MECCAcon, Another Upcoming Black Nerd Event to Get Excited About

Conventions are rapidly growing. For supporters of diverse representation in comics, there’s nothing better than conventions dedicated specifically to those ends. A sense of belonging is a curious thing in comics lately, and if you’re on this site you probably nerd hard in the paint and consider representation important. Enter: MECCAcon. You won’t find a better atmosphere and more opportunities to support your favorite writers, read diverse characters and meet spectacular nerds, so it’s obvious your trip to the Midwest should be scheduled for September.

Black Nerd Problems talked with Maia “Crown” Williams, the founder and organizer of MECCAcon, to learn more about your next favorite convention.

Black Nerd Problems: What is MECCAcon?

Williams: Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts – or MECCAcon – is a large comic book and artist convention held annually in Detroit. I started developing it October 2013. The primary reason MECCAcon was established was to instill knowledge primarily in the younger art culture. I also wanted to show Detroit that women know about this stuff, too. We read and watch other things besides romantic mumbo jumbo. It is my mission to make sure that children know that all “heroes” do not look the same; that many actually look just like them. It is also important to learn the origin of comic books, what the historical facts come from, and what the word “hero” actually derives from. I am very much into knowledge of self, and I love to share my knowledge, but in a fun way. Children in all communities love comic books and art. Unlike many “comic cons,” we don’t focus only on comic books. Art has several mediums, especially in Detroit, and we want to highlight them all. MECCAcon aims to highlight comics, science fiction, steampunk/steamfunk, fine art, music, graffiti, Black speculative fiction, DJ artists, handmade artisans, urban gardening, fashion, African martial arts and more.

BNP: What is the biggest challenge you face organizing a convention like this one?

Williams: Money is the biggest, and being taken seriously as a woman in this business comes second. Funding is crucial in all aspects. All of the finances weigh down heavily, especially for the simple fact that 90 percent of it comes from my own pockets. It can be stressful, and sometimes mentally draining at times. I like to focus on the children’s faces every time I get that moment of “what the hell was I thinking?”

To get information about MECCAcon and read more from Jordan Calhoun, Black Nerd Problems lick here.

10 of The Greatest Black Superheroes Of All Time

Growing up Black and watching Saturday morning cartoons, watching sci-fi and superhero movies was oftentimes frustrating due to the lack of identification with the characters. Often we did not see ourselves portrayed as the superhero. Image is very important to children, and by not seeing superheroes who look like them and always being portrayed as white men has an effect on a child’s self-esteem.

However, to me it seemed that comic books were always a little more progressive than mainstream media. In fact, you can trace the rise of modern Black superheroes to the civil rights movement. For example, the X-Men characters of Professor Xavier and Magneto have even been compared to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. While comics have not been a bastion of diversity, they have offered us some great superheroes to identify with as young Black children, which in turn helped to inspire the next generation of artists to create even more Black superheroes. Today, there are literally hundreds of Black superheroes and heroines across all mediums with the most iterations coming in the form of comics. Here is a list of my top 10 superheroes.


10. Spawn (Al Simmons)

Spawn first appeared in 1992. A CIA agent devoted to black ops. Once there, he began to question the morality of what his agency was doing. Murdered by his partner in a blazing inferno, Simmons’ soul was sent to hell because he had knowingly killed innocents during his days in the CIA. Simmons made a deal to sell his soul in order to avenge his murder and see his wife. Spawn is ranked 60th on Wizard magazine’s list of the “Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time,” 50th on Empire magazine’s list of “The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters” and 36th on IGN’s 2011 “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.” Spawn was featured in an animated HBO series, a feature film and several video games.


9. Spider-Man (Miles Morales)

He first appeared as Spider-Man in August 2011. The inspiration for the character was taken from both U.S. President Barack Obama and American actor Donald Glover. Following the death of Peter Parker, a teenager of Black Hispanic descent, Morales, is the second Spider-Man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. However Morales isn’t the character used for the Disney XD show Ultimate SpiderMan. However, he does appear in a third season storyline in which Parker travels through various parallel universes and encounters those dimensions’ versions of Spider-Man, including Morales, who is voiced by rapper/actor Glover. “Spider-Man” writer Brian Michael Bendis has stated that he favors incorporating Morales into the Spider-Man feature films. Miles Morales appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Spider-Man Unlimited and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.

‘All New Ghost Rider #9 Masters Action’ — Review

Well, I’m happy to report that “All New Ghost Rider” is still delivering on what it promised from Day One. There are few books out there that do cartoonishly violent, ridiculous, over-the-top action as well as this one. Felipe Smith has been consistently killing it, crafting a slightly younger chapter of the “Ghost Rider” legacy.

This issue picks up with Robbie Reyes not quite in control of things. Eli Morrow, who isn’t quite the friend Robbie thought he was, has taken the wheel and set out to close a few old accounts with the Russian mob. Meanwhile, Johnny Blaze, the original Ghost Rider is out looking for a rematch with Morrow to teach him that there’s no school like the old school. Smith does a pretty good job pacing what is mainly a passing of the torch to the next generation. It’s a nice change to see the Rider’s other side having slightly different, more human aims (even if they’re as douche-y as Morrow’s are), making for a more reluctant team up almost akin to supernatural “48 Hours.”

Damion Scott’s pencils are the best suited to follow up Tradd Moore’s anime-invoking style. The battles are consistently epic and detailed, the downside being that this can sometimes result in Chris Bachalo Disease (meaning panels can be SO detailed at times, you can get lost in figuring out what’s what).

Bottom Line: Rider vs. Rider has been an excellent platform toward the new one proving itself (as a character and a book) with enough tidbits to keep us looking forward to next time. 8 out of 10.

Source: Oz Longworth at