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Six manga-style comics by Black creators you should read

Looking for some new manga-style comics to read? Check out these options!

Cropped cover of Adorned by Chi
Image credit: Magnus Alto

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In celebration of Black History Month, we are celebrating the Black comics creators who have made comic books in various genres with countless influences. One of those influences is Japanese manga, comic books that have a distinct art style and an array of subgenres such as magical girls, steampunk, and slice-of-life. Here are six manga-style comics by Black creators to check out.

Clock Striker Vol. 1 by Isaaka Galadima and Frederick L. Jones

Cropped cover of Clock Striker vol 1
Image credit: Frederick L. Jones

From Saturday AM Comics comes this steampunk inspired adventure starring an ambitious young girl named Cast. Cast is an inventor with a prosthetic arm who aims to become part of the Smiths, a group of legendary warrior-engineers. Soon, Cast crosses paths with surviving Smith member Philomina Clock and becomes a "Striker," her apprentice. Together, the two travel the world and uncover a mystery surrounding the ancient tech the Smiths left behind. If you enjoy this comic, be sure to look out for Clock Striker Vol. 2, which comes out September 2024.

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and DJ Kirkland

Cropped cover of The Black Mage
Image credit: DJ Kirkland

Published by Oni Press, this comic book is both parody and original. Inspired by video games and manga, this book tells the story of Tom Token, who becomes the first Black mage to attend the wizard boarding school St. Ivory. When Tom discovers something sinister hidden beneath the school's charm, he must uncover it by teaming up with the school's liaison Lindsay and the spirits of Harriet Tubman, John Henry, and Frederick Douglass.

Adorned by Chi by Jacque Aye and Magnus Alto

Cropped cover of Adorned by Chi
Image credit: Magnus Alto

Inspired by Jacque Aye's lifestyle brand of the same name, magical girl manga like Sailor Moon, and Igbo mythology, Adorned By Chi is special in more ways than one. When Adaeze Adichie, a painfully shy college student at Peace University, discovers she has magical powers, she must lead a team of warriors to fight monsters that try to destroy humanity.

XOGENAYS Vol. 1 by Tre McIntosh and Nikolas Draper-Ivy

Cropped cover of XOGENAYS
Image credit: Nikolas Draper-Ivy

Created by Johnny O' Bryant, this book is a gritty read set in a future overrun by the rich and by gang warfare. Darius Smith is an artistic youth doing his best to stay out of trouble, but he has a hidden talent as an explosive fighter. This causes him to cross paths with Timothy Mustafa, powerful prince and owner of one of the most successful XOGeneSYS teams in the country. As a gladiator sport fought with powerful exoskeletons, XOGeneSys offers danger for Darius but a better life if he survives.

Tephlon Funk! by Stephane Metayer, Nicolas Safe, and David Tako

Cropped cover of Tephlon Funk!
Image credit: Nicolas Safe, and David Tako

Created by Stephane Metayer, this comic book was inspired by manga and 90's hip-hop culture. It focuses on fourteen-year-old Inez Jozlyn, who finds herself in the middle of a drug conflict after being helped by a mysterious man. Alongside this man, a female cop, and a sword-wielding bartender, Inez will work to keep this drug from spreading across the streets of New York.

Soul Food Wars by Sarah A. Macklin

Soul Food Wars is a comic Inspired by food from the African Diaspora and Yūto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki's manga Food Wars. It stars Lejani James, a transfer student at Angel Oak Culinary, a school that focuses on African American food. His strong opinions on soul food cause him to put his school future on the line when clashes with Angel Oak's top student Grace Mckinnon in a Battle of Cusine.


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About the Author
Latonya Pennington avatar

Latonya Pennington

Contributing writer

Latonya Pennington is a freelance pop culture contributor at Reed Pop. In addition to writing about anime and manga, they have also written about video games, American comics, and young adult fiction. Their writing can also be found at Fandom Games, Into More, Gayming Magazine, and Comics XF among others. When they aren't writing for work, they can be found streaming shows, playing video games, reading novels, or doing creative writing.
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