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A hardcover collection of art and essays showcasing the best African American artists in today's vibrant comic book culture.
A hardcover collection of art and essays showcasing the best African American artists in today's vibrant comic book culture.
A hardcover collection of art and essays showcasing the best African American artists in today's vibrant comic book culture.
642 backers pledged $26,931 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BLACK COMIX RETURNS - African American Comic Art & Culture

$26,931

642

Now a beautiful, 200+ page hardcover.

Thanks to your support, we've unlocked multiple stretch goals, insuring this project will now be an impressive, 200+ page hardcover volume with a foil stamped logo and ribbon book mark, at no extra cost to backers!  And for helping us get there, all physical reward tiers get a free, bonus 4x6" cardstock print! 

From here on out, we're donating 15% of all earnings over $18k to help the BLACK INK documentary film Kickstarter project -- CHECK IT OUT HERE!

It is another wonderful project that makes a fantastic companion to our book, so if (with all of our help together) they reach their completion goal, we will bundle a DVD of their finished documentary in a special edition of our book, limited to only 250 copies, signed by John, Damian, and film director Craig Rippon, with a limited print of the book cover by Ashley Woods!

UPDATE Feb 27:

We've updated our contributing artist list with many new, exciting names!  Check out the updated list in the campaign description below!

 

In 2010, Professor John Jennings and Dr. Damian Duffy compiled and published a 176 page collection of art and essays celebrating the vibrant African American independent comics community. BLACK COMIX featured over 50 contributors, including Dawud Anyabwile, Eric Battle, Kenji Marshall, Afua Richardson, Larry Stroman, Rob Stull, Lance Tooks, and many, many more. It met high praise throughout the industry and quickly sold through its respectable print run despite interest and demand -- used copies now fetch $60-150 on Amazon and eBay.

(Become a backer today for instant access to the digital edition!)

original 2010 edition cover
original 2010 edition cover

Flash-forward 8 years: the comic industry has changed a lot since then, and the amount of African American talent continues to grow and amaze. While huge strides in diversity have been made, John and Damian felt the time was right for another spotlight on the topic. Rather than simply reprinting the first edition, considering the number of fresh new voices and changes in the industry, a whole new volume felt necessary.

So now we’re preparing BLACK COMIX RETURNS, a new celebration of African American independent comic art and culture, 144+ pages of masterful comics art framed by articles examining their broader historical and cultural context by some of the leading writers and scholars in the field. And we need your help to make this happen.

Cover art by Ashley A. Woods (not final text/logo design or layout).
Cover art by Ashley A. Woods (not final text/logo design or layout).

 

Our initial goal is to produce a premium quality, 144 page, 12”x12” (album-sized) softcover art book featuring at least 50 contributing artists and writers who have already committed to the project. Ultimately, however, with your support, we’d like to increase the page count to 200, and elevate the production value to hardcover, with 100 or more contributors who have also expressed interest in participating. If we can reach our base goal to produce the initial format and page count, your support will help us feature more amazing talent in an increasingly gorgeous format.

We’ve invited over 100 artists and writers to the project, from all corners of the comics industry, and are excited to include them all, starting with these amazing individuals who have already signed on:

(current list in alphabetical order)  UPDATED FEB 27! Additions in bold italics:

