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Schomburg Center x Black Comic Book Festival

Source: Schomburg Center / Schomburg Center

The Schomburg Center is buzzing as its annual Black Comic Book Festival takes place this weekend featuring some of the best of the industry.

Harlem is once again playing host to The Black Comic Book Festival this weekend, which will be held at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This year marks the 12th time that the festival that celebrates comics, anime, films, and more will be held at the venerable institution. The two-day festival which begins Friday (April 26) will feature panel discussions, workshops, a marketplace for attendees to purchase items from established and independent Black creators, and a cosplay showcase to close out the festival that’s held across two floors of the center.

“Our creators are telling remarkable stories you often don’t see on TV or get to read when you’re in the classroom,” said Kadiatou Tubman, the curator and executive producer of the event at the Schomburg. “The event is critical because it provides representation, it provides the liberation of imagination.” She also stressed that promoting literacy among the young is the key goal. “The event was really founded to encourage young people to read, to see themselves in the books and enjoy literature,” she said in an interview with Gothamist. “It’s a great entry point for young people and for all types of readers.”

The “SchomCom” panel discussions include a look at the upcoming IYANU animated series based on the “Iyanu: Child of Wonder” graphic novel series set in West Africa. The team behind the series will share details about it ahead of its upcoming premiere on Cartoon Network and Max. Another discussion will focus on Black women creators who are making strides in the resurgence of Black horror and fantasy. Attendance for the Black Comic Book Festival is free, but pre-registration is highly recommended – last year, the Schomburg reported that the festival had 8,000 in attendance. More details and registration can be found on their website.