A Dozen Comics to Read in Honor of Black History Month

It’s Black History Month and here are a dozen comics we’re reading that feature black characters and black creators. Dig in and read more comics!

Cover of Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021

Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021
Creators: Dimitrios Fragiskatos, Joe Illidge, George Carmona the 3rd
A guidebook to Black creators and an index “to find the publishers, stores and conventions that provide kinship, safe spaces, and promote an imaginative variety of experiences through comic books!” ~ 

Cover of After the Rain

After the Rain (2021)
Creators: Nnedi Okorafor, John Jennings, David Brame
“After the Rain is a graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s short story ‘On the Road.’ The drama takes place in a small Nigerian town during a violent and unexpected storm. A Nigerian-American woman named Chioma answers a knock at her door and is horrified to see a boy with a severe head wound standing at her doorstep. He reaches for her, and his touch burns like fire. Something is very wrong. Haunted and hunted, Chioma must embrace her heritage in order to survive.” ~Abrams Books

Cover of Ajani Brown Presents: Straight Outta Freemanville

Ajani Brown Presents: Straight Outta Freemanville (2019)
Creator: Ajani Brown and Erik Reichenbach
A western, steamfunk, historical fantasy set in the post Civil War frontier town of Freemanville, USA. Freemanville was founded by free & newly freed African Americans who moved west to escape the harsh conditions of the Antebellum South. Stagecoach Mary transports a VIP through the badlands to Freemanville, USA. The town is self-sustaining and technologically advanced, but under constant threat by marauders both of this world and not.

Cover of The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History (2021)
Creators: David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson
“Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a radical political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and significance of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset.” ~Ten Speed Press

Cover of Big Black: Stand at Attica

Big Black: Stand At Attica (2020)
Creators: Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, Ameziane
“A graphic novel memoir from Frank “Big Black” Smith, a prisoner at Attica State Prison in 1971, whose rebellion against the injustices of the prison system remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history.” ~Boom!

Cover of Bitter Root

Bitter Root (2018-) 
Creators: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, Sanford Greene
“In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York-and the world-from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race.” ~Image Comics

Cover of Class Act

Class Act (2020)
Creator: Jerry Craft
“Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying ‘You have to work twice as hard to be just as good.’ His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn’t afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted?” ~Quill Tree Books/Harper Collins

Cover of Excellence, no. 1

Excellence (2019-)
Creators: Khary Randolph, Brandom Thomas, Emilio Lopez
“Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others—those with greater potential—but never themselves. Now it’s time for Spencer to follow in his father’s footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. But in this fight for a better future, who will stand beside him?” ~Skybound/Image Comics

Cover of Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence

Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence (2020)
Creator: Joel Christian Gill
“Fights is the visceral and deeply affecting memoir of artist/author Joel Christian Gill, chronicling his youth and coming of age as a Black child in a chaotic landscape of rough city streets and foreboding backwoods. Propelled into a world filled with uncertainty and desperation, young Joel is pushed toward using violence to solve his problems by everything and everyone around him. But fighting doesn’t always yield the best results for a confused and sensitive kid who yearns for a better, more fulfilling life than the one he was born into, as Joel learns in a series of brutal conflicts that eventually lead him to question everything he has learned about what it truly means to fight for one’s life.” ~Oni Press

Cover of Killadelphia, no. 21

Killadelphia (2019-)
Creators: Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander
“When a small-town beat cop comes home to bury his murdered father—the revered Philadelphia detective James Sangster Sr.—he begins to unravel a mystery that leads him down a path of horrors that will shake his beliefs to their core. The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality… and vampires.” ~Image Comics

Cover of Omni, no. 5

Omni (2019-20)
Creators: Melody Cooper, Devin Grayson, Giovanni Valletta, Bryan Valenza, Dave Johnson, Enid Balám, Cris Bolson, Alitha E. Martinez, Bryan Valenza, Mike McKone
“A young doctor suddenly and mysteriously acquires superpowers…as do several other individuals on the planet. But only her power can answer “why.” A gifted doctor with a vibrant, compassionate personality, Cecelia Cobbina received boundless praise from her peers and her patients. But that was before the incident in Africa. Before she was forced to leave her job at Doctors Without Borders behind… Before she gained the ability to think at superhuman speed. Overwhelmed with the power to answer every question, she must now overcome her own fears and tackle the one code she can’t seem to break: the truth behind the Ignited.” ~Humanoids

Variant cover of Tartarus, no. 8

Tartarus (2020-21)
Creators: Jack T. Cole and Johnnie Christmas 
“Promising young cadet Tilde is framed for crimes against the empire after discovering her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colony Tartarus, a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown.” ~Image Comics

For more information about the Comic Arts Collection at SDSU, see our Library Research Guide.