Black Comix Day Moves To WorldBeat Center For Third Year
Meet creators, attend panels, compete in video games this weekend
Black Comix Day 2020: Heroes Rise III takes place this weekend at WorldBeat Center in Balboa Park.
Keithan Jones is the independent comic book creator of "The Power Knights," which means he's doing everything from writing and drawing his comics to inking and selling them. He is also the founder of Black Comix Day and trying to organize all the details of its third year as it moves to a new venue.
"I'm feeling apprehensive and nervous and excited all at the same time because this third one is at a completely different location, which will be Balboa Park's World Beat Center," Jones said. "Previously, it was at the Malcolm X Library on Euclid Avenue. Those first two shows were more successful than I had anticipated, happily so. Now we're hoping to have the same success at the new location."
Jones created the event in 2017 as part of Black History Month with the goal of celebrating black creators like himself who don't often find themselves showcased.
"Even if you're not black, it's hard to get into comics," Jones said. "So I just wanted to fill a niche and I figured, why don't I just go out and build my own door and walk through it basically. The main ingredient of the show and the main glue of this show are all the different and various black creators, writers, and artists, male and female, that are going to be there where you can meet and patronize them, and pick their brain and get stuff signed. The show focuses on the independent creations, the stuff you've never seen before, the brand new stuff coming from these creators that feature characters of color because that's really the point of the show. I really just want the community, particularly young folks, to see that black Americans are more than what is typically portrayed on popular media."
The event, which has expanded to two days, showcases creators of color who will have tables to show and sell their comics, art and other merchandise. Admission is free and attendees can meet creators and discover new comics that might not be available at local comic book stores. They can also bring their own art and portfolios in and have them looked at by some of the people at the show.
"Show your stuff!" Jones said. "You never know where it leads to because sometimes these writers particularly are looking for artists. So this is your show. If you're trying to get into the industry and you're looking for a foot in or just want to be pointed in the right direction, this is your show."
And because it is still a small show compared to Comic-Con, you have a much better chance of getting face time with some of these creators, artists and writers.
The event will also feature two panels: at 1 p.m., Saturday, there will be a panel called "The Long Road Home: Time Travel and Race in Science Fiction," which is focused on the late science fiction author Octavia Butler, and a pair of creators who adapted her stories into graphic novels. The panel will have professor John Jennings and Damian Duffy with "Bleeding Cool's" Hannibal Tabu moderating the discussion.
Then at 1 p.m., Sunday, there is the panel "Empowered: How Indie Comic Creators Build Universes and Communities." Panelists include Robert Love, Greg Anderson Elysee, Dr. LaWana Richmond and Jason Reeves.
"They are successful indie creators themselves, along with being artists that work in the mainstream industry," Jones said. "So, you get to pick their brain and we're going to pick their brain on how they've been able to succeed in the indie comics market, because speaking personally from me because I am a creator myself in the indie comics market, it's a pretty tough road to navigate. But it can't be achieved and really be a lot more rewarding than working for one of the larger publishers if you are successful at it."
The event will also have a video game tournament, music and food.
Check out this video I did on Jones back in 2018 when he helped organize the AfroFuturism Lounge outside of Comic-Con.