The Internet revolutionized not only the film industry, but just about every other brand of business, including one that’s closely-related to this site’s main focus – comic books!
We’re living in an era in which movies based on comic book stories of all kinds (not just superheroes) are dominating theatrical box office every year, And, as has already been much-discussed on this blog, a tiny, tiny few of those film adaptations are based on comics that tell stories about characters of African descent.
So what’s it like for the creators of those comic books (forget the fans) who, for years, have struggled to see their original work published (let alone being optioned for screen adaptations), and who are now embracing what the digital revolution we’ve been enjoying over the last 2 decades, offers them, in terms of ensuring that their work reaches an audience?
I wouldn’t know. But these 3 self-published African American authors of comic books (and more) most certainly do.
Here’s a full recording of an hour-long panel that took place over the weekend, during the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg in New York City. Moderated by John Jennings (of SUNY Buffalo and creator of “Kid Code”), the panelist were: Zetta Elliott (“The Deep”), Alex Simmons (“BlackJack”), and Tim Fielder (“Matty’s Rocket”).
The trio share their personal trials and triumphs as independent content creators and distributors who happen to be black, from their initial struggles tracing the traditional path, to eventually opting to take advantage of available technology and blazing their own trails. It’s an interesting, information, if familiar conversation that suggests similar hurdles and decisions-making that black filmmakers also find themselves having to negotiate.