By Arturo R. García
As a supplement to our two-part San Diego Comic-Con preview, enjoy this look at some of the creators of color who’ll be at the convention — some in panels, some on the floor, but all should be on your radar after the weekend.
Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear
Where You Can Find Them: The Writer’s Journey, Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB. Alexander will be part of Michael Davis’ Black Panel at 10 a.m. on Friday in Room 5AB. Both Alexander and Puryear will be signing for Dark Horse Comics at Booth 2615 on Friday from 3 to 4 p.m.
Where You Can Find Them Online: Concrete Park website and Twitter feed.
What’s The Story?: Racializens probably don’t need an introduction to Alexander, a TV veteran (The Cosby Show, Living Single) who also shared the story behind her decidedly more diverse Mad Men idea, Mad Men: Uptown Saturday Night, with us last April. Meanwhile, Puryear is the screenwriter behind the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser and is coming off an appearance in the documentary Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century. The duo is at the con this year promoting Concrete Road, their dystopian sci-fi story. The first arc was selected to be part of last year’s edition of the Best American Comics anthology, with a new Park mini-series debuting on Oct. 5, and a hardcover collecting their featured work in Dark Horse Presents scheduled for an October release.
Where You Can Find Her: Technically, you can’t; Camper will not be at the convention in person. But her publisher, Chronicle Books, will be handing out advanced readers’ copies of Lowriders In Space, her collaboration with artist Raul III and editor Ginee Seo, at booth 1506. The 112-page graphic novel will be formally released on Nov. 4.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Lowriders In Space Facebook page
In Her Words: “I wrote Lowriders in Space because as an Arab-American, I was fed up with the inability of mainstream comics and books to represent the diversity of kids I serve today as a kid’s librarian, kids who like me, don’t see themselves in books,” Camper told Racialicious via email. “Raul III told me, ‘This is the book I wanted to read as a child,’ and he was passionate to create it for the same reasons I was.”
Where You Can Find Her: Insights for Independent Creators at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site; her Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Dixon has created two comics series: 13 (about a world where every 13-year-old child has superpowers — but only for one year) and the Midwestern manga story M.I.S.//ing, through her own publishing house, Tumble Creek Press.
Where You Can Find Him: Signing autographs for IDW Publishing at Booth 2643 Thursday at noon.
Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal site; Farinas is also a contributor for The Idol Box, focusing on race and pop culture
What’s the story?: Farinas is the artist for IDW’s Judge Dredd: Mega-City 2, in which the antihero is reassigned to mete out justice in a metropolis that spans the entire U.S. West Coast. Farinas’ ultra-detailed style won him critical praise from both IGN (“the absolute best thing about this comic is the artwork”) and Comic Book Therapy (“Farinas’ style fits this madcap story perfectly”). Farinas’ work has also been featured in Comics Alliance, Complex, the New York Times and Wired.
Where You Can Find Him: Screening of White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities In Comic-Books, Friday at 7:40 p.m. in Hall 2 at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, 333 W Harbor Dr. (down the street from the convention, literally).
Where You Can Find Him Online: and Facebook page; his Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Gayles’ examination of the comics industry’s depiction of Black men, ranging from Black Panther to Luke Cage to the Milestone Universe, has made its way through the festival circuit since premiering four years ago, but this will be its first screening at SDCC.
Where You Can Find Her: Color Design in Comics at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB and Image Comics’ “I is for Innovation” panel on Sunday at 2 p.m., Room 7AB
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site; her Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Leong enters the convention on the heels of the unveiling of From Under Mountains, a fantasy series scheduled to be released next year, featuring her art alongside writing by co-creators Marian Churchland and Claire Gibson. The story is set in the fictional kingdom of Akhara, and will feature a cast of characters almost entirely comprised of people of color.
“For one it feels like a strange betrayal not to include people like myself in the stories I’m telling and it also feels irresponsible not to challenge our culture’s status quo of all white everything,” Leong told Comics Alliance. “A lot of artists I feel don’t want to broach this issue in their work because they feel their work will be ‘othered’ and ignored and I feel like that too, but at the same time I feel encouraged by that. Someone could make amazing work and still not say anything of any consequence about the world they live and thats fine but for me that’s not really an option.”
Where You Can Find Her: Currently scheduling a signing; see her Twitter feed for more information. Also, look for the afropick/barcode 8-Rock logo at the free tables in the Sails Pavillion.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site.
What’s the story?: Mance is currently promoting 1001 Black Men, an online sketchbook chronicling her encounters with Black men around the Bay Area, where she works. The gentleman pictured here, for instance, is No. 741:
I passed this guy a few weeks ago, at the San Francisco Public Library. I’d gone over to pick up the three pieces of art I’d shown as part of The Black Woman is God exhibit, curated by Karen Seneferu. It was the second incarnation of an exhibit that was at the African American Art and Culture Complex last summer. Like me he was heading toward the African American Center at the library and I watched with a little bit of envy as he disappeared into the stacks near the exhibit area.
Mance is also a zine creator, with her works including A Blues for Black Santa, Black Satyr, and The Little Book of Big Black Bears.
Eric Dean Seaton
Where You Can Find Him: Table P-13 in the Small Press Pavillion
Where You Can Find Him Online: Legend of the Mantamaji website and Facebook page; his Twitter feed.
What’s The Story?: Seaton, a veteran television director — he’s helmed 160 episodes of more than 32 different series — is promoting Legend of the Mantamaji, an urban fantasy set to be released this October. The story centers on attorney Elijah Alexander, who comes to find out he’s the last of the Mantamaji, a group of protectors with roots dating back 3,000 years. It’s also notable that the book will feature lettering by Deron Bennett, who was nominated for an Eisner Award two years ago for his work on titles like Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Helldorado, among others.
Strawberry Scented Burnout
Where You Can Find Them: See below
Where You Can Find Them Online: SSB website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Individual Twitter feeds listed here.
What’s The Story?: As CEO Francis Bautista explains in the video above, the project started as a webcomic and has evolved into the foundation of a pop-culture site that covers everything from relationships to mixed martial arts to video games.
“This comic, I really wanna say that it’s catered to kids that are starting college, kids that have gone through college and people that are, sad to say, my age,” Bautista says. “Early thirties, you know.”