Black superheroes have officially gone mainstream. You have the massive success of Black Panther, Sam Wilson aka Falcon becoming the new Captain America in the MCU, and the successful run of Black Lightning on TV. But of course it all starts with comic books. And with the ability to self publish there’s no need to wait on major publishers to give black hero’s their due. More black superhero stories are being told than ever before. And those stories and the story tellers are as diverse as ever. In acknowledgment and to spotlight that, we’ve put together a list of 9 indie black comic book creators you should be checking out. #GetFamiliar
Greg Anderson Elysee
Greg Anderson Elysee is a comic book creator making waves in the indie comic world. He’s a Glyph Comics Awards winner and with his unique mix of horror, fantasy, and black mythology, he’s a creator for The Culture with a unique style of storytelling. His books include Is’Nana The Werespider based African folklore and The Gentleman, a Lovecraft-ian psychological thriller.
Shauna J. Grant
Shauna is the creator of the Princess Love Pon series which is just as adorable a story as it looks. The webcomic follows a young girl name Lia who gets turned into a magical warrior after meeting an enchanted bunny. Lia has to pull double duty both defending the world and navigating her senior year of high school. Grant shines by creating a fun journey for readers of all ages to adore.
Sheena C. Howard
Sheena is both a comic book commentator and creator who finds it important to add current social issues in order to bring more depth to her comic creations. But while her work is often political in nature, she is careful not to inundate adolescent readers with overt commentary. Her wokeness is more subtle. Sheena’s works include the super power teen drama Superb Vol. 1 & 2 and she is also the author of the Encyclopedia of Black Comics.
Robert Jeffery II
Robert Jeffery II is a comic book creator on his grind. He’s a Glyph Comics Awards nominee and the Editor-In-Chief of BlackSci-Fi.com. His original creations are Route 3 about an ATL teen and the events that lead him to gain the power to change the world for good and Mine To Avenge, a cyberpunk revenge tale with roots going all the way back to American slavery. And on the non-indie side Robert has a DC Comics story published in the New Talent Showcase that will focus on John Stewart/ Green Lantern.
Kwanza Osajyefo is an outspoken comic book creator and ambassador for The Culture. He’s worked for the majors (DC and Marvel) before betting on himself and leaving them to launch his own comics. And with 2 successful and bold titles out now, Black and Black AF starring a young black girl and her rise to become THE American symbol of heroism, Kwanza is making the most of his independence.
Being true and real aka “trill” is a must in The Culture and Anthony Piper has brought that true-ism to black comics. Think DC’s the Justice League, but triller. Anthony Piper’s Trill League, follows Trill Robin and crew as it parodies mainstream superhero archetypes by combing elements of superheroes, anime and hip-hop culture. It all comes together to create a project that is innovative and intriguing.
Juliana “Jewels” Smith
Julia is an indie comic book creator taking a completely different route with her work. “What’s a superhero to a revolutionary?” is the tagline for her series, Hafrocentric. The story follows self proclaimed Black feminist Naima Pepper as she navigates through life and rants about black social issues including gentrification. Smith’s series is down to earth and relatable to black people as a whole not just black comic book readers thanks to her amazing writing.
Brandon is the critically-acclaimed writer and co-creator of comics series Horizon and The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury. His current work, Excellence is an action-fantasy series about a secret society of black magicians and one young man’s mission to fight the status quo and truly affect change in the world. The fact that excellence also describes Brandon’s work which is likely no coincidence.
David Walker is a filmmaker, film scholar (his expertise is Blaxploitation films) and a writer of novels and comics. He is the co-writer of the amazing graphic novel Number 13 and has worked on titles for Marvel, DC, and IDW. His work on the comic book adaptation of Shaft won him a Glyph Comics Award in 2015. He is also the author of the young adult graphic novel The Adventures of Darius Logan Book One: Super Justice Force.
We hope you enjoyed our list of indie black comic creators. Check out more of our black comic book coverage:
Written by @TalentedMrFord