The Color of Comics – Miami

by Rachel Baker on October 8, 2009

One criticism levied at comic books is their lack of multi-cultural images and stories. And while this truth cannot be denied, the world community does need to be more honestly represented in comic books and graphic novels, as well as in other art forms, as a source of knowledge and inspiration to all people, we should not ignore the variety of material that has already been created.

The Color of Comics exhibition at the Miami Book Fair International seeks to illuminate the diversity of characters of color in comic art.  To shine a light on that body of work is the goal of The Color of Comics, an exhibition of original comics artwork by artists from throughout the United States as well as other countries. More than 30 out of 70 pieces highlight characters representing varied cultures and ethnicities–African, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern, among others.

Created in various mediums, including some digital art, these images come from books published throughout the globe.  The stories range from sword and sorcery tales in Europe and Korean myths and legends to social issues in Africa and superheroes and science fiction in America.

The show provides a positive platform for young people to see themselves represented in comics, inviting them to consider their own pathways in this industry. It arms educators with a rich source of images and cultural contexts for classroom discussions on diversity and differences, while also providing them with information on how comic books are used in other countries to discus politics, health, and other social issues.

Curated by comics creator and educator, Alex Simmons, The Color of Comics honestly reflects the ability to bring people together to create a different view of our global community, and provides people from all backgrounds with information on the variety of material that they can seek out for personal satisfaction, as well as educational purposes.

Participating Artists as of September 11, 2009:

Alexa Kitchen * Anne Sibley O’Brien * Bill Galvan * Brian Stelfreeze * Dawud Anyabwile * Eric Battle * Fernando Ruiz * Harvey Richards * Howard Cruise * Jamal Y Igle * Jerry Craft * Joan Hilty  * John Jennings * Mshindo Kuumba I * Ray Felix * Rob Taylor * Scott Hanna * Shawn Atkinson * Steven Harris * Will Eisner

And don’t forget:

The Photographer
Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and First Second Books present a unique exhibit featuring photos and illustrations from The Photographer, a graphic novel documenting MSF’s clandestine cross-border humanitarian operation to assist Afghans stranded without medical care in areas hardest-hit after the Soviet invasion in 1979.

Photojournalist Didier Lefèvre became part of this massive humanitarian aid effort in 1986. Dodging Soviet aircraft and navigating treacherous terrain, Lefèvre’s journey nearly cost him his life. Over a decade later he collaborated with acclaimed graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert to bring this story to life in The Photographer.

The novel combines Lefèvre’s images and Guibert’s artwork in a rare collaboration that conveys a depth of honesty and commitment to the value of human life, while providing powerful and often heartbreaking images of a country still embroiled in conflict to the present day.

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