Last month, I posted a piece over on FreakSugar that highlighted Black webcomic creators. Last week, I had a piece here focusing on trans creators. I don't profess to be an expert in either and, honestly, those lists were just thrown together off the top of my head. Some if them I knew, sure, but I didn't want either list to be just what I happened to remember. I really had to do some digging around and I tried to verify things because a comic that focuses on an issue doesn't necessarily mean it's perfectly reflective of the creator.
But here's what strikes me in retrospect: my list of trans webcomic creators was easier to generate and longer than my list of Black webcomic creators. I'm not mad at that but a little confused given that there's a higher percentage of Black people in our society than trans folks. (Well, at least publicly trans. I'm sure there are a number who aren't very open about it.)
Now I haven't claimed to do a comprehensive list, but off the top of my head, I can think of a lot more Black creators working in print than trans creators. So I'm wondering why.
If I had to pose a guess, I'd say that print comics offer more opportunities for Black creators than trans. There's less of a need to "resort" to webcomics because Black creators (and Black people more generally) are more openly accepted in our culture. If I wander the Artist Alley in a large convention like C2E2, it's easy to spot Black creators. Even going to small, more fiercely independent shows like CAKE, I can count the number of openly transgender creators I've seen in total on one hand. Even in that generally more accepting and supportive environment. But maybe that support network isn't available AT ALL in many locations -- as is suggested by the reports of trans teen suicides -- so they're more likely to reach out online where they can go beyond geographic boundaries.
Or maybe I'm just blind and not seeing a crudload of Black webcomic creators that are hard at work out there.