Photo © Schomburg Center

The 3-day festival will be a hybrid program of in-person and virtual events showcasing the artistry and community of “nerd culture” across the Black diaspora. 

The lineup of vendors and panels will be announced on the festival website on December 17th

From Wakanda to West 135th Street. Calling all superheroes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The festival will run from January 13 – 15th featuring in-person and virtual programming. The free and public event will feature a cosplay competition, a comic book marketplace, and panel discussions with award-winning graphic novelists, cartoonists, and artists. The full lineup of vendors and panels will be available on the festival website on December 17th.

“The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival has grown to be more than just an event; it’s a movement and we are so excited to invite our community to celebrate this milestone with us,” said Kadiatou Tubman, Schomburg Manager of Education Programs and Outreach“This year’s festival marks a legacy of 10 years celebrating Black imagination, representation, and culture through comics. We are thrilled to bring back the in-person SchomCom Marketplace while we stream programs and workshops online. “

The Schomburg Center will also open a new exhibition to commemorate the anniversary. Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures will document the festival’s evolution through photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs. The exhibition will include selections of the Schomburg Center’s collection of comic books and graphic novels dating back to the golden age of comic books – illuminating the rich history of Black comics and the ongoing motivations to render humor, struggle, irony, and futurism steeped in a Black aesthetic. It will be on view starting on January 14, 2022 in-person in the Exhibition Hall.

“The exhibition, Boundless, captures the audaciousness of the Black imagination to believe in other worlds, to create superheroes out of myth and the mundane, and to do this in service of a limitless culture,” said Novella Ford, Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions. “If ever there was a time to have hope and imagination, it is now.”

This year’s festival continues the tradition of encouraging “Blerd” cosplayers of all ages and caliber to showcase their best. Cosplay enthusiasts have the choice to browse for comic books in costume or showcase their best cosplay for the virtual cosplay competition. Participants should submit a video in costume by January 7th to be considered for the contest. Instructions can be found here. 

This year’s festival will run on a “hybrid” format for the first time, in order to reduce crowding. Participants looking to attend the comic book marketplace and see the anniversary exhibition in person can reserve a free timed ticket. All virtual panels and workshops will stream online. 

Tickets for the Schomburg Center Black Comic Book Festival are free and available to the public through Eventbrite. Visit SchomCom.org for more information and the complete schedule.

About the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the preservation, research, interpretation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diasporan, and African experiences. As a research division of The New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center features diverse programming and collections totaling over 11 million items that illuminate the richness of global black history, arts, and culture. Learn more at schomburgcenter.org.

About the New York Public Library 

For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming, and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 18 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.