January 11, 2014

Black main characters in webcomics

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.

Tags: African-Americanscomic stripscomics triviaMediawebcomics