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12th Annual Black Comic Book Festival returning to Schomburg Center

12th Annual Black Comic Book Festival returning to Schomburg Center
12th Annual Black Comic Book Festival returning to Schomburg Center 01:53

NEW YORK - The 12th Annual Black Comic Book Festival comes back to the Schomburg Center later this week, bringing together nerds of all generations to celebrate diverse voices and artists.

The festival has grown to become known for combining fun and fandom with concepts challenging some school reading lists.

When and where is NYC's 12th Annual Black Comic Book Festival?

The free Black Comic Book Festival is coming up this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.

This year's lineup features the festival's first musical, based on "Little Heroes of Color," as well as a panel by women in the horror genre and a conversation with LGBTQ creators.

Tim Fielder among artists appearing at Annual Black Comic Book Festival

"In a world where there is a huge backlash against diversity, where there are book bans, where Black studies is being taken away in certain universities and schools, it's important to have spaces like this," said the festival's curator and executive producer Kadiatou Tubman.

Last year, New York City public schools instituted the groundbreaking "Graphic History of Hip-Hop" into the curriculum. Artist Tim Fielder and his partner in publishing, hip-hop historian Walter Greason, said the school system has now asked them to create two more volumes to keep the conversation going.

"The debate around hip-hop is really showing how much the art form has grown," Greason said, "and putting these things in perspective in a graphic history makes it more accessible."

"It's an honor to actually premiere it for the first time physically, where people will be able to buy it from us at the Schomburg." added Fielder.

Fielder has attended the festival since the first year and hosts one of the most popular workshops, "How To Draw Black Comics." He said the secret to capturing someone's likeness is in the eye of the creator.

"The likeness that you capture is your style because everybody can draw," Fielder explained. "You can draw stick figures. You can draw semi-realistic, and then you can draw super realistic. All of it works."

"It's really important to highlight the voices and stories that authentically reflect our communities and our histories," added Tubman, "so the Schomburg Center has played a huge role in that for over a century."

Have a story idea or tip in Harlem? Email Jessi by CLICKING HERE.

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