Black main characters in webcomics

Not Invented Here: Runtime Error cover
Art by Paul Southworth.

For awhile, I’ve been reading some popular webcomics. While they’ve been enjoyable, I noticed a lot of the most popular ones tend to not be much better at diversity than their newspaper strip counterparts. In a lot of webcomics, one seems more likely to see a space alien or robot or whatnot before someone who looks like me. (I won’t go into finding a webcomic that doesn’t star someone in their twenties, isn’t a gamer, and/or doesn’t occasionally use language that’d embarrass the “South Park” kids…)

Thus, I’ve recently searched for examples of African-American characters who’re the main characters or stars of webcomics. While a few of the strips are either defunct or haven’t been updated in awhile, here’s some examples I’ve found:

Not Invented Here

Updated daily, “Not Invented Here” (started in 2009) features the daily lives of a small company of programmers. “Not Invented Here” is created by Bill Barnes, Jeff Zugale, and Paul Southworth.

Among the characters include the strip’s stars, Owen and Desmond (the latter African-American). Several other minority characters also appear in the strip, including a female one.

The Interplanet Gazette

This webcomic, written and drawn by Eric Merritt, revolves around a group of individuals who work for a tabloid newspaper about the supernatural. One of the main characters, amusingly named “Crest Colgate,” is African-American.

Joe!

Joe!,” a webcomic by Michelle Billingsley, focuses on the life of a 10-year-old African-American boy and his somewhat extensive family. The strip’s not been updated in awhile, however.

Unshelved

Another webcomic from Bill Barnes (of “Not Invented Here”) and Gene Ambaum, “Unshelved” focuses on the staff of a public library. One of the staff is an African-American female. However, this would be one of the strips that seems to not have been published in awhile.

If anyone has any other examples of webcomics featuring or starring African-Americans, feel free to list them in the comments.

3 comments

  1. Plenty out there; here are a few. My readings tend to be NSFW; be forewarned.

    Girls With Slingshots: Regular character Thea is colored and lesbian; sometimes has story arcs of her own. Secondary character Keith is a Santa, and may be getting a larger role in the strip. Updates regularly.

    Magellan: (on hiatus) superhero college, of a sort. Cast is diverse in gender, race, and species.

    Templar, AZ: Cast is diverse in gender, race, neurotypicality, criminality, body shape, family type, and life-style choices. Creator Spike Trotman is African-American. Updates irregularly.

    That’s three. Other strips I read include occasional colored persons of various ethnicities (Galaxion, Zombie Roomie, Ronin Galaxy, Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell [complete story], Magic Chicks, White Noise, What It Takes, …) Many of these strips have links, permanent or otherwise, to other strips, which may have what you are looking for.

  2. Quantum Vibe is a sci-fi webcomic with a be-racial heroine. The circumstances of her birth are actually an interesting plot point. Extensive archives and updates regularly.

  3. Maybe a bit late too reply

    But one of my favourite webcomic are Unsounded by Ashley Cope http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/comic+index

    She created such magicl fantasy world with plenty of diversity.

    I would love someone making a movie about that one I love Toliken,Games of Throne etc but much is focused on white european civiliztions.

    The logic in that kind of genre is that if you picture european civlizations It HAS to be white people playing the main cast and that is somewhat lame(in my opinion)

    In Ashley’s world one of the super powers of the world are Cresce and looks too have population that could be seen as black.

    But its so much more then that,it has many uniqe creatures for just her world,Instead of horses people ride big dogs.
    There is a lizard race that seem too be somewhat lower class usally guards or servants it seems

    One of the main characters is a girl with a tail(her self claiming to be part lion)

    Its still running and chapter 10 recently is out read it people..

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