In 2014 Dr. Sheena Howard was the first black woman to receive the Eisner Award, otherwise known as Oscars of the comic industry. After that achievement Dr. Howard continues to make great strides in the comic industry.
Howard explained to NBC News that “there are all these cultural barriers for women of color in comics,”. FiveThirtyEight reported “Comic books-much like the film industry they now fuel- vastly under-represent women. The people who write comic books, particularly for major publishers, are overwhelmingly men.” but Howard has found success in the industry despite these challenges. Dr. Howard hopes that her achievement will help women of color in the future
“For me, being able to break down that sort of barrier is something that I hope will be an inspiration to women that have been doing this work a long time.”
Dr. Howard likes to use the medium of comics because she believes it serves as entertainment and also a commentary on the world around us. In her latest storyline ‘Superb’, a comic series co-written by ‘Luke Cage’ comic writer David F. Walker they incorporate current political topics such as the theme of fake news. Dr. Howard does make sure the political commentary does not overpower the comic because her audience is adolescent readers.
Dr. Howard is the past Chair of the Black Caucus (NCA) and an Associate Professor of Communication at Rider University. She is the author of Black queer Identity Matrix (2014) and Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2014). She wrote, produced and directed a film called “Remixing Colorblind.Her work also appears in The Huffington Post. She told NBC News “All I want to do is fight for social justice and inspire other people who might be able to relate to me in different ways,”. It will be exciting to see what Dr. Howard chooses as her next step in the comic industry and we hope she’ll be a role model to other women of color comics.