BCAF’s Frances Gateward and John Jennings Win 2016 Eisner Award

Frances Gateward (r) and John Jennings (l) at BCAF2016 in San Francisco
Frances Gateward (r) and John Jennings (l) at BCAF2016 in San Francisco.

Two of the Black Comix Arts Festival’s curators, Frances Gateward and John Jennings, were awarded the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work for their latest collaboration The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art at San Diego Comic-Con, the comic industry’s premier event, Friday night.

The comic industries “Oscar Award” went to Gateward and Jennings for their 2015 work that explores the diverse range of black characters in comics, and the multitude of ways that black artists, writers, and publishers have made a mark on the industry.1

Professor Gateward is assistant professor of Media Theory and Criticism at California State University, Northridge and serves as BCAF’s film curator, and Professor Jennings is currently professor of Media and Cultural Studies at University of California, Riverside, Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University, and BCAF’s principal curator and co-founder.

1. See foreword in Gateward, F., Jennings, J. The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, New Brunswick, Rutgers Press: 2015.

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The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. The two-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more. A partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, BCAF is a festival of the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation and is part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations in San Francisco. In 2015 USA Today's editors and readers selected BCAF as one of the ten best art festivals in the U.S.

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