11 Black comics writers to read, from DC to Marvel and beyond

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Black voices are an established and growing part of the comics world. Here are 11 black comics writers to start reading, including the best places to start.

In some ways, comics are all about the different ways people can live their lives. Yes, things get pretty fantastic when you’re dealing with, say, an alien god-being from a place called “Asgard,” or an ever-evolving and very dramatic team of mutants. But, in many of these stories, the message is clear: it takes all types.

The problem is, that message doesn’t always translate into real-world editorial rooms. Even now, many argue that editors, writers, artists, and others involved in making comics are all too homogeneous. To put it bluntly, a suspicious majority of them are white.

While things are changing, the path from ethnically uniform creators to a more diverse set of comics professionals hasn’t been smooth. Starting around 2016, “Comicsgate” was a backlash against this growing push for diversity. Critics of Comicsgate have said that it’s an alt-right movement consisting of people who overreact at the slightest hint that they’re no longer on top.

Happily, Comicsgate also faced its own backlash from a far greater number of fans and industry professionals. And, wouldn’t you know it, some of the people targeted by Comicsgate are some of the most popular and well-regarded people in the industry, like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

On the bright side, there really is substantial change happening when it comes to diversity within the comics industry. More and more, we are seeing a wider variety of people getting involved, including more women and people of color.

In particular, Black writers are gaining more of a voice. Just as importantly, different writers are establishing themselves within a variety of genres, stories, characters, and more. Just as it isn’t right for one character to represent a single group (like all of the times Storm is the token Black character in the X-Men or another superhero team), it isn’t fair for a single writer to represent a wide array of different cultures and communities.

So, in honor of both this established and growing set of Black voices in comics, and in honor of Black History Month, we’re presenting 11 Black comics writers you should read as soon as you can.