BLACK COMIX RETURNS by John Jennings, Damian Duffy, et al
Spanning seemingly boundless genres and styles, BLACK COMIX RETURNS provides a gorgeous glimpse into the works of over 40 black comic creators.
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Enter beautiful, boundless worlds

It’s been over seven years since the release of BLACK COMIX. BLACK COMIX is a highly acclaimed survey of the work of over 80 black comic writers and illustrators. Now, John Jennings and Damian Duffy have joined forces a second time to compile an all-new, jam-packed comic collection: BLACK COMIX RETURNS.

Like its predecessor, this work shows off personal essays, stunning snapshots of comic panels, and artwork from dozens of established and up-and-coming black creators alike. In addition, it provides a critical space for comic lovers to explore works from black experts of the craft. Crucially, it makes space for fans to engage with voices portraying infinite, personalized narratives of black experience and identity. This is particularly vital in a genre where black creators often remain unseen.

Image courtesy of Lion Forge.

One Work, Many Worlds

Certain to engage rabid and casual comic fans alike, BLACK COMIX RETURNS has a little something for everyone. Within their work, Jennings and Duffy showcase a vast range of styles and narratives. They are not bound by conventions of what a comic “should” look like. They don’t showcase a host of superhero comics in the style of Marvel or DC. Instead, this collection shows off stories of all stripes. It gives equal space to creators who craft dynamic superhero narratives and to those who highlight simple, slice of life storylines.

In so doing, Jennings and Duffy have crafted a collection that adds depth to comic portrayals of black characters and narratives. This is particularly important in a medium where such portrayals are often rendered invisible. In the book’s short essay “The Room,” writer and editor Joseph Illidge beautifully illustrates this feeling. Illidge, who launched his career at DC Comics, describes the struggles of many black creators whose voices are excluded from mainstream comics. He details a two-pronged fight. Firstly, these creators toil endlessly to granted access to the “Room” at all. Once there, they must labor to remain a visible creative presence.

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From the Personal to the Political…

Importantly, this collection makes visible perspectives detailing personal versions of the black experience. In many cases, BLACK COMIX RETURNS spotlights tales of everyday characters. These stories are just as inviting and intriguing as those of fantastical superheroes. For instance, Leisl Adams’ depicts poignant and silly situations faced by interracial couples. Similarly, Jerry Craft highlights humorous inter-generational exchanges in his syndicated cartoon “Mama’s Boyz.”

At times, the comic is light-hearted and comedic. However, it does not shy away from spotlighting political narratives. Again and again, it introduces readers to creators seeking to share art that makes the personal political. Artist Kwanza Osajyefo and activist Keith Knight use comics to tackle societal fractures and race-based injustices. Several of the comics use a critical lens to examine challenging issues. For instance, artists explore the criminal justice system, gang violence, the Black Lives Matter movement, and forms of social/revolutionary activism.

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…To Every Shade in Between

The book details hyper-realistic daily interactions and issues experienced by many African-Americans. Nevertheless, BLACK COMIX RETURNS is equally skillful in spotlighting an endless flow of fantastical content. Above all, the collection showcases the spectacular imaginations of these creators. It provides a playground for comic fans of all ages and demographics seeking to explore creative new worlds.

Image courtesy of Lion Forge.

The book provides a voice for black artists documenting realistic domains of our society. However, it also gives a crucial voice to those seeking to find space outside it. Many creators have built complex, strangely beautiful worlds. Illustrators like Stacey Robinson and Joseph R. Wheeler III create abstract, colorful characters and scenes that are out of this world. Meanwhile, artists like Jamal Igle and Robert Jeffrey II present action-packed, eye-popping images of all-new superheroes and the planets they protect.



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BLACK COMIX RETURNS: Return to New Worlds

BLACK COMIX RETURNS allows the most avid comic readers to unlock new experiences. It offers sumptuous stills taken from all manners of black comic creations. Jennings and Duffy’s new collection provides ample chances to engage with the worlds made by modern-day black creators. Under the watchful eye of these comic curators, readers can encounter endless detailed, diverse worlds. Ultimately, they can catch a glimpse of an array of narratives as seen through the eyes of black creators.

This collection is now available for purchase. Find it here.

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