Category Archives: Comic-Con

1001 Black Men #904


I don’t know how I missed posting this drawing from Comic Con 2015. I was only there for a day, but I had my sketchbook at the ready to make drawings of the brothas I encountered in the convention center. One thing I love about Comic Con is that there are so many Black people in attendance that it would be impossible for me to capture even one tenth of the number of Black folks who are there. I’ve definitely been to my share of conferences at which you could fit all the Black people in a walk-in closet, so I don’t take this opportunity to commune with sci-fi and comics fans of African descent. It is an absolute joy to be surrounded by so many unabashedly nerdy Black folks; and each of my trips to Comic Con is so very special to me because, however long or short my time there, for a few hours or a few days, I am truly among my people.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #834


I spotted this guy with the amazing locks at Comic-Con 2014. He was leaning against the wall and watching the discussion unfold at the “Black Panel,” a gathering of artists, writers, and celebrities convened by artist and writer Michael Davis. Back when the panel was founded, there weren’t very many Black presenters at the conference. Things have changed a lot in the ensuing years, and you can see African American speakers at any number of official Comic-Con events. Still, the Black panel remains as a marker of the kinds of work that it took to make the conference program as inclusive as it is today.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #822


It’s Rickey from Comic-Con! I saw him there in 2013, and I drew a profile portrait of him wearing an Adventure Time hat. In 2014, he had significantly longer hair and the beginnings of what promised to be an impressive beard. Weirdly enough, he did remember me, from when I approached him the year before. He’s a really nice guy with a great smile, and I hope we cross paths this summer, at SDCC15.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #820


Here’s another drawing from the Comic-Con 2014 sketchbook that I dug out from the bottom of my backpack.

I first met Viktor Kerney at the Prism Comics booth at Comic-Con 2014. It was my first time tabling there, and he was very welcoming. Viktor writes the webcomic StrangeLore, a queer horror/supernatural story with gothic elements that centers the lives of men of color.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #819


This drawing comes from the way, way back machine known as last summer’s sketchbook. I was sitting across the aisle from this brotha, on the San Diego Trolley. This was during Comic-Con 2014. We were both riding from the Double Tree Mission Valley to the Convention Center, and I couldn’t take my eyes off his hat. It looked a little like the hat Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble used used to wear to their meetings of the Water Buffalo Lodge.

In preparation for doing this post, I spent a few minutes trying to track down the meaning of this hat. I knew this brotha was doing some kind of cosplay thing, but I have looked at this drawing at least 20 times since I first made it, and I could never figure out the meaning of this costume. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I was finally able to track down the name of the character the headpiece in this picture was supposed to represent.

I have to share with you my process, because it’s just more evidence that the internet hive mind is smarter that us all. I did a simple Google image search for “furry blue hat with an x on it.” This brotha’s hat came up on the second screen of results.

It turns out that this hat is worn by the Japanese manga and anime character Tony Tony Chopper, human/reindeer hybrid who also happens to be a physician for the Straw Hat Pirates. The x on his hat is a medical cross turned sideways.

The brotha in this drawing goes into the Black Cosplayers Hall of Fame, with special honors for shameless commitment to a shape-shifting, child-sized genetic experiment. Huzzah!

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #767: The Brothers of Comic-Con


San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

Do notice that I redesigned the lanyard on this figure, using a lovely yellow-green with purple stars. Perhaps Comic-Con will invite me to design their real lanyards for future conferences (but probably not).

Also, do note my attempt to create a quirky Comic-Con background (for this and several previous drawings), using silhouettes decked out in my version of cosplay outfits. They’re harder to see at this small size, but check out some of my previous SDCC 2014 drawings for a better look at the background details.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #766: The Brothers of Comic-Con, 2014


This brother was my favorite costume at Comic-Con, hands down. He was a young, shirtless, Black Uncle Sam in American Flag Bermuda Shorts. I passed him strolling down the aisles of the Small Press section of the Exhibition Hall. I wish I’d taken a moment to ask him about whether or not he was dressed as a particular hero or character. I know there was an Uncle Sam comic book series back in the 1940s, and DC Comics’ the The New 52 (2011) seems to include an Uncle Sam character who is African American; but I don’t think this guy was dressed as either of these. I prefer to imagine that he was wearing his costume both ironically and as an act of reclamation, in the spirit of other outsiders (like Abbie Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg) who used the imagery of Uncle Sam to stake their claim as the most patriotic of all Americans, the dissenters.

Ajuan Mance