt like this two days later. Most con experiences are a blur — panel after panel, film premiere, then hundreds of dollars later I go home and the memory of the con evaporates. I read all the books, rock the shirts, find choice places to display the exclusives I copped, and then it is on to the next. But BCAF was an entirely different convention. Convention is too limiting of a word for the inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival that happened in San Francisco over this past the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. Church? Still too limiting. Black Sacred Space is closer, but it still falls short. BCAF was less a convention than it was a reinvention, commitment, and celebration of the black image in fantastic space. It was a form of resistance.
Get ready. This weekend is going to be a huge one as our very own John Jennings has organized two comic art festivals on either coast that will celebrate Black comic art and artists with day-long events featuring panel discussions, film screenings, and more.
Festivities kick off in New York City on Saturday, January 17 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for its third annual Black Comic Book Festival. The scene then shifts to San Francisco on Sunday and Monday for that city’s inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival — which John announced in October. Both events are free and open to the public.
I’m extremely pleased and honored to be a co-organizer of the inaugural Black Comix Arts Festival with the NorcalMLK Foundation of San Francisco! Our committee has put in a lot of work over the last few months to make this happen. Starting in January 2015, in conjunction with the city’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations, the first ever Black Comix Arts Festival will become an annual event.