I have entirely too many ideas rattling around in my head right now, so this post will probably come out a bit jumbled. Bear with me, folks.
The Ormes Society. Named after Miss Jackie, of course. I thought it might be a good idea to have a message board or a web portal dedicated to black women creating comics. I was ecstatic to receive a few e-mails about my initial search for black female comic creators from people who wanted to add names to my list. Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a brick wall when I attempted to discover recent information on some of the names given.
That’s when I came up with the idea of the Ormes Society. Black women are out there creating, but unlike our peers, we have the tendency to create in a vacuum. And while other creators use message boards and activist organizations to wisely network and receive emotional support, we post our thoughts and creations on individual websites and then wonder why various activist organizations don’t reflect our viewpoints or interests. How can I be irritated when sites devoted to black creators are dominated by men and books with superhero themes (and on occasion, “hot” black model threads) if I never add my own contributions? How can I be irked by the fact that none of the members of the sites devoted to women in comics commented on the dearth of brown-skinned girls as characters in the MINX line if I never registered on those boards to make a post about that topic in the first place?
The Ormes Society would be a bit of a stepping stone or gateway. It’d be a place where black female comic creators and fans could (1) find each other, (2) share our creations, (3) talk about topics that are important to us, and (4) gain the courage needed to bring those thoughts and creations to the larger comic audience. It would also be a place for editors, fans, and fellow creators to find us and share their thoughts about our work and about topics that pertain to black women in comics (both in the pages and behind the scenes).
There’s no generation of older black women in comics still living to dole out advice and help us along the path to success. But with a little work we could at least have each other as company on the journey. Good idea? Bad idea? Unnecessary idea? E-mail me with your thoughts!