The 4th Annual Black Comic Book Festival went down at the Shomburg Center in Harlem yesterday and it was an epic event. There were more great vendors and the event even took over the main gallery area next to the book store. It was also the final day of the 3 month long “Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination” exhibit in the round gallery room and although it wasn’t exactly part of the festival, it was open for the crowd to see and it featured artwork from a lot of the artist that were actually in the festival. It was an great addition to the event to actually have that gallery exhibit vibe along with the vending and other festival activities.
We spent a lot of time in the front checking out the booths of our friends N.Steven Harris, Robert Garrett and Nassed Gifted. That area was packed for most of the day!! There was also free face painting for the kids and “Big” kids in that section too.
The main hall was just as crowed as people were trying to get a glimpse of all the incredible work that these awesome creators had to offer. Black Comic Book Festival co creator Jerry Craft had a large about of his popular kids books on display, Tim Fielder creator of Matty’s Rocket and the man behind the 2015’s NYCC “Afrofuturism” Fest. The great Mshindo Kuumba had a booth as did the legendary Alex Simmons. Jamar Nicholas was back at the event and of course Yumy Odom and the ECCBAC crew were there to represent plus a host of other great comic book creators made up the rest of the main hall and it was pretty much shoulder to shoulder in there for most of the day.
We got to get a quick peek at one of the panels where they were discussing the meaning of the saying “Bleek” and “Blerd”. It was a great panel but we were pressed for time and had to get to though the rest of the event.
about mid way through the day we went outside to handle some business and on our way out we saw a little line of like 4 or 5 people waiting to get in the event. About an hour later when we got back the line was insane!!! The went from 135th street to 136 street then mad a u-turn back down the block to the front of the Shomburg …Yes it was that crazy! People walking down the street were asking what was going on in the building and when they were told that it was a free Black Comic Book Festival their eyes opened up and they got excited and hopped on line too. Buy all was said and done, roughly 5000 people walked through the doors of the Shomburg for the Black Comic Book Festival!! Not only that but most of the vendor we talked to sold out of the product they had on display. It was so awesome to see so many people coming to this event and it’s only the 4th one! It was amazing to be a part and witness it.
There’s a lot more to the story but we’re gonna cut it short because we would be here for hours talking about how great this event was. But we have a little over an hour’s worth of interview footage to edit so you can see what you missed. So for now enjoy the photos below 🙂