Choosing skin color in comics

Lighten Up

Ronald Wimberly is a comics and animation artist, the author of Vertigo's Prince of Cats, and a character designer for Black Dynamite: The Animated Series. Wembly has illustrated a work experience he had while coloring an X-Men comic. His story, Lighten Up, appears on the excellent blog The Nib, a site devoted to "political cartoons, comics journalism, humor and non-fiction."

Like anyone on a creative team, getting notes from a superior is nothing unusual, until the time he was asked him to lighten the color he chose as the skin tone for a character described as "Latina." The piece is an illustrated personal essay on race identification as a matter of social literacy, both in and out of the comics industry. Wimberly points out that though he himself is considered black, he is actually color #5c4653, not color #000000.