Are black cartoonists given short shrift on the comics page?
A group of eight illustrators think so, and they’re asking the public and newspaper editors to do something about it. On Feb. 10 — in the thick of Black History Month — a group of eight cartoonists will run the same cartoon, a move that challenges editors to not confine black strips into one particular category.
Darrin Bell, a UC Berkeley grad and cartoonist, pens two daily strips, “Candorville” and “Rudy Park,” and says comic syndicates understand there’s a need for diverse voices. The stumbling block comes with editors, he said.
“I haven’t seen more than a handful of newspapers anywhere in the country that have more than two minority strips,” Bell said in a release. “It’s as if there’s a two-strip maximum in most papers.”
Got a point there.
The action has fueled a lively debate, but no matter what comes out of it, one certainty exists: It will encourage readers to look closer at the work of black cartoonists. Here, then, are a few standout comics and graphic novels written by and/or about African-American