I have been asked some variation of the following question more times than I can count: “Which comics or graphic novels would you recommend that are by people of color, or address people of color in a holistic way, and also books for people who may not ever read a comic or graphic novel?” This is a very hard question as there is just so much out there that is great. There are books that I have taught in my classes that are neck and neck with the books I’ve bought as gifts for people who I am trying to convert to our four-color ways. While the below list is in no way comprehensive, they are my go-to books for whenever I’m asked the question. Please feel free to add your own picks.
This morning, acclaimed screenwriter John Ridley scored his first Academy Award nomination for his adapted screenplay of 12 Years a Slave. If Ridley wins, will he be the first comic book writer with an Oscar?
That’s right. If you didn’t know, while John Ridley is known primarily for his work on the big screen (in addition to 12 Years, Ridley’s filmography includes writing credits on Undercover Brother, Three Kings, and Red Tails), he also has an extensive resume in nerdy television (Justice League, Static Shock) and comics (The Authority, The American Way). Unfortunately, collected editions of his work on either book is out of print.
That said, individual issues of The American Way are still available digitally on ComiXology. But I’m old school and still prefer holding a book in my hand instead of an iPad.