I wanted to take the time to write a post about Peep Game Comix; What it’s about, how it came to be, and where we are headed. This journey has been a whirlwind and I’ve finally been able to breathe and share my thoughts on the inspiration and “science” behind Peep Game Comix.
So here’s how it all went down:
The major inspiration for this site is a book called “Our Black Year” by Maggie Anderson. The book chronicles a black family’s dedication to purchase all African-American goods and services for one year.
As you can imagine, services such as lawn care and plumbing came easy; toilet paper and common staples, not so much.
I decided to apply the same idea to my love of comics. I’d buy at least one comic book published, illustrated and/or written by an African American creator. 52 Weeks. 52 Books.
I didn’t waste any time with my local comic book store. I simply started my journey online.
Online Guideposts and Roadblocks
A simple Google search will bring up several very useful websites with extremely resourceful links, interviews and forums.
Unfortunately, the results from these sites vary greatly. Links are broken, companies seem out of business and some sites haven’t been updated in YEARS! This brought me to my first conclusion:
Such road blocks may contribute to the lack of support from Black Geeks. There needs to be a trusted online resource for Black Creators and Black Comic Fans to CONNECT!
The Invisble Man
The internet has provided many African American creators the ability to create an audience for their books. In order to meet my 52 week comic book challenge, I decided to purchase my books online and preferably DIGITAL. However, I quickly learned that digital websites like Graphic.ly and Comixology don’t categorize books by “Culture” or “Race” like a bookstore would. Therefore a search for African American or Black on these sites are pretty fruitless unless you are looking for Black Panther or Black Canary.
Ironically, several Black creators ARE on sites like Comixology (like Deron Bennet), however, they are rarely featured and are “invisible” in search results.
Which brought me to my next conclusion: There needs to be an online digital outlet that features African American creators and their work. EXCLUSIVELY.
This decision is one I mulled over for quite some time with my partners and associates (Close to a year!).
How could I convince Black creators to sell their books to an exclusively black audience?
I realized that creators and publishers are more than welcome to chase a wide audience (a strategy I don’t subscribe to AT ALL), but as a retailer, I stand a better chance of succeeding by narrowing my audience. And at the moment, the Black Comic Book Community happens to be the most vocal and demanding audience there is.
The Adventure Begins
So, putting my graphic design and marketing expertise to good use, I decided to create PeepGameComix.com with the help of two very good friends: Damon Lee and Victor Dandrige.
Damon Lee and I have been life long friends who have shared a love of comic books ever since high school. I immediately brought him in as a partner on the project. He helped develop the concept and came up with the name PEEP GAME. His connections to several black creators on the West Coast has been invaluable.
Victor Dandridge is an established comic book author, illustrator and publisher based out of Columbus, Ohio. He helped me understand the inner workings of the comic book industry as an independent creator. He taught me several common practices in approaching creators about their work.
He also donated several of his books as the inaugural titles of Peep Game Comix.
I owe these two men an enormous debt of gratitude!
Research for this project has unearthed an amazing amount of resources dedicated to diversity in comics and pop culture. Several publications, blogs and podcasts have become my “go-to” source for current news, history, fan art and fun facts about Black Comic Book Creators.
Please check them out!
Black Tribbles (Podcast)
The Two Brandons feat. Brandon Easton and Brandon Thomas (Podcast)
Nerds of Color (Podcast and Blog)
Ghetto Manga by Samax Amen (Blog and Magazine)
Black Comix (Book)
White Scripts and Black Supermen (Documentary)
A super special shout out to all of the current creators featured on Peep Game Comix! In less than two months we now carry 20 books created by African American Comic Book Creators! We couldn’t have done it without you!
(Photo courtesy of Jason Reeves)