Book writers

Black comic writers break through

For over a century, comics and graphic novels have been a platform for generations of young writers to share the depths of their creativity. But many young writers of color found that platform harder to reach for a while.

“The general idea was that white people wrote comics, black people and other people of color drew them”, screenwriter and screenwriter Brandon Easton says, “because there have always been many, many black, Latino, and Asian illustrators for Marvel, DC, for everyone for years.”

Easton wrote the DC titles Truth & Justice, Mister Miracleand Legends of the Dark Knight and has also written for TV shows, including Marvel’s Agent Carter.

Joseph Illidgethe industry veteran title editor heavy metalsaid he always felt pressure to impress.

“You always feel like your responsibility is to produce quality because if you don’t, you’ll be used as an excuse for the system to say, ‘Well, see – that’s what happens when you give them opportunities,'” Illidge said. , who is also the content editor of all DC Batman securities.

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Easton added that getting into the industry professionally was also a challenge for him.

“The difference is that black writers have a ridiculously high entry bar into comics,” Easton said. “While many white creators, especially white men, could only do very little and get big franchises.”

And Easton and Illidge both agree that the Marvel movie’s unprecedented global success Black Panther was a watershed moment for the comic book industry and the superhero movie genres.

Black Panther was the end of the Hollywood lie,” Illidge said. “And the Hollywood lie was that films about black people with black leads couldn’t succeed internationally.

Easton added that Black Panther proved that an audience is there for such films.

“Being a Marvel property helps, but nobody had to go see that movie,” Easton said. “And they’ve done it en masse, repeatedly, all over the world.”

And if the Black Panther The film caused the comics industry to “wake up” to closing the color gap with the hiring of writers, illustrators and executives of color, Easton and Illidge are among those who are watching to see how long the industry stays awake.