Created by Abelle Hayford, #drawingwhileblack is a hashtag where black artists of any creative field can showcase their art. It’s been around since September 2017, but it has had an influx of artists using it in recent days – to the point where it was trending on Twitter.
I’ve explored the hashtag to highlight as many fantastic black comic book artists I could find. While I have focused on comics, I encourage you to explore the hashtag because there are so many incredible artists from other fields including illustration, animation, fine arts, and other fields.
If you dig any of them then make sure to follow on social media and check out their work.
What I like about Bex’s art, especially the images in the tweet above, is that it express the quiet moments with such warmth. You’ll find a bunch of short stories that do the same over on the artist’s website.
Bex has also done a bunch of covers, colours, and interiors for a range of publisher including Boom Studios, Lion Forge, and Iron Circus. She also has a graphic novel coming out in September which tells the story of Edmonia Lewis.
DJ has been colouring comics since 2018 and has worked for a wide range of publishers including Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, A Wave Blue World, and others.
As you’ll see in his portfolio, he’s a versatile colourist who can work in different styles.
Greyolle is an expressive cartoonist, who is currently working on a wordless webcomic. I always admire people who can do wordless comics as it takes a lot of cartooning chops to communicate a story without dialogue.
You can also find her other work on her website, which ranges from slice-of-life to fantasy.
Jeanette is an expressive cartoonist who has a great knack for colours that tell a story.
She is currently collaborating with Ren Graham on Blackwater. The webcomic is a collection of short supernatural stories that centre around the town of Blackwater, Maine. Blackwater will also be a graphic novel published by Henry Holt.
Mars is best known for his LGBT comic Long Exposure. I really dig his expressive characters and the colour palette used.
He is also working on another comic, which is currently in early development, called Ride or Die. It’s described as “Christine meets Ghost Rider meets Fast and Furious… but gayer.”
Nate’s character designs are really cool and it looks that he takes a lot of influence from the works of Moebius and Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Shawn has had a long career in comics working on projects for publishers such as Marvel, DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse, and others. He has also written a book on visual storytelling and even done a TEDx Talk.
Jamar won the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in 2018 for Leon: Protector of the Playground. Before working Middle-Grade graphic novels, Jamar serialised a daily strip, ‘Detective Boogaloo, Hip-Hop Cop’, in the Metro newspapers between 2002 and 2015.
Having a look through AJ’s Instagram, it soon clear that he has a great knack and expressive character designs with fun movement. You’ll also be able to the progression of his upcoming comic Oak Hills.
Looking through Ashanti’s body of work, I quite enjoy the colour used. It is warm and relaxing, with plenty of pinks and purples.
Cress & Petra – which promises to be “beautifully POC, Queer and Neurodiverse” – will be published by HarperCollins in 2022.
Marco is a surreal artist who has worked for both Marvel and DC on comics such as Uncanny X-Men, Winter Soldier, Swamp Thing, and others. He tackles the page in an almost surreal manner, with the borders melding into the art.
Le Beau Underwood
I dig Le Beau Underwood’s inking style. It’s sharp yet detailed and accommodates the penciller’s style. Recent artists he has worked with include Ryan Kelly, CrissCross, and Chris Mooneyham.
Bre is the artist behind the webcomic series Jamie, a warm LGBT coming of age series. They are also have two graphic novels in the works The Dog Knight (to be published in 2021 by Feiwel and Friends) and Northranger (HarperAlley in fall of 2022).
I had a look at btrcp’s webcomic UM and it sounds unique with a high concept of “‘UM’ is a magical girl comic abt eugenée, a blk, nonbinary, aspiring birth-worker who finds themself mixed up in a millennia-old conflict btwn the powers that be & a faction of cosmic, shamanic midwives.”
Along with doing cool remixed character designs for My Hero Academia, Cam has his own comic called Cliques. The series is all about living in a science fiction city where everyone has futuristic swords.
Odunze Whyte Oguguo
Odunze works on the cool manga series, Black Apple, for Saturday AM. If you’re a fan of Shonen Jump style manga/anime then you’ll dig this series which has a lot of dynamic action.
Ray-Anthony Height has done art for a range of comic book series including X-Men: Blue, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, as well as the creator-owned Midnight Tiger.
I like the attention of detail he gives on the page, both in the way he frames action and the expressiveness of the characters.
Ky is a cool cartoonist who draws dynamic action and has a strong sense of character design. Recently, you might have seen his Black Lives Matter comic that shared on social media earlier in the month.
You can check out more of his work on ArtStation.
Sanford Greene is an artist who has worked on comics such as Power Man and Iron Fist and Runaways over at Marvel as well as the award-nominated series Bitter Root. His art is full of energy and is expressive, which makes for quality action and lively characters.