Dave Astor at Editor and Publisher reported earlier this week that 10 African-American cartoonists will take part in a Feb. 10 comic strip event designed to draw attention to the way they feel their work is perceived. According to Candorville creator Darrin Bell, who’s quoted in the story, too many newspaper editors lump “black comics” into one category:
“Some are political, some are about friends, and some are about family,” noted Bell, who organized the Feb. 10 action along with “Watch Your Head” cartoonist Cory Thomas. (Both are syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.)
For the action, the cartoonists will all do a version of one of Thomas’ comics. The theme and writing in each strip will be similar, though “we’re all plugging in our own characters,” said Bell. The idea is to satirically protest the erroneous notion of many editors and readers that comics by African-American creators are interchangeable.
What might the action accomplish? “I hope editors will start allowing minority cartoonists to compete for all their comics slots, not just one or two slots,” replied Bell, whose 2003-launched “Candorville” strip runs in 60 to 65 papers.
Hat tip: Tom Spurgeon, who offers his own nuanced take on the announcement.