Cartoonists Of Color Database Aims To Give Artists Greater Visibility
The Cartoonists of Color Database is a new project by cartoonist MariNaomi that aims to collect information on people of color working in comics. The FAQ succinctly outlines the need for such a database with four statements: "For visibility. For academia. For inspiration. For community building."
The database formally launched this week with over 700 creator listings, and MariNaomi has made a public call for people to add more information, refine the information that's currently there, and correct any mistakes.
Artists who want to submit their names to the database can do so via this Google Doc form. That form can also be used to update erroneous information, or anything that's listed as N/A. In addition to the master list of cartoonists of color, the site has separate lists specifically breaking out LGBTQ, non-male, and non-mainstream cartoonists of color.
MariNaomi explained how the database came into being in the FAQ:
I started this list for my own purposes, intending to reach out to other PoC creators for an article I was writing. As the list grew, I was amazed at how many of us there are. I knew of about thirty offhand, and was shocked as the numbers climbed into the hundreds. I found this both inspiring and disparaging, having heard the sentence "What PoC cartoonists?" so many times over so many years.
This is a great and very necessary project for a medium that has so often failed to promote visibility and diversity both on the page and behind it. If you think you can help expand the database, we encourage you to do so. You can also follow the Cartoonists of Color Database on Twitter.