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

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Anthony Piper

Like many modern artists, Anthony Piper has worked in a wide variety of artistic fields and ventures. He’s worked as a character designer on multiple shows, a cover artist for different albums and mixtapes, and a freelance artist. That’s a ton of work and renown for anyone, and especially for a self-taught artist like Piper who landed his first paid job via social media.

He’s gotten enough recognition that Marvel hired him to write and illustrate a few different issues and series, including runs on Guardians of the Galaxy, Domino, Jean Grey, and Uncanny X-Men.

While his work at Marvel is lots of fun and definitely worth the look, you should also check out Piper’s independent work. Specifically, take the time to find his Trill League series. Piper initially funded the comic series through Kickstarter, which successfully launched the series in 2015.

Trill League takes its cues from popular DC Comics characters, like Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. Those character threads are fairly obvious, but with some major changes to the characters and stories. For one, these revamped superheroes are almost all Black (though there are characters like “Vanilla Latte,” based on Iggy Azalea).

Piper delves deep into Black American culture and hip hop for Trill League. Neither is he afraid to get satirical with his own characters. Blackmayne, the leader of the Trill League team, is so devoted to the idea of “Black power” that he refuses to use or consume anything that’s white. Yes, that includes writing on white paper, drinking milk, or entering a whitewashed building.

That combination of humor, Black culture, superhero mythology, and much, much more makes Piper’s work — and Trill League in particular — a definite stop on this list.