(H)afrocentric Comics: Volumes 1-4
Author: Juliana “Jewels” Smith • Illustrated by Ronald Nelson • Colors/Lettering by Mike Hampton • Foreword by Kiese Laymon
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 136
Subjects: Art-Comics / African American
Glyph Award winner Juliana “Jewels” Smith and illustrator Ronald Nelson have created an unflinching visual and literary tour-de-force on the most pressing issues of the day— including gentrification, police violence, and the housing crisis—with humor and biting satire. (H)afrocentric tackles racism, patriarchy, and popular culture head-on. Unapologetic and unabashed, (H)afrocentric introduces us to strong yet vulnerable students of color, as well as an aesthetic that connects current Black pop culture to an organic reappropriation of hip hop fashion circa the early 90s.
We start the journey when gentrification strikes the neighborhood surrounding Ronald Reagan University. Naima Pepper recruits a group of disgruntled undergrads of color to combat the onslaught by creating and launching the first and only anti-gentrification social networking site, mydiaspora.com. The motley crew is poised to fight back against expensive avocado toast, muted Prius cars, exorbitant rent, and cultural appropriation.
Whether Naima and the gang are transforming social media, leading protests, fighting rent hikes, or working as “Racial Translators,” the students at Ronald Reagan University take movements to a new level by combining their tech-savvy, Black Millennial sensibilities with their individual backgrounds, goals, and aspirations.
“Smith's comics ooze with originality.”
“(H)afrocentric is a book that is incredibly contemporary and fits the progressive minds of today's readers. It tackles issues of intersectionality and gentrification in ways that are not only informative but also entertaining. It's unlike any comic book I've ever read.”
—Jamie Broadnax, founder and managing editor of Blackgirlnerds.com
“(H)afrocentric is fully dope, artistic, brilliantly drawn, styled, and wonderfully radical with an awesomely fiery heroine! Juliana Smith and her team are to be commended for this desperately needed political and cultural contribution. Get into it and grab your soapboxes!”
—Jared A. Ball, author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto
About the Contributors:
Juliana “Jewels” Smith is a writer, educator, and speaker. She is the Glyph Award winner for Best Writer on (H)afrocentric: Volume 4 and the honoree of the first annual Excellence in Comics and Graphic Novels Award from the African American Library and Museum at Oakland. With humor and sharp wit, Smith connects comic books, politics, and popular culture.
Ronald Nelson is an illustrator originally from New York City. He studied at School of Visual Arts, the Art Students League, and Cooper Union. Ronald’s areas of expertise are in the fields of portrait drawing and sequential art. He is also proficient as a storyboard artist and cartoonist.
Mike Hampton has been a self-published comic book artist and writer for over fifteen years and the colorist and letterist of (H)afrocentric for over five years. As a freelance graphic designer he has created logos, album covers, business cards, and fliers.
Kiese Laymon is an award-winning black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.
See and hear author interviews, book reviews, and other news on Juliana "Jewels" Smith's page HERE
See illustrator interviews, book reviews and other news on Ronald Nelson's page HERE
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