Dr. Sheena C. Howard Wins 2014 Comic Con Eisner Award for Book “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation”

Dr. Sheena C. Howard

UnknownAdmittedly, I had not been an avid comic book or graphic novel reader as a child, but even so, as a critical media scholar I knew I needed to do whatever I could to fill this void within academic literature.When I first heard about the Eisner nomination for Best Academic/ Scholarly Work during the winter of 2014, I was amazed. Rarely, does an academic have the opportunity to cross over to the popular culture realm for an academic book. Since this was my first book, I was just happy to be nominated but did not expect to win.

On Friday July 25th, the Eisner award ceremony was held at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony consisted of fans seated in the back and Eisner nominees seated closest to the stage. Upon entering I immediately noticed the attendance of Jack Mendelsohn (writer for “Ninja Turtles”), Reginald Hudlin (Producer of “Django Unchained”) and Orlando Jones (actor).

We are living in a time where the comics industry as a whole is making a concerted effort to diversify its characters, however the problem is many of these characters are not well written and not included in the story line as a staple but rather a sidekick or afterthought. This speaks to the issue of inclusion and not diversity. Going forward, the comics industry needs to make a concerted effort, not to simply include minority characters for the sake of diversity, but actually incorporate them with the intent of inclusion. Critically analyzing comics over the last several years, has taught me that there is a huge difference between diversity and inclusion; this distinction has implications not only in the comics industry but in the broader social and political landscape as well.

6 thoughts on “Dr. Sheena C. Howard Wins 2014 Comic Con Eisner Award for Book “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation””

  1. I appreciate this work you’ve done, but the simple answer is for more black people to do their own comic book writing. White people are only able to be white, don’t expect more. else we are saddled to read the writings of those that contribute.

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