Sunday, July 24, 2016

Coverage of Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates & Black Panther

image by Afua Richardson

On July 22, Marvel announced a new expansion, Black Panther: World of Wakanda. The project will include Roxane Gay co-writing with Ta-Nehisi Coates on a series that focuses on various people in Wakanda, the homeland of T'Challa/Black Panther. The project will include contributions from poet Yona Harvey and visual artists Alitha Martinez and Afua Richardson.

So far, several media outlets have highlighted that Gay will become the first black woman writer for Marvel. Gay noted on Twitter that " It doesn't make sense that I am the first, in 2016. But I won't be the last."  

In an interview in the Times, Coates addressed the need to make more opportunities available to women to contribute to comic books:
"We have to open the door. It’s not, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if there are more women writers, more women creators in comics?’ That would be nice, but in many ways, it is kind of an imperative.” 
Several black women commentators offered critiques of Coates's Between the World and Me (2015) when it was published, saying that he did not make black women experiences more central to his work. Coates was aware of some of those critiques, but, as this recent Marvel announcement suggests, he has moved in a different, possibly more progressive direction. Rather than speak for black women figures in his work, Coates effectively facilitated an unusual and important opportunity for 4 black women -- Gay, Harvey, Martinez, and Richardson -- to become creators and contributors to a major comic book project.

• July 23: Roxane Gay Becomes First Black Woman To Write Marvel Comic Book - The Root
• July 23: Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates to Cowrite History-Making Marvel Comic - Scott Russell - Paste
• July 23: Roxane Gay Is Writing a New Black Panther Comic For Marvel - Joshua Rivera - GQ
• July 22: Who Is Roxane Gay? - Elle Collins - Comics Alliance
• July 22: Roxane Gay will write a Black Panther companion series for Marvel - Kaitlyn Tiffany - The Verge
• July 22: Roxane Gay will write a Black Panther spin-off comic for Marvel - Christian Holub - EW
• July 22: World of Wakanda coming from Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates - Catrina Dennis - Inverse
July 22: Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates Team Up for New Marvel ‘Black Panther’ Series - Shawn Setaro - Complex
• July 22: Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates Are Co-writing a Marvel Comic - Abraham Riesman - Vulture
• July 22: Marvel’s World of Wakanda Will Spotlight Women - George Gene Gustines - New York Times

A Notebook on Black Panther

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