September 2, 2014

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Mari Naomi Debuts Cartoonists of Color Database

Comics creator Mari Naomi officially debuted her Cartoonists of Color Database, a resource that's been sorely needed.

Sorted alphabetically as well as sub-divided into LGBTQ creators of color as well as non-male creators of color (and yay for Mari for not making that "women" because not all of us fall into "male" or "female" buckets). There's also a list for non-traditional cartoonists of color as well.

How was a person included? Here's Mari's explanation from her FAQ:

What is a Cartoonist of Color?
Cartoonists of Color (CoC) is a play off of the acronym "PoC." PoC stands for "person of color." A PoC is anyone who identifies as non-Caucasian (non-white). On this list, you'll find comics creators of various ethnicities: African American, Korean Canadian, Indian Singaporian, Turkish American, Iranian British, Japanese American and so many more.
And of course, for the people who are completely clueless and don't get why this matters, Mari doesn't bother engaging in a long debate. The question of why is answered with a short and sweet:
Why a Cartoonists of Color Database? For visibility. For academia. For inspiration. For community building.
A brilliant answer.

The FAQ discusses why the information is still incomplete, how fast it grew (leading her to despair at the comment "What POC cartoonists?"), and how to contribute, either with information or by kicking a few dollars her way.

I am so happy that Mari has done this. It's an invaluable resource and tool, both as a reviewer/researcher and a person who always wants to investigate and find new creators who may interest me. I hope that this project continues and that maybe she can even get some help with indexing. (It would be great to be able to do something like, "Search for Mini-Comics creators identifying as Asian-American, for example.)

No matter what, this is a project that deserves attention and support. I hope you'll check it out and spread the word!