It's no secret that white male leads have dominated comic books since --- well forever. In the '60s, Marvel and DC finally started to put a change to that with the addition of super-powered people of color, which led to some of today's biggest names in comics. But it still wasn't enough. Eventually the lack of diversity led to the onset of Milestone Media in the '90s, where Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle crafted several intriguing characters. With an increasingly active black nerd, or blerd, community, new black characters are being created every day --- primarily through independent publishers, though Marvel has also kickstarted a focus on one of its most notable black characters --- but more on that later.
To celebrate Black History Month, ComicsAlliance is running down our list of 20 Great Black Comic Book Characters. Our list considers old staples as well as some new favorites, including a certain katana wielding badass, space explorers and of course, plenty of superheroes.
With the release of Princeless: The Pirate Princess, creator Jeremy Whitley really started to take his all-ages princess-power series and boost it deep into the consciousness of the comics community. Following Raven, the aforementioned Princess of the High Seas, as she gangs up forces with two other princesses, the third volume of the story was drawn by the team of Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt in their first ever published work.
That's a hugely impressive feat, especially given that they had to jump straight in on a continuing series after two volumes, and keep pace with a world of dragons, swashbuckling and piracy. They don't have a simple artist-colorist sort of arrangement, either --- both of them alternate back and forth throughout the creative process. With Princeless proving to be one of the breakout books from Action Lab of the last few years (as well as one of our most-recommended comics for kids on this very site), ComicsAlliance spoke to Higgins and Brandt about their artistic process.
Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics creators, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.
Cartoonist Tara O'Connor has worked on a lot of self-published comics, as well as the comic In Your Wake from Sawdust Press, a short comic for Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock, and her forthcoming travelogue Roots. She primarily works on her own, doing everything from the writing to the coloring and lettering.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
This week on the War Rocket Ajax podcast, Chris and Matt are joined by Jeremy Whitley! He's the writer of Action Lab's Princeless, a fairy tale-inspired comic about a princess who decides to save herself and her sisters and one of the most fun comics of the past year...
I'm pretty sure that if you went back and did the research, you'd find that the fairy tale parody genre entered literature about a half hour after the fairy tale itself. It's a pretty crowded field and has been for a while, and as a result, it's not often that you see something come along that makes it feel fun and fresh...
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