  • Leisl Adams
  • Paris Alleyne
  • Shawn Alleyne
  • Greg Anderson-Elysee
  • Jiba Molei Anderson
  • Dawud Anyabwile
  • Kyle Baker
  • Andre Batts / Urban Style Comics
  • Darryl Ayo Braithwaite
  • David Brame
  • Akinseye Brown
  • Stanford Carpenter
  • Enrique Carrion
  • Matthew Clarke
  • Jerry Craft
  • Keef Cross
  • Phonzie Davis
  • Sharon DeLaCruz
  • Te'Shawn Dwyer
  • Brandon Easton
  • Barrington Edwards
  • Tim Fielder
  • Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs
  • Naseed Gifted
  • Joel Christian Gill
  • Shauna J. Grant
  • Sanford Greene
  • Michael Lee Harris
  • N. Steven Harris
  • Micheline Hess
  • Jamal Igle
  • Joe Illidge
  • Robert Jeffrey II
  • Avy Jetter
  • Keithan Jones
  • D.J. Kirkland
  • Keith Knight
  • Jamar Logan
  • Jeremy Love
  • Robert Love
  • Julian Lytle
  • Sean Mack
  • The Madtwiinz (Mark and Mike Davis)
  • Takeia Marie
  • Shawn Martinbrough
  • Shawna Mills
  • Arie Munroe
  • Bryan Cristopher Moss
  • Fred Nolan
  • Turtel Onli
  • Kwanza Osajyefo
  • Ben Passmore
  • Rooseveldt Pitt Jr.
  • Anthonly Pugh
  • Khary Randolph
  • Abdul H. Rashid
  • Sole Rebel
  • Jason Reeves
  • Afua Richardson
  • La Morris Richmond
  • Robert Roach
  • Stacey Robinson
  • Regine Sawyer
  • Malik Shabazz
  • Alex Simmons
  • Juliana “Jewels” Smith
  • Tim Smith 3
  • James Stanley
  • Brian Stelfreeze
  • C. Steenz Stewart
  • Larry Stroman
  • Whit Taylor
  • Tephlon Funk (Stéphane Métayer, David Tako, Nicolas Safe)
  • Brandon Thomas
  • Lance Tooks
  • Tanna Tucker
  • Uraeus (Richard G Tyler II)
  • Carl Varnardo
  • Chris Visions
  • Jerome Walford
  • David Walker
  • Joseph Wheeler III
  • Ronald Wimberly
  • Ashely A. Woods

There are still some names we hope to add to the project if they are able to commit to the schedule, and we’ll update this list as more exciting names are added.

Of course, we want to be sure you get every penny of value for your contribution. Aside from the book itself, we’re offering several cool extras that will only be produced and made available for backers of this campaign.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE ORIGINAL, OUT OF PRINT VOLUME ONE - ALL BACKERS!

Digital copy of the original out-of-print vol.1
Digital copy of the original out-of-print vol.1

To show our appreciation for your support, ALL BACKERS at any contribution level will receive a digital version of the original, out of print book. This edition has never been available digitally, and used print copies are at a premium (if you can find it). But you will get a digital copy just for showing your support of the new project.This link will be provided in a Backer-only update, so support the project at any level to get access.

THE FINISHED NEW BOOK

Now a 200+ page 12x12” (album-sized) hardcover book, signed by John Jennings and Damian Duffy, featuring a foil logo and spot-gloss elements on the cover and a bound-in ribbon bookmark.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE NEW VOLUME

A digital version of the finished book.

TEE SHIRT

A soft, American Apparel tee featuring artwork from the book. (Mockup shown not necessarily final design.)

PRINT PORTFOLIO

(artwork selection not final)
(artwork selection not final)

A set of six 8.5x11” textured cardstock prints featuring artwork from the book, suitable for framing. (Images shown are not necessarily final selection.)

POSTCARD SET

A set of six postcards featuring artwork from the book. (Images shown are not necessarily final selection.)

 

While we feel our starting goal is quite reasonable for an artbook of this caliber, we would love for this book to be everything it can be -- we can imagine this as a 200 page hardcover with 100+ contributors, a foil logo, ribbon bookmark, and more. A format that does the contents proper justice. But we don’t want that lofty target to jeopardize the goal entirely, so we’re laying out some stretch goals from the get go.

UPDATE:  Thanks to you, we've hit all of our initial stretch goals!

 

 


 

JOHN JENNINGS is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. His work centers around inter-sectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center's Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal's Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University. Jennings is currently a Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Jennings's current comics projects include the Hiphop adventure comic Kid Code: Channel Zero, the supernatural crime noir story Blue Hand Mojo, and the New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's classic dark fantasy novel, Kindred.

