If you are in New York City January 17-18, 2020 make to drop by The Schomburg Center for the 8th Annual Black Comic Book Festival. It’s an event that celebrates the Black creators of comics all in one place.
We have been attending the festival since 2016 and it is a must for anyone interested in seeing comic books that feature the various parts of Black Imagination and Black Culture. Best of all this is a free event that is open to the public which means you can bring the family without burning a hole in your wallet.
However like all festivals of this type… Black Comic Book Festival 2020 does have some things that anyone that is going for the first time needs to know about so that you have the best time.
Get your tickets in advance.Yes it is a free event but it still requires having tickets. The tickets are free and can be found at The Schomburg Center home page for upcoming events or you can search in eventbrite for The Schomburg Center’s 8th Annual Black Comic Book Festival.
Be prepared to wait in a very long line.
The event has grown in recent years and so there will be a lot and we do mean a lot of people trying to get in. The lines last year wrapped around the blocks twice so be prepared. Especially if you plan on going on Saturday which is the busiest day. The Black Comic Book Festival is two days long and starts on Friday January 17th and ends Sat. January 18th at 8pm. Keep that in mind when planning your trip. We think that it is worth the wait.
Bring Money for comics and art.
If you never been to a convention or festival this might be a surprise but people do sell things. We at Black Nerd Swag are all for supporting good work with our dollars. We encourage you to bring some money with you so that you can take some of the artist and comics home with you. Any artist would be happy to sign your purchase and even get a selfie if you ask nicely. Especially if you bought a comic or two. In our experience the work at the Black Comic Festival tends to be really good if not MOMA worthy in some cases.
Make sure to bring some money to grab a piece for yourself. Some of the art and comics you will see at the Blakc Comic Book Festival is only found there. Many of the creators are indie’s and unless you plan on traveling to other conventions. This might be your only chance to get new releases or special pieces and get them signed. Remember this event is two days long so keep that in mind when you are gather up your funds to buy comics and art. Our suggestion is to bring $40 per day min. We have gotten some nice pieces with $100 for both days but don;t think you having to save $100 or spend that much. If money is tight then $40 to $60 for both days comics and art is good enough.
Bring money for food.
There are restaurants in walking distance but not something that is just around the corner for you to buy something to eat so if you are looking to eat and come back in the festival. Then you might have to wait on line again to get in.
There are food trucks in front of the center if you like something fast and not far away. The food carts/trucks are not very expensive with the average price being $10 for a meal and $2 for a drink so if you like chicken and rice or things like that. Then you will be fine. If you are planning on attending both days from 10 am to 8pm then $20 to $30 a day for food and drink if you plan on eating two meals a day from the food carts. In total $60 for food is more than enough and we mean more than enough for both days.
Bring a bag.
If you do plan on buying stuff or you are not sure. It is in your best interest to bring a bag with you to the Black Comic Book Festival. You never know when it will come in handy because the artists that will be selling with not have bags to give you.
Also bring cash even though most will most be able to take credit or CashApp. There was a year where the card readers were not working for a bit so having cash was great but many will probably be able to accept other forms of payment via Cashapp, Paypal and Venmo but the food carts outside only take cash. Just bring some cash with you and keep it moving is our suggestion.
Be ready to take pictures!
If you never experienced Black Cosplay in all of its glory then you are in for a treat. They have a cosplay competition on Saturday of the event but there are plenty of Black Cosplayers that will be around. Most of them are super friendly and love taking pictures if you want to get a picture with Blade or Black Panther. This might be your best chance. Plus if you are a Black cosplayer or would like to give it a try. This is the safest environment for you in our experience to cosplay while Black without having an incident.
Respect the Space.
The Schomburg is The Center of Black Culture and Research. Meaning is Blacky Black and a celebration of scholarship there so enjoy it and explore it while respecting the space.
Make sure to say what’s up to us. Black Nerd Swag will be in attendance with our uniform on so check us out wearing the Black Nerd Swag T-shirt.