It’s already happening

I remember somewhere that Marvel and DC might trust other publishers to publish stories involving their characters before. DC and Marvel outsourcing their characters to other properties isn’t new. This already happened with newspaper comics with Spider-Man being the longest surviving example.

They may’ve already done this before, especially in cooperation with local publishers here in the Philippines through licences. But the fact that this is also spreading within America where they come from.

Outsourcing comics to IDW and Archie Comics continues this. The next logical step would have Marvel and DC forgo their own comics publishing divisions and cede comics publishing and production to the likes of GoComics. You can read the newspaper Spider-Man strips for free.

What would be shocking if Marvel and DC have GoComics hire some talent to make stories, especially if said talent’s complacent or willing. Tigra might end up being better known through her GoComics presentation even though one could also easily find her adventures at ReadComics.to.

A good number of people know superheroes better through cinema and television. Webcomics should be a good middle ground but ReadComics isn’t as well known as GoComics so Tigra might forever be remembered in webcomics than in print comics.

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The much needed representation

As for growing accessibility to African media especially online, the best known representative of African comics at this point is Aya de Youpougon which is about the everyday life of an Ivorian woman. Though I remember there were several others online like the one at the Children’s Library and Shujaaz. Not that AYP’s a bad comic, it’s nice and well-done.

Though I also think if Black Panther’s any indication, there’s a growing awareness of how far Africa’s come to the point of having to be inspired by it and represent it in a way. Hence why BP resonated a lot in Africa. Along with stuff like Supa Strikas being a football comic strip that got adapted for animation that showed up on the Disney Channel before, African comics might be getting more prominent.

Especially due to the Internet where such voices can be accessed to. Maybe even growing numbers of stories are either influenced by or adapted from African lore and one may become the most prominent in the future.

Looking for black representation

Like I said, the growing emergence of African economies like Nigeria as well as growing accessibility to those countries’ orature, folklore and literature could effectively be the ultimate antidote to the lack of black representation in non African media. While they’re arguably not any better as Nollywood might be just as fallible as Hollywood is, but because black characters are the norm as is the sensibility being prominently shown they can help things.

You could even buy books specifically about certain Cameroonian languages and folklore at Amazon.com from what I remember. You can easily access to any Cameroonian website and get an idea of that sensibility in addition to documents about it by outsiders. It could also be me developing a preference for African stories out of a feeling that there aren’t enough black characters in non-African stories.

They’re inevitably marginal in those so one’s better off going for African stories instead. I won’t be surprised if there are other people also doing similarly. I could be projecting but given the need for representation, growing accessibility to African lore and stories might be needed.