Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels and Anime

Jan 11, 2016

The subject matter of comic books goes far beyond the Marvel and DC superheroes we all know.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion about how black women are represented in comics and graphics novels, as well as their influence on the industry, with Deborah Whaley, the author of Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels and Anime.

Phil Hester, Deborah Whaley, and Charity Nebbe in the Iowa Public Radio studio

“As I was doing my research, I found that there was very little about black women in comics, as readers, as characters, and as creators; so I saw it as a real opportunity to fill that gap,” says Whaley.

Comic book artist and writer Phil Hester also joins the show to talk about the ever-changing world of comic books. Along with his work on DC and Marvel titles, he’s been very active in alternative comics and claims to be a fan of every genre. He says that publishing comics online has opened up the field like never before.

“It’s good to see all these voices that were, not necessarily shut out before, but maybe there wasn’t room for them, and now they don’t have to wait around for anybody," says Hester. "Women cartoonists now, they don’t have to wait for entry into what was previously a boy’s club. There are all these cool new pathways to success now that I think make comics more exciting than ever."