William H. Foster III on The image of African Americans in early American Comic Books: 1940-50.

The 118th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

William H. Foster III on The image of African Americans in early American Comic Books: 1940-50.


William H. Foster III has been a writer since the age of 8 and published since age 11. Poet, essayist, playwright, and editorialist, he has written 15 books and 10 plays. He is presently a Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Connecticut. Professor Foster holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, and a Masters degree from Wesleyan University.
A long-time comic book collector and researcher, Professor Foster has been an expert commentator for both CNN News and National Public Radio. He was a consultant on the historical image of Blacks in both comic strips and comic books for the Words and Pictures Museum of Fine Sequential Art in Northampton, MA, and also a consultant to the 2004 exhibit, “Heroes, Heartthrobs, and Horrors: Celebrating Connecticut’s Invention of the American Comic Book” presented by the Connecticut Historical Society.
His exhibit on the “Changing Image of Blacks in Comics” has been displayed at a number of venues across the country, including Temple University’s Paley Library, the 1998 Comic-Con International Comic Arts Conference, the 2000 Festival of Arts and Ideas and in 2012 for the Texas Visual Arts Association in Dallas.
He presented his research at the 2001 conference of The International Association for Media and History in Leipzig, Germany and at the 2002 Conference on Analyzing Series & Serial Narrative at John Moores University in Liverpool, England.
In 2007 Professor Foster’s exhibit was displayed at both the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Maryland and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York. He was an invited speaker to the 2007 International Symposium on Langston Hughes at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China.
In 2008 he was appointed to the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Comic Art. In 2010 his research was sited in the Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture. In 2011 he appeared as an expert on the PBS series, History Detectives. In that same year he spoke at the International Popular Culture Association conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. In 2012 he was an invited speaker at the Atl.Com Festival in Malmo, Sweden, and the Comics Forum in Leeds, England. In 2013 he lectured at the Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA., the New School in New York, and at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He also appeared as an expert commentator in the PBS documentary, Superheroes: A Never ending Battle. He was also tapped to be a judge for the 2014 International Comic Con Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
He is the author of two collections of essay on Blacks in Comics:  Looking for a Face like Mine (2005) and Dreaming of a Face like Ours (2010). He is currently at work on the third book in the series. Website: finallyinfullcolor.com