Damian Duffy is a cartoonist, scholar, writer, curator, lecturer, teacher, and a Glyph Comics Award-winning, New York Times best-selling graphic novelist. He holds a MS and PhD in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His many publications range from academic essays (in comics form) on new media & learning, to art books about under-representation in comics culture, to editorial comics, to the graphic novel adaptation of Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, with his J2D2 Arts counterpart John Jennings. Damian has given talks and lead workshops about comics, art, and education internationally.

John Jennings (left) and Damian Duffy (to his right) at the San Diego Comic-Con 2016 BLACK COMIX panel
John Jennings (left) and Damian Duffy (to his right) at the San Diego Comic-Con 2016 BLACK COMIX panel

 

Producing a book of this scope, to the quality we are committed to achieving, is no small undertaking, and we want to be sure this volume is as praiseworthy as the talent and topic it represents. Printing is, of course, the lion’s share of the expense involved, followed immediately by the costs of fulfilling this very campaign itself – reward costs, shipping, etc. From our experience running four successful campaigns in the past, we expect costs to break down a bit like this:

 

We are proud to be part of this project, and thank you for looking this over, considering a contribution, and sharing it with your friends and family! We hope, with your help, this thing will become everything it should be!

 

Risks and challenges

As an independent, out of pocket publisher, we have years of experience producing, manufacturing, and distributing dozens of books of this nature under our label, MAGNETIC PRESS. There are few surprises anticipated, although it is possible some of the contributors may come or go from the original plan. Aside from any such last minute creative adjustments, however, there is really very little risk in completing this book to the highest quality Magnetic Press is known for.

As for fulfillment, we've run four successful Kickstarter campaigns to date, and our experience organizing and handling the backer rewards is getting more polished with each experience.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    OUR THANKS / Digital Copy of vol.1

    Our gratitude for your support. Plus, as a backer, you'll have access to exclusive backer-only updates which will include the digital edition of the out-of-print vol.1, as well as links to other exclusive stuff.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    DIGITAL COPY of the NEW BOOK

    A digital download copy of the finished BLACK COMIX RETURNS book, as well as our thanks and access to backer-only updates.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    POSTCARD PACK + DIGITAL COPY

    A pack of 6 postcards featuring artwork from the book. You will also get a digital download copy of the finished BLACK COMIX RETURNS book, as well as our thanks and access to backer-only updates. A $27 value! (Sorry, only ships in the US.)

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    EARLY BIRD COPY OF THE BOOK

    Pledge early and get the finished BLACK COMIX RETURNS book for less! You will also get a pack of 6 postcards featuring artwork from the book, a digital download copy of the finished book, as well as our thanks and access to backer-only updates. A $50 value!

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THE BOOK

    Get the finished BLACK COMIX RETURNS book, as well as a pack of 6 postcards featuring artwork from the book, a digital download copy of the finished book, and our thanks and access to backer-only updates. A $50 value!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE BOOK + TEE

    Get the finished BLACK COMIX RETURNS book with a soft American Apparel Tee shirt. You will also get a pack of 6 postcards featuring artwork from the book, a digital download copy of the finished book, and our thanks and access to backer-only updates. A $75 value!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    THE BOOK + SINGLE PRINT + TEE

    Get one of the six available 8.5x11" cardstock lithographs, along with a copy of the book, a Tee shirt, a pack of 6 postcards, a digital download of the finished book, and our thanks and access to backer-only updates. An $86 value!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    RETAILER BUNDLE

    FOR RETAILERS ONLY -- Get five copies of the book at wholesale, along with a pack of promotional material and POP giveaways (eg. bookmarks, etc). Must validate retailer status. Only available in the US.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE BOOK + PRINT PORTFOLIO + TEE

    Get all six 8.5x11" cardstock lithographs, along with a copy of the book, a Tee shirt, a pack of 6 postcards, a digital download of the finished book, and our thanks and access to backer-only updates. An $136 value!

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Funding period

- (30 days)