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Reading Rainbow: Black Comic Books Big Role In The $22.4 Billion Market

By Majella Mark

  • The global comic book market size was valued at $14.6B in 2021 and is poised to grow $22.4B by 2030
  • One “All Negro Comics” issue is valued at approximately $20K today

All Negro Comics, created by Orrin Cromwell Evans and four others in 1947, paved the way for companies like Milestone Media founded in 1993 that now have their place in the DC universe with Warner Brothers investing in a live-action Static Shock film produced by Michael B Jordan. The comic book that was once 15 cents an issue, is now valued at approximately $20,000 today, as the global comic book market size was valued at $14.6 billion in 2021 and is poised to grow $22.4 billion by 2030.

Why This Matters: Evans and his other creators had an uphill battle to gain support for their comic book that showcased positive images of Black people. At that time no one wanted to publish content, let alone a comic book displaying Black people being anything other than stereotypes that inflicted embarrassment and ostracization towards the Black community. Many Marvel and DC Black characters have racist undertones that did not age well, including Whitewash Jones in “Young Allies” #1 in 1941 and  Lois Lane becoming a Black woman in “Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane” #106 in 1970.

Although many comic publishers have tried to rectify the poor taste of past issues there were no real consequences. Comics and graphic movies continue to grow with sales in the U.S. and Canada increasing 6% from 2019 to 2020 with a total market value of $1.28 billion. In that market value is the consumer power of the Black community.

2018 proved that Black heroes matter as Marvel’s Black Panther broke premiere records in its opening weekend making a whopping $242 million. The community showed up in droves to the movie theaters, dressing up in costumes and holding parties in celebration. The same way people still invest in Disney (DIS -0.04%) for the sake of their children is how we should invest in our Black superhero stories, keeping the momentum going for the sake of having positive imagery for future generations to come.

Situational Awareness: Superheroes have a positive impact on children, encouraging bravery, boldness, morals, and imagination. Creators like Afua Richardson and Kwanza Osajyefo are creating worlds for major titles like Black Panther and Lovecraft Country, but also have their own projects like Aquarius and Black that youth can dive into. By supporting Black comic book creators through moral support and wallets we can cement a legacy of magic our future children will enjoy.

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