Three comics industry veterans have joined together to produce The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021. The title is the first in a series of reference works that will introduce creators of color who released books in 2020 as well as industry institutions and events that spotlight their works.
The reference work will be released on February 17 and all proceeds will be donated to the Dwayne McDuffie Foundation to be used to subsidize academic scholarships for diverse students. The foundation is named after the late McDuffie, an Eisner-award winning comics writer, animator and a cofounder of Milestone Media, a celebrated Black superhero publishing venture that focused on minority representation in comics.
The three comics veterans responsible for the guide include Joe Illidge, executive editor of Heavy Metal magazine and a longtime industry activist on diversity in American comics; George Carmona III, a journalist at Sci-fi.com and The Beat; and retailer Dimitrios Fragiskatos, owner of Anyone Comics.
The Access Guide features short profiles of conventions, publishers, and creators and this edition includes 74 books, 39 publishers, and 11 conventions.
Illidge said they plan for the guide to be an annual reference work to be released each year in February. Illidge said the reference is intended to encourage creators who may not see themselves represented in the industry or in their favorite genres, as well as show new releases, stores, and events where they can be found.
“Black creators and executives have been movers and shakers in the comic book industry for the last fifty years,” Illidge said. “Now that their voices and contributions have become more prominent, it’s our honor to spotlight Black creativity.”