It is important to note that the history of black women, non-binary and queer workers in the comic book industry is often overlooked or erased. It's difficult for me to definitively say who was the first black female, non-binary, or queer illustrators in the Comic book industry (if you know please share in a comment below). However, the women, non-binary, and queer folk who work in the comic book industry today continue to pave the way for coming generations of Afrofuturism.
The first name that comes to mind is is Afua Richardson. Richardson is an African-Native American self trained artist who has worked on a variety of projects and comic book imprints including D.C and Marvel Comics.
Nilah Magruder is an artist based in Maryland. She has written for Marvel Comics, illustrated children’s books for Disney-Hyperion, Scholastic, and Penguin, and worked as a writer and storyboard artist in television animation.
Natacha Bustos is a Spanish comic-book artist who has contributed to several blockbuster series including the Star Wars comic series, Runaways, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. She is known for her detailed and realistic style, which often captures the emotions of her characters. Check out an in-depth profile at Huffpost
And soon the newest Marvel series Bloodline Daughter of Blade, illustrated by Karen S. Darboe will come to a close. Darboe, born an Afro-Italian artist, launched her first Marvel series Bloodline: Daughter of Blade this year. A five-issue limited series, first announced at New York Comic Con 2022, which follows Brielle Brooks, a teenage girl who discovers that she is the daughter of Blade, the Daywalker. Brielle must come to terms with her newfound powers and her family legacy as she trains to become a vampire hunter. The first issue of Bloodline: Daughter of Blade was released on February 1, 2023. The fifth and final issue is scheduled to be released on July 25, 2023. The series has been praised by critics for its diverse cast of characters, its action-packed story, and its exploration of themes of identity and family. Bloodline: Daughter of Blade is a must-read for fans of Blade and the Midnight Sons, For a deep dive into Darboe check out Geeks OUT spotlight profile by Chris Allo
Don’t let this series pass